Turf club delivers top racing double
IT was a big weekend of racing at Bundamba as about 5000 people visited the venue over the two race meetings.
The grounds and operational staff performed near miracles to provide a quality racing surface for each day as well as present facilities for both days.
Saturday was the day for celebration and fundraising by the St Edmund's College Foundation, along with the 13th running of the Ipswich Mile Gift foot race.
The foot racing was exceptional viewing as the 300 metre race went to an 80 year old and the Mile Gift was as close as you can get to a dead heat. Andrew Dey was just able to collect his second win in the event. See photos on page 25.
The perfect weather made for excellent conditions as strong fields were looking for a share of the prize money of in excess of $120,000.
The most impressive winner on Saturday was in the final race as Spurcraft dashed away to win by six lengths. This four-year-old by Jet Spur made it four career wins and two placings from six starts for prize money of $40,000.
Spurcraft is trained by Charlotte White at Toowoomba and was well ridden by Les Tilley.
The jockey is willing to travel, having ridden at Toowoomba, Townsville, Mackay, Gatton, Sunshine Coast, and Ipswich over the past few weeks.
Tilley has a strong career winning strike rate of 15% and would be well advised to stick with Spurcraft if given the chance.
The most successful jockey for the day was Gold Coast based Shannon Doyle, who picked up a winning double on Le Dude and Killerman's Run for Gold Coast trainers Graeme Boyd and Glenn Stockdale respectively.
Doyle would normally be riding at the Gold Coast on a Saturday, however the influx of the top jockeys from South East Queensland to the Coast for the Hollindale Cup meeting created opportunities for jockeys like Doyle to enjoy a strong book of rides at Ipswich.
Other winning jockeys included Rhiannon Payne, aboard Archer's Paradox, and Ryan Wiggins on Wanna Blue for Eagle Farm trainers David Murphy and the Hulbert stable respectively.
Gold Coasters got in on the act as Luke Dittman (on Lady McCabe for Helen Page) and Luke Rolls (on Vouch For Me for Debbie Newham) were winners on the day.
Toowoomba jockey Skye Bogenhuber was also able to collect a win on Unique Magic for Toowoomba's Donald Baker.
Labour Day bonus
FOR the 12th consecutive year, the CFMEU Mining and Energy Labour Day race meeting was today enjoyed by thousands as families came out in full force to again support the concept.
The free entry and free fairground in overcast but generally fine weather conditions again enticed families to Bundamba to witness the spectacle of live thoroughbred racing.
It is not too often that the main stand is full at Ipswich and combines with onlookers lined up at the outside fence over 200 metres for each race.
The seven races were full of quality and carried even more prize money than the Saturday Provincial meeting with $160,000 up for grabs.
The Labour Day Cup was run early in the day and was won by the Lindsay Hatch trained Kuttumurra Al, who provided a great thrill for owners, trainer, and jockey alike.
There was glee in the connections' faces whilst deliriously hugging and jumping around in the stand to the fist pumping winning jockey Baylee Nothdurft.
There was an emotional start to the day as co-trainer Patricia Gesler broke down in the arms of the presenting Andrew Vickers representing the CFMEU Mining and Energy, crying on acceptance of the winning trophy.
This, she explained, was the last race for her co-trainer, the hospitalised Kelso Wood as he retired after the race.
Racing continues at Ipswich on Friday prior to another Friday meeting next week on the Ipswich Show holiday. It is then Friday, May 25, and Wednesday, May 30, to complete the month of racing.
The following meeting is the famous and historical Ipswich Cup raceday on June 16.