DESPITE a heavy downpour of rain at the Bundamba Racecourse on Friday, the final meeting prior to Christmas was completed and the traditional visit by Santa was made.
The rain came just after the third race of the day and the track was downgraded from a good 3 to a dead 5 bordering on a slow track for the rest of the meeting.
The rainfall amounted to 30mm with most of it in a cloudburst of just half an hour.
Patrons, jockeys and officials alike were sent racing for cover as the much needed rain created a degree of havoc.
However despite the heavy downpour, the final four races of the day were completed.
In the final race the starting position was even amended to ensure the meeting was completed.
As the chute for the 1666 metre start was waterlogged, it was decided by stewards to shorten the race to 1500 metres as the risk of bogging the tractor with the barrier stalls at the chute was too great.
This created some difficulty but the Ipswich Turf Club staff managed to make the necessary arrangements to get the race started on time. And the starter of that race was Santa as has been the tradition at Ipswich for the last race before Christmas for many years.
A LANDMARK case was settled last week when it was ruled that Artificial Insemination laws in relation to thoroughbred breeding are not to be changed, and that AI will continue to be outlawed in the Australian Thoroughbred Breeding Industry.
This came as welcome news for many in the industry - not least of all the breeders of Australia.
It keeps in place the centuries old Australian Studbook practices of breeding and recording of such, and keeps Australia in line with other major global thoroughbred breeding countries in outlawing artificial insemination.
Byrne on rise
THREE of the seven races at Ipswich last Friday were won by female jockeys and amongst the male brigade was Jim Byrne aboard Hay Jemmily for trainer Ben Ahrens.
The win for Byrne took him back level with Michael Cahill atop the Ipswich Jockey's Premiership ladder on 11 wins apiece.
The female winning jockeys were apprentice Rikki Jamieson on the John Wallace trained As We Go By, Skye Bogenhuber on Darryl Golan's Black Leg Bay, and Rosie Myers on Less Ross' Sweet and Vicious.
The win by Sweet and Vicious in the last race gave Rosie Myers an inter-city race to race double as she won the first of the day in Brisbane on Saturday aboard Noisy Ocean.
Later races on Saturday at Doomben were won by jockeys who are very familiar to Ipswich with wins to Jim Byrne, Chris Munce, Tim Bell, and Tegan Harrison who are all near to the top of the Premiership at Ipswich.
Stewards and officials gave a sigh of relief when Sweet and Vicious completed the final race in front as a somewhat difficult day at the office ended.
There was still to be further drama however as the judge could not split the numbers for second and third and put up a dead heat for second between Marc the Magpie and last week's Ipswich winner A Tad Apart.
The rain however did not dampen the spirits of the great majority of patrons who were out in number enjoying the last race meeting at Ipswich before Christmas with a great deal of festive cheer.
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