Ipswich track back in favour
JOCKEY Ryan Maloney gave a thumbs-up assessment to the Bundamba surface at last Tuesday's Ipswich meeting.
After recent track refurbishments and a cancellation of the meeting on the previous Wednesday following an irrigation malfunction, there was a nervous anticipation of how the track would race.
After a dry spell during August and September, 15mm rain on Sunday, September 30, added to the puzzle.
There need not have been any concern however as the track raced beautifully with a sharp time in the first of the day.
Maloney guided home the Steven O'Dea trained Jami Lady in the first race. He was quick, along with all jockeys, to subsequently declare the track in good condition.
Just prior to the final race of the day, former Ipswich premier jockey Michael Cahill was also singing the praises of the Ipswich track to the visiting Queensland Chief Thoroughbred Steward Peter Chadwick.
Despite the refurbishment and recent rain, Jami Lady ran 1.10.8 for the 1200 metre journey and 33.8 for the final 600 metres, times that indicate a good surface.
The rating for the track was upgraded to, and remained at a soft 5, for the entire program.
Maloney made it a double for he and the O'Dea stable with a pick-up ride in the fifth race. Maloney guided Charway to a convincing victory over odds on favourite Zoucara.
Other winners on the day included the 12th for the season for Jeff Lloyd aboard Tony Gollan's Umberto.
Jim Byrne also collected his eighth win riding Amorita for Murwillumbah's Matthew Dunn.
Big name winners
THE Ipswich Racetrack was back at it again on Friday for the originally programmed weekly meeting.
The Wednesday date this week means three race meetings in eight days will provide a real test for the racing surface although thankfully the Spring weather is helping to give favourable growing conditions.
The forecast rain over the weekend eventuated as 28mm fell, most of it being perfectly timed on Friday evening after the race meeting. The rain, combined with warmer weather, is having a positive impact on the track after the recent refurbishments and treatments of the track.
During the second race meeting for the week, there were many top-line jockeys of recent years in the winners' list.
Jockeys Luke Tarrant, Michael Cahill, Larry Cassidy and Jim Byrne are all former Ipswich Cup winners.
Along with reigning Ipswich premier jockey Jeff Lloyd, this quality group of riders collected six of the seven winners on Friday.
Apprentice Taylor Marshall was the other winner aboard the Lawrie Mayfield-Smith trained Notonya Nelly earlier in the day.
Tarrant won aboard the longest priced winner for the day - Le Drama at $7, trained by Darryl Hansen from the Sunshine Coast.
$20m in sight for Winx
AUSTRALIA'S champion racehorse Winx moved to $19.8m in career earnings with a 28th straight win in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
After being blocked for clear running for most of the race, jockey Hugh Bowman only eased into a space and balanced up the super mare at the 200 metre mark before winning by a length over Youngstar and Kings Will Dream.
Both placegetters turned in strong Caulfield Cup trials and take nice weight drops into the first of the "big cups" on Saturday week.
This week it is back to Caulfield for four Group 1 races, including the $2m Guineas.
In Sydney, the carnival comes to a close at Randwick with the second running of The Everest carrying $13m in prize money.
Ipswich racing continues on Wednesday, then Friday, October 19 and Wednesday, October 24.
The first November race meeting is Friday (2nd), followed by Thursday, November 8, corresponding with Flemington's Group 1 Oaks Day.
There is a Melbourne Cup luncheon at the ITC on Tuesday, November 6.