Focus on young jockeys
FRIDAY'S race meeting at Ipswich provided a number of opportunities for apprentice jockeys.
Junior riders collected five of the eight race wins on offer.
Two kilogram claiming apprentice Matthew McGuren scored a double of wins and in doing so helped Bruce Hill to a winning training double.
McGuren had three rides for the day and all were on Bruce Hill-trained runners. The first of these rides was aboard top weight Fun in the third race.
Fun was a hot favourite at $1.50 and accordingly saluted for the first leg of a winning double.
After the second of the Hill/McGuren runners in Media Maid was beaten into second place by longshot Tongue of Fire, McGuren's final ride and Hill's final runner was another odds-on top weight in Isla Poppy in the seventh race.
Isla Poppy beat Rage Within by a neck to give the McGuren and Hill combination a great return of two wins and a second from three runners at Ipswich.
Other apprentices to win were Brooke Stower aboard Storm Crazy for Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears, and Cassandra Schmidt with a winning double.
Schmidt family triumph
APPRENTICE jockey Cassandra Schmidt was presented with her trophy for winning the Ipswich Apprentices Premiership at last Friday's meeting.
Cassie did not have a ride the previous week on the first day of the new season. She was at Ipswich on Friday for two rides for her father's stable, giving the opportunity to present her trophy for the season just finished.
Cassie was pleased to receive the trophy, noting how impressive it was, and how it rivalled her recently received NSW Country Apprentices Premiership award.
There was no time, however, to rest on her laurels as Cassie had two rides for her father Dwayne Schmidt.
To make it a real family affair, sister Priscilla Schmidt strapped both runners which were the stable's only runners as well as the jockey's only two rides for the day.
The odds of the two Schmidt runners winning were around 60-1 all up but these odds did not faze the jockey.
The first runner was Val's Boy who won the 800 metre scamper after just getting the better of the promising Geoff Livermore-trained Semi Blue. Livermore noted after the race that it was no disgrace being beaten by a full brother to retired local star galloper of the past decade - Daunting Lad.
The second runner from the Schmidt stable was Istana Star in the sixth race of the day.
Despite being third favourite, Cassandra was able to guide Istana Star home first to top off a memorable day for the Brisbane-based Schmidt family at Ipswich.
THIS week is the last Friday meeting at Ipswich for about nine months as Ipswich moves to cover the majority of Wednesday metropolitan meetings while Eagle Farm is being developed.
Unusually, next week is a Tuesday meeting, followed by a Wednesday program on August 26.
There are still one or two Friday meetings per month along with the Wednesdays through until May 2015 at which time the Ipswich Turf Club reverts to predominantly Friday meetings.
A couple of weekend race meetings are scheduled over the next six months as well in the Labour Day (Monday) meeting on October 6, and the Saturday meeting on January 10 as the first ITC meeting of 2015.
The Labour Day meeting will again feature the running of the CFMEU Labour Day Cup.
This year, it will also feature a Handmade Expo Market and live easy listening band in conjunction with the free race day.
There will also be features of recent years, including free children's fairground, free fairy floss and face painting and baby animal farm.