Young hoop flies to track
A SPECTACULAR race on Friday at the Ipswich racetrack was a little different to normal - it was between jockeys, not horses.
The July 31 program was the final meeting of the season which runs from the date of the horses birthday - August 1. The battle was between Shane Scriven and apprentice Brent Evans.
Surprisingly, the duel was still on after Scriven had taken a slender lead in the previous week with his last race dead heat second placing pushing him ahead of Evan in the race on a countback.
As Evans had moved to Melbourne in July for an attractive riding contract, it was accepted that Scriven would win the premiership with the slender lead that he had.
However, Evans gave the importance of Ipswich Racing a big tick with his decision to fly up on Thursday in an attempt to win the Ipswich Senior Premiership, knowing that the Apprentice's Premiership was firmly in his grasp.
When Scriven won the second race at his first ride for the day on Gigandra, he was ahead on a second placing countback and one win clear of Evans.
Evans replied at his first ride for the day in the fourth race on In a Bind. A well-timed run gave him a win to go back level with Scriven on wins but a half second behind still.
In the sixth of the day, Evans was aboard Zekeza and managed a second placing to go marginally back in front of Scriven with two races of the season remaining.
In the seventh of the day, both riders were unplaced aboard fancied runners leaving it down to the final race of the season when Scriven was aboard fancied runner Ella Maree.
After a good run in transit, Scriven went back to the inside in the straight and it was not until the 100 metre mark that it became obvious that he would not run at least the second placing that he needed. This left apprentice Evans as the Ipswich Open Premiership winner on a countback of a half of a second placing in front of Scriven.
Evans said he would have rather won on outright wins, but that he was pleased to have made the return trip to secure the title.
The honour board at the ITC shows that no apprentice jockey has won the Open Premiership in the same year for a couple of decades and the search is on find if Evan's victory was a first.
Upon his return to Melbourne, Evans started the new season in the best possible way, winning the first race at Caulfield on Saturday aboard Partiva.
ANDREW Cowell ended the 2009 racing season with a win on Friday when his galloper Star of Amy collected his first win over the 1710 metres of the first race of the day.
Despite drawing the widest gate of the field of 11, rider Michael Heagney was able to guide the three-year-old gelding to a comfortable win.
THE final race of the day last Friday was in honour of long-time employee of the Ipswich Turf Club Ron Corvi.
Corvi turned 70 last week and had planned to retire from race starting - a role he has undertaken for the past few decades at Ipswich and other country tracks.
However, Queensland Racing has been sourcing permanent starters along with other full-time race day officials and these positions have not been fully filled as yet. That prompted a request to Corvi to continue on in his starting role for a few more months to come.
NEXT meeting: The new racing season at Ipswich commences with the Ipswich Tourism and Hospitality Day on August 14. Other August meetings are on Thursdays (20 and 27).