Jockey Allan Chau rides Firebox to victory on Sunday, one of his three winning efforts at the Ipswich track. Picture: Claire Power
Jockey Allan Chau rides Firebox to victory on Sunday, one of his three winning efforts at the Ipswich track. Picture: Claire Power

In-form jockey enjoys day to remember


GOLD Coast based jockey Allan Chau is not a high profile rider but had a bumper day at Ipswich on Sunday.

Chau rode a career highlight winning treble in his first three rides.

Chau’s last winner was a couple of weeks ago at Ipswich on Easter Monday. His 300th career win on Sunday maintained his 10% winning strike rate from over 3000 rides.

Chau’s winners were all in dominant fashion particularly Firebox, which was a five length winner for trainer Michael Costa.

Chau’s other winners were Go Darcy, for Scott Morrisey, and Supergiant to give trainer Michael Costa a winning double.

Firebox ridden by Allan Chau. Picture: Claire Power
Firebox ridden by Allan Chau. Picture: Claire Power

Another big winner on Sunday was the impressive Better Than Best easily striding home in fast time by six lengths for the Toowoomba based Sears stable, and with Jag Guthmann-Chester aboard.

Track issue raised

AN issue was raised with the track at around the 1350 metre mark.

The recent irrigation upgrade project required two pipes to be placed underneath the track up to a depth of a metre.

The heavy clay base in the area was replaced by sand after the pipes were laid leaving a shiftier surface than the greater balance of the track.

Sunday was the first time since the project works that this area was fully tested with races starting out of both the 2150 and 1666 chutes.

A plan is in place to sort this issue over the next couple of weeks.

Mental health concerns

AS reports are released detailing March as the biggest month ever for mental health agencies in Australia, there has been renewed awareness of mental health in the racing industry.

An incident last week, where it appeared that all became too much, was when jockey Luke Tarrant was suspended from riding in Brisbane for six months after headbutting fellow jockey Larry Cassidy.

Both of these jockeys have won Ipswich Cups in the past decade and last Wednesday resulted from tempers overheating after a disagreement over riding tactics during a Brisbane race meeting.

The Australian Government Mental Health funding package in March recognised that COVID-19 restrictions are affecting people’s jobs, their way of living, their financial security and so on, all of which create additional stress.

Items such as reduced sleep and continuous wasting already elevate stress levels in racing and now the uncertainty associated with COVID-19 restrictions is added.

There are however some positive reactions in the current times.

Race caller David Fowler has declined to bill the Ipswich Turf Club for broadcast services, wishing to play a part in sharing the current load.

The Trent and Toby Edmonds stable was also proactively positive finding a solution to assist the ITC last week when there were more acceptors than race day stalls available for the race day.

RQ supporting clubs

FURTHER positive reactions from the Racing Queensland Control Body filtered through last week.

These included notifying financial support to the clubs in Queensland struggling with patron free racing, as well as disbursement of a detailed set of race day protocols to cover current race day conduct under COVID-19 restrictions.

Both of these actions were welcomed and gave clarity to racing stakeholders.

In another positive step taken by Racing Queensland, a further far western zone was added to the regional mix to ensure all stakeholders across the state have the opportunity to continue racing.

These moves all provided serious evidence of Racing Queensland’s desire to ensure racing continues in the current climate, further extending the social, economic, and employment benefits, while supporting the Clubs and other stakeholders through the crisis.

Next meetings

THE next race meeting at Ipswich is the CFMEU Mining and Energy Labour Day Holiday meeting next Monday.

There is then a two-week break prior to Sunday, May 17, then another Sunday meeting on May 24.