Cup win a first for Danchai on Australian soil
AN IPSWICH boy made good, a less than attractive Brit, a pampered pet rescued from retirement, some Melbourne weather and a crowd that loved them all and more were the stars of Ipswich Cup day.
In front of a crowd of more than 20,000, apprentice jockey Luke Tarrant, who grew up in Ipswich, rode English-bred gelding Danchai to victory in the $175,000 Channel Seven Ipswich Cup.
It was Danchai's first Australian win after doing his early racing in Europe. The gelding's last win was at York in England two years ago.
Danchai wouldn't win any awards for his looks, but that counted for nothing as he showed his class, holding out gallant topweight Banca Mo by a head in a tight finish.
Similarly, Smokin' Joey, who was about to be retired three years ago before trainer Wez Hunter took him on, got up in the last stride to win the $175,000 City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m).
The Ipswich Turf Club was lucky that yesterday dawned fine and sunny because the crowd was already at the track when rain started just before race four.
It stopped as the horses were parading before the Queensland Times Winter Provincial Stayer Series Final (2150m) won in sensational style by Pop 'n' Scotch.
Following the Melbourne weather pattern, the sun even reappeared before the Eye Liner was run.
The day was set to the thumping bass beat from DJ Havana Brown in the infeld with the party mood extending well into the evening.
Cup day was topped off with the crowd being part of a world record for the most number of people wearing sunglasses at night.
The band Extreme Eighties played the Corey Hart classic I Wear My Sunglasses at Night while thousands of happy people donned souvenir sunglasses handed out by turf club staff.