Early Ipswich race start to beat heat
THE keenly awaited ITC Member's Day has been transferred to Friday after the entire race meeting was moved due to the extreme heat forecast for tomorrow.
A strong card was set down for tomorrow at Ipswich. However forecast temperatures in excess of 40 degrees has resulted in Racing Queensland invoking the heat policy thereby transferring the meeting to Friday.
Additionally, the timing of the races has been brought forward to avoid clashes with the Sunshine Coast meeting as well as to avoid further potential weather complications as the heat wave conditions continue through the week with forecasts of regular late afternoon storms.
The timing of the races is 10am until 2.12pm. The Member's Day function will now run from 10am until 4pm.
The meeting will retain Metropolitan status along with the higher prizemoney and will create an unusual situation of three meetings on the day in Queensland.
Already set down for Friday were the evening meeting at the Sunshine Coast and an afternoon meeting at Rockhampton.
Despite the unavoidable late change and notice for the day, the chairman and committee of the club welcome members to come along and make the most of Friday's race meeting and function.
Robbie's timely treble
AFTER missing a number of Ipswich meetings late last year to relinguish his early season Premiership lead, Robbie Fradd made a statement at Ipswich with a winning treble.
Fradd's wins last Wednesday were aboard Monaco Snob for Robert Heathcote, and the Chris Waller trained pair Tivoli Street and Torgersen.
He moved to 18 wins at the halfway mark of the season, two behind fellow former South African Jeff Lloyd who collected his 20th season win aboard Pieridae, for Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie.
Monaco Snob was Fradd's first winner for the day. It also gave trainer Robert Heathcote an early winning double.
This winning double moved Heathcote to 14 season wins, only one behind leader Tony Gollan who is chasing his fourth consecutive Ipswich Premiership win.
Heathcote's other winner was Captain California, ridden by Ronnie Stewart, who also claimed a winning treble later in the day.
Stewart moved equal third with Jim Byrne on 14 season wins after other wins on Savwell for David Vandyke, and Arazona for Liam Birchley.
The nine race card at Ipswich last week was the highest midweek turnover day this season.
The signs for a big day were strong early last Wednesday as the first race of the day resulted in a margin of a couple of inches separating the first four across the line.
Wagering turnover on this race was more than double that of a normal first race at Ipswich.
GRAND galloper Hartnell was the first Group 1 winner of the 2018 year after his courageous victory in the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
The eight-year-old's career earnings have moved to within reach of $5m despite playing second fiddle to the great mare Winx over the past couple of seasons.
The Lightning Stakes is the Group 1 race this weekend. That is followed by Australian top level racing each week through until late April.
The Members Day is this Friday at the earlier start time of 10am. It is followed by remaining February meetings on Friday 23rd and Wednesday 28th.