Ipswich Cup party ready to roll
THE track's looking good, the weather promising and the ticket sales terrific.
That was the word from Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching on Friday as he went about final preparations for Saturday's Ipswich Cup.
Gates to the city's social event of the year open at 10am and Mr Kitching was confident it would be another year to remember.
"The weather forecast looks promising, there's only a small chance of a shower later in the day or in the evening," Mr Kitching said.
"After a few millimetres of rain last Saturday night on top of irrigation this week, the track is going well and sitting as a good 4 to soft 5 and should race perfectly Saturday."
By late Friday the Pimm's Lawn Party, The Lazy Yak Precinct, the Home Turn Premium Marquee, and all the private marquees were sold out.
"The only areas still available are general admission," Mr Kitching said.
"The sales into the Corona Infield are the highest we've had. As of Friday we were up around 14,000 pre-sold tickets. That means we're expecting a crowd up around 18,000 to 20,000. This year there is some impact from the ongoing construction but it won't be a drama and, if anything, will bring everyone closer together for some racing camaraderie."
Some of the racing identities attending this year include the jockeys and trainers.
"Racing fans should keep an eye out for the two Melbourne Cup winning jockeys Glen Boss and Blake Shinn," Kitching said.
Two shuttle buses will run between the Bundamba Train Station to the track from 10am-2pm, then from the racetrack to Ipswich CBD, Top of Town and Ipswich Station from 4-8pm.
There's parking only for members, VIPs and Racing Queensland licensees in the main carpark.
"Public parking is available at the Bundamba State School at a cost of $10," Mr Kitching said.
Punters should be aware of road closures, with TL Cooney Ave only accessible to public transport and emergency services.
"One other thing to note - it is a bit different with horse owners this year. They have access to view their horse as normal through the courtyard to the stalls, but the access to the parade enclosure is only by the members' lounge down the stairs to the parade enclosure," Mr Kitching said.
If you're looking for a hot tip, Mr Kitching likes the mare Organza in the last race of the day.
"I think she's best of the day," he said.