THERE is double the racing this weekend at Ipswich as Australia Day celebrations take hold of the Ipswich Turf Club.
On Friday there is a normal weekly meeting to warm up for a significant meeting on Sunday.
More than 140 nominations for the Sunday meeting combined with free family entry and free children's entertainment should ensure a bumper day with weather forecast to be much cooler than the recent heatwave conditions.
The spirit of Australia Day celebrations will be evident in the lamb and gravy rolls and barbequed sausages served.
There will be free watermelon for the children.
The forecast mild weather along with free entry, entertainment and watermelon for children will combine with the colour of live racing to appeal as a final family outing prior to school starting next Tuesday, after the Monday public holiday.
Cahill charge continues
JOCKEY of the moment Michael Cahill rode another winning double at Ipswich on Friday as he extended his lead at the top of the premiership ladder.
The authority of Cahill's wins was unlike anything else in recent times as his winning pair won by a combined 14 lengths.
Firstly it was the John Thompson-trained La Casino for Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm at her first Queensland start.
Three-year-old filly La Casino led by a large margin throughout the race and easily won with six lengths to spare at the end.
Cahill's next winner was the Barry Baldwin-trained Lock's Legend, whose winning margin was an impressive eight lengths.
This win was Cahill's 17th of the season at Ipswich, moving him four clear of second-placed Jim Byrne.
Byrne did, however, respond with a victory later in the day aboard the David Lawlor-rained Captain Fastbuck.
Other winning jockeys during the meeting were Maija Vance aboard the Tom Dougall-trained Sun Will Shine, Tegan Harrison on John Dann's Idalia, Aidan Holt on Steven O'Dea's Ring Me Ruby and Tim Bell who rode Brave Palatinsk to victory for Gold Coast trainer Bryan Guy.
That win by Brave Palatinsk moved Guy to equal leader of the Ipswich trainers premiership ladder with Murwillumbah-based Matt Dunn, each on eight wins for the season to date.
Dunn won the premiership last year, becoming the first interstate trainer to win an Ipswich premiership, and Guy topped the ladder in the previous year.
The 2011 win by Guy was the first premiership win for him at Ipswich and it is shaping up this season as a battle between the pair for a second Ipswich premiership title for one or the other.
Brave Palatinsk is a great example of Guy's support for Ipswich Racing. Prior to Friday, the four-year-old gelding had started 13 times at Ipswich - more than half of his 22 career starts.
After collecting his second career win on Friday, Brave Palatinsk now has career stats of 23 starts for two wins, two seconds and seven thirds.
At Ipswich the gelding's stats are 14 starts for two wins, one second and four thirds and the lion's share of his career earnings of $27,900.
2013-14 draft timetable
RACING Queensland released last week a draft timetable for thoroughbred racing for the 2013-14 season.
The initial indications of this program for Ipswich are a retaining of the Ipswich Cup date in mid-June, the May Saturday race date and the majority of Friday meetings across the season.
The Labour Day holiday, which has been moved to October, has Ipswich racing on that day in the draft schedule as well as a Saturday in early January, 2014, a Sunday in mid-November and a combination of 10 mixed days of Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
These new dates replace a dozen Fridays across the season on the calendar which will be confirmed next month.