2019 year in review
As the Club slows down for the Christmas break it can report some highs and lows both on and off the track.
From a racing perspective, the track came under scrutiny earlier in the year following a hot and dry summer. Queensland tracks were criticized for being too hard and fast however under the expert guidance from track manager Sean Tou, Ipswich was able to provide industry participants with a good 4 or soft 5 rating for much of January.
However, the heavy irrigation approach combined with Racing Queensland funded top dressing between race meetings 0brought the track undone in late February when a meeting was postponed for a few days as it was deemed unsafe for racing due to a shifty surface from excess irrigation moisture in the newly placed top layer.
Despite the publicity, only one race meeting was lost across the year was on March 8 when 12mm rain on the day was enough to render the track unsafe in the eyes of the stewards.
The lost meeting instigated a move by Racing Queensland to install drainage, and to upgrade irrigation of the track. This will provide the Club with a more precise and consistent irrigation system along with a better draining track allowing racing to continue on a day of up to 25mm rainfall.
These works are currently underway and progressing well with the expected shut down of racing to lift on 8 April 2020.
The two main meetings of the year – the Ipswich Cup and Labour Day meeting were highlights again. The Channel Seven Ipswich Cup was strongly supported by patrons and the racing was regarded well with the introduction of the QT Cup 2500m race – the first time this millennium a race of this distance has been run.
The Labour Day meeting was again a hit with families and it was pleasing to have the community enjoy the free day thanks to sponsors the CFMEU and Bendigo Bank.
As the year draws to a close, 2020 will be a big year for the Club. The infrastructure delays have been well reported however all appears on target for the opening of the race track and the Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre in mid-2020.