Ipswich Cup Day attracts the best
SUNSHINE Coast based jockey Damian Browne again showed at Ipswich why he is arguably the finest rider in Queensland when he collected the two major races on Ipswich Cup Day.
Due to previous injuries, Browne is unable to ride as often as most other jockeys and reserves his best for important meetings. His record aboard the four-time Queensland Horse of the Year Buffering over the years is amazing. His overall strike rate is very strong.
At the 2015 Ipswich Cup meeting, Browne rode a winning treble. Saturday was his first visit to Ipswich since that time.
The trip was well worth it as Browne collected the two major races for the day – the Ipswich Cup and the Eye Liner Stakes.
The Ipswich Cup provided the easiest winner for many years as Maurus was classes above the remainder of the field on Saturday.
The listed Eye Liner Stakes Group 1 placegetter from Sydney Ninth Legion comfortably won despite lumping 59 kilograms.
It was the second consecutive year that a Group 1 performed interstate galloper collected the Eye Liner Stakes after Smokin’ Joey’s victory in 2016.
Former New Zealander Browne collected his first Ipswich Cup win on Saturday to continue adding to his riding honours from across the world.
AS had been forecast in the week leading up to Ipswich Cup Day, the meeting went off without a weather hitch.
The front came through on Sunday dumping volumes of rain across the course and in the process creating difficulties in cleaning up and dismantling the infrastructure.
The unthinkable alternative however was that this front could have come across on Saturday creating a nightmare scenario of abandoned races and impossible conditions on course for patrons.
Thankfully the weather gods smiled on the Ipswich Turf Club in the 150th Anniversary year.
Track rating questioned
MANY in the racing industry were questioning the Ipswich track rating on Saturday and in fact the overall system of track ratings.
After five millimetres of rain early in the week, and no rain for the two days prior to the meeting on Saturday, the track was posted as a good 4.
Under the old ratings system, such a rating is a dead track however the current system goes from good 4 to soft 5.
The times of races were not far off class records although there was some give in the track.
Stewards eventually downgraded from a good 4 to soft 5 for the fifth race and it was this action that raised questions.
The questions were more from the point of view of why it took so long to downgrade as the state of the track was known earlier in the day.
Back to Friday racing
AFTER getting through Ipswich Cup Day, it is back to provincial Friday racing for the Ipswich Turf Club.
The first of 11 straight Fridays at Ipswich start this week. A strong card of 140 nominations should ensure a decent day of racing.
Group 1 racing continues this weekend at Eagle Farm with the Tattersalls Tiara. That ends Australian Group 1 racing until early spring when the big carnivals in southern states commence.