Turf Chat: Ipswich back on track
AFTER a weather-induced break of five weeks from racing at Ipswich, a large day is planned tomorrow.
It’s the return to galloping at Bundamba.
Nine strong races are programmed and a large total of 118 runners have accepted for the day.
Top trainers including Robert Heathcote, Matt Dunn, Tony Gollan, and John Meagher are all bringing runners to Ipswich.
The break afforded to the track has been a blessing in disguise given that the big day for our city – the Ipswich Cup – is just over five weeks away.
The cooling weather patterns mean that there will be little grass growth over the next couple of months so the preservation of the racing surface for this time of the year has turned out to be timely.
Rain fails to spoil party
HEAVY rainfall of 160 millimetres on Friday caused a racing washout at Ipswich on Saturday.
However it did not spoil the St Edmund’s and Legs foot racing parties at the Ipswich Turf Club.
While not the preferred option, the St Edmund’s Foundation and Ipswich Hospital Foundation made the most of the day enjoying the fine conditions and displaying a terrific spirit of celebration in enjoying the event.
A number of patrons at the phantom meeting were asking why the races were not on Saturday afternoon given the beautiful conditions by then, with the last of the rain having finished more than 12 hours earlier.
However 160 millimetres of rain at Ipswich cannot be absorbed or drained in the heavy soil of the Bundamba facility. The water sat on top of the surface resulting in unsafe conditions for racing for a couple of days after the rain event.
It was a different story at Toowoomba on Saturday as the Weetwood Handicap Day went ahead in its new Winter Carnival timeslot.
Despite receiving 130 millimetres of rain on Friday, the newly refurbished sand based Strathayr track performed exceptionally well. The track was upgraded during the day from heavy to soft.
The racing was much stronger than a normal Weetwood Day and the result was a memorable day for the Toowoomba Turf Club.
The best example of what moving to this timeslot can do for Toowoomba’s day was the win of Pornichet in the Toowoomba Cup. This imported French galloper is trained by Gai Waterhouse and his authoritative win gave the Toowoomba Cup race a classier flavour being won by an international group-rated galloper.
The Weetwood Handicap was won by a local as Mr Favulous gave his trainer Don Baker a pleasing result, especially after another galloper from that stable broke down earlier in the day.
Group 1 racing
TWO Group 1 races were staged at Adelaide over the weekend as Delicacy won the Australasian Oaks and Miracles of Life won the Robert Sangster.
Group 1 racing moves to Queensland as the first Group 1 day of the Winter Carnival will be contested at Doomben this week as the running of the BTC Sprint and Doomben Cup take place.
Pornichet is at the top of the betting for the Doomben Cup on a one-week back-up. A strong field will be assembled including Hollindale Stakes winner Leebaz and multiple Group 1 winning New Zealander Silent Achiever.
The BTC Sprint has attracted a strong field of nominations as well including Our Boy Malachi, Srikandi, Trust in a Gust, and Bring Me The Maid.