Big wet forces cancellations across south east Queensland
RACING in South East Queensland was in mayhem on Friday and Saturday as extensive rain ruined the start of the Australia Day long weekend.
After a washout of a race meeting in December, the Ipswich Turf Club lost another meeting last Friday when almost 100 millimetres of rain fell during the day, making it impossible to conduct racing under the conditions.
Despite the track having dried out in the week and a half leading up to the scheduled meeting last Friday, a deluge of rain quickly saturated the course, as dry as it was.
In the three hours after 5am on Friday, approximately 50mm of rain fell and rain continued to fall throughout the day resulting in a very damp Ipswich racetrack and surrounds.
On the following day, race meetings were abandoned at Doomben and the Gold Coast as the waterlogged venues received 135mm of rain on Friday and Saturday morning.
There were however two SEQ meetings conducted over the weekend, albeit on wet tracks.
Beaudesert conducted a TAB meeting on Sunday and the Sunshine Coast conducted a strong Australia Day meeting yesterday.
There is a month off from racing at Toowoomba currently as track reparations are undertaken on the relatively new Strathayr track.
Twelve months of heavy racing on this new track has resulted in the need to heavily scarify and top-dress the surface in an effort to return the track to the condition required for the upcoming big race meetings of the Winter Carnival.
The current outage of Eagle Farm is clearly placing significant pressure on the remaining SEQ tracks and all clubs are keen to see the return to racing at Queensland’s premier track after the Winter Carnival.
Massive Ipswich meeting
AFTER the washouts around South East Queensland last Friday and Saturday, there were massive nominations received for tomorrow’s Ipswich meeting.
Racing Queensland extended the nominations deadline to cater for gallopers missing a start over the weekend and this resulted in a large 180 nominations.
This number of nominations further resulted in nine races being scheduled for tomorrow with 130 final acceptors.
THE rain late last week was warmly welcomed by the ITC as the grounds crew continue to prepare the facility for a hectic weekly schedule of racing over the next five months.
A lack of rain in the previous fortnight combined with spells of extremely hot weather had the track drying out despite continued irrigation, as was the case in October and November last year.
There is nothing like good rain to cleanse the surface and freshen up the turf, creating healthy growth of the track.
Similar conditions will be welcome a few more times over the next few months to nurse the facility through the period leading up to Ipswich Cup Day on June 13.
AT HOME there have been the likes of Mandy Radecker, Tegan Harrison and Cassandra Schmidt who have each won an Ipswich Apprentice’s Premiership.
In Toowoomba Skye Bogenhuber has claimed the top jockey title for the past couple of years.
And after Pam O’Neill started her trailblazing efforts decades ago, on Sunday there was further evidence of the rise of female jockeys, albeit a long way from home.
At Mt Gambier in South Australia, the winning jockeys of the entire card of eight races were females, highlighting the continuing change amongst mainstream Australian riding ranks.