Terrific recovery at ITC track
THE final Ipswich meeting prior to Christmas went off without a hitch after a damaging storm five days prior to the race meeting on Friday, and further follow up storm activity during the leadup.
On a soft five track, the large seven race card was watched by a decent attendance including 250 pre-Christmas revellers.
The visit by Santa was well received. As is tradition at the Ipswich Turf Club, the man in the red suit was the starter for the last race of the day.
There was a winning jockey in the second race who rarely ventures to Ipswich in Bradley Appo.
The Appo name has been showing up in the riding ranks for decades as Brad's brother Lyle and his son Beau continue to ride with success.
Appo's winner was Stride of Pride for trainer Garry Schwenke.
THE year 2016 was the 150th anniversary of the oldest known Ipswich Cup and there were a number of reasons to ensure this year will be remembered for years to come.
Throughout the year events held in relation to the Ipswich Cup 150 Anniversary included the Civic Reception hosted by Mayor Paul Pisasale and Chairman Wayne Patch, a memorable steam train ride and Victorian era-themed Calcutta Dinner, and of course the time-honoured Ipswich Cup meeting.
Additionally, the 10th Labour Day races meeting was held back in the May timeslot. This day attracted the largest attendance to such a day over the past decade.
The Melbourne Cup Day luncheon at the Ipswich Turf Club attracted the largest attendance for this day than any other over the past six years whilst there has been a betting meeting format at the ITC without live racing.
In the first half of the year. the ITC completed the role of covering for the outage of Eagle Farm which returned to racing in June.
During the financial year ended June 30, the ITC raced 50 times. which is the highest ever for the historic club.
This was quite a remarkable feat given the ongoing difficulties with the track in relation to poor drainage as a result of the works of three years ago.
The year finished on a high note with popular Friday race meetings prior to Christmas including a whopping party of Swich On revellers numbering more than three hundred - more than 20% higher than any function in the history of that organisation and raising thousands of dollars for charity as well.
Happy new year
THE major new year wish for the Ipswich Turf Club is to be granted the infrastructure project. which has been widely discussed and on the drawing board for many years.
This funding approval appears to be very close. It would allow a revamp and upgrade of the racecourse and facilities, along with an opportunity to capitalise on potential commercial opportunities with an aim of financial self-sufficiency into the future.
The ITC will continue working closely with Racing Queensland to bring this project to fruition in 2017.
Ipswich racing continues the next two Fridays (December 30 and January 6) prior to a Satur- day meeting on January 14.
Everyone at the Ipswich Turf Club wish patrons, members and racing followers a peaceful festive season and a prosperous and happy year in 2017.