Apprentice jockey Baylee Nothdurft
Apprentice jockey Baylee Nothdurft Nev Madsen

Punters' favourites rule the track at Ipswich

TURF CHAT

TWO highly promising apprentices in Baylee Nothdurft and Nick Keal rode five winners between them at the latest Ipswich meeting, as punters' favourites ruled throughout the day.

All five winners for these two Toowoomba-based apprentices were race favourites.

In the last of the day, there was another race favourite in the smart winner Flaming Boss for Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears and jockey Tegan Harrison.

Nothdurft claimed two kilograms on the Wednesday Metropolitan card. He is carrying on the form which won him the Ipswich and Queensland Metropolitan Apprentice Jockey Premierships last season.

It was a winning treble for Baylee as he saluted aboard Solar Star for Brisbane's Tony Gollan, Invincible Faith for Sunshine Coaster Stuart Kendrick, and Marmaris for Matt Dunn from Murwillumbah.

The wins were surprisingly the first for Nothdurft at Ipswich, just over two months into the current season after such great success over the past year.

The apprentice, who has been riding in sparkling form at Ipswich in these first couple of months of the new season, is three kilogram claiming Keal.

This young apprentice is clear second with eight wins on the jockey's board behind eight time champion Jim Byrne on 12.

Keal has a winning career strike rate of a healthy 18% but an even more impressive rate of 24% over the past 12 months.

This strike rate was helped by two winners from three rides at Ipswich on Wednesday. The first win was with Cunard for Robert Heathcote, who is back to solo training after an amicable end to the partnership with Chris Anderson.

The double for Keal last week came aboard Saxton Rock to give Matt Dunn a training double.

In the remaining two races on the day, there was a riding double of wins for Gold Coast based Dan Griffin.

The first of these was aboard the Bryan and Daniel Guy trained Broncks in the first race. This was followed soon after aboard Realing for Desleigh Forster.

These Griffin wins were the only two not racing as punters' top picks for the day, although at $4.60 and $3.50 respectively, both winners were well in the market.

Carnival hots up - without Winx

IN Sydney there were three Group 1 races on the weekend won by Kolding, Come Play With Me and Funstar in the Epsom, Metropolitan, and Flight Stakes respectively.

The Turnbull winner at Flemington was Kings Will Dream.

Surprise Baby firmed to favouritism when collecting an automatic Melbourne Cup ticket by winning the Bart Cummings.

Winx won the Turnbull last year from a seemingly impossible position before winning her fourth consecutive Cox Plate three weeks later. This carnival has endured somewhat of a Winx retirement hangover though the quality of racing ramps up from here.

This weekend is the Caulfield Stakes, Guineas, Thousand Guineas and Toorak in Melbourne, and the Spring Champion in Sydney.

In Melbourne, the carnival comes to a close with the final of the four day Flemington Melbourne Cup week on November 9.

In Sydney, the carnival peaks with $14 million race The Everest on October 19 although a number of big money races have been added this year from this weekend up to November 9 to take on Melbourne's traditional dominance of those slots.

Next meetings

Ipswich racing continues tomorrow, followed by meetings on Friday October 18, Thursday, October 24 and Wednesday, October 30, before the racing break from November to March.