Jockey Justin Stanley guides Watchmen back to the Ipswich Turf Club enclosure after his win at Ipswich racetrack.
Jockey Justin Stanley guides Watchmen back to the Ipswich Turf Club enclosure after his win at Ipswich racetrack. Rob Williams

Magic Millions bid at Ipswich racetrack



THE weather was much more pleasant on Friday at the final race meeting of the season at the Ipswich racetrack.

After patrons, staff, licensees and equines alike managed to get through extreme temperatures at the previous meeting, conditions were milder last week.

On a seven race card, with quite a number of highlights, the main interest was in the two-year-old race early in the day and the race lived up to expectations.

South Australian trainer Tony McEvoy brought his filly Hills to Ipswich for her maiden start and was not disappointed as she finished the race off strongly with Mark Du Plessis aboard.

McEvoy explained that he was chasing the Magic Millions Classic with Hills however she would need to win next week at the Gold Coast to even qualify with enough prizemoney.


South Australian trainer Tony McEvoy with winning filly Hills at the Ipswich racetrack.
South Australian trainer Tony McEvoy with winning filly Hills at the Ipswich racetrack. Claire Power

As we near the Gold Coast's Magic Millions Carnival, the Ipswich two-year-old can be an important race to build prizemoney to allow a place in the big race on January 12.

That is exactly that which happened with the Darryl Hansen trained Le Chef four years ago.

That galloper won the corresponding Ipswich two-year-old race to claim a spot in the field and go on to collect a $1.2 million cheque in the Classic race in 2015.

Memorable year at Ipswich Turf Club

ALTHOUGH there have been some ups and downs, overall 2018 will go down as a memorable year for the Ipswich Turf Club.

The opening of the Ipswich Racing Museum in May was a good start as signs of an impending start on the development works finally began to show.

The museum was developed to remember the history of the site prior to the dozers sweeping their way through older portions of the facility.

The museum is housed in an old Tote building of almost 70 years of age, a building that was originally planned for demolition under the project scope.

The May Labour Day and Legs and Eddies Race Days were again well attended and proved a hit for loyal patrons and partners of the club.

The Ipswich Cup meeting in June was again strongly supported by different generations of the Ipswich community as top Victorian trainer Darren Weir and jockey Dean Yendall collected the time honoured race with former West Australian, Tradesman.

On the development front, a contractor appointment was made and demolition finally commenced in November under the Ipswich Infrastructure project.

Despite a few lowlights, the course proper itself showed signs of significant improvement under the club's Track Improvement Project.

While there were questions asked over the track when the resurfacing commenced, and an irrigation malfunction in September led to an abandoned meeting, the track produced increasingly positive results as the year passed by.

The plan is to continue improvement of the surface over the next few years with a clear aim in mind of improved root zones and more cushion in the surface, traits that are clearly showing already.

While there have been ups and downs, the year 2018 will be remembered as one of great importance for the proud and historic club as the facility improvements finally commenced.

Continued improvements in the racing surface, combined with state of the art facilities, will result in a site that the city of Ipswich can rightly be proud of.

Best wishes for 2019

MANAGEMENT and staff of the Ipswich Turf Club wish all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2019 for members, patrons, licensees and owners as we enter another year of racing at historic Ipswich racetrack.

Next meetings

Ipswich racing in 2019 is ushered in with two Saturday dates - January 5 and 12. These are followed by Friday 18th, Thursday 24th, and Wednesday 30th.

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