Gritty hoop battles on after scare in Ipswich
FORMER South African jockey Robbie Fradd showed last Wednesday at Ipswich that despite his veteran status, he is still able to overcome adversity and ride a winner.
His two early rides on Wednesday resulted in a third placing aboard All That Is in the first race and an unplaced ride on Rocky Expectations in the third race of the day.
Fradd's next ride however was an unwelcome result as he was dislodged from his mount Slalom after the start of the fifth race of the day.
This did not deter the gritty hoop as he was back into it in the next race despite missing a place aboard Laugh a Little.
It was the seventh race of the day that Fradd showed what he was made of as he partnered the Bradley Smith trained Sharpe Hussler to give Fradd his 11th season win at Ipswich.
This was followed by another unplaced ride aboard Justthewayyouare in the last race of the day to cap off an eventful day for the affable rider.
Harrison extends lead
DESPITE last season's leading jockey Jim Byrne having five Ipswich rides last Wednesday in the middle of a purple patch of form, Tegan Harrison extended her lead at the head of the Ipswich jockey's premiership.
Harrison secured her 20th win of the season aboard Tony Gollan's Extrasay.
Byrne had ridden nine winners over the previous three weeks at Ipswich. However he had to be content with four placings as Harrison took her lead to a margin of six.
Only two senior riders won a race last Wednesday in Fradd and Harrison as the overall honours went to apprentices.
Matt McGillivray became the leading apprentice and levelled up with Byrne on the ladder after collecting a winning double aboard Confronting for Barry Baldwin and Giuliani for Tony Gollan, who made it a training double of wins for the day.
Other apprentices to win were Bridget Grylls aboard Tumbler for Barry Lockwood, Beau Appo aboard Collateral for Darlene Durea, Brook Stower on Alpen Rose for Robert Heathcote, and Jim Orman aboard Silento to give Heathcote a winning double as well.
Sunday racing ahead
THERE is an unusual Sunday meeting at Ipswich this week, which is the first since 2007.
Next week's meeting is a Thursday date.
Racing Queensland programmers could find no other option for the Sunday date so allocated it to Ipswich to highlight the job that the Ipswich Turf Club has done for Racing Queensland over the time that Eagle Farm has been closed.
This Sunday meeting means that in the first half of calendar 2016, Ipswich will race on every day of the week at some stage apart from Tuesday.
As has often been said by Racing Queensland programmers, the industry does not know how it would have got through the two years of Eagle Farm outage without Ipswich.
Group 1 battles
GROUP 1 racing for 2016 kicked off on Saturday as the CF Orr Stakes was contested in Melbourne and many Group 1 stars resumed in Sydney.
The Orr was packed with 13 former Group 1 winners with the victor coming from this band in high quality mare Suavito, who was returning from injury.
Lucky Hussler, who recently won at the Gold Coast on Magic Millions Day, ran an unlucky second.
Another Gold Coast winner Mahuta ran them off their legs in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes.
The highlight of Sydney racing was the effortless win by Winx in the Apollo Stakes as this immensely talented mare continues her run towards the rich Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 9 in the Championships.
This weekend, the Group 1 racing is at Flemington for the Lightning Stakes, which should include budding superstar three-year-old Exosphere and proven Group 1 winner Chautauqua.
Both will be out to prove that the track bias during the Flemington Carnival caused their Group 1 defeats in November.