BY A NECK: Tycoon Flutter wins race 3 at the Ipswich Racecourse on Wednesday.
BY A NECK: Tycoon Flutter wins race 3 at the Ipswich Racecourse on Wednesday. Rob Williams

Long price flutters win early

THERE were two distinctly different halves of the card at Ipswich races last Wednesday from a market price point of view as the halfway mark of the racing season passed by.

In the first four races there were roughies galore including Tycoon Flutter for trainer Jason Edwards and rider Micheal Hellyer.

A son of staying sire O'Reilly, Tycoon Flutter defied average recent form to move just short of $100,000 in career prizemoney at his thirty-seventh race start.

It was just the fourth career win for the six-year-old and the starting price of $12 reflected both recent form and a winning strike rate of just eight percent.

There was a trend of long-priced winners saluting early in the day and others were Bon Courage for Kristy Best and Glen Colless at $26, Mystic Eyes for Chris Meagher and Tegan Harrison at $13, and Ready for Danger for Matthew Dunn and apprentice Clayton Gallagher at $4.60.

The cumulative price for this quartet in the first half of the card was almost $19,000 for a dollar. It was however, a completely different story in the second half of the card.

The second half of the card was the daily quadrella on races five through eight and a substantial pool was in place with around $84,000 on offer on the TAB.

After the long-priced runners early in the day, it looked like punters were hopeful of that trend continuing as the pool was significantly more than an average race day at Ipswich.

There was however no massive quadrella dividend to eventuate as four favourites won the last four races of the day, and the final quaddie dividend was less than $40 for a dollar.

The winner of the first leg was Sepoy Acheva for the champion pair of trainer Chris Waller and jockey Jeff Lloyd at a starting price of $3.20.

The remaining legs went to Boomtown Lass ($2.30) for Chris Anderson and Jag Guthmann-Chester, Curdled ($2.70) for Toby Edmonds and Ryan Maloney, and Shalwa ($1.22) for Tony Gollan and Brad Stewart.

Win number 21 for Jeff Lloyd and 19 for Tony Gollan has each clearly on top of the riding and training premierships at the halfway mark as they attempt to replicate last year's winning seasons. The 2019 season will be the fifth consecutive year for Tony Gollan on top of the Ipswich ladder assuming the lead is maintained.

Ipswich track excels in tying conditions

The job of race track management has become progressively more difficult over time with demands from stakeholders for surfaces with some give but not too soft, and of consistent full grass coverage.

It is difficult to supply these requests in winter when the grass isn't growing, or in summer when there is often heavy rain. However, it seems that there is most discontent currently, when neither of those two scenarios are in place.

The problem for the past two months has been the lack of rain combined with high summer temperatures creating hard unforgiving surfaces across the South East. That is, except for Ipswich.

The Ipswich track staff have received well deserved compliments from far and wide in recent months as the track has raced superbly with a little give and an even spread of grass cover.

The big plus for Ipswich has been the track improvement project elements of the past twelve months including irrigation improvement, top dressing of the surface with sand, and heavy aeration to provide a cushion on the top and root zone below.

This project in conjunction with Racing Queensland Infrastructure, is returning superb results and has another couple of years remaining to run its course to return the surface to the desired state.

Next race meetings

Ipswich Racing continues Wednesday, February 6 prior to two Friday meetings on the15th and 22nd.