Third Time Lucky For O’Shea In Ipswich Cup

Trainer John O’Shea is hoping it will be third time lucky in his attempt for a breakthrough Ipswich Cup win on Saturday with Sydney raider Berdibek.

O’Shea has failed in two previous attempts to win the Listed feature over 2150 metres.

The multiple Group 1-winning trainer sent French import Berdibek north for last year’s Ipswich Cup but could only manage sixth to the Chris Munce-trained Smart Meteor.

He also tried to win the Ipswich Cup with his only previous runner Mushtak.

O’Shea has followed the same path as last year with Berdibek for the Ipswich Cup.

Berdibek has had three runs back this campaign and is coming off a last start third to Without A Fight in the Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm on May 27.

He carried 59.5kgs in last year’s Ipswich Cup and drops four kilos to 55.5kgs this year.

“He hasn’t won for over a year but I think he’s going better this time than last year,” O’Shea said.

“It didn’t suit him last year when he found the fence too soon and was caught up.

“The pattern on the day was to be in the centre of the track.”

Berdibek – a Ryan Maloney mount – has had the same lead-up races to last year’s Ipswich Cup.

Last year, the then eight-year-old finished eighth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup over 1600 metres before finishing well back in the Listed Scone Cup over the same trip.

O’Shea then sent him north for the Listed Lord Mayors Cup at Eagle Farm, when he finished a close up fifth to Bigboyroy in the 1800 metre Group 3 feature.

This year Berdibek was again a close up fifth in the Hawkesbury Cup and was 10th in the Scone Cup.

He had his first Brisbane start this winter finishing a close third in the Lord Mayors Cup at Eagle Farm, which was won by the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Without A Fight.

Berdibek did his early racing in France before arriving in Australia in 2018.

He won his first race in Australia in a benchmark event at Randwick in December of 2019 before winning the all greys race at Flemington in November of 2020.

He has won twice since in stakes races, including the Listed Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury and Listed Wyong Cup in 2021.

The Annabel Neasham-trained Numerian will smash history if he wins the Ipswich Cup after being allotted top weight with 61kgs.

Since the race was first run in 1935, Sydney Cup winner Sharply holds the weight-carrying record at 58.5kgs, when he was successful in 1961.

The David Vandyke-trained Maurus came close to the historic mark when he lumped 58kgs to victory in 2016 while Bergerac for Steve Tregea won with 57.5kgs in 2019.

– Racing Queensland

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