A bright forecast, top runners expected on Ipswich Cup Day.
A bright forecast, top runners expected on Ipswich Cup Day. Franca Tigani

Top Australian trainers eye Ipswich Cup Day

STRONG fields are expected for Saturday's Ipswich Cup Day program after nominations closed yesterday.

A record number of 206 nominations for the day include famous training stables and Melbourne Cup winning names of Waterhouse, Weir, Waller, Laxon and Freedman.

Highest rated in the Ipswich Cup is million dollar winner Ecuador, from the Waterhouse and Bott stable.

Lucky Hussler, the winner of $2.1 million in prize money and three Group 1 races for Darren Weir, is the top rated horse in the Eyeliner Stakes.

Weir also has the improving Tradesman in the Cup as well as Japanese galloper Danon Liberty in the Eyeliner Stakes. This entire is the winner of $1.5m and will be racing in Australia for the first time in the Eyeliner Stakes.

Chris Waller has again shown strong support for Ipswich by nominating Dagney, Tumultuous, and My Giuliano for the Cup as well as Tougherthantherest for the Eyeliner.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have also nominated Sheikha for the race named in her honour - the Gai Waterhouse Fillies and Mares Classic.

Terrific forecast

FOR the first time in a number of years the forecast for Ipswich Cup Day is track good, weather fine.

A temperature range of 4 to 24 degrees is tipped on Saturday - perfect for a day at the races.

With only five days until Ipswich Cup Day, tickets for packaged areas continue to be in strong demand with some in short supply.

The Bundaberg Rum Home Turn is sold out as are individual outer marquees, infield marquees, and sponsors marquees, all with higher numbers than last year.

Tickets are still available in the Infield Festival Corona Marquee and the Lazy Bear Hill Party, although each of these areas are quickly filling up as well.

The Corona Marquee alone is projected to host in excess of 3000 ticketholders.

There are also plenty of tickets available into the "Farewell to the Pig Pen Party" as the beer garden provides its final Ipswich Cup Day memory to add to the previous 40 years.

Wherever you position yourself for Ipswich Cup Day on Saturday, enjoy and savour the show of that famous Ipswich community spirit as more history is added to Ipswich Racing.

The weather, quality fields and strong sales of tickets will ensure a fabulous race day.

Carnival win

IPSWICH raised Jake Bayliss collected his first Queensland Winter Carnival win aboard Hopfgarten, for trainer Robert Heathcote in the Listed Wayne Wilson Plate on Saturday.

That gives Bayliss confidence for Saturday, riding at his home track.

The Bayliss family name is one which features in the recently opened Ipswich Racing Museum, which is open to all for inspection on Saturday between 10am and 4.30pm.

Partner milestones

ONE of the major reasons for the continued success of Ipswich Cup Day is the strong partner relationships that have endured over the years.

Of particular note is the partnership between The Queensland Times and Ipswich Turf Club, a relationship that has been going strong for many decades.

Channel Seven is another important partner and 2018 marks a major milestone being the 10th year of Ipswich Cup naming rights for the broadcasting station.

While Channel Seven has now partnered with the Brisbane Racing Club as well as Magic Millions Racing on the Gold Coast, it all started for the broadcaster in Queens-land at Ipswich 10 years ago.

The mutual success of the partnership then led to involvement with other racing clubs within the state.

Recent additions to ITC partners include Carlton and United Breweries, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Grandview Stud. Other long-term partners of the club include CFMEU Mining and Energy, Sirromet, Schweppes, Ray White Ipswich, Sky Racing, and of course the City of Ipswich.

The City of Ipswich from Council to grassroots have continually supported the Ipswich Cup Race meeting, showing tremendous community spirit.

They continue to do so as the historic Ipswich Cup maintains its importance in Australian Racing.