Five times the value at Ipswich track
by Steve Harling and Trent Quinn
IF five is your lucky number, you would have done well at Ipswich on Friday.
Brian and Daniel Guy’s winner Devonport won in race two, before Tony Sears’ Hot Gossip took out the third then Robert Heathcote teamed up with jockey Jim Byrne in the fourth as Oceantes made it three consecutive winners for the number five saddle cloth.
Oceantes was within split seconds of breaking the course and class record in another fast day at the Bundamba track.
The favourites found the running tough as it wasn’t until the final race of the day that a favourite got up. Byrne rode his second winner Topending, trained by Deagon trainer Tim Hurley.
It seemed that the guests of the Big Rigs function in the Trackside Lounge enjoyed the generous winning odds throughout the day, as a very healthy punter’s club earn was seen being divided after the final race.
Cup Day brainstorming
WITH the spring carnival underway, the Ipswich Turf Club team is concentrating on filling the function rooms with over 350 people for our annual Melbourne Cup luncheon.
However, the brainstorming has already commenced on Ipswich Cup 2017 and what improvements can be made to make the experience even better.
Five thousand square metres of marquees, over 100 additional toilets, 25 bar areas, nine additional kitchens, stages, lighting, TV screen. The list goes on and on.
Preparation for Ipswich Cup begins the day after the previous one, with our staff and management committee meeting to celebrate and discuss the recent event.
From there, the brainstorming begins. Over the next few months, ITC staff meet with various stakeholders, punters and sponsors, gaining feedback and generating new ideas.
We try to stick to what works, but we do our best to improve where we can.
In December, we’ll come up with a comprehensive jobs list and assign each to our small, hardworking team, which consists of four permanent office members and 10 permanent grounds staff.
Early in the new year, the Ipswich Cup image is completed, along with all our packages and event information ready to release to the public. This is all launched in February, before our advertising campaigns begin when tickets go on sale in March.
In this time, we’ll be meeting with all of our contractors and service providers, locking in our suppliers for the range of products and services required for the event.
Once we get to May, it really heats up. It’s evident the Cup is around the corner as marquees begin to go up, various equipment on the back of trucks are entering the gates and tickets are selling fast.
June is just a blur. Our committed casual staff, who any other time of year work just one seven hour shift a week, are doing 40 hour weeks in preparation for the big day.
Our office is flooded with people collecting tickets right up until 6pm the day before.
Saturday morning comes and the place is humming with anticipation.
Before we know it, it’s the Sunday after and we begin the cycle again.
Group one focus
THE Sydney Spring Carnival concluded on Saturday with the Spring Championships and it was good to see a win for the Queenslanders with Yankee Rose getting the win.
It’s a race not traditionally tackled by the three year old fillies but David Van Dyke got the job done. She will head to the Cox Plate where she gets pitched in with a feather weight over the mile and a quarter WFA contest on Saturday week.
In Melbourne, Global Glamour collected her second Group 1 in the space of seven days as she won the 1000 Guineas.
In the Guineas, Divine Prophet received the ride of the day from Dwayne Dunn to salute in the colts edition of the time honoured feature. If you were on Seaburge you would have been cheering with 50 to go but Melbourne’s premier jockey timed his run to perfection. Dunn then backed it up in the next race to collect the Toorak Handicap aboard He’s Our Rokki for Team Hayes.
But in a bizarre turn of events the highlight of the day was a three-horse race in the Caulfield Stakes. Winx made it 12 in a row by getting the better of Black Heart Bart & He Or She, while people were quick to mock the event, the times they ran were sensational and the mighty mare is on track for a Cox Plate defence.
This weekend at Caulfield is the running of the Caulfield Cup with the Ciaron Maher trained Jameka flying the flag for the locals against what is sure to be a tsunami of overseas contenders.
After this weekend we will have a much better feel of the overseas contingent looking to take on the big Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
Ipswich races on Friday for the next two weeks before hosting two Thursday meetings either side of the Ipswich Turf Club’s Melbourne Cup luncheon on November 1.