Jockey continues family legacy
IT was terrific to see Matthew Palmer in the winner’s stall at the Ipswich races as he guided home the Bruce Hill trained Danger in Devon.
The Palmer name has been synonymous with racing in Queensland for decades following Matthew’s father Gary’s superb career from 35 years ago.
As an apprentice Gary took race riding by storm and collected a number of Group 1 scalps including the Stradbroke Handicap with one of his favourite horses Daybreak Lover.
Unfortunately, while employed as a racing steward, Gary passed away a few years ago.
It is now left to his sons Matthew and Michael to carry on the legacy. Matthew did just that on Friday with his latest winner at Ipswich.
LONG-time racegoers were left scratching their heads on Friday, trying to recall an Ipswich race meeting going ahead following 60mm rain on the previous evening.
That is exactly what happened as the heavens opened on Thursday evening dumping 62mm rain on the Ipswich course. And this was after the meeting had been transferred from Wednesday due to the extreme temperatures that were forecast, and occurred on that day.
Stewards required a portion of the inside running rail on the home turn be moved but otherwise agreed that the track was raceable as a heavy 10.
This upgrade was from a heavy 10 to a heavy 9 and times across the day indicated that the track was heavy going.
At the same time all agreed that it was safe racing from early in the day when the first race had a final 600 metres run in 34 seconds flat.
The saviour for the race meeting was that the deluge came in a relatively short period of time and most ran off soon after.
The high humidity and warm conditions on the race day helped to evaporate the moisture to such a degree that midway through the meeting there was a track upgrade.
Even after racing was underway on a satisfactory track, there was still a bit of a question hovering over the meeting as the thermometer continued to climb throughout the meeting.
Thankfully the Bureau of Meteorology reading only reached 36 degrees, although this temperature combined with high humidity created somewhat stifling conditions at times for on-course patrons and licensees.
One trainer who didn’t mind the conditions was former champion jockey Chris Munce who collected a winning double with Snow Fields ridden by Brad Stewart and Martinelli with apprentice Boris Thornton aboard.
THE Black Caviar Lightning Stakes was the Australian Group 1 race on the weekend and the Ipswich raised Bayliss family collected another Group 1 scalp.
It was Regan Bayliss this time aboard Redkirk Warrior who gave the young hoop his first Group 1 win almost 12 months ago in the Newmarket Handicap at the same track.
It was brilliant to see Regan hugging his mother Kellie for photos at the return to scale on Saturday at Flemington as he displayed absolute delight at the last gasp win. Redkirk Warrior came from last at the 400 metre mark to catch the world’s best sprinter and odds on favourite Redzel right on the line.
Redkirk Warrior is an eight-year-old who four years ago won his first two career starts in the UK before being imported to Australia via Hong Kong where he won and placed in high class races as well.
The galloper from the Hayes camp has now won four races in Melbourne – all Group races, and with Regan Bayliss riding him for the three major wins of Newmarket, Lightning, and Bobby Lewis (Group 2). Craig Williams was aboard for the Sandown Stakes (Group 3) win in late 2016.
Group 1 racing continues this week with the Blue Diamond, Oakleigh Plate, and Futurity at Caulfield.
The Swichettes Ladies race day is on Friday before the final February meeting on Wednesday 28th.