Turf Chat: Ipswich racing resumes with rugby league flavour
SATURDAY racing is on this week for the first time in seven weeks at Ipswich as the first of three 2015 Saturday meetings is conducted at the ITC.
The other two Saturday dates are the Legs and Eddies Day on May 2, and Ipswich Cup Day on June 13.
The organisation partnering the ITC this weekend is Rugby League Ipswich.
As well as a good number enjoying the Trackside Lounge function, there will be quite a few participating in the Club March Past, enjoying the free kids rides, and visiting the Broncos Merchandise Van and Mascot on course.
There is free entry also for persons wearing Rugby League apparel from their club, as well as free entry for all minors.
This promotion is a first and is an initiative of Rugby League Ipswich doubling as a good way to kick off the new season for the body, while enjoying a family day at the races.
The major Queensland meeting on Saturday is the Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast.
At Ipswich, there will be full Tote betting facilities and a strong bookmaker’s ring to get a bet on, whether it be at Ipswich or on the Magic Millions day.
There will also be plenty of food and beverages available for sampling as normal as the ITC sees in the New Year with a decent size meeting.
The weather forecast is looking good for Saturday with temperatures in the low 30s and a clear day. With the forecast rain early this week, it should be a perfect racing surface following a two week break from racing.
The rail is back in the true position for the Saturday meeting, meaning there will be maximum size fields, which will be needed following a whopping 170 nominations for the card.
Hot Summer of Racing
EACH track in South East Queensland is playing a part in providing some quality racing as we move through the festive season and into the New Year.
At Toowoomba on New Year’s Eve there was a well-attended meeting where the star performer was Rex Lipp’s Tinto, which easily won the $175,000 Bernborough Handicap.
Tinto is a promising mare who won the Queensland Oaks last year and may well now be targeted for a southern race as she steps through the Queensland grades easily.
The Gold Coast hosted Ladies Day last weekend and this week is their big meeting for the year – the Magic Millions Race Day.
This is the day when Ipswich provides the support program.
Then it is on to the Sunshine Coast for the Racing Minister’s Classic on January 17 and the big Australia Day meeting on January 26 as all clubs continue to play a vital role while the premier track Eagle Farm is undergoing redevelopment.
Tragic Start to New Year
IT WAS an unexpectedly tragic start to the new year of racing in Queensland as former top line jockey and current Racing Queensland steward Gary Palmer passed away on Saturday night.
Palmer was a highly regarded apprentice back in the late 1970s, winning a number of Group 1 races including a Doomben Cup, Chipping Norton Stakes in Sydney, and Toorak Handicap in Melbourne.
He later won a Queensland Derby and Oaks as well as a Stradbroke Handicap aboard Daybreak Lover, who the top flight apprentice formed a great partnership with.
As a racing steward in recent years, Palmer has often been on the panel at Ipswich passing on valuable knowledge and experience from a jockey’s point of view.
In mid-December as Chairman at a meeting at Ipswich, Palmer was able to bring logic to various questions on the rating of the track process.
Palmer’s is a sad loss to the racing industry and the thoughts of all in the industry are with his family at this difficult time.