Turf Chat with QT horse racing columnist Brett Kitching
Turf Chat with QT horse racing columnist Brett Kitching

Faster track to Ipswich glory

THE Ipswich racetrack has produced some quick times in recent weeks and last Wednesday was no exception.

Throughout the seven race program there were four class records and a new track record.

Class records were run by Sport of Kings for trainer Tony Sears and jockey Tim Bell, Whiskey Allround (for Tony Gollan and Tegan Harrison), Watling (for Robert Heathcote and Bridget Grylls), Sister Emma (for Matthew Dunn and Travis Wolfgram).

Sister Emma also ran a track record time in the final event over the 1350 metres course.

Sister Emma made it a double for trainer Matt Dunn as she impressively collected her third consecutive race win.

It was a fine performance by the five-year-old mare although many were asking how a Class 3 galloper could break the track record which was previously held by former smart galloper Adnocon. That was when he collected the first of two Eyeliner Stakes wins in 2010.

The judges triple checked the timing of the race before confirming the new mark.

The reasons for the track giving such quick times were three-fold.

Firstly, since the refurbishment in autumn, the track has not recovered to the level of thatch and undergrowth cushion that was in place for many years prior to the track works.

Secondly, the dry, windy, and hot conditions of the past month, has resulted in fast tracks all around South East Queensland.

The third reason is the southerly wind which kicked up later in the day on Wednesday giving some wind assistance for the final 800 metres of the race.

Whichever is the major contributor to the faster times currently being run at Ipswich, there is no question that the track is currently racing as fast as it has for many years.

With the large amount of racing going on around South East Queensland over the time of the Flemington carnival, the spreading of gallopers among those meetings has resulted in only six races at Ipswich tomorrow.

There are two more Wednesdays in the current sequence after tomorrow's meeting before the next Ipswich Friday meeting on November 21.


Cox Plate ambush

THE Group 1 Cox Plate was on Saturday won by Irish visitor Adelaide.

In doing so, he made sure that at least one version of each of the three big Spring races in Melbourne have now been won by a Northern Hemisphere raider.

The question is whether another visiting galloper can take the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday creating another first of all three big Spring races going overseas in the same year.

Japanese galloper Admire Rakti started the ball rolling when he won the Caulfield Cup last Saturday. However this was not the first time an international galloper has won the Caulfield Cup after previous wins included Tawfan's Melody (1998), Tawqeet (2006), All the Good (2008), and Dunaden (2012).

The Melbourne Cup has also been won by Northern Hemisphere visitors including Irish duo Vintage Crop in 1993 and Media Puzzle (2002), Japanese star Delta Blues (2006), and French duo Americain in 2010 and Dunaden in 2011.

There has also been a number of Melbourne Cup winning Northern Hemisphere trained gallopers who transferred to, and raced in Australia during the previous season. Such winners include At Talaq (1986), Jeune (1994), and the past two winners Green Moon and Fiorente.


Flemington focus

GET set for the world renowned Flemington Carnival over the next week as up to 400,000 people attend the four meetings of the carnival.

Group 1 races are in abundance starting with four on Saturday in the VRC Derby, Coolmore Stud Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes, and the Myer Classic.

The Melbourne Cup is on Tuesday, followed by the VRC Oaks on Thursday before the carnival finishes on Saturday, November 8. This features the final Group 1 races of the year in Melbourne - the Emirates Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic.

Look out for a comprehensive Melbourne Cup preview in Monday's QT.

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