Turf Chat: Apprentices set pace
IT started off as a day for apprentices at Ipswich last Friday and looked for a good while like the whole card of winners may be ridden by junior jockeys.
It was not until the seventh race that a senior rider saluted.
Michael Cahill won aboard All Clear for Gold Coast trainer Noel Doyle.
The results showed the continued rise of apprentice jockeys at Ipswich as six individual apprentices collected wins - including three for females and three for males.
The male apprentices to ride winners were James Orman aboard Steve Tregea's Stella Gris, Alex Hearn aboard Chris Anderson's Moonlight Dancer, and Sam Payne aboard Les Ross' Gina Ballerina.
The female apprentices to collect a win were Brooke Stower (on Heavenly Glass for Julie Anderson), Bridget Grylls (aboard Little White for Darlene Duryea), and Emma Ljung (for Toowoomba's Ben Currie aboard Point).
Apart from these six winning apprentices, there were another three riders who feature prominently on the Ipswich Jockey's Premiership ladder. These are Ipswich Cup winner Luke Tarrant, who has 16 season wins, Matt McGuren with 15 wins, and Travis Wolfgram (11).
The proliferation of winning apprentices clearly shows the strength in the next generation of fully fledged jockeys.
However Michael Hellyer finished the day with a win for the senior jockeys as he guided home Kelso Wood's Best of Times to give Hellyer winners in consecutive weeks at Ipswich.
THE Ipswich Turf Club this week had further discussions in relation to changes to dates in the racing program for the new season commencing August 1.
Eagle Farm has been forecast to recommence racing in February, which necessitates changes to the published 2015-2016 calendar of racing, which included Brisbane Metropolitan meetings on most Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The ongoing changes make it extremely difficult for raceday functions to be planned for community groups and it is becoming increasingly difficult for those groups as the number of Friday meetings at Ipswich are again being reduced for the next seven months.
This is due to the fact that a Friday race meeting is much more suitable to a group of revellers than the midweek Wednesday dates as shown last week by a Hen's Party and the Wests Hockey Club function. However, from a racing point of view, the Wednesday dates attract higher quality gallopers being Metropolitan meetings with higher prize money on offer.
The final schedule through the summer months has still not been confirmed although it is getting closer. It will have many Wednesday dates over the next seven months and a large reduction in Friday dates for the Ipswich track.
Fast times at Bundamba
THE fast times of races are continuing at Ipswich regardless of the class of galloper racing.
In the past 12 months, track records have fallen for the distances of 1100 metres, 1200 metres, 1350 metres, and 2150 metres.
The first three of these had stood for a combined total of 61 years prior to Class 3 horses breaking those marks.
The 2150 record was held by Distancia from 1989 until the Ipswich Cup a couple of weeks ago when Imported European galloper Danchai set a new record - despite a little rain being about on the day.
Last Friday, a couple of class records were recorded as well, further showing that the track has clearly changed in nature following the refurbishment of early 2014.
Scientific analyses undertaken by the Ipswich Turf Club have further proven that the surface is of a much thicker clay style nature which in dry periods leads to fast times and on wet days results in damage to the track as the water is unable to penetrate the almost impervious surface. The result of this is that water sits on top of the surface resulting in gallopers scraping off the top layer of moistened turf when there has been rain at the time of a race meeting.
This situation however has not deterred trainers from racing their gallopers at Ipswich as again tomorrow there are eight strong races as we enter the last month of the racing season.