Byrne underlines class with top Busselton win
IT didn't take long for Jim Byrne to show again why he's Ipswich's premier jockey.
Ipswich Turf Club chairman Wayne Patch noted Byrne's achievements at the club's AGM last Wednesday. The senior rider responded immediately by winning the first race of the day aboard Busselton.
Busselton is a superbly bred four-year-old by the champion sire Redoute's Choice.
After selling for $300,000 at the Magic Million Sales of 2012, Busselton raced three times without winning for the powerful Gai Waterhouse stable in NSW.
Those starts were all in 2013 and after a year off the scene, the four-year-old entire transferred to the Brisbane stables of Barry Lockwood.
A first-up win as favourite, after coming from near last in the running, will give the Lockwood stable hope of much more to come.
The ride of Byrne was the first of a series of wins by high-profile jockeys which combined with a number of wins for apprentices.
Last season's Brisbane premier jockey Tim Bell won the second race aboard the Rex Lipp-trained In The Genes.
Later in the day, former Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Chris Munce won aboard Lucky Black for trainer Barry Mitchell.
Winning apprentice jockeys were Alannah Fancourt, Travis Wolfgram and James Orman.
ITC profit announced
CHAIRMAN Wayne Patch was pleased at last week's AGM to announce a small profit for the year for the historic Ipswich Turf Club.
The committee remained as last year and includes deputy chairman Brian North, treasurer Liam Tansey and committeemen Dan Bowden, Dr Allan Byrnes, Cr Paul Pisasale, Brian Dwyer and Trent Quinn.
THE Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering won his fourth Group 1 title in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley last Friday night to prove he is still a force to be reckoned with.
It has been well documented that Buffering raced for four years chasing an elusive Group 1 victory, which he would have attained in that time if champion sprinters Hay List and Black Caviar had not been on the scene.
Last spring, Buffering won three Group 1 races at Moonee Valley, Flemington and Ascot in Perth to become the highest-rated Australian sprinter at that time.
Lankan Rupee then emerged in the autumn to take over the top sprinter in Australia billing as Buffering seemed to be past his best.
However, last Friday night Buffering showed his true bulldog fighting spirit to just defeat Lankan Rupee. Buffering moved his career prize money earnings to $4.75million.
It is now on to the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in three weeks - the race that gave the now seven-year old his first Group 1 glory last year.
It was five seasons ago that Buffering kick-started his career with a win at Ipswich on Labour Day in the rich two-year-old race of the time.
Another from the Robert Heathcote stable who has a big wrap on him and who commenced his career at Ipswich is Punta Norte who won at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
Heathcote is expecting this galloper to become a top-liner and his easy win at skinny odds on Sunday indicated a great deal of ability.
Group 1 racing on Labour Day weekend
TRUST in a Gust in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Buffering in the Moir Stakes were the two Group 1 winners over the weekend.
After this weekend, there will be four more Group 1 winners.
In Sydney, it is Super Saturday with six group races scheduled, including Group 1 races the Epsom Handicap, the Metropolitan and the Flight Stakes. The Turnbull Stakes is also on at Flemington and this traditional Cups lead-up will be a good indicator for the upcoming Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
On Monday, the second largest race meeting at Ipswich across the year is contested with the eighth running of the Labour Day Cup at the Bundamba facility.
The day is much more than a race meeting with free entry, a free fairground for children, free fairy floss and face painting, and a Handmade Expo Market in conjunction with the day, giving something for the whole family.
With a forecast of good weather, thousands are expected to come out to the race meeting for a relaxing day with free entertainment and the exciting spectacle of live thoroughbred racing.