International jockey Blake Shinn rides Multaja to victory in the Mittys Helen Coughlan Stakes, during the Treasury Brisbane Ladies Oaks Day at Eagle Farm last year. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
International jockey Blake Shinn rides Multaja to victory in the Mittys Helen Coughlan Stakes, during the Treasury Brisbane Ladies Oaks Day at Eagle Farm last year. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Qld battle of Bundamba as punters welcome back

IPSWICH is preparing to host a metropolitan race day with a difference, bringing a battle of Queensland to Bundamba.

Saturday's nine-race program at the Ipswich Turf Club is the first in months where up to 1500 people will receive free admission to see live action.

The meeting has added quality with two major Listed sprint races usually showcased on Ipswich Cup Day and with metropolitan status.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 interstate restrictions, the 111 entries received today are predominantly Queensland horses, jockeys and trainers.

They include Ipswich track specialist Michael Cahill, who is aboard the James Cumming-trained Multaja in the $125,000 Gai Waterhouse Classic over 1350m.

Cahill has won the time-honoured Gai Waterhouse Classic five times.

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Along with regular visiting Ipswich jockeys like the unstoppable Jim Byrne, Cahill often makes his presence felt in big races at Bundamba.

"Michael, riding here for 25 years, he knows the track well and gets on the right horses too,''

Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said, scanning a keen eye over the field.

Jockey Michael Cahill. Picture: Greg Irvine
Jockey Michael Cahill. Picture: Greg Irvine

Trained by a member of the famous Cummings clan, Multaja is one of the leading hopes for the biggest prizemoney race of the day.

The four-year-old mare is drawn well in barrier four.

Another successful Ipswich regular, trainer Tony Gollan, has four horses accepted for the fillies and mares showdown.

Gollan has Shalwa, Twitchy Frank, Solar Star and Armicitia in the field of 16 runners, with two emergencies.

"They are mostly Queensland-based horses,'' Kitching said.

The Steven O'Dea Jami Lady is one of the early favourites.

Kitching said Strome, trained by Gary Portelli, showed a lot of ability in Sydney before heading north for recent Brisbane racing.

Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching. Picture: Rob Williams

The earlier Eye Liner Stakes (1200m) is another historic Ipswich Cup race which attracts huge interest.

The Robert Heathcote-trained Deep Image is top weight for Saturday's sprint down the Ipswich Turf Club straight.

Top weights have a good record in the Eye Liner Stakes.

Last year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Guineas winner Boomsara, the Robbie Fradd-ridden Mr Bellagio and Deep Image feature prominently in early markets.

Among the intriguing runners is Monsieur Gustave, rated an outsider despite winning the Eye Liner Stakes in 2017.

The Sunshine Coast-based gelding also won the Listed Glasshouse race over 1400m at its home track the same year.

Kitching said Saturday's fields were wide open, having such a strong presence of Queenslanders, topped up with some southern horses running recently in Brisbane black-type races.

Apart from function rooms for members and owners, up to 1500 people will be allowed access to the wide open Ipswich Turf Club spaces in the general viewing terrace and court yard behind the main grandstand.

Kitching was unsure how many people would attend with free entry, food, drink and tote facilities available at the turf club.

However, he said it was essential patrons adhered to the strict COVID-19 guidelines.

"We're serious about meeting requirements so if we do get quite a number of people we're asking everyone to be mindful of social distancing,'' he said.

The gates will be shut if the 1500 people limit is reached.

Gates open at 10.30am.

Here's how the main two races are shaping up for Saturday.

$85,000 EYE LINER STAKES (1200m) at 3.32pm

(Number, horse, trainer, jockey, barrier, weight)

1 Deep Image (Robert Heathcote) Ms S Thornton 14 59.0

2 Bandipur (Kelly Purdy) J Guthmann-Chester 10 58.5

3 Tarzan (Stuart Kendrick) 1 57.5

4 Boomsara (Chris Munce) B Stewart 5 56.5

5 Pennino (Darryl Hansen) 8 55.0

6 Mishani Hustler (Les Ross) 11 55.0

7 Fiery Heights (Barry Lockwood) 13 54.5

8 Monsieur Gustave (Darryl Hansen) 7 54.5

9 Mr Bellagio (Toby & Trent Edmonds) R Fradd 12 54.0

10 Hard Stride (Jason Judge) 6 54.0

11 Sharpe Hussler (Darryl Ward) R Stewart 3 54.0

12 Winter Passage (Stuart Kendrick) 4 54.0

13 Atouchmore (Mitchell Fry) 9 54.0

14 I Dream of Green (Stuart Kendrick) 2 54.0

 

$125,000 TAB GAI WATERHOUSE CLASSIC (1350m) at 4.44pm

(Number, horse, trainer, jockey, barrier, weight)

1 Jamaican Rain (Richard Laming) T Harrison 14 59.5

2 Multaja (James Cummings) M J Cahill 4 58.0

3 Pennino (Darryl Hansen) 15 58.0

4 Jami Lady (Steven O'Dea) B Thornton 2 57.5

5 River Racer (Les Ross) 7 57.5

6 Shalwa (NZ) (Tony Gollan) B Nothdurft(a0) 18 56.5

7 Twitchy Frank (Tony Gollan) R Maloney 11 56.0

8 Strome (Gary Portelli)Ms S Thornton 3 54.0

9 Solar Star (Tony Gollan) R Fradd 9 54.0

10 Persuader (M Price & M Kent (Jnr)) D Smith 16 54.0

11 Akage (Brian Crowley) Andrew Spinks 12 54.0

12 Skate to Paris (Chris Munce) 6 54.0

13 Rosie Posie (Matt Kropp) 1 54.0

14 Amicitia (Tony Gollan) 10 54.0

15 Countess de Galvez (Mark Currie) 13 54.0

16 Satin Socks (Peter & Paul Snowden) 8 54.0

17e Lunar Light (Bryan & Daniel Guy) M Du Plessis 17 54.0

18e Sunday Sassy (Les Kelly) 5 54.0