Fradd, Byrne in terrific Ipswich battle
FORMER South African jockey Robbie Fradd savoured another winner at Ipswich last Friday with the Darren Bell trained Huka Pele.
That lifted Fradd to a healthy 14 wins for the season.
Huka Pele was surprisingly short in the betting at $8 fixed price after seven unplaced career starts. However, the daughter of Huka by Hidden Dragon proved a bit too strong under Fradd's urgings at her second start at the Ipswich track.
Fradd started the day level with Jim Byrne at the head of the Jockey's Premiership. However the win of Huka Pele was not enough to hold a share of the lead as seven-time Ipswich premier jockey Byrne collected a treble of wins.
Byrne won aboard Delirium for Chris Munce, Cheval Le Vent for Marcus Wilson, and Libelula late in the day for Sunshine Coast trainer Troy Hall.
Another former South African Jeff Lloyd moved to a clear third placing on the Ipswich Premiership with nine wins as he saluted aboard Habsburg for interstate trainer Wayne Oakenfull from Inverell.
IT was described by authorities as akin to a mini cyclone or tornado when a narrow but destructive storm cell swept through the Bundamba facility on Sunday afternoon.
A massive clean-up in the week before Christmas was not on the Ipswich Turf Club wishlist. However it could have been a lot worse.
Thankfully it was a Sunday and there was no-one present at the course as bricks and tin sheets off fences and signs were sent flying by the powerful winds.
The clean-up will continue throughout the week to have a presentable and safe facility for the race meeting on Friday.
LAST Friday's meeting at the Ipswich Racetrack was a great example of how enjoyable a pre-Christmas function can be with friends trackside.
Four separate functions were held and 450 patrons attended with the largest being the Swich On Viewing Terrace Raceday.
In mild conditions with a gentle easterly breeze, the Swich On patrons enjoyed the great view of the races and a true festive spirit whilst raising thousands of dollars for charity.
The Swich On organisation has raised tens of thousands of dollars over the past few years at a number of functions around Ipswich. However Friday's event at the track attracted the largest patronage of any event that has been held by Swich On across their impressive history, calling for a huge pat on the back for the organisers of the day.
This Friday, the festivities continue with another 300 patrons across four functions booked to enjoy a pre-Christmas celebration at the Ipswich Racetrack.
The largest of these functions is the Jon Kitching Retirement Party. It appears that there will be suitable weather in the nick of time with the bureau forecasting thunderstorms to cease on Thursday and for mild conditions on Friday.
There will be free entry to the course on Friday for the public as well as a free jumping castle for children and a visit from Santa as he follows tradition and starts the last Ipswich race prior to Christmas.
Ipswich racing continues on Friday as part of the ongoing festive holiday season. Three remaining consecutive Friday meetings follow through the festive period prior to a rare Saturday meeting on January 14.