IMPRESSIVE UPGRADE: Recent track work at the Ipswich Turf Club.
IMPRESSIVE UPGRADE: Recent track work at the Ipswich Turf Club.

Dan’s valuable service as turf club upgrades move ahead

PUBLICAN Dan Bowden has been a sounding board for the Ipswich Turf Club committee for over 30 years.

The humble Bowden reminds us of John F Canty’s reign as chairman for 50 years, including flying the Ipswich flag during the war days when the track was used by the US Army.

Bowden joined the committee in 1991 and was chairman from 1995-2001 before handing over the reins to current chairman Wayne Patch.

Many would know Bowden from his post as the owner of the famous Marburg Pub and his dedication to the historical refurbishment of the establishment.

His racing recall is just as impressive and his knowledge of the Bundamba track is like no other, even rivalling club general manager Brett Kitching who equally knows every square inch of the property and its stories.

The club has evolved considerably throughout the 30 years Bowden has been involved. He recalls one of the key milestones for change was the transfer of land from Government to freehold land at the turn of the millennium. This paved the way for the club to make changes to ensure the facility was around for the community.

“We’ve always been diversified in our offering of more than just a racetrack,” Bowden said.

“If we look back at our roots, Boxing Day was always about ‘all things fun’ incorporating athletic races with the horse racing.

“It is still the aim of the committee today - to ensure we offer more than just racing and the infrastructure development is paving the way to secure the future.”

From a racing perspective, Bowden recalls how the club was integral in the establishment of the Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS).

“The prototype was tested in Ipswich and to sit back and see the quality of Queensland bred horses gives me a smile,” he said.

Bowden reflects on his time on the committee and the people that helped shape the steadiness of the club and its 160 history.

“I must commend the committee in recruiting Denise Hanly, our first female board member,” he said.

“Denise has a strong community standing and I look forward to working with her and the rest of the committee this year.”

Venue revamp

IT has been well documented that the Ipswich Turf Club has been undergoing a new development, track works plus much more.

The Eye Liner Lounge has probably undergone the biggest transformation and the reveal is nearly ready. Now a stand-alone room it boasts a bridle room or break out zone for conference leaders, new flooring, furnishings and bar.

When racegoers return on April 8, they will be equally impressed with the sports bar on the other side of the staircase that is complete with a dozen screens including a self service TAB with only a few steps from the grandstand for a final check of the horses.

Track meeting

IPSWICH hosted the track managers meeting on Monday with 15 key stakeholders getting a first-hand look at the redevelopment. Following 140mm of rainfall in the past week the guests toured the track which is now looking in prime condition and on target for the April 8 return.

The rain hampered racing over the weekend with many of the meetings abandoned across south east Queensland.

Although irrigation isn’t needed this week with the rainfall, perhaps the most impressive upgrade is the new pump house. It hosts five vertical multi stage pumps, a dosage unit to treat PH levels and injection system for liquid fertilisers and pumps four-times the volume from the previous set up.

Another topic for discussion was race day operations around the barriers. As we start to consider returning to racing in April, the shortage of barrier attendants becomes a topic of discussion, particularly for the Ipswich team.

Starters reports was also a point of discussion with communication between stakeholders is clear, particularly, when it comes to safety of loading horses into barriers.



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