Ipswich to host $65,000 QTIS handicap

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015

Ipswich to host $65,000 QTIS handicap

IPSWICH has a larger than normal program tomorrow due to the abandonment of south-east Queensland races over the weekend.

Tomorrow’s Ipswich Turf Club meeting includes a full race from Doomben’s Saturday program – the QTIS three-year-old handicap, which will be run over 1666 metres.

It is the Ipswich Mile distance as it was scheduled for 1600 metres at Doomben on Saturday.

This race carries the full scheduled prize money of $65,000.

A fascinating runner is the top weight Punta Norte, rated highly by trainer Robert Heathcote.

After showing great promise with three straight wins in the spring, this three-year-old colt came back at Doomben two weeks ago and disappointed after being pushed to the lead, over-racing, and tiring late to be well beaten.

Michael Cahill replaces Dan Griffin for tomorrow’s ride as the galloper attempts to put his Ipswich record right.

At his first race start, Punta Norte finished fifth of nine at Ipswich after being blocked for a run. He then finished midfield in a Group 2 race at Doomben prior to winning three straight before his disappointing resumption at Doomben.

Trainer Heathcote has high hopes of Punta Norte being up to the standard in Sydney during the Championships.

There are 128 acceptors racing for $225,000 tomorrow.

Weekend washouts

FOR the third consecutive month, a meeting was lost at the Ipswich Racetrack on Friday due to heavy rainfall.

There was a recording of 175mm over Friday and Saturday last week – a whopping seven inches of rain on the old scale.

The positive for Ipswich however was the thorough drenching of the track without causing any flood issues.

After a month of warm and dry weather, the heavy rainfall was welcome.

The loss of a race meeting is minor compared to some of the damage which occurred elsewhere due to Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

From a racing point of view, it was not just Ipswich which was affected.

All south-east Queensland meetings over the weekend were abandoned including Doomben, Gold Coast, and Toowoomba.

The abandonments have resulted in a number of extra races being programmed this week in an attempt to ensure there is a race for every galloper that missed out.

Lankan confirms status

WHILE Queensland was a washout, it was a scintillating day of racing in the southern Autumn Carnivals on Saturday.

Lankan Rupee was the standout as he captured his fifth career Group 1 title in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes – the race named after the great undefeated mare who won it from 2011-2013.

Lankan Rupee confirmed his rating as equal world champion sprinter.

The win took Lankan Rupee’s career earnings to a little under $4 million as he accounted for three-year-old Brazen Beau and the previously undefeated Deep Field.

While most were disappointed with the run of Deep Field, it is no disgrace being beaten by the world’s top sprinter and a Group 1 winning three-year-old colt.

Another three-year-old to impress in Melbourne was VRC Oaks winner Set Square whose strong second placing showed she is on target for the Oaks in Sydney during the Championships.

Speaking of three year olds, the Hobartville Stakes in Sydney showed the wealth of Australian talent in that age group.

Hallowed Crown, who is co-trained by the legendary Bart Cummings and his grandson James, had a narrow margin to spare over fellow colts Sweynesse, Kermadec, Shooting to Win, and Scissor Kick. Most of these top colts will meet again soon over the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

This weekend has more great Melbourne action in store as Group 1 races are contested at Caulfield in the Blue Diamond Stakes, the Futurity, and the Oakleigh Plate.

The first Group 1 in Sydney for the autumn is on as well, with the running of the Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm.

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