Popular meeting with a difference
TODAY'S 14th consecutive running of the Labour Day Cup at Ipswich was one with a major difference to previous editions.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and on the fourth race meeting back since a track closure for maintenance works, the deserted course was a far cry from previous public holiday meetings.
Generally, the course is full of mostly children taking advantage of the free fairgrounds and family entertainment on offer. This package has been provided by CFMEU Mining and Energy who again were the partners for 2020, although under very different circumstances.
The Labour Day Cup was unusually this year placed on the QTIS two year old race and the winner was Queen Dazzler ridden by Michael Cahill and trained by the Tony and Maddysen Sears stable from Toowoomba.
This highly impressive winner from the Sear's stable followed up their smart win last week with Better Than Best.
All involved in the race meeting were in agreement in looking forward to the 15th edition of the Labour Day Race meeting.
This raceday will hopefully be run under normal conditions with thousands in attendance in 2021.
Track issue addressed
THE track issue that arose at Ipswich last week has been addressed with racing continuing while reparations take place.
It is a relatively minor issue at the 1150 metre mark resultant from the recent project works and contractors.
Racing Queensland and the Ipswich Turf Club are jointly working together to quickly solve the matter. There is expected to be no impact on the future racing schedule.
Renewed Ipswich interest
AFTER four meetings back from the five and a half month shutdown, the summary would have to be that there is renewed and strong interest in Ipswich racing.
Almost 700 nominations have been received for the four meetings held at Ipswich since April 13, and the betting turnover by punters has increased by approximately 50% on early indications.
These results have reflected those elsewhere in the sport of racing as an unexpected surge in interest has occurred as it remains the only mainstream sport to continue in the current climate.
There is now a two-week break for Ipswich racing prior to a return on Sunday, May 17, then another Sunday meeting on May 24.
Easing of restrictions
FOLLOWING the positive Queensland response in relation to COVID-19, there was a minor relaxing of restrictions by the Government over the weekend.
There has also commenced a staged relaxation of the restrictions in relation to racing in South East Queensland as participants of the sport continue to do all possible to stop the spread of the virus. Continued racing in turn allows maintenance of the important economic, social, and employment benefits that the industry supplies.
The major change which commenced at today's Ipswich's Labour Day meeting is the merging of the two metropolitan zones for equines and participants on race days alone. Full zonal restrictions remain for trackwork, trials, jumpouts etc.
There were three gallopers from the north zone competing at Ipswich as the first stage of restrictions easing took place.
Group 1 racing
WHILE there is now Group 1 racing back on the agenda for Brisbane over the next month, the small Adelaide Group 1 carnival that remained in place continued on Saturday at Morphettville.
The Australasian Oaks race was won by Toffee Tongue who broke her maiden status, and the Robert Sangster Stakes was collected by $41 shot Bella Vella.