Race on for track funding
AS forecast last week in this column, weather conditions in the lead up threatened to wash out the Ipswich meeting on Thursday.
That was exactly what happened.
The Ipswich racetrack suffers from poor drainage these days after works of three years ago, which removed the top layer of cushioning and draining material.
That work was performed by Racing Queensland to remove undulations in the track. That project was successful in removing the original problem. However a new problem of a severe lack of drainage arrived.
There was previously relatively poor drainage at Ipswich due to the natural heavy subsurface however the works of three years ago exacerbated this issue whilst creating a fast hard racing surface in dry times.
While there were only three millimetres of rain overnight Wednesday and on Thursday morning, more than two inches (in the old scale) of rain fell during the couple of days leading up to the meet. This resulted in Thursday's races being cancelled.
Remarkably, this was the first lost meeting at Ipswich for almost two years resulting from a combination of effective track management practices and decent weather conditions around race meetings.
The issues with the track are well known by Racing Queensland and that body is currently considering possible alternatives from an infrastructure point of view.
It is widely known that Ipswich is the only thoroughbred track in Queensland to miss out on infrastructure funding in the past quarter century.
However despite that being the case, there is great hope that Ipswich will be included in the upcoming round of funding as previously advised by the Government and the Racing Queensland control body.
THE heroics of female equines in the Autumn carnival continued on Saturday with females winning all three Group 1 races including high class race mare Jameka who took out the $1.5M BMW on another heavy Sydney track.
As amazing galloper Winx continues to take all before her in heading for her Grand Final in the $4M QE2 Stakes at Randwick on April 8, Jameka collected her third Group 1 scalp by a wide margin of almost seven lengths.
After a torrid run in the Australian Cup when caught late by Humidor, Jameka made the most of the favourable barrier two to easily defeat that same horse into second place on Saturday. The BMW added to Jameka's victories in the VRC Oaks in 2015 and the Caulfield Cup last year.
Other Group 1 winners over the weekend were Montoya's Secret, in the Vinery Stud Stakes for three-year-old fillies, and the mare Silent Sedition giving rider Katelyn Mallyon her first Group 1 success in the William Reid at Moonee Valley. Silent Sedition joined Sheidel as maiden group one winning mares across the Melbourne Autumn carnival which came to an end on Friday night.
In the Vinery, the Regan Bayliss-ridden Harlow Gold finished third. It remains in the top four of betting for her main target the Group 1 Australian Oaks on April 8.
There has been no racing at Ipswich since March 10 due to the washout and a week off. The next programmed meeting is on Friday. There are only three race meetings programmed for April due to the Easter slot this year. The meetings are Friday,April 7, and Wednesdays April 19 and 26.