No second-up syndrome for 2024 Ipswich Cup hopeful Zoumon

Tulloch Lodge trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are banking on multiple stakeswinner 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 (1800m) 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 (2150m) markets, which have the Kris Lees-trained Luncies a solid $3.70 betting app favourite, ahead of defending titleholder 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 (1350m) and the Gai Waterhouse Classic (1200m).

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