OPINION: Small fields for final race meeting
LAST Friday the final Ipswich race meeting for 2016 took place with one of the lowest number of runners in recent memory.
With less than 50 acceptors and only six races, the meeting proceeded in warm conditions without any major issue.
This smaller race card was another example of the effect of multiple racing meetings being undertaken around South East Queensland.
As well as major meetings on multiple public holidays for the festive period, the normal weekend clubs continue with full race cards. This level of racing places strain on the number of available gallopers for so many meetings during that period.
This issue was also evident around Melbourne Cup week and in the periods around the new Racing Queensland initiative of large day and night race meetings at the Sunshine Coast.
These Sunshine Coast meetings conducted up to 13 races at a single meeting, consequently placing significant strain on the number of available gallopers on the days around such race cards. The overall results of the this newly introduced extended Sunshine Coast cards will be reviewed by Racing Queensland in determining the position on such meetings going forward.
BIG name jockeys were in the winner's stalls at Ipswich last week taking advantage of the small fields.
Winning jockeys included Glen Colless on Honour'n'strength, Larry Cassidy on Subsolar, Jim Byrne on Lyra and Robbie Fradd aboard Sentimental Prince. The latter of these gallopers is trained by Premiership Leader Tony Gollan who collected his fourteenth win for the current season.
Ready for magic
THE Ipswich Turf Club conducts a meeting on Saturday, January 14 as the Queensland support slot for the $10M Magic Millions Race day at the Gold Coast.
Incredibly, this race day at the Gold Coast offers the largest prizemoney of any race meeting across Australia for the year - even in excess of Melbourne Cup Day.
Magic Millions Day attracts nationwide attention both from the punting public and the big stables across the country due to the big money on offer.
The Snowden, O'Shea, Waterhouse, Cummings and Hayes stables have long been strong supporters of Magic Millions Day. There was even an overflow last year to Ipswich as Gai Waterhouse sent galloper Sweet Redemption to Ipswich for an easy win rather than chasing a tougher target at the Gold Coast.
Sweet Redemption has gone on since that to win three more races in Sydney, as well as placing across the country at Launceston, Brisbane, Sydney, Goulburn, and Melbourne.
The four-year-old mare has won at Group 3 level in the recent Festival Stakes as well as placing twice in Melbourne in Group 3 races, the Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Summoned at Sandown.
At Ipswich on January 14 there is an Ipswich Rugby League Day following on from successes over the past couple of years.
AFTER the next Ipswich meeting this Friday, the January 14 Magic Millions support Saturday meeting is next in store. There is only one further Ipswich meeting on Friday, January 20.