Top class performers in Ipswich
APPRENTICE jockey Matt McGillivray continued his rise to prominence in Ipswich with a winning double at last Wednesday's Metropolitan race meeting.
McGillivray's wins were aboard Double Superlative for trainer Kelly Schweida and Tay Swift for Liam Birchley.
These wins gave McGillivray three for the season to be the highest placed apprentice on the Ipswich jockey's ladder.
It was a day of wins to high profile trainers and jockeys with almost a who's who of racing in Queensland visiting the winner's stalls during the day.
Apart from the wins for Schweida and Birchley, fellow Brisbane trainers tasted success. They included Tony Gollan with Miss Arabella ridden by Jim Byrne, Brian Smith with Duke of Christophe ridden by Larry Cassidy, and Robert Heathcote's Bimini Road ridden by Ronnie Stewart.
Top Sunshine Coast trainers chimed in for wins including John Zielke with The Pinkerton ridden by Luke Dittman and David Van Dyke's Gracida ridden by Jeff Lloyd.
The remaining winner on the day was a traveller from Casino in NSW as Passion to Win showed exactly that with Tegan Harrison riding for trainer Ian Savins.
On the trainer's front, Tony Gollan moved clear with four wins while John Zielke and Robert Heathcote moved to three season wins close on Gollan's heels.
Chasing a fourth consecutive Ipswich Trainer's title, Gollan has commenced his title defence in fine style.
Lloyd and Dittman joined Robbie Fradd on four season wins on the jockey's ladder although current champion Byrne moved threateningly behind them to three wins.
In all there were six Ipswich Cup or Ipswich Premiership winning jockeys or trainers in the winning list on the day. This did not include Queensland champion jockey Lloyd.
THE Racing Queensland Thoroughbred Awards night presenting industry achievers was held on Saturday night at Gambaro's restaurant in Brisbane.
The Ipswich infrastructure plan was given full support by Racing Queensland and others as chairman Steve Wilson, CEO Eliot Forbes, and MC David Fowler talked of the exciting changes ahead for the club facilities.
Ipswich Turf Club chairman Wayne Patch presented winners of various categories including Gold Coast's Dan Griffin as the Premier Provincial jockey and Toowoomba based Ben Currie as the Provincial trainer of the year.
Other major awards were won by Tony Gollan as the Premier Queensland Trainer and jockey Jeff Lloyd.
Queensland horse of the year was David Vandyke's Yankee Rose on the back of her Spring Champion Stakes win and third placing in the Cox Plate behind Winx and Hartnell.
After collecting the previous five horse of the year awards, Robert Heathcote's amazing sprinter Buffering was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame.
As I have made mention of many times, Buffering commenced his high profile career in Ipswich winning the rich two year old race on Labour Day back in 2010.
While on Labour Day, a driving force behind building such a successful day at Ipswich was CFMEU Mining and Energy General Secretary Andrew Vickers who celebrates his retirement on Friday at the Ipswich Turf Club on race day.
Group 1 racing
AFTER a week's break, the Spring Carnival of Group One Racing is back on Saturday with the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington and the George Main Stakes at Randwick to be decided.
The following weekend has the Golden Rose at Rosehill up for decision, on the same day as a major race meeting at Ipswich in the City of Ipswich Spring Cup.
Ipswich racing continues on Friday prior to the major Metropolitan Saturday meeting on September 23 and the Metropolitan Wednesday meeting on September 27, which is also the date of the ITC Annual General Meeting.