Week off benefit for Ipswich surface
IT was a welcome break from racing at Ipswich last week as the Cairns Amateurs conducted their two day carnival on Friday and Saturday.
This is a traditional Friday meeting undertaken by Cairns and one of a number that go to other tracks while Ipswich is the predominant Friday venue in Queensland.
The benefit to the Bundamba racetrack was a week off giving time for some attention to the course proper after racing every week through winter since Ipswich Cup Day.
As the kikuyu grass is mostly dormant through winter, Rye grass is oversewn to maintain a turf coverage as the track supports weekly racing through that period.
The week off has given track staff an opportunity at the start of spring to fertilise and aerate the course as well as top dress portions of the racing surface suffering the most.
Problem areas remain from the 2014 refurbishment undertaken by Racing Queensland works, which solved the undulations issue but which however created major drainage problems which continue to cause issues.
The break from racing has helped to pay attention to these areas and some nice rain came at the right time.
The warming weather will combine with the works of this break to give the track a kick along over the next couple of months.
It is back to racing at Ipswich on Friday.
A healthy 103 nominations have been received for the meeting indicating a willingness of industry participants to return to Ipswich.
CEO’s visit lifts upgrade hopes
THE newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Racing Queensland, Dr Eliot Forbes, visited the Ipswich Turf Club last week.
Dr Forbes showed interest in the state of facilities, the club’s financial position, the condition of the course proper and the infrastructure needs of the historic Bundamba facility.
It was a breath of fresh air to find a senior official of the Racing Control Body displaying great interest and compassion for the plight of the Ipswich Turf Club.
That was while recognising the vital role the club plays in thoroughbred racing in Queensland.
It is a difficult position that Dr Forbes takes up given the administrative turmoil in racing over the past couple of years.
The Ipswich Turf Club pledged to work with he and the control body as far as possible as has been the case in the past with the overall interests of the industry in mind, as well as in return asking for a fair go for Ipswich.
Regarding the infrastructure fund situation which has raised great media discussion in recent weeks, Dr Forbes has a great opportunity to make a difference.
He can give clarity to the entire industry by providing a timeline and process in a short space of time.
Spring racing in focus
TWO Group 1 races in two states on the weekend confirmed that the Spring Carnival is well underway.
Palentino won the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington and Astern won the Golden Rose at Rosehill as Cups hopefuls continue to return to racing.
Palentino had to contend with favourite and second placegetter Black Heart Bart, as well as last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance, Doomben Cup winner Our Ivanhowe, Queensland Derby winner Alpine Eagle, and VRC Derby winner Tarzino.
However none of these were able to place.
Instead the connections of these gallopers have their eyes on other prizes later in the Spring.
Group 1 racing this week is in Sydney with the running of the George Main Stakes at Randwick prior to switching back to Caulfield in Melbourne the following week for the Underwood Stakes and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.