Turf Chat with QT horse racing columnist Brett Kitching
Turf Chat with QT horse racing columnist Brett Kitching

Apprentice hoops on roll

WINNING REFLECTIONS: Party Spin is led back to the enclosure by jockey Travis Wolgram after winning the Schweppes Plate (1200m) at the Ipswich racetrack last week.
WINNING REFLECTIONS: Party Spin is led back to the enclosure by jockey Travis Wolgram after winning the Schweppes Plate (1200m) at the Ipswich racetrack last week. Sarah Harvey

FOUR young apprentice jockeys continued their strong progress in the riding ranks last Thursday at Ipswich.

Luke Tarrant, Travis Wolfgram and Michael McKenzie all claim two kilogram allowances .

The first two of these rode their second winners at the fourth meeting of the season at Ipswich.

Ashley Butler, who has outridden his claim, had a win, ensuring apprentices rode more than half of the winners on the seven-race card.

Tarrant won the first race aboard the Kevin Kemp-trained Puff's Girl.

The Toowoomba-trained Puff's Girl was equal favourite with the second-placed horse Solo Soprano who was ridden by last season's champion jockey Michael Cahill.

Wolfgram collected his win aboard another Toowoomba-trained galloper in Party Spin in the third race of the day.

Party Spin, trained by John Thomas, was having his fourth race start for his maiden win.

Butler was the fourth apprentice to win on the day, partnering Kainji Rock from the John, Daniel, and Christoper Meagher stable.

There were some big name jockeys to collect the remaining three winners as Larry Cassidy on the Les Kelly-trained Righteous Miss, Cahill on the Robert Heathcote-trained Punters Pride, and Paul Hammersley on the Cherie O'Neill-trained Rock Paper Scissors kept the flag flying high for senior jockeys.

The wins for Meagher and Heathcote stables were their second for the season, leaving them equal with Barry Baldwin and Tony Sears who have each collected two wins in August.

On the rider's list, Cahill is level with Ric McMahon, Hammersley and Andrew Spinks - all with three wins each in August.

Tarrant and Wolfgram are equally the highest-placed apprentices.

It was a favourite backers day last Thursday as the first three races and the final race were won by the shortest-priced runners.

The remaining three races were won by second favourites in the betting.

Tricky program

AFTER a few years of racing at Ipswich on virtually every Friday, the new season program is becoming a tricky proposition for some in the racing game.

There is still racing on most Fridays of the year during the current season at Ipswich.

However, there is one week each month on average that has racing on another day, including last week's Thursday meeting and a Tuesday in July.

This has been programmed by Racing Queensland to allow a dozen Friday meetings at other race clubs where it should be possible to create decent days at those clubs. For example, show holidays fall on those days.

This move is logical and overall is a smart move for the industry, but will create a few hiccups as Ipswich patrons and staff need to readjust to looking ahead for the next race meeting day rather than expecting it to be every Friday.

Last Thursday's meeting was held up slightly due to the late arrival of an official.

A few patrons showed up on Friday looking forward to a race meeting.

However, as has happened over 120 years of racing at Bundamba, all patrons and stakeholders will become accustomed to looking forward for the next race meeting.

Spring carnival

THIS weekend is the start of the Spring Carnival with the Memsie Stakes to be contested - the first Group 1 race of the carnival.

Already Puissance De Lune has shown promise of big things to come in the spring.

While grabbing much attention as well as favouritism for the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, it is still only August.

Expect many more big names to rise up over the next few months as the carnival unravels.



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