THE Metropolitan meeting last Wednesday at the Ipswich Turf Club was abandoned on the morning of the races. However not all participants were happy with this situation.

After the track had been rated a heavy 8 on the eve of the meeting after 2mm of rain that Tuesday afternoon, there was no expectation from the club of any issue with the race meeting taking place.

There had previously been 28mm rain on the preceding Friday night, and 4mm on the Monday afternoon.

Despite this rainfall, the track was rated as a heavy 8 with an expectation of an upgrade on race day to the soft range given favourable weather conditions.

Splitter wins the Follow ITC @Ipswichturfclub race at Ipswich Racetrack on Wednesday.
Splitter wins the Follow ITC @Ipswichturfclub race at Ipswich Racetrack on Wednesday. Rob Williams

Those favourable weather conditions were prevalent during the day of the races with warm windy conditions and the track was upgraded through the day. However, there were no races, as QRIC (Queensland Racing Integrity Commission) stewards had abandoned the meeting just after 7am, six hours prior to the scheduled time of the first race.


Officials inspect Ipswich racetrack last Wednesday after the meeting was abandoned early.
Officials inspect Ipswich racetrack last Wednesday after the meeting was abandoned early. Rob Williams

The steward in attendance questioned one area of the track - 50 metres past the winning post and 12 to 15 metres off the running rail. In the opinion of the steward, this area was unsafe and requests by the club to take penetrometer readings went unheeded as the meeting was abandoned based on a subjective opinion.

ITC track staff soon after took penetrometer readings of the area in question and it showed in the range of heavy 8 - well inside the "raceable'' tolerance on the scale of fast 1 to heavy 10.

A similar reading was taken with a Racing Queensland representative present after 1pm at the scheduled time of the first race.

The suggested outcomes of this series of events was for greater discussion with the club from each of QRIC stewards and Racing Queensland, along with use of all available technology to determine the track rating.

Scheduled meetings

AFTER the questionable cancellation of the planned race meeting last Wednesday, a replacement meeting was scheduled for tomorrow in Ipswich. However, this meeting was rightly called off today due to the waterlogged track and forecast for further rain.

It is then on to Friday's scheduled meeting as Racing Queensland desperately try to provide opportunities for gallopers after cancellations at Ipswich, Toowoomba, Doomben, Gold Coast, Warwick, and Sunshine Coast last week.

Top quality racing

IT was a big weekend of five Group 1 races, with the highlight being Redzel winning his second consecutive Everest at Randwick on a bog track in front of 40,000 spectators.

Redzel has earned total prizemoney of $11.8m in the two Everests from his total career earnings of $14.8m.

Other notable winners on the weekend were the classy galloper The Autumn Sun and the imported Yucatan for the Williams ownership camp.

Yucatan will need to receive a 2.5kg penalty to make the Melbourne Cup field with an aim of giving Lloyd Williams his seventh Melbourne Cup.

This weekend is the start of the "Big Three Cups" as we move deep into the carnival for 2018 in the southern states.

The first of these is the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, followed by the weight for age championship of Australasia, otherwise known as the Cox Plate. Then it is on to the four-day carnival at Flemington featuring the Melbourne Cup.

The Caulfield Cup favourite is Youngstar who finished second behind stablemate Winx in the Turnbull Stakes.

Second in the betting is long time favourite Kings Will Dream who trainer Darren Weir has set specifically for this race since winning the Caulfield Cup qualifier, the Mornington Cup early in the year.

Kings Will Dream has been thereabouts at weight for age and ran well for third in the Turnbull behind Winx.

His weight of 53kg for the Caulfield Cup will be a luxury and trainer Weir will have him peaking for the time-honoured race.

Future meetings

IPSWICH racing in October continues on Friday, followed by next Wednesday.

The first November race meeting is Friday 2nd, which is followed by Thursday, November 8, corresponding with Flemington's Group 1 Oaks Day.

There is a Melbourne Cup luncheon at the ITC in between on Tuesday, November 6.

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