David Lems
David Lems Rob Williams

Turf club keeps delivering wave after wave of Cup Day fever

SEEING Mr XXXX "waving" in the wind at the Ipswich Cup could have been more symbolic than racegoers realised.

The giant mascot may have been saying goodbye to retiring clerk of the course Sharon Howes.

Mr XXXX could also have wishing Dodging Eddie's Ipswich owners well on making the Cup field.

Or was the distinctive infield moniker acknowledging another terrific Cup Day turnout?

Whatever the gesture in the strong breeze, it reflected the ongoing theme of Ipswich Cup Day. It's an atmosphere-charged, people friendly, emotional day not to be missed.

Dodging Eddie unfortunately failed to place in the Ipswich Cup, chasing from the back of the pack for most of the race. However, the gelding's eight Ipswich owners with St Edmund's links can be proud of their contribution.

Like another popular Ipswich figure Howes, the syndicate showed what makes Cup Day great.

Howes was smiling and waving to racegoers all day before her inevitable tears after entering the enclosure a final time.

Dodging Eddie's syndicate mates appreciated the home support and being part of the special day.

Ipswich retained its place as Queensland's leading social race day.

Ipswich Turf Club supremos Wayne Patch and Brett Kitching deserve praise, along with their hard-working staff.

Each year, they host a tremendous day, despite whatever hurdles are thrown at them.

Just a day before the cup, water was still laying in pools around many of the favourite locations.

But the show went on after some last-minute patch-up work, including filling boggy areas with woodchips.

The Ipswich Cup remains the envy of other race clubs for its ability to attract such a diverse range of racegoers - from those just turning 18 to regular visitors who have notched a cricket score of Cup Day appearances.

Wherever you looked at the Ipswich Turf Club, people were having fun, celebrating with their friends.

The racegoing audience boasted people from all walks of life.

On the racetrack, the Ipswich Cup produced a major surprise with Anagold ($40) upstaging the more fancied Voila Ici.

But that's the fun of the Cup. Daring to take on a favourite and being rewarded. Two trifectas paid over $4000 at Saturday's meeting.

After rain most of the week, the sun came out almost on queue.

Those winds helping Mr XXXX wave to racegoers helped dry out the facility.

As race caller Alan Thomas rightly reported on Racing Retro yesterday: "That's what they do at Ipswich. They have a good time.

"It never rains on Ipswich Cup Day."

Let's hope it stays that way.



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