ROUGH RESULTS: A number of unexpected winners left favourite backers high and dry at last week's Ipswich race meeting.
ROUGH RESULTS: A number of unexpected winners left favourite backers high and dry at last week's Ipswich race meeting. Sarah Marshall

Outsiders shake up race day

THE entire quadrella pool in excess of $21,000 went unclaimed at the Ipswich Metropolitan race meeting last Wednesday.

On the eight race card, the final four races all went to outsiders in the betting with the final race going to the roughest in the field.

Supporters of the Toowoomba based Ben Currie stable would have been in with some chance of the quaddie as Currie trained the winners of the first and final legs.

These two gallopers were Mr Chow at $12 and High Africaine at $67 on fixed odds.

The respective riders were Sky Bogenhuber and apprentice Michael Murphy with a pick-up ride on the last race roughie.

The other two winning trainers were Grafton's Andrew Parramore with Two for the Road at $21, and Eagle Farm's Brian Wakefield with Siliqua at $11.

The respective riders for these two middle legs of the quaddie were Andrew Spinks and Robbie Fradd.

It was win number 21 for the season for Robbie Fradd. However the other two jockeys around him each collected a winner to maintain the margins at the top of the Jockey's Premiership ladder.

Champion Queensland jockey Jeff Lloyd collected another winner as he aims for an Ipswich Premiership in what he recently announced will probably be his final year of riding.

Lloyd collected his 23rd winner of the season aboard Te Amo for Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds in the first race of the day.

Back in third place on the jockey's ladder is Jim Byrne, who collected his 19th season win aboard La Scopa for another interstate trainer in Murwillumbah's Matt Dunn.

That winner was Dunn's 12th of the season and he sits just behind other fellow former Ipswich Premiership winners Tony Gollan on 17 and Robert Heathcote (14).

Track improving

THE Ipswich Racetrack course proper has raced a little differently over the past two weeks following the recent track refurbishment.

Those works included scarification, coring, and heavy aeration of the course proper along with top dressing utilising approximately 300 tonnes of sand.

These actions were taken as first steps in a longer term program to return a cushion to the surface, better root penetration of the turf, and improved drainage following several years of hard tracks in dry times combined with poor root penetration and poor drainage.

These problems arose four years ago following the track works, which successfully removed several undulations in the track but which however also removed the top layer of cushioning sandy loam material.

The slower times of the past two weeks are indicating a partial return to the cushion surface of four years ago - an attribute of a racetrack that is demanded by the majority of stakeholders.

Sydney in spotlight

GROUP 1 success on the weekend was enjoyed by 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin in the Kia Tancred Stakes.

Over the next two weeks the highly popular Sydney Championships are contested with four Group 1 races each day.

Next week it is the TJ Smith Stakes, Australian Derby, Doncaster Handicap and Sires Produce.

On April 14, Winx will have her Autumn swansong in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Other top level races that day are the Queen of the Turf, Australian Oaks and Sydney Cup.

Next meeting

April racing kicks off at Ipswich on Wednesday before other April racedays are held on Friday 13th and Wednesday 18th.

There are then six May meetings, commencing with the weekend double of Legs and Eddies Day and Labour Day public holiday on the 5th and 7th respectively.