The tradition continues with Ipswich Cup action
IT'S the Ipswich Turf Club's turn to shine in the Queensland Racing Winter Carnival with the running of the famous Ipswich Cup meeting.
There have been various forms of Ipswich Cups conducted at the original Ipswich racetrack at the Grange back in 1850, prior to the move to the current site of Bundamba in the 1890s.
The current Ipswich Cup has been contested in the same form since 1935, although the format of the day has changed dramatically over that time.
The Ipswich Cup is much more than a race day now with various other forms of entertainment and enticements to attend the meeting, although the quality of the racing is just about as high as it has ever been in the many years of racing in Ipswich.
Recent winners of the Ipswich Cup in New Zealanders Sphenophyta and Sculptor, the dual winner Our Lukas, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bianca, and the quality Victorian gallopers Gold in Dubai and Shenzhou Steeds have all been proven as Group class gallopers.
The listed Eyeliner Stakes and Gai Waterhouse fillies and mares races add further to the high quality of racing on the day.
The ITC has been fielding calls from all over Australia from patrons coming to the Ipswich Cup meeting.
The Sky Racing TV panel on Sunday morning were all eagerly looking forward to what they were excitedly claiming as a highlight of Australia's racing calendar.
The nominations received for Cup Day were at a record number of 220. These included a trio from Kiwi trainer John Wheeler along with other New Zealanders and the Peter Moody-trained French horse Voila Ici, who was brought to Australia last spring aiming at winning the Melbourne Cup.
There is even a runner in Classics who is owned by the Sheik of Dubai.
Add the interstate nominations and patron interest and all roads will be leading to Ipswich on Saturday - not only from around Australia, but from around the world.
Top jockeys in form
AT the Ipswich meeting last Friday there were a number of winning rides by high profile jockeys.
It started in the first race when current season premiership leader Michael Cahill rode his 25th winner for the season on Sir Cavallaro for Beaudesert trainer Ben Ahrens.
Tim Bell continued his late season surge riding his 20th winner aboard the Kelly Schweida trained Four Jays in the second race.
This win came straight after an exhibition gallop of the Schweida trained pair of Agitate and Cape Kidnappers - both of whom have been nominated for Ipswich Cup Day.
Larry Cassidy had a winning double for the day aboard Green Cashmere and in the last race aboard Believe in Heart.
Jim Byrne also collected his 18th winner for the season aboard Platinum Lion to give him some hope of adding another Ipswich Premiership to his impressive tally.
ON Stradbroke Handicap Day last Saturday, the three Group 1 wins all went to interstate horses to continue the drought of Queensland Group 1 winners during the carnival.
The Tattersalls Tiara in a fortnight remains as the last chance to win a Group 1 race in the Queensland Racing Winter Carnival for 2013.
Former Ipswich winner Buffering led until late on in the Stradbroke Handicap before a dream rails run for Adelaide based Linton sent the biggest Queensland racing prize south.
The Queensland Derby was won by the star three-year-old of the carnival Sydney galloper Hawkspur who is trained by Chris Waller.
The other Group 1 winner on Saturday was the Gai Waterhouse trained Romantic Touch in the J.J. Atkins for two-year-olds.
The carnival moves to Ipswich this week before Tattersalls in the following week and then to the Sunshine Coast for the Caloundra Cup.