Racetrack was the place to be
WHEN Brett Kitching looked out yesterday morning and saw what a bright sunny day it was, he smiled with happy anticipation.
After he got to the racetrack at Bundamba, the Ipswich Turf Club general manager's best expectations for Labour Day were fulfilled.
Families smiled in the warm sun, cars filled the parking spaces and free entertainment beckoned to brighten people's day off from work.
Everywhere you looked, it seemed, people were having fun - away from the serious business of trying to back a winner that is.
"It's the best day we've had for Labour Day," Mr Kitching said halfway through the day.
"We haven't finished counting but it will end up close to 4000.
"The car park out the front filled up early on and people had to go over to Bunnings or to the pool.
"Everyone's a winner - the union movement who supports it and puts it on gets national and even international recognition; the families have a great, free day out; and the turf club wins because it's the best crowd outside the Ipswich Cup.
"There are more people here than at many of the meetings during the Winter Carnival."
On Cup Day the grass that slopes down to the track is standing room only but yesterday there was plenty of room for picnickers.
On the track, however, there was drama in the feature event, the $150,000 CFMEU Mining and Energy Plate run over 1100m.
After a close finish, the rider of second placegetter Discreet protested against Regular, claiming interference.
But stewards dismissed the protest, to the delight of Regular's owners who went home with $96,000 prizemoney.