TRYING TIME: Vanessa Hercules works out how to allocate stalls for the unprecedented number of horses coming to Ipswich racetrack to race on Ipswich Cup Day.
TRYING TIME: Vanessa Hercules works out how to allocate stalls for the unprecedented number of horses coming to Ipswich racetrack to race on Ipswich Cup Day. Rob Williams

Ipswich's Cup runneth over

IT'S AN enviable problem but finding stalls for all the horses racing on Cup Day has proven to be a conundrum for Ipswich Turf Club.

General manager Brett Kitching said the job was given to administration assistant Vanessa Hercules, who performed "a Herculean task".

"We had 225 nominations and from that there were 161 acceptances, including emergencies, and we only have 134 stalls available to fit them in. So we had to find a way to fit 161 horses into 134 stalls," Kitching said.

"In addition there is the issue of trainers wanting to be in certain places.

"So we had to find a way to put horses into those stalls over this side and at the same time fit 161 horses into 134 boxes."

Here's how they did it:

"There are 19 trainers with only one horse racing on the day that are in races two to five, which is the older horses that should be a bit calmer so we put them out the front," Kitching said.

"So we put the rest of the horses around and there were 27 left over and that's the number of emergencies so there will be 27 scratchings at least by Saturday.

"So the interstate visiting/interstate trainers we put them as 'to be allocated' so once we find who the 27 scratchings are we'll be able to put the visiting/interstate trainers' horses in there.

"So Vanessa's Herculean task isn't finished yet. On Saturday morning she has to have a look at the scratchings when they come through at 7.30am, work out which boxes the scratched horses came from, then allocate the 27 from interstate and overseas, if none of them have been scratched, to the boxes."

CUP DAY WEATHER

Ipswich Cup punters can expect a chilly day at the races tomorrow but the rain that has dampened the region should have cleared by the weekend.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lauren Murphy said Ipswich would wake to single digit temperatures on Cup Day morning.

She predicted a minimum of six degrees, reaching a top of 20C.

"There will be a nip in the air," she said.

Ms Murphy said the last of the week's showers came though yesterday and racegoers could expect sunshine throughout race day.



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