Kimberly Reynolds of Fernvale places a bet with tote operator Mary Davies at Ipswich racetrack.
Kimberly Reynolds of Fernvale places a bet with tote operator Mary Davies at Ipswich racetrack. David Nielsen

Crew to fly in for Cup Day rush

YOU'VE heard about fly in, fly out miners but have you ever heard of fly in, fly out tote operators?

Ipswich Turf Club is flying in a crew of specialist tote operators for Ipswich Cup Day on June 16 to cater for the massive influx of punters.

It is all part of the major operation needed to give the biggest social race day in Queensland appropriate levels of security, food, beverages and entertainment - while not forgetting about the punters.

The tote crew will arrive from Adelaide the day before, stay overnight in Ipswich, work on Cup Day then fly home on the Sunday.

ITC general manager Brett Kitching said it seemed an elaborate scheme but it was the best solution to a problem that surfaced last year.

On regular race days, the club has 11 Galaxy tote machines so people can place a bet the way they do in pubs and clubs.

Cup Day calls for many more but Tattsbet can only provide machines mainly used in Northern Territory and South Australia.

"The Sunshine and Gold coasts and Ipswich greyhounds have them so we get some from there but for Ipswich Cup Day we need about 80 places to have a bet so they scour the country for these Key Bet terminals," Mr Kitching said. "We truck them down from the Northern Territory but there isn't a large number of operators who know how to use them.

"Last year we had a nightmare trying to find enough operators; we got to a couple of weeks before Cup Day and we just couldn't find enough operators."

He contacted a tote operations manager in South Australia last October about bringing experienced operators up from Adelaide to fill the slots.

"We're flying them in on Friday night, putting them up in the Metro International Hotel then bussing them to the track on Saturday morning to take up their stations," he said. "On the Sunday morning they're hopefully going for a short tour then to the turf club for the lunch we always have on the day after Cup Day before going to the airport to fly back to Adelaide late Sunday afternoon."



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