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Old team join up at Ipswich

Thu 20 June 2024

By Craig Brennan and Mandy Cottell

Jigsaw will have to overcome the widest gate if he is to claim the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.

Victorian trainer Cindy Alderson and jockey Vlad Duric will turn back the clock when they team with Jigsaw in one of the feature races at Ipswich.

Duric and Jigsaw will have to overcome the widest gate in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes on Saturday if they are to give Alderson her maiden win in Queensland.

Alderson, when training with her father Colin Anderson, had a successful partnership with Duric which dates back even further before she joined the family training ticket.

"Vlad rode for us a lot in the old days," Alderson said.

"He won a Hong Kong Jockey Club Plate on a horse called Flash Trick after he had got beaten in the (2007) Melbourne Cup when he was on the favourite Master O'Reilly.

"I thought he would be petulant, but he rode it really well.

"He rode for us a lot when he was an apprentice and around Cranbourne and when he came back from his first stint in Singapore, but he hasn't ridden for me this time.

"He's riding in great form and seems really motivated and enjoying his life up there and I'm sure he'll give Jigsaw a good ride."

The last ride Duric had for Colin and Cindy Alderson was in June 2015 with their last winner together being 10 months earlier at Geelong.

Since branching out on her own in the 2015-16 season, Duric has not ridden for Alderson as it also coincided with the time the jockey returned to Singapore for another successful stint before he returned to Australia in March to set himself up in Brisbane.

Alderson said the outside draw on Saturday made it a tricky assignment for Jigsaw who steps out to his longest trip after 28 starts.

"He's been unlucky like that," Alderson said of the draw.

"He's really well and I thought he ran a super race last start, one of his career best races, giving weight to those horses as well.

"He's got the big weight again, on a track that favours horses that can get on the speed, which he can do if he draws a gate.

"I spoke to Vlad. He galloped him on Tuesday and he's happy with him and the rest is up to him."

Jigsaw has won nine of his 28 starts and was a last start third in the Group 2 Morton Cup at Eagle Farm on June 8.

"The idea was to give him an opportunity to get out over a trip and this looks the right race to do it in," Alderson said.

Meanwhile, on-pace stayer Zoumon is expected to improve significantly in the Ipswich Cup.

Tulloch Lodge trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are banking on multiple stakes-winner Zoumon replicating a pattern from previous seasons when he tackles the Listed Ipswich Cup.

The five-year-old has an outstanding second-up record, winning three of his five starts at his second run from a break and never finishing outside the top four.

After resuming with an even effort behind Just Folk in the Lord Mayor's Cup at Eagle Farm on June 1, Bott is anticipating Zoumon following a similar trajectory to the one he has in past campaigns by improving sharply.

"He was in need of that run first-up, as he traditionally is," Bott said.

"Second-up, he shows good improvement, and he looks in good shape.

"He had a nice tick over trial in between runs up there and it looks a nice, progressive race for him."

Zoumon found a purple patch of form last winter, stringing together a hat-trick of wins in the McKell, Caloundra and Grafton Cups.

The gelding mixed his form at his next campaign, his best effort a close second to Unspoken in the Five Diamonds before he was spelled following an unplaced effort in the Perth Cup in January.

He is a $10 chance in Ipswich Cup markets, which have the Kris Lees-trained Luncies a solid $3.70 favourite, ahead of defending title holder Regal Lion at $4.80.

Regal Lion won last year's renewal off a similar program to the one Zoumon has followed, finishing unplaced first-up in the Lord Mayor's Cup and using that effort as a springboard to Ipswich Cup success.

The Annabel Neasham-trained stayer has taken a different path this time around and arrives at Saturday's race at his sixth run since returning from a mid-campaign let-up.

Waterhouse and Bott are chasing their first Ipswich Cup win as training partners, although the former has won the race previously with Bianca in 2008.

The Cup is one of three feature races on the Ipswich card along with the Eye Liner Stakes and the Gai Waterhouse Classic.