20,725 race-goers establish Ipswich as top track
AN ATTENDANCE of 20,725 race-goers has established Ipswich Racecourse as one of the major race tracks in Queensland.
Ipswich Cup is the biggest race day in Queensland by attendance, beating the recent Stradbroke Handicap turnout of less than 17,000.
Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said attendance this year was up almost 10% on last year's Cup.
Attendance figures peaked for the Ipswich Cup in 2011 with 24,000 people.
"We've kept growing over the years until that time, 2011," Mr Kitching said.
"It has stabilised since then and dropped off a bit last year, the rain didn't help last year, but this year got back up to what it has been in previous years.
"That's a great result. At most race clubs, attendances are in significant decline at the race meetings unless you get a Black Caviar or something like that.
"To be holding numbers is great news."
He said the day's takings were not finalised, but would put the club in a good position.
"It's a very important day to us, Ipswich Cup day.
"It's the one day of the year where we are able to make a dollar and I'm sure we'll have made what we need to get into the black for the year."
Ipswich Police said the crowd was well behaved with an incident free day.
Mr Kitching attributed the Cup's success to providing alternative attractions to racing to bring in the younger crowds.
"It's the big event on the city's social calendar.
"People of Ipswich come back to the Ipswich Cup for years afterwards as a reunion and that gets a lot of people in.
"But no other race club around has attracted Generation Y like we have and if race clubs don't do something else to attract them, there is almost a generation lost to race-going."