HAPPY OWNERS: Aberlady ridden by Luke Dittman scored a win in front of its 17 connections at Ipswich on Saturday.
HAPPY OWNERS: Aberlady ridden by Luke Dittman scored a win in front of its 17 connections at Ipswich on Saturday. Contributed

Connections roar for long-odds mare at Ipswich

THERE was a decent turnout at the Ipswich Racetrack on Saturday as pleasant conditions encouraged visitors from afar.

The best example of the day was the win by Aberlady for Beaudesert trainer Darleen Duryea. The five-year-old mare was looking for her third win in as many months after wins at Beaudesert in November and the Sunshine Coast in December.

After two previous unplaced career runs at Ipswich, Aberlady was on the third line of betting with Luke Dittman riding. In a thrilling finish Aberlady managed to just get the narrow judge's verdict over race favourite Capeo.

As it turned out Aberlady was the longest price winner of the day at $4.50, as three favourites saluted and four winners were on the second line of betting.

The Beaudesert-based winner Aberlady had a huge contingent of excited connections who gave a loud cheer twice. These cheers were firstly as the runners hit the line, and then secondly when the number went up in the winner's frame.

It was pleasing to see such a large group including children enjoying the day out at the races. It was a similar crowd of connections for the fifth race as The Black Tide won for Brisbane trainer Steven O'Dea and jockey Boris Thornton.

There were many more connections on-hand at the race day as is expected on the rare Saturdays that racing occurs at the Ipswich Racetrack, which is of course a predominantly midweek venue.

Winners at Ipswich came from around SEQ with Brisbane strongly represented. Along with The Black Tide, the Brisbane-based winners were Northern Dragon for trainer Paul Butterworth and jockey Micheal Hellyer, Lola's Diamond for Kelly Schweida and Glen Colless, and Enterprise Prince for Michael Lakey and Alannah Fancourt.

Other winners on the day were Toowoomba's Basara for Tony Sears and rider Emma Ljung, Oakey's Shaken Not Stirred for Matt Park and Nozi Tomizawa, and Gold Coaster La Pulga for Michael Costa and Anthony Allen.

Magic Saturday this week at Ipswich

After a successful meeting last week, there is another Saturday date this week. Almost 100 nominations have been received as Ipswich conducts the Queensland secondary meeting to the Gold Coast's Magic Millions Day.

The weather forecast is currently for similar conditions although a couple of degrees higher at Ipswich than last weekend. This should allow for a pleasant day at the races again with a higher attendance than normal.

There will however be nowhere near the attendance this week at Ipswich as at the Gold Coast, where thousands will descend to watch the gallopers and connections striving for a slice of the millions of dollars of prize money up for grabs

Curiosity preceding excitement

There is a great deal of curiosity from irregular visitors to Ipswich on the infrastructure works currently underway. Most of the initial demolition has been completed and the contractors have recommenced works over the past few days.

This work is preparing the ground for footings for the main building which will house the jockey's and steward's rooms as well as the second level Member's Lounge which will double as an events centre.

Construction on the various elements of the project is expected to continue for most of the calendar year of 2019 as new race day stalls are built, as well as a new carpark, and forecourt on entry to the course.

During this construction phase, ongoing racing will continue and the Club apologises for inconvenience caused to patrons and stakeholders along the way. What is certain is that there will be a superb racing facility and hospitality centre in place at Ipswich quite soon.

Next race meetings

Ipswich Racing continues this Saturday, January 12. Further January meetings are on Friday 18th, Thursday 24th, and Wednesday 30th.