Byrne moves clear in jockeys’ title defence
CURRENT Ipswich premier jockey Jim Byrne strengthened his lead at the top of the season premiership standings last Wednesday with a winning double.
Byrne won the fifth race of the day aboard the Toby Edmonds trained Martilago to claim his double after earlier guiding home the Stuart Kendrick trained Gherardini.
The winning double for Byrne took his current season tally to 16, which is three wins ahead of Tim Bell, who pushed Byrne the whole of last year until Byrne’s premiership win was decided in the final race of the season.
Moving to equal third on the premiership with a win apiece last Wednesday were two highly promising apprentices in Matt McGuren and Luke Tarrant.
Each of these young riders claimed their eleventh win of the season as McGuren saluted aboard Taillevent in the first of the day for the Gold Coast’s Bruce Hill, and Tarrant continued his Magic Millions winning partnership with the Sunshine Coast’s Darryl Hansen as Astatus won the fourth race of the day.
The two winning rides for Jim Byrne also travelled from the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast respectively as trainers from all over continue to show a willingness to race their horses at Ipswich.
Long journey pays
THERE was a great example of trainers being willing to travel to Ipswich as the last race of the day last Wednesday was won by One With Bling, who is trained by David Campbell of Grafton.
Well ridden by apprentice Kasie Stanley, this four-year-old gelding is on the rise as the victory last week made it four wins and two seconds from six career starts and $45,000 career prize money.
It was however, not as simple as that as the trip up to Ipswich from Grafton was not straight forward.
Trainer Campbell later explained that despite keeping a close eye out for the Ipswich Central turnoff from the Ipswich Motorway, he accidentally turned onto the Warrego Highway at the Dinmore juncture.
This error was not picked up until the float had travelled a further 20 kilometres along the Warrego, making for an extended round trip from Grafton to Ipswich.
That extra travelling however did not bother One With Bling, who was always going to win the Class 3 Plate race.
IT IS back to Friday racing this week and it will be another big day of racing at Ipswich.
Racing Queensland has received 160 nominations for the program, which will ensure the trend of full fields at Ipswich continues on into 2015.
The track is racing superbly at Ipswich currently after a warm summer with good rainfall, which has resulted in a thick, lush layer of turf providing a cushion for racing that has not been in place since the track refurbishment almost 12 months ago.
The grounds staff will have to closely manage the track as we move out of summer as in the 22 weeks left until the Ipswich Cup on June 13, there are 23 race meetings without a week off, and most of these meetings are Metropolitan Wednesday meetings attracting large fields.
After this Friday, the next two weeks have Wednesday racing scheduled at Ipswich, followed by two Friday meetings and then predominantly Metropolitan Wednesday meetings through until June to cover for the Eagle Farm outage.