ON TRACK: Premiership-leading jockey Jeff Lloyd (right) adds Ruuca to his growing tally of Ipswich wins.
ON TRACK: Premiership-leading jockey Jeff Lloyd (right) adds Ruuca to his growing tally of Ipswich wins. Cordell Richardson

Top hoops thrive on heavy Ipswich track



GOLD Coast galloper Ruuca collected his first career win at his first start to justify the short $2.20 market price last Wednesday at Ipswich.

On a heavy track following 30mm rain a few days earlier, Ruuca was guided by the evergreen Jeff Lloyd to quite an easy win in the two-year-old colts and geldings division for trainer Toby Edmonds.

Ruuca showed great potential and an affinity for the sting out of the track. Connections will be delighted with the outlook for the colt after his win.

Another top-line jockey collected the earlier fillies division as Larry Cassidy was aboard Wishfilly for Eagle Farm trainer Paul Butterworth.

Cassidy was in the news recently as having been the rider of Winx at the first of her incredible winning streak of 33 prior to her retirement. He has been a regular rider at Ipswich with success over the past decade including of course his Ipswich Cup win in 2009 aboard the dual Cup winner Our Lukas for Robert Heathcote.

Wishfilly is QTIS (Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme) registered so received a nice pay cheque for connections.

After three unplaced career starts and despite a wide barrier, Wishfilly was quite short in the betting at $4.40. Wishfilly was another to prove that she was comfortable on a rain affected track.

Premiership leader

THE victory aboard Ruuca propelled Jeff Lloyd to his 26th win of the current season as he aims to make it back-to-back Ipswich premierships.

After declaring that he would retire from the saddle late last year, Lloyd has continued on riding in strong form.

With a lead of eight over his nearest rival with three months of the season remaining, Lloyd looks a good bet for another premiership.

Michael Cahill, the former Ipswich premier jockey and Ipswich Cup winner on Self Sense in 2017, is in second place.

Cahill collected his 18th win last Wednesday with Enterprise March for Deagon trainer Michael Lakey.

There were also two winning riding doubles last week.

Former South African Robbie Fradd won aboard Flying Pretty for Paul Robbins and Reposition for Chris Waller the trainer of Winx.

Apprentice Michael Murphy also collected a winning double with Greywolf for Ben Currie and Sir Magic for Les Kelly.

Feature weekend

THIS week is the first of two consecutive Ipswich racing weekends. It is the Labour Day holiday weekend which features the Legs and Eddies Day on the Saturday and Labour Day Cup on Monday.

These two meetings have been on the Ipswich calendar for 13 years and have been strongly supported by St Edmund's College Foundation, Ipswich Hospital Foundation and the Mining and Energy Division of the CFMEU.

The free family fun day on Monday and the Ipswich Mile Gift foot racing on Saturday are popular outings for important areas of the Ipswich community prior to the Ipswich Cup just six weeks later.

While minors are precluded from attending the 18+ Ipswich Cup Day, there is ample opportunity to enjoy a day at the races this weekend.

Next meetings

The next programmed Ipswich race meeting is on Saturday for Legs and Eddies Day, followed by the CFMEU Mining and Energy Labour Day Cup on Monday. Future meetings are on Mother's Day (Sunday, May 12) and the Ipswich Show holiday on Friday, May 17.