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Ironstein on path to Tasmanian Cups
Caryl Williamson
08:15 AEST Mon Dec 31 2012

While many spring carnival combatants are enjoying an extended break, hardy stayer Ironstein is about to embark on a two-state summer Cups campaign.

He will start in the Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 10 after which he may run in the Australia Day Cup before tackling Tasmania's Hobart and Launceston Cups in February.

Ironstein raced consistently without winning throughout the spring with his best performances coming with placings in the JRA Cup, Moonee Valley Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

He missed out on a Melbourne Cup start for the second year in a row and trainer Gerald Ryan said the race would be a target in 2013.

"He spent three weeks on the water walker at Limitless Lodge at Euroa so he is fit," Ryan said.

"He will run in the Gosford Cup and if I think he needs a 2400 metre run then he'll go to the Australia Day Cup before he heads to Tasmania for the Hobart and Launceston Cups.

"After that he will have a short break and we'll start preparing him for the Melbourne Cup again."

The Group Three Hobart Cup (2400m) is on February 10 while the Launceston Cup over the same distance is 17 days later.

A win in either or both would help Ironstein make the 2013 Melbourne Cup field.

His only attempt at the 3200 metres of the Cup came on the last day of the spring carnival on November 17 when he finished seventh in the Sandown Cup won by Ibicenco.

"He didn't run the distance that day but that was at the end of the campaign," Ryan said.

Although Ironstein didn't manage a win in the spring, Ryan felt he was racing and recovering as well has he ever had.

At his penultimate spring start he finished second in his attempted defence of the Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) won by Puissance De Lune who is the early favourite for the 2013 Melbourne Cup.

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