The Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre. Picture: Claire Power
The Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre. Picture: Claire Power

Stall issues being addressed as new facilities enjoyed

TURF CHAT

AS Ipswich Infrastructure items continue to come on line at Bundamba, teething problems are being overcome and the great majority of patrons continue to be impressed.

The race day stalls were the latest items to be used at Saturday's race meeting as the Eye Liner Stakes notched up a half century of running, and the Gai Waterhouse Classic for fillies and mares was run for the 20th time.

There were a few teething problems with the opening of the stalls however there was nothing creating an insurmountable problem.

The project managers had as early as Saturday promised actions to be taken for those areas with issue.

Blocked drains, areas allowing direct sunlight onto horses, and the process of dropping off horses were the main areas being addressed.

The areas, which had previously been transferred to the club as completed by Racing Queensland the project managers, were the new jockeys, stewards, and Members building including the Grange Lounge, as well as the racetrack improvements.

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The racetrack is racing as well as any track in Queensland at the moment in most stakeholder's eyes.

Jockeys, stewards, trainers, race callers and punters are all lauding the state of the track as Ipswich track manager Sean Tou and his team continue to prepare an outstanding surface for racing.

This is despite a number of frosts and little rainfall over the past few weeks as attention to the track is given in spadesful by the Ipswich Turf Club grounds team.

Saturday was the first use of the Grange Lounge on a race day for members and there was generally highly positive feedback from patrons on the day.

It was a great pleasure for many to enjoy surroundings that are far superior to the facilities of yesteryear.

Saturday was the first opportunity for members to attend the races since October 30 last year and all appeared delighted to be back.

 

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

Track racing superbly

AS well as giving a terrific racing surface, the Ipswich racetrack is importantly showing no bias at all across the course proper.

In previous years there has been a tendency for jockeys to look for runs off the fence fearing the going is a bit off on the inside.

However, the two major races on Saturday proved that theory wrong on today's racing surface.

The Eye Liner Stakes went to five year old gelding Bandipur who snuck up on the rails down the straight to be too strong for a close up chasing pack out wider. This run was despite drawing a wide barrier.

The Gai Waterhouse went to Solar Star who raced in the lead on the rail and defeated Jami Lady who raced behind the leader and who could not quite catch the lower weighted leader after coming one off the fence to challenge in the straight.

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There were other runners throughout the day flashing out wide or through the middle of the pack proving that a horse can win from anywhere on the track which now has little bias.

Restaurant and Sports Lounge top open

THE Barn Family Restaurant, Barn Brew coffee café, and Thoroughbreds Sports Lounge will be next to open at the Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre.

Patrons should keep an eye on social media for details of these staged openings.

Next meetings

IPSWICH'S next scheduled racing is Friday, followed by Thursday, July 30.