Ives could have fond farewell on Barbecue King
By ROBIN PARKE
ENGLISH ace Tony Ives will be packing for home soon but could leave Taipa on a high note with success in today's $420,000 Macau Gold Cup on lightweight chance Barbecue King.
The Kevin Connolly-trained stayer ran a mighty race in the recent Macau Derby and looked a top chance in the final 100 metres before the firm ground told against him.
Connolly said: ''He really needs give in the ground to be at his best. If it is too hard, it's no good for him.'' The official going at Taipa today is good but the ground has suffered rain and has been watered - and there is a fair cushion of grass which could just tot up enough factors in Barbecue King's favour to make him an each-way chance.
Ives is engaged in a continuing battle against weight and has worked manfully to get right down for his return to Newmarket where he will be based from next month as he attempts to re-start his English career.
Barbecue King is down to carry the minimum of 116lbs with Ives declaring a possible two pounds over and if he does come in at that weight it is a big effort from the popular Yorkshireman - and solid proof about just how determined he is to make it big again in Britain.
Topweight The Wheel, with former Hong Kong star and probable Macau champion Declan Murphy aboard, is clearly the horse to beat along with the Simon Jones-ridden Super.
Both are weighted accordingly but there would be few complaints around Taipa if the long-serving Jones got away with the Gold Cup.
He has been at Taipa since racing started and is a willing worker who has kept up his strike rate over the intervening years.