Robbie chasing front-runner
THERE was an unusual eight race card last Friday at Ipswich for the first meeting of the New Year.
This was due to all seven programmed races holding up as well as the need to split the maiden race for which there were 25 acceptors.
Even after splitting the maiden race there were five entrants to accept as emergency runners due to the smaller fields with the rail out as far as it could go for the meeting.
The two divisions of the maiden were picked up by Guilty Verdict for jockey Paul Hammersley and Brisbane trainer Steven O’Dea, and Zoutano for Ryan Wiggins and Chris Munce.
Former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Chris Munce continues to make a good fist of training and collected his sixth winner for the season at Ipswich to move into equal second on the ladder with Robert Heathcote.
The pair are however still eight wins behind Tony Gollan who is chasing his third consecutive premiership title at Ipswich.
Chris Munce is hoping for a big payday this week as he has two highly competitive gallopers in the $2M Magic Millions Classic for two year olds at the Gold Coast.
These two gallopers are Ours to Keep and Champ Elect which are amongst the top raters of the local contingent trying to keep the rich prizes in Queensland. Favourite for the race is Houtzen which is trained by Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast and which won impressively there on the weekend.
Other strong fancies in the betting come from the interstate stables of Waterhouse, Waller, Hayes, and Baker.
Fradd edges closer
THE win by Robbie Fradd aboard Massive Attack on Friday was his sixteenth win of the season which moved him to within one of leader Jim Byrne. Byrne was a notable absentee from Ipswich on Friday as he serves a suspension.
THE Ipswich Turf Club conducts a meeting on Saturday as the Queensland support slot for the $10M Magic Millions Race day at the Gold Coast.
Incredibly, this race day at the Gold Coast offers the largest prizemoney of any race meeting across Australia for the year – even in excess of Melbourne Cup Day, Cox Plate Day, or the Championships in Sydney.
Magic Millions Day attracts nationwide attention from both the punting public and the big stables across the country due to the big money on offer.
This week there is an Ipswich Rugby League Day following on from successes over the past couple of years.
A different twist to the day is a charity fundraising event of pig racing being operated by former Ipswich Rugby League player Dale Shearer who went on to become a Queensland State of Origin and Australian representative.
Whilst most racegoers will be at the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions Raceday, it is expected that there will be a solid attendance at Ipswich on Saturday despite the hot weather forecast as the bookmaker ring will be bolstered along with the novelty of pig racing combined with the excitement of live thoroughbred racing.
AFTER the January 14 Magic Millions support Saturday meeting this week, the next and final Ipswich January meeting is on Friday, January 20 before a break of a week leading into February.