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Munce excited about his two girls across TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival

Wed 8 December 2021

By Jordan Gerrans

Returning a more mature mare with improved racing manners, trainer Chris Munce has high hopes for Palaisipan through the TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival.

The daughter of So You Think carries an impressive resume in the early stages of her career, winning five from seven, including a victory second-up at Ipswich earlier this month.

Former champion hoop turned trainer Munce now has higher honours in mind for the four-year-old bay with her next task to be The Gateway.

The Gateway will be run at Eagle Farm this Saturday, providing a ‘win and you’re in’ for four-year-olds into the Stradbroke Handicap.

The Munce stable were just beaten in the second edition of the race last year – Stampe rolled in a photo-finish by Central Queenslander Master Jamie – with the team keen to go one better in 2021.

Palaisipan was nominated for both The Gateway and the Listed Just Now on Saturday before the Eagle Farm-based trainer opted for the $250,000 event.

“It was quite exciting,” Munce said of the concept of The Gateway.  

“It is a good way of getting into the Stradbroke, we were narrowly knocked of last year with Stampe, the second year they did it so hopefully we can go one better this year.

“Palaisipan’s original plan was the 1350-metre Just Now.”

Palaisipan put four in a line to commence her career – including claiming the T.L. Cooney at for three-year-olds on Ipswich Cup day – before finishing well back in the field in the Sunshine Coast Guineas at the end of her first preparation as a racehorse.

Munce notes that Palaisipan was ready for a break before her tilt at the Group 3 event at Caloundra and has been impressed with the way she has returned, finishing second first-up last month at Doomben before returning to her favourite track – Ipswich – where she won well as the favourite second-up.

“She went really well last Friday, that was basically a barrier trial for her,” Munce said of her most recent run at Ipswich.

“I had to make a decision whether to run her in the race at Doomben, where she was not guaranteed of getting a run in, so we had to make an early call on that.

“We elected to go to Ipswich and it was more like a barrier trial for her, it was not the strongest field, but for her to win the way she did from back in the ruck when she was getting buffeted around, she picked herself up nicely and finished off good. She is an exciting mare.”

The 52-year-old Munce feels the progressive Palaisipan is better placed this preparation to shoot for black-type honours, describing her upcoming summer campaign as “pretty exciting”.

“She was over the top by the time she got to the Sunshine Coast as she did a bit of work early on in that race and was found wanting late,” he said.

“This time around, she is a lot more mature and her racing manners are suggesting that she is looking to get out to more of a trip, which is good.

“Listening to Luke Dittman after her win the other day was really exciting, he said she relaxed beautifully for him and she was basically push button whenever he wanted to go, she was ready.

“She is only lightly raced with a good resume around her, in the future it is pretty exciting.”

Dittman has retained the ride for Saturday's assignment.

The Munce yard has already tasted black-type success to kick-off the summer carnival, Rhapsody Rose toughing it out at Doomben last Saturday to claim the Listed Mode Stakes over 1200 metres.

From a wide gate, top Brisbane hoop Ryan Maloney was able to fire the Star Witness filly to the leading bunch and hold off a glut of rivals over the final stages, a performance the trainer was proud of.

“The way she was able to round the race off and hold off all her challengers, it was a pretty good first-up run,” Munce said.

“It was very tough.

“What I liked about it the most was the way she pulled up on Monday, she is really bright and has no issues, she ate up well over the weekend and has done everything you want to see her do after a hard run.”

The stable now has some interesting options with Rhapsody Rose looking through the carnival, likely again returning to Doomben for the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate on New Year’s Day, before heading to Aquis Park in 2022.

“I was just going to go straight to the Vo Rogue but I think I will throw a nomination in for the Gold Edition, just to see how she does between now and then,” Munce said.

“If she does not run in the Gold Edition, she will obviously trial.

“I think we are lucky; we are in a really good position now where we can tread water and let her tell me where she wants to go next.

“They will be her next two runs before the Vo Rogue and then on to the Magic Millions.

“She is a very bold going filly, she gets herself worked up but if you can work with her and contain her energy, she is an exciting prospect.”