Last laugh for Ipswich Cup's 'nit wit' as 20,000 celebrate
WITH more than 20,000 people sharing 150,000 drinks among them, only two people had a run in with police at the Ipswich Cup on Saturday.
Organisers were bracing themselves for what they anticipated would be a 20,000-strong crowd and they weren't far off with the final gate tally coming in at 20, 074.
Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said arrests on Ipswich Cup day had been declining over the past decade, and there had been only two arrests at each event in the last two years.
He said the day was equally pleasing on the track. "The racing was just superb, the track just raced brilliantly," he said.
"One jockey said it was the best track he's raced on in southeast Queensland in the past few months."
Mr Kitching said the club had come a long way since 2007, when the cup was made an 18+ event, and interstate media labelled him 'the Ipswich nit-wit'.
"We showed them," he said. "Right across the industry we were severely bagged for banning future generations. We did everything we possibly could to prevent under-age drinking and have a good event as possible.
"We're the only venue in Queensland to be allowed glass and full strength drinks at major events under liquor licencing laws and that will continue as long as we follow the rules.
"We are fair dinkum about doing what we have to do to make sure we run a good event."
He said the Pig Pen was a particular feature of the day, and many punters "didn't want to leave" after the last race.
Mr Kitching said plans were already in place for next year's event, with demolition for $13m upgrades to start in August and expected to finish in May.