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1970s

1970s

Makata gave champion jockey Mick Dittman his first Group winner when he took the 1970 Ipswich Cup in runaway style. Dittman dominated Brisbane racing in the 1970s winning five premierships and setting a record for most wins in a season at 97 and a half. He won most of the big Group One races around the country including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper just to name a few.

Mick went on to win three Ipswich Cups. In fact, there have been four jockeys to record three Ipswich Cups including Dittman who won with He’ll Do (1979), Skyperion (1972), Makata (1970). Jim Byrne won aboard Sphenophyta (2006), He’s Back on Track (1997), Ardeed (1995). Digger McGrowdie won with Thuwise (1952), Lucky Leader (1955) and Malkuri (1956). Graham Cook also recorded the treble with wins aboard Claymore Boy (1983), Fall Guy (1973) and Boobereela (1969).

In 1971, torrential rain resulted in several meetings being cancelled or postponed in Brisbane with Ipswich’s 13th of February Saturday meeting transferred to the sand track. The winners were Blue Way (Bill Moore, Roy Dawson), Avant Garde (Fred Honnery, Fred Best), Rego Prince (Graham Cook, Jack McCallum), Tarompa (Doug Messingham, Alby Pratt), King’s Ransom (Terry Finger, Alf Sands), Setaria (Terry Lucas, Jim Atkins), Down Deep (Tony Erhart, Alby Pratt) and Calcutta Chief (Tony Erhart, Roy Dawson).

1972 – Skyperion ran a course record when he won the 1972 Ipswich Cup trained by the great Roy Dawson and ridden by Mick Dittman.

1974 – The big flood – the course proper was completely submerged and 2.15m (7 feet) of water was swirling through the office and jockeys room.

Records of flooding in the Ipswich area date back to the nineteenth century, with the first major incident being recorded in 1893. In February of that year, the Brisbane River broke its banks on three separate occasions, leading to the month becoming known as “Black February”.

1976/77 – A new 50m horse swimming pool was constructed on the infield.

1977 – 1986 Mr L.O. Foote was the Chairman of the Ipswich Turf Club.

1979 – Computerised betting via the KB machines was installed for the first time at Bundamba with the big benefit for punters who would not have to join separate queues to place bets and collect winnings. These computer totalisator systems superseded electromechanical Julius totes which had been operating for decades at Bundamba.