Jockey Tiffani Brooker returns to the Ipswich enclosure after her winning ride aboard On a High.
Jockey Tiffani Brooker returns to the Ipswich enclosure after her winning ride aboard On a High. David Nielsen

How Tiffani finished her year On a High

APPRENTICE jockey Tiffani Brooker ended 2017 at Ipswich with a win in what has become a breakthrough year for her.

On a heavy track last Wednesday, Brooker rode On a High for Toowoomba trainer John Dann to collect her fifth Ipswich win of the season.

In calendar year 2017, Brooker has collected the Ipswich Premier Apprentice Jockey award, ridden almost 20 winners at Ipswich, and secured a listed race winning double.

On Ipswich Cup Day, she was a late riding change for Monsieur Gustave in the historic listed Eye Liner Stakes.

The continually improving rider made the most of that opportunity, winning on the Sunshine Coast galloper prior to collecting another listed race on the same horse when the Keith Noud was transferred from a washed out Doomben in November.

At Ipswich this year, there were only four listed races - the Ipswich Cup, Gai Waterhouse Fillies and Mares Classic, Eyeliner Stakes and the Keith Noud.

Brooker was able to win half of these black type races as an apprentice.

There were also winning doubles to other in-form jockeys at Ipswich last Wednesday. These were claimed by youngster Matt McGillivray, who is in his first year as a senior rider, and veteran Jeff Lloyd, who is the reigning Queensland Premier Jockey after collecting a record number of wins last season.

McGillivray won aboard two odds-on favourites bookending the meeting.

In the first, it was Bella Ochi for Toowoomba trainer Ben Ahrens. In the last of the day, leading Eagle Farm trainer Robert Heathcote won with Nilette.

Lloyd also won aboard odds on favourite Tversky for Sunshine Coast trainer Gary Duncan, as well as securing his double with the Toby Edmonds trained Real Kaos from the Gold Coast.

Enormous effort

THE conducting of last week's race meeting was the result of an enormous effort from the Ipswich Turf Club track staff.

Heavy rain on Christmas night placed the race meeting in grave doubt. This was especially so after more rain on the eve of the meeting on Boxing Day.

This was after track staff had worked into the night at the previous meeting on December 22.

The track staff also moved the rail on Boxing Day in the worst part of the track to give the meeting every chance to go ahead.

After discussions with QRIC stewards on the morning of the meeting, it was agreed to proceed although the track was a heavy 10 and more rain was forecast throughout the day.

Stewards suggested that any further rain would result in cancellation of the meeting and there was a huge number of scratchings.

As it turned out, and despite a small shower mid-afternoon, the track was upgraded to a heavy 9 during the afternoon. The meeting was completed without a hitch.

The decimating of the fields meant that fifth place prizemoney was forfeited in seven of the nine races with six races of four runners, one race of three, and two races of 10 runners each.

Despite the high number of scratched entrants, it is estimated that there was still $3m of combined wagering turnover around the world on the Ipswich meeting. This was half of the number on the bumper card on the Friday prior however was still a well worthwhile outcome.

New year wishes

EVERYONE at the Ipswich Turf Club wishes the Ipswich community a safe and happy new year.

Hopefully it is a year in which the long-expressed wish of infrastructure works at the 125 year old Bundamba racecourse will come true.

Next meeting

Ipswich racing is on the next two Saturdays (January 6 and 13) as the provincial backup for major Gold Coast race days. It is then Wednesdays January 17 and 31 to complete the first month of the new year and the halfway point of the season.

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