Hot jockey battle at Bundamba
FORMER South African jockeys Jeff Lloyd and Rob Fradd collected wins at Ipswich last Wednesday in the final meeting prior to the Ipswich Cup.
Sitting second and third on the Premiership ladder behind 10 time winner Jim Byrne, Fradd collected a victory aboard Matthew Dunn's Divine Unicorn.
Lloyd scored a winning double. His wins were aboard the impressive well-backed winner Darktown Strutter for Kelly Schweida, and Blooming Tycoon, for Ian Livingstone.
Byrne retained a good lead at the top of the Premiership ladder after winning aboard Sunny Victory for Beaudesert trainer Darlene Duryea.
Byrne has moved to 29 season winners. Lloyd is on 24 with Fradd in third on 21, entering the final two months of the season.
On the trainer's board, Tony Gollan leads on 17 wins aiming for his third consecutive Ipswich premiership.
Marcus Wilson remains in second with 11 wins.
Four trainers are tied for third with eight wins. They are Robert Heathcote, Tony Sears, Michael Nolan and Chris Munce who collected another winner last Wednesday with Constantine, which as well ridden by Larry Cassidy.
A NUMBER of interstate and international runners were at Ipswich chasing the rich $50,000 three year old handicap over 2200 metres as a final attempt to qualify for the Queensland Derby.
New Zealanders Evan and Jennifer Rayner made the journey with Flying Fred to Bundamba as did former New Zealander John Sargeant with Shine Tak Star, and Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott with Aurora Rose.
However, the win went to Victorian Group 1 winning trainer Greg Eurell with Fontein Lad, ridden by Victorian jockey Nikita Beriman.
The winner survived a protest to guarantee a Queensland Derby start at the Stradbroke Handicap meeting this weekend at Doomben following the transfer from the unfit Eagle Farm track.
The Ipswich race which attracted interstate and international interest gave an indication of what will be in store on Ipswich Cup Day in two weeks.
THE Chris Waller trained Egg Tart collected her second consecutive Group 1 win on Saturday, impressively winning the Queensland Oaks quite comfortably.
Egg Tart won the Australasian Oaks in Adelaide last start and will now head out for a well-deserved rest.
This week is the Super Saturday of Queensland Racing as three Group 1 races are contested at Doomben. These are Queensland's richest race the Stradbroke Handicap, the Queensland Derby, and the JJ Atkins for two year olds.
The final Group 1 race of the Winter Carnival is on June 24 in the Tattersalls Winter Stakes, which has also been transferred to Doomben from Eagle Farm where renovations will be undertaken over ensuing months.
Cup fever builds
WITH less than two weeks remaining until the running of the famous Ipswich Cup meeting, interest continues to grow at a great rate.
From ticket purchaser points of view, a social media post from the ITC notifying of three packages that have been sold out created quite a bit of panic and reached 30,000 people within 12 hours.
Much to the relief of many and despite the strong interest, there are good numbers of tickets still available in the Pimms 1866 Marquee, the Lazy Bear Beach Party, the XXXX Summer Marquee, and the general admission.
National Broadcaster Sky Racing have requested that the Ipswich Turf Club host their Friday evening broadcast on Cup eve whilst Radio TAB are investigating broadcasting from the racecourse on Cup Day indicating the generally strong media interest in the social event of Ipswich.
The next Ipswich meeting is the day that the entire Ipswich community waits all year for - the Ipswich Cup on June 17.