Double reward at Ipswich racetrack
IT was an unusual Thursday meeting at Ipswich.
Early in the day, former South African jockey Robbie Fradd launched a winning double for him and Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn.
Fradd won aboard The Fire Trap in the second race before completing his winning double with Nymeria for the Gold Coast stable Toby and Trent Edmonds.
Matthew Dunn completed his winning training double in the last of the day as Jim Byrne rode Bonanova's Dream for him at a favourite's quote of $2.60.
That was runaway jockey's board leader Jim Byrne's 19th win of the season from just 12 meetings.
Dunn moved to second on the trainer's list with seven wins, five behind Tony Gollan, who is striving for his sixth consecutive Ipswich Trainer's Premiership.
Ipswich-bred Jake Bayliss was also back in the Ipswich winner's stall on Thursday riding odds-on favourite Alderman for Eagle Farm trainer Lindsay Gough.
The ease of Alderman's win justified the short price as he won at his first Ipswich start and sixth career start.
It was good to see Jake back after missing a little time in the saddle following a fall at Doomben in which he thankfully escaped serious injury.
Another who escaped injury was Brooke Ainsworth after being dislodged from Spirit of Edyn in the first race at Ipswich last week.
Last meeting before five-month break
TOMORROW is the final meeting at Ipswich until April 8 as works on the track are undertaken along with installation of new stalls and carpark.
There will also be a widening of TL Cooney Avenue and demolition of the old stalls and sheds undertaken.
The track works include replacement of the 35 year old irrigation system with new equipment, as well as installation of drainage channels around the course.
All of these works are being undertaken by Racing Queensland.
In addition to the Racing Queensland managed works, the Ipswich Turf Club is undertaking a complete remodelling of the Eye Liner Lounge, installing a sports lounge, family restaurant in the downstairs lounge space and children's entertainment precincts.
These Ipswich Turf Club-managed innovations will open after the 2020 Ipswich Cup, allowing various functions to be held in them through until that time.
While many will miss the regular racing at Bundamba, there will be a brilliant new facility to return to in April according to the latest Racing Queensland timeframes.
United front on animal welfare
IT was foreshadowed in this column last week that a united approach on a national front was required to ensure recently displayed horse cruelty never happens again in Australia.
That approach commenced late last week as Racing Australia acted bringing together officials from all state racing bodies to identify options to strengthen Australian Racing's equine welfare programs.
Significantly more work must be done. However this was a highly commendable first step.
Fabulous Flemington on the way
AFTER being won by Winx over the past four years, the 2019 Cox Plate was run and won by the Japanese horse Lys Gracieux at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Again, as Mer de Glace showed in the Caulfield Cup, the top Japanese gallopers are superior to the best Australasian bred middle distance runners.
However in the past decade, European distance gallopers have shown further superiority over Japanese gallopers and hence the reason for Constantinople to be installed as favourite for the Melbourne Cup.
This favouritism is despite a fourth in the Caulfield Cup, after being twice blocked for runs, coming from second last at the turn.
It is now onto the Flemington Carnival with four Group 1 race meetings over the next week.
These are Derby Day on Saturday, Melbourne Cup Day Tuesday, Oaks Day Thursday, and completed by Stakes day on Saturday, November 9.
Sydneysider Shadow Hero is favourite for the Derby.
Moonlight Maid put in a terrific Oaks trial on Saturday at Moonee Valley.
Ipswich racing continues tomorrow before a break with the scheduled return on April 8.