David Nielsen

Big gap to make up in premiership race for top Qld jockey

LEADING Queensland jockey Michael Cahill won aboard the Kelso Wood-trained Gotyacovered at Ipswich to start a belated push for another premiership title.

It was just the second win at Ipswich in the current season for Cahill as he tries hard to get back to his form of 2012-13.

In that season, Cahill rode as many winners as any other jockey across Australia.

He claimed the Ipswich premiership as well as the Brisbane title.

Last season, Cahill had a huge lead throughout the season but was overrun late for the Brisbane premiership by Tim Bell.

In a three-way tussle, he was beaten by Jim Byrne for the Ipswich title in the last race of the season in late July.

Earlier on in the current season, Cahill took a family holiday in Thailand to refresh.

During that time, fellow jockeys have stolen a march.

Byrne is on nine wins at Ipswich, Chris Munce on eight and Tegan Harrison moved to seven wins aboard Tony Gollan's Ten Speed in the first last Wednesday.

Cahill has a long way to make up the gap but has more than nine months to do it.

Gotyacovered was having his first race start when giving Cahill just his second win for the current season.


Liam's last-gasp lead

TRAINER Liam Birchley regained an outright lead in the trainers premiership at Ipswich last Wednesday as Jack's Jet claimed the last race of the day.

It was Birchley's only runner for the day and was also the only ride for Gold Coast-ased jockey Chris Whitely.

Whitely rides sparingly at Ipswich but seems to have a knack of picking winning rides.

He has a high win rate of 16% overall and that rate at Ipswich would be much higher.

Jack's Jet gave Liam Birchley his sixth win for the season at Ipswich, allowing him to regain a clear lead.

Earlier in the day, Tony Gollan trained his fifth winner with Ten Speed as did Les Kelly with Eye Winsome which was ridden by Larry Cassidy.


Japan's glory

AFTER Japanese stayer Admire Rakti won the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, all eyes will turn to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley this weekend.

That is prior to the Melbourne Cup on November 4.

In a sensational lead-up to the Caulfield Cup, there were four scratchings, including the heavily-backed Japanese galloper Bande, due to lameness.

The Offer, who was a long-time favourite for the cups, was also almost scratched due to signs of lameness. However, he recovered in time and was passed fit to run.

Admire Rakti firmed to favourite for the Melbourne Cup.

New Zealand mares filled the places in Rising Romance and Lucia Valentina.

Ipswich-raised apprentice jockey Regan Bayliss had quite an experience.

Despite finishing well back, he became one of few teenagers to ride in the Caulfield Cup aboard long shot Renew who gained a start after the scratchings.

The in-form Fawkner is favourite for the Cox Plate this weekend.

On Friday night, Buffering gets the chance to add to his Group 1 tally in the Manikato Stakes - the race that started his Group 1 winning streak last year.

There is some strong competition however as rising stars Terravista and Chautauqua, along with the world's best sprinter Lankan Rupee, compete in the same race.


Testing Ipswich schedule

WHILE some South East Queensland tracks are suffering from a hectic schedule now that Eagle Farm has closed, the Ipswich track is holding up well.

This is despite a dry spell which has resulted in quite firm surfaces in recent weeks.

The Ipswich track staff are pulling out all stops to keep the surface in top condition with a hectic schedule ahead.

Four more consecutive Wednesday meetings are scheduled at Ipswich, starting tomorrow, prior to the next Friday meeting on November 21.

In the Ipswich schedule, there is racing every week up to Christmas eve. This includes two weeks with meetings on both Wednesday and Friday - in the last week of November and middle week of December.

Thankfully there is a rest for the track from December 24 to January 10 when the turf will be growing strongly.

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