Barty party timely for Ipswich Cup
THE French Open win for Ipswich's Ash Barty could not have come at a more appropriate time as the city is in the full spotlight this week for the social event of the year.
The weather forecast is bright with clear skies all week in the lead-up and on the day, and only a small chance of a shower over that time.
After a few millimetres of rain over the weekend on top of irrigation late last week, the track is sitting as a soft 5 and should improve over the week and race perfectly in the good range come Saturday.
As ticket sales continue strongly, with only the large infield Corona marquee and general admission tickets remaining, another enormous attendance is assured.
Retail centres and fashion accessories are reporting strong interest as hospitality centres, transport operators, and accommodation providers across the city prepare for the one big day of the year.
For the first time in the 160 year history of Ipswich racing, in excess of $1 million prize- money is on offer across the day. This is inclusive of Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS) bonuses and includes additional money for the QT Provincial Cup, which is being run over 2500 metres this year.
Quality and quantity for Cup meeting
NOMINATIONS big on quality and quantity for 186 gallopers were received for Ipswich Cup Day on Saturday - an incredible vote of confidence in Ipswich racing.
These nominations include interstate stable entries from Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Kris Lees, Gary Portelli, James Cummings, Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, as well as the New Zealand stables of Tony Pike and Howard Mathews.
The four major races of Channel 7 Ipswich Cup, City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes, TAB Gai Waterhouse Classic, and QT Provincial Cup have a minimum of 19 entries each, and a total of 88 between them.
There are also three European-bred nominations for the Ipswich Cup with the highest rated being the Maher and Eustace trained Mask Of Time.
This galloper raced in France early in his career before being imported to Australia where his best result has been a dead-heat win in the Coongy Handicap at Caulfield in the spring.
The next highest rater in the Ipswich Cup is from the same Maher and Eustace stable.
Lite'n In My Veins has 10 career wins, including five in Western Australia for trainer Fred Kersley before transferring to Victoria 18 months ago. This six-year-old galloper has won in three different states of Australia.
The highest rated galloper in the Eye Liner Stakes is another Maher and Eustace galloper in Quilista.
This five-year-old mare has been in terrific form over the Queensland winter and is even higher rated than fellow Eye Liner nominee Victorem, who won the Listed Hinkler at Eagle Farm on Saturday in fine fashion.
The Maher and Eustace stable also have the top rater in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Fillies and Mares with the well performed Oregon's Day.
This mare won the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast last year and has career earnings just short of $1million.
Don't miss the QT's 12 page Ipswich Cup race guide on Friday.
Stradbroke weather holds
THE rain came just after the last at Eagle Farm on Saturday allowing a day of quality racing to be undertaken.
Winner of the Stradbroke was the James Cummings trained Trekking with Kerrin McEvoy aboard as he defeated Tyzone and Endless Drama in Queensland's biggest race.
THE next programmed Ipswich race meeting is the famous and historic Ipswich Cup on Saturday. There is then a two-week break until Friday, June 28, for the next Ipswich meeting.