Ipswich's premier performers
IPSWICH'S Premiership winners for the 2016/17 season were awarded by Ipswich Turf Club committeemen at Bundamba on Friday.
For the third consecutive season, jockey Jim Byrne and trainer Tony Gollan collected the major prizes of premier jockey and premier trainer for the season ended July 31.
Tiffani Brooker received the Premier Apprentice Jockey award, becoming the third female to receive it following Mandy Radecker and Tegan Harrison.
It was Byrne's 11th premiership win at Ipswich including three apprentice's awards earlier in his career.
In collecting eight Ipswich senior premierships, Byrne has built on a record that will be hard to beat in future.
Byrne still has many years of riding left in him judging by his recent form.
Gollan collected his third consecutive Ipswich Trainer's Award and pledged to continue supporting Ipswich Racing, especially while the higher prize money is there as Ipswich covers for Eagle Farm outages.
Byrne and Gollan both collected wins at the first meeting for the new season on Friday to hit the ground running for the new season.
Byrne made a statement by collecting his win in the first race of the new season aboard Bungaree Boy in the 800 metres maiden.
Bungaree Boy was favoured in the betting after a close second at his most recent start at Ipswich a fortnight ago. This three-year-old is trained by Marcus Wilson, who finished second to Gollan in the premiership season just completed, continuing his good recent form into the new season.
However, Gollan hit back later in the day to claim his first season winner with What's That which was ridden by former South African Robbie Fradd.
Fradd was close up in the latest season, pushing Byrne with some good form late on.
A winner in the first meeting of the new season will give him further confidence to continuing riding well at what he describes as his favourite track.
Eagle Farm impact
THE report on the state of the Eagle Farm track was finally released late last week after nearly two months of analysis.
As was expected by many, the Eagle Farm track will not race until Autumn next year, and then sparingly for a period of time. This will mean a continuation of Ipswich Turf Club covering for midweek Metropolitan meetings.
Already Ipswich has received a number of additional and replacement dates up until end November. These additional dates include several Metropolitan Wednesdays and a major Metropolitan Saturday on September 23.
While Racing Queensland will review the programs for the period of time up until early 2018, the Ipswich Turf Club could probably expect to receive a number of additional Wednesday dates replacing Thursday and Friday dates through until that time.
Ipswich racing continues for three consecutive Fridays commencing this week prior to another Wednesday date on August 30.
In September, there are two Wednesday meetings (6th and 27th), a Friday (15th) and the major Metropolitan Saturday meeting on the 23rd.