Controversial track decision with no rain in sight
MANY people were left questioning the abandonment of Friday’s meeting at the Ipswich Turf Club.
This was especially so early on Friday as there had been no rain since 6.30pm the previous evening.
After 60 millimetres of rain, predominantly in the hour after 4.45pm on Thursday afternoon, racing on Friday was considered a slim chance.
However, at the track inspection on Friday at 5am, the usual suspect areas of the 1666m and 1350m chutes were in reasonable condition and not the cause of the abandonment.
The difference according to track staff was that the high volume of rain came in just an hour allowing much of that rain to run off the track, rather than soaking in. The meeting was abandoned due to areas at the home turn and 1400 metre marks.
It was agreed by stewards and track staff that these areas were unraceable at 6am in the morning. However, the question was raised by ITC track staff as to the possibility of racing seven hours later given good weather and no further rain.
Despite this request by the ITC to delay the decision of abandonment to give every chance of racing, Queensland Racing Integrity Services (QRIC) decided to abandon the meeting at 6.30am. This decision was announced to the industry at 6.45am.
As it turned out, there was no further rain during the day.
This lack of further rain combined with sunshine, warm temperatures, and windy conditions helped to dry out the track to the point that a penetrometer reading at 1.30pm rated the track as a heavy 9-10, which is a raceable surface.
As a result of these events the QRIC officers guaranteed to revisit the process of abandoning race meetings, as early as yesterday at a QRIC statewide meeting.
Hopefully a revised set of guidelines to consider a process to suit as many areas of the industry will be developed following this review by stewards.
Huge card looms
FRIDAY’S washout has resulted in a huge day of racing on Wednesday.
An additional couple of races were added to the already large eight race card following the abandoned meeting last week.
The potential to split a race has led to a chance of an even bigger card.
AFTER identifying a clear correlation between later midweek racing and higher turnover, Racing Queensland are about to commence trials of twilight meetings on Wednesday afternoons over summer.
There is consideration as well to commence twilight Friday meetings over summer. This concept simply means a later finish after a later start to the day. Start times for final races will be as late as 5.50pm.
GROUP 1 racing in Australia closes this week with the running of the Kingston Town Classic in Perth.
This is the third leg of the WA Carnival following the Railway Stakes and Winterbottom for sprinters on the weekend.
Ipswich racing is on Wednesday for one of two Wednesday meetings in December. There are strong bookings for race day revellers in the lead-up to Christmas with two planned Friday meetings in the month on the dates of 15 and 22. The two Wednesday dates are this week and the 27th to close out another year of racing at historic Ipswich.