FINAL BURST: Ipswich One Mile Gift winner Clay Dawson leads home the field of runners at the Ipswich Turf Club last year.
FINAL BURST: Ipswich One Mile Gift winner Clay Dawson leads home the field of runners at the Ipswich Turf Club last year. David Nielsen

Busy weekend at the track

THE Ipswich Turf Club is ready to host two weekend race meetings for the first time in six years.

As the Labour Day first Monday in May has coincided with the Saturday Gold Coast Hollindale Cup meeting, the Ipswich Turf Club has two race programs.

The Gold Coast meeting has been doubled with the Ipswich "Legs and Eddies” provincial back-up meeting for more than a decade as the preference is to race at Ipswich rather than Brisbane as a back-up to a Metropolitan meeting on the Coast.

The Saturday meeting in early May at Ipswich has long been known as the day of a St Edmunds College Foundation fundraiser as well as professional foot racing in the Ipswich Mile Gift.

The foot racing is controlled by the Queensland Athletic League.

The Ipswich Mile Gift will be run for the 13th time on Saturday.

The competitors on the inside sand track are well supported by the "Eddies” revellers each year.

This footrace is the only such race in Queensland on which betting is allowed.

With over 150 nominations received for the horse racing, there is sure to be a big day in store.

Two days later on the public holiday meeting on Monday are the Labour Day races, which are being conducted for the 12th consecutive year.

The CFMEU Mining and Energy have been strongly supporting this race day for the entire time.

The CFMEU have assisted in turning this day into the second largest meeting by attendance at Ipswich behind the Ipswich Cup.

An attendance of 4500 in 2017 was the largest to date as Ipswich families took advantage of brilliant Autumn weather to make the most of free entry, and a free fairground including rides, activities, face painting, and fairy floss.

It is on again this year on the same basis as the CFMEU and ITC partner to provide the same free day for the public.

Museum opening

VISITORS to the Ipswich Turf Club this weekend will notice a couple of changes on site.

Demolishment of the old jockeys and stewards rooms is planned for soon after the Ipswich Cup meeting on June 16 to make way for new rooms and a new Member's Lounge.

Prior to that time, some of the Racing Queensland early works of the project have started including painting of the course entrance and the new Ipswich Racing Museum.

The Ipswich Racing Museum has been built by the ITC from a previously disused 60 year old Tote facility and will be officially opened on May 18, the Show holiday and also a race day for the club.

Members of the public are welcome to be present with Racing Minister, the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe, at the unveiling of the reminder of the past and to sample complimentary beverages from club sponsor CUB between 11am and midday.

There will then be an official luncheon organised by the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry and featuring guest speaker Anthony Cummings from the famous racing dynasty.

Anthony's father Bart won the Ipswich Cup and Eyeliner double with Lloyd Boy in 1978. He, his father, grandfather Jim, and son James have all trained winners of the time honoured Group 1 Victoria Derby.

Six May meetings are on the way at Ipswich commencing with the weekend double of Legs and Eddies Day, and Labour Day Public holiday on Saturday and Monday respectively.

Next meetings

The famous and historical Ipswich Cup meeting is on June 16.