IBICENCO ended what had been a frustrating carnival for top UK trainer Luca Cumani by winning today’s Sandown Cup.
After losing his Cox Plate runner Afsare to injury and then witnessing Mount Athos storm home in a farcically run Melbourne Cup, Ibicenco provided
some small consolation.
Thanks to a beautifully judged ride by Glen Boss, Ibicenco sustained a searching run from the 1200 metres to win the Listed Race.
Backed from $3.80 to $3.50, Ibicenco scored by three-quarters of a length from Reuben Percival, $9.50, which battled on well after setting the tempo.
Unusual Suspect, $51, was a further one and a quarter lengths away third.
Verdant, backed from $3.20 to $3.10 favourite, failed to impact as he finished sixth.
Co-owner Terry Henderson said he was delighted that Ibicenco could give Cumani a winner in what had been a tough carnival.
Henderson confirmed that Ibicenco would now join Peter Moody’s stables.
“It’s fantastic for all the staff and Luca,” Henderson said.
“We will give him an easy time and get him ready for the Sydney Cup.”
Boss said his strategy was to ensure it was a true staying test. “I thought I was on the best two miler in the race, there wasn’t too many in it,” he added.
“It was pretty painless and went to plan. I wanted to be on the speed from the get-go, but the first 800 metres was reasonably solid, but once we started to go up the hill the tempo really slowed.
“So, I just popped him out and let him have his head and he cruised up the hill and picked them off as he went.
“Once we got to the 1000 metre mark it was all over.”