Turf Chat: Ipswich on track for more records
ANOTHER track record fell at Ipswich on Wednesday providing more evidence of the changed nature of the surface over the past 12 months.
The 1100 metre track record had stood since Todonic won in April 1982. Favourite Lesley’s Choice was a brilliant six length winner in the last race on Wednesday.
Three track records have fallen to Class 3 gallopers in the past 12 months. Adnocon’s 1350 metre mark was broken in October last year, and the long-standing 21-year-old 1200 metre record of Quick Response fell in March.
The reason for these faster times is the nature of the track refurbishment, which was undertaken in March/April last year. The refurbishment was carried out to address uneven- ness of the track, which occurred after the floods of 2011. That became progressively worse until the refurbishment in early 2014.
This refurbishment, which was undertaken and funded by Racing Queensland, was effective in levelling the problem areas of the course proper. However the process undertaken was that cushioning top soil was disposed of and thicker compacted subsurface material was brought to the surface.
A layer of immature turf was then laid over the new sub-surface resulting in a virtually non-porous sub-surface which root growth and water have difficulty penetrating. This further leads to the immature turf being scraped off the top when racing on a wet track which has further led to the incidents of race day rail shifts and subsequent returfing over the past 12 months.
This track profile also results in fast times when there has been a lack of rain as the falling of three track records to Class 3 horses in the past 12 months has shown.
The good news is that with little rain forecast up to Ipswich Cup Day on June 13, expect fast times and potential track records on that day.
Cup Day close
THOSE watching the Ipswich races on Sky Channel last Wednesday would have seen equipment popping up, including marquees and cold rooms as the infrastructure installation for Ipswich Cup Day gets into full swing.
The Ipswich Turf Club is expecting an incredible 15,000 pre-sold tickets judging by current trends as fever grows for the historic race day, which is packed with various entertainment.
While the ITC continues to directly sell XXXX Summer marquee tickets, and Ticketek continue to sell at agencies, online sales ceased over the weekend at Ticketek.
This sparked a frenzy of phone calls and facebook pleas yesterday as desperate patrons needed to be reassured that tickets had not sold out altogether.
While the majority of marquees have been sold out, there is still a good number of tickets available into the XXXX Summer infield marquee, which has a 4000 capacity.
Corporate areas are sold out apart from a handful of tickets available in the Arctic Kiss Ice Bar and the Home turn Experience.
THE major Queensland race of the year is the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
The big market mover has been Melbourne filly Lumosty who has brilliantly won two open company starts in Melbourne this preparation.
Supporters got as much as $71 in early betting for the Stradbroke. Lumosty is now into $5.50 with a luxury weight.
Following Stradbroke Handicap day this weekend, the Ipswich Cup plays its role as the social event of the carnival with a community spirit and attendance that is the envy of many other regions.
The last meeting at Ipswich prior to Cup Day is Thursday.