Turf club gears up for 2016 campaign
THE second Saturday major provincial race meeting in Queensland over a few weeks at Ipswich takes place this weekend as Metropolitan Racing is at the Gold Coast for the rich Magic Millions Carnival.
The forecast of mild weather should again result in a good turnout at Ipswich for racegoers not keen to tackle the bustle of the Magic Millions Carnival.
Additional funding has resulted in Saturday’s meeting at the Gold Coast being the richest race meeting in Australia as there is an amazing $10 million on offer.
Four time Queensland horse of the year Buffering is nominated for the QTIS Open Plate which carries $1 million prize money alone.
Under plate conditions, the winner of six Group 1 races is very well in and a win would propel the Heathcote stable star to the second highest Australian prize money earner of all time behind only the champion mare Black Caviar.
This will be the first start at the Gold Coast for Buffering although he has raced at Ipswich winning the Labour Day QTIS Plate for two year olds six years ago. Providing Buffering pulls up well from the Coast run, trainer Robert Heathcote is planning another International trip with him – this time to Dubai and then Hong Kong on the return leg.
A strong card of 140 nominations for the corresponding Ipswich meeting on Saturday should ensure near capacity fields at home where there will be plenty of screens for viewing the Gold Coast races, along with bookmakers, Tote facilities, selections of food and beverages, and the forecast mild weather.
This mix should ensure an entertaining day for the Ipswich Rugby League group who are kicking off the new season again with a day at the races after the success of 2015.
Staff run off their feet
There was a surprisingly strong attendance last Wednesday at the Bundamba racetrack as many took the chance for a relaxing day at the races for the final Ipswich meeting of 2015.
The food, beverage and Tote turnovers were all more than double that for a normal midweek race meeting and race day staff were run off their feet with a number of food lines running out.
This was a nice way for the ITC to finish 2015 on the back of the Saturday meeting prior to Christmas when there was an attendance of more than 2000 people as the Handmade Markets were combined with that race day.
Here’s hoping that 2016 will be another success for the Ipswich Turf Club involving celebration of the history of Ipswich Racing including the 150 year anniversary of the win by Jibboom in the Ipswich Cup of 1866.
Apprentices strong finish
It was a successful day for apprentice jockeys at Ipswich on Wednesday with Jim Orman claiming an early double and Emma Ljung riding the last Ipswich winner of the year.
Orman won the first two races of the day aboard Douls for trainer Steve Tregea and Haradify for Alyssa Ross.
Ljung won aboard the smart galloper Anymore for trainer John Dann as she continued her rise to prominence in the riding ranks.
Matt McGillivray and Luke Dittman were other apprentices to win with Lofn for Kelly Schweida and Saint Hugo for Alicia Willick respectively.
Senior riders managed to win a couple of races as premiership leader Tegan Harrison picked up a win aboard Paul Duncan’s Shade of Pearls and former Ipswich Premier Jockey Michael Cahill won on Desleigh Forster’s Artanis.