Ladies on show in top racing
IT is all about the girls at Ipswich over the next three weeks.
The Ipswich Turf Club hosts heats of the Girls on Track series tomorrow and on March 18, as well as the sold out Swichettes Ladies Day on March 13.
The “Girls on Track” series is an initiative of Racing Queensland to celebrate the contribution of women across the state in both harness and thoroughbred racing.
There is a series of heats, including the two at Ipswich, which lead to the $100,000 final for fillies and mares at Doomben on March 28. There are also bonuses for the leading female trainer and jockey during the series.
Gold Coast trainer Gillian Heinrich will be a highlight of the Swichettes Ladies Day on March 13 as the near to sold out event will be hosted during the ITC Friday race meeting.
The bubbly is sure to be flowing along with fashion and fun galore as the Swichettes group enjoy a day trackside.
Females stand tall
IT is fitting for current Ipswich premier trainer Gillian Heinrich to be the guest speaker after becoming the first female in 155 years of racing in Ipswich to achieve that honour.
One would expect the female jockeys to come in for more betting support than normal.
The likes of Tegan Harrison, who became the first female to ride an Ipswich Cup winner on Brave Ali last year, and current Premier Ipswich Apprentice Cassandra Schmidt, mix it up with their male counterparts.
Fittingly in Ipswich
THERE was a big day of racing at Ipswich last Wednesday as nine races were contested, including the $65,000 QTIS three-year old, which had been transferred from a waterlogged Doomben.
On a soft track, the big money race provided a great spectacle as runners were forced 14 horses wide on the home turn ruining the chances of many including top weight and widest runner Punta Norte.
Roughie Seashells snuck along the rails under the urgings of apprentice Beau Appo to get the win in a blanket finish fitting of a race of such value.
Benico’s Prince was second just in front of the favourite Polynikes resulting in a trifecta pay of $5500 and first four of $30,000.
If that wasn’t enough, another huge highlight was delivered in the next, the ninth and final race.
Former champion jockey Chris Munce collected his first win as a trainer.
Munce was visibly thrilled as Specific Choice put him on the board as a trainer with an easy win under apprentice Matt McGillivray.
Munce is a dual Ipswich premier jockey. He’s also one of a handful of jockeys to win the four major races in Australia – the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, and Golden Slipper.
After doing it all in the saddle he has now turned to training.
He noted after the race that it was fitting that his first training win was in Ipswich.
Group 1 favourites fold
WHILE Contributor won the NSW Chipping Norton at Warwick Farm as a $2.50 favourite, it was a blowout for favourites in Melbourne.
Suavito, at $11, defeated Smokin Joey and long odds-on favourite Dissident in the Futurity Stakes.
Next up was the Oakleigh Plate where another to pay $11 and win was Shamal Wind, which defeated Under the Louvre and Fast ‘N’ Rocking resulting in a big trifecta over $3000.
The final Group 1 for the day was the Blue Diamond which was won by Pride of Dubai over Reemah and Lake Geneva, returning a trifecta of more than $6000. Favourite Fontiton missed a place.
This weekend the Group 1 races include competing 3yo mile races as the Australian Guineas at Flemington are contested at the same time as the Randwick Guineas in Sydney. The Weight for age Canterbury Stakes are also contested over 1300 metres at Randwick.