Byrne’s back with a big bang
CHAMPION jockey Jim Byrne returned to riding at Ipswich on Friday after missing the past two meetings and duly completed a winning treble.
Byrne missed those two meetings due to suspension firstly and then riding at the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on Saturday, January 14.
Jim Byrne has won the past three Ipswich Jockey’s Premierships and in all has won seven at the Bundamba facility as well as three apprentice titles.
Byrne is rated by many as the jockey that best understands the Ipswich racecourse and his three Ipswich Cup wins over the years puts him at the top of the jockey’s tallies for that historic race.
During Byrne’s absence from Ipswich, his nearest rival on the Ipswich Premiership list Robbie Fradd, picked up just the one win at Ipswich to move to 15 season wins, just one short of Byrne’s tally.
Moving into the meeting on Friday, Byrne held the one win lead and Fradd was aboard the favourite What’s That for Premier Trainer Tony Gollan in the first race.
However it was not Fradd going level on the rider’s tally but rather Byrne skipping two clear as his mount Watched was a little too strong for What’s That at the post.
Byrne’s ride in that race was another sparkling example of how well he knows Ipswich as he stalked the favourite until bringing the Bryan Guy trained Watched with a perfect run in the straight to claim the win.
And Byrne did not stop there. Two more winners were to follow as he was successful aboard Marcus Wilson’s Geometrist and Kelly Schweida’s Zilitor. These winners gave Byrne a treble for the day and moved him to 19 wins at the halfway mark of the season.
Former South African Fradd holds down second position and Fradd’s countryman Jeff Lloyd moved to a clear third on twelve wins.
Success for Van Dyke
IPSWICH Cup winning trainer David Van Dyke was back at it again on Friday as Clever Chloe gave him another win at a favourite track of his with Michael Cahill aboard.
David Van Dyke has been a regular visitor to Ipswich since winning the historic 150th Anniversary Ipswich Cup last year.
He even explained that he was happy to bypass the Magic Millions Raceday at the Gold Coast for a visit to Ipswich when he won with Remlaps Joy.
One of the reasons for Van Dyke’s enjoyment in winning at Ipswich is to allow him to partake in one of the famous winner’s lounge corned beef sandwiches.
Former Sky race-caller Alan Thomas regularly partook in a corned beef sandwich at Ipswich and now that he is consulting with the Van Dyke stable, he has passed on the inside word on the Ipswich specialty dish for winners.
THERE is a break from racing this week at Ipswich and the next programmed meeting is Friday, February 3. That is followed by Thursday February 9, Friday February 17 and Thursday February 23.