The spacious circuit situated on the banks of the Bremer River will play host to five heats, with semi-finals next week and the big final taking place on the 5th of April.
Let’s take a look at the major players in each of the heats;
The first heat looks a tough affair with little in the way of form, particularly at Ipswich over the 520 metres.
Royal Albert (7) is the only dog to have won over this trip at Ipswich when he registered a 31.21 win three starts back on the 1st of March.
Masai Princess (3) is a winner of four from 22, including three over the shorter trips at Ipswich. The query with her is whether or not she will see out the 520 metres.
Serious Tate (8) is the most successful conveyance in the race, with seven career victories to his name. The son of Premier Fantasy and Surfing Madam is yet to win over the 520 metres at Ipswich, but ran second here last week and has also been placed over the distance at Albion Park recently.
The unknown quantity in the race is first starter Rush Lee (1), who will make her debut from the inside alley.
The second heat features the exciting prospect Golden Lotus (1) from the rails trap. The daughter of Collision and Chloe Siyan has saluted in five of her eight career starts and has her first crack beyond 500 metres in this heat. If she can convert her shorter form to this trip she may well take some tossing. With that in mind, she meets a couple of well performed dogs.
Commando Charles (6) is a winner of six from 24 and had been racing in much tougher company at Albion Park in recent times. This race looks right up his alley and don’t be surprised to see a sharp improvement on his recent form. He has won four from 11 at this trip and registered a best of 30.72.
Margiris (3) is another promising type who has won at Maitland and been placed at Wentworth Park as well as winning three over this journey, including a best of 30.48.
Tom Dooley (8) is a youngster having just his second start. He is in the astute hands of master mentor Tony Brett and is worth keeping safe on the credence of that alone.
Exciting youngster Oh That’s Nice (8) looks to maintain her unbeaten record in the third heat. She has won both of her races over this trip and has a personal best of 30.61 which was from the outside box. She looks good chance in a field that lacks depth.
Pert The Sea (2) has only won four from 38, but three of those wins have been over this trip. He has a best of 30.79 which he ran a fortnight ago and has to be considered some sort of chance.
Elite Alanna has won three races at Ipswich over shorter trips, including two of her last three over the 431 metre trip here. If she can transpose her shorter track form to this race she is worthy of consideration.
First starter Almost Allblack is a Bekim Bale youngster out of Hot Tamali Train and may be worth keeping an eye on.
The inside two boxes hold all the experience in the fourth heat, with both Coach Little (1) and Oskar Da Pooch (2) being winners of seven races each.
Coach Little has his fourth straight start from the inside alley and is yet to win over this trip from seven attempts, although he has been placed five times.
Oskar Da Pooch has won seven from 18 career starts, but his four attempts over the 520 metres to date are yet to yield a victory. Those four attempts have all been at Albion Park whereas all of his other racing has been done here which may play a part in how he fares in this event.
Melody Serenade (8) looks to be the other main chance in this heat. The daughter of Cosmic Chief and Yessam Melody has had just nine career starts for two wins and four placings.
Are Ate (7) returns to the Sunshine State for the final heat after spending the last three months racing in Tasmania. He is a winner of 11 races, including four over this trip with a best of 30.65.
Cosmic Melody (6) has won three of her 10 career starts, two of which have been over this trip. She has stopped the clock at 30.74 in the past and has the local experience to be a factor.
First starter Top Bekim is by Bekim Bale out of former Victorian race bitch Miss Martini and will be one to watch.