OPINION: Ipswich supporting racing industry
THERE was a break from racing at Ipswich last week however not all was quiet on the home front.
Whilst a number of staff took the opportunity of a week's break for only the second week without racing since Ipswich Cup Day 2016, the opportunity was taken for some track and facilities maintenance.
This was especially the case in areas of damage caused over the past month from storms.
From a racing point of view, there was a date change notified to assist the Brisbane Racing Club to get through the Queensland Winter Carnival in the best possible shape.
Throughout the month of May and then the first two weeks of June, the Brisbane Racing Club at Eagle Farm and Doomben conduct the Queensland Group one race meetings as well as Wednesday Metropolitan meetings.
It was requested by the BRC that they relinquish their Wednesday, May 12 meeting to allow the club to concentrate on the Saturday Group 1 meetings.
Only the Ipswich Turf Club was suitable to be a replacement for a Metropolitan Wednesday meeting and hence the change was made to switch Ipswich from Friday, May 12 to Wednesday, May 10.
Racing Queensland was sincerely grateful to the Ipswich Turf Club for the assistance in changing from a popular function day to a Wednesday.
Whilst ITC loses that Friday, the Metropolitan class Wednesday meeting has 50 percent higher prize money of $20,000 per race and there are eight races programmed for a Wednesday as against the seven on a Friday. Hence whilst it is difficult to book a function, the racing is of a significantly higher class on a Wednesday.
Winx a winner
AUSTRALIA'S best racehorse is the Chris Waller trained Winx. This super mare has won 13 straight races with the sequence starting in Queensland at the Sunshine Coast back in May 2015.
The rating of Winx was announced at 132 at the World's Best Racehorse ceremony in London last week, a rating that has equalled the highest level attained by undefeated mare Black Caviar.
Despite this high rating, Winx was rated third best in the World behind the star USA pair of Arrogate with 134 and California Chrome with 133.
Winx's trainer Chris Waller who won the Ipswich Cup in 2015 with Danchai, was present at the awards ceremony in London.
He confirmed that after a Sydney Autumn preparation, the main 2017 target for Winx is a third Cox Plate win in October at Moonee Valley.
Winx would become the only mare to achieve this feat - a feat which has only been accomplished by the great Kingston Town in the early 1980s.
Waller has also suggested that after a Third Cox Plate tilt, an International mission may be on the cards.
It is unclear where, however the Breeder's Cup in the USA is the highest rated race in the world and could be the target.
Whatever the path taken by Winx - one would expect that another undefeated season could well result in her claiming not only Australia's, but the world's best racehorse tag next year.
Next Ipswich meet
FEBRUARY racing at Ipswich commences this Friday, February 3 and is followed by Thursday, February 9 for the annual thanks to Member's Day. That meeting will be followed by Friday, February 17 and Thursday, February 23.