Racing glory and drama at Ipswich track
ROBBIE Fradd became the punter’s pin-up jockey at the Ipswich races on Sunday, riding a winning double on the only two favourites to win for the day.
Fradd’s double came a day after he partnered Tyzone from the Gold Coast’s Toby and Trent Edmonds stable to win Queensland’s biggest race, the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
It was the first top level win and well deserved for the popular Gold Coast team after Tyzone finished a close second in 2019.
The galloper also ran a narrow second in the 2018 Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.
The first Ipswich winner for Fradd was race favourite River Rocket, which is prepared by Brisbane trainer Less Ross and which saluted early.
In the last of the day, Fradd was aboard Flirty Deb for Fred Adam’s Gold Coast stable. He just managed to overcome fellow Gold Coaster and second favourite Woman of God for Gillian Heinrich.
This double gave Fradd nine winners for the season at Ipswich as the former South African continues to ride with great success in the South East Queensland region.
Fradd is 11 wins behind Jim Byrne at Ipswich after the premier jockey rode another winner on Sunday.
That win was in the second race aboard Princess Jude for Gold Coast trainer Gary Doughty.
A day earlier, Byrne had quite a bigger thrill riding Rothfire to win the Group 1 JJ Atkins to give well deserving Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote his latest stable star.
There was another winning riding double to the now Sunshine Coast based Jake Bayliss on David Vandyke’s Apithanos and Stuart Kendrick’s Got My Thrills.
However, these winning double results were topped by Jim Orman who collected a treble with Bangers and Mash from the Toowoomba based Sears stable, Chicago O’brien for Toowoomba trainer Jackie Crompton, and Emma’s Jet for Matt Dunn from Murwillumbah.
On the day, there were eight individual winning trainers spread across Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Distance change drama
THERE was drama associated with two distance changes during the Ipswich meeting on Sunday, made at very late notice by stewards.
While track staff and Racing Queensland (RQ) staff were happy with the entire course in the lead-up and on the day, a representation from jockeys on the day had some concern over the remediated area at the 1150 metre mark.
This area, which is a few metres wide and stretches out seven metres across the track, was repaired on May 5 after concerns were raised by jockeys in April on the shifty surface there. Within this small area, there remain some bare patches where the turf has not fully taken in winter months, creating some inconsistency in the surface.
The original shifty surface arose as a result of misaligned drainage pipes following the RQ infrastructure project between October 2019 and March this year.
The project team returned on May 5 to repair this small area. However by this time the growing season had passed.
It is a disappointment to the club, RQ project management and stakeholders that this small portion has detracted from the great bulk of the track which has raced beautifully since the resumption in April.
The two scheduled 1666 metres races were each reduced to 1350 metres and notified to participants at approximately 1pm after the second race of the day to ensure there was no racing in the questioned area.
This distance change resulted in 10 additional scratchings and significantly reduced wagering on the day.
The outcomes in solving this issue were to ensure there is a representative from all stakeholders inspecting the track prior to the race day if there is any possible issue, and to further block patch turf into the existing bare patches in the short term.
This is particularly important given Sunday’s reprogramming an additional 1666 maiden at Ipswich next week.
IPSWICH’S scheduled racing is on Wednesdays June 17 and 24, to complete racing this month.
The July program has Fridays 3rd and 10th, then Metropolitan on Saturday 18th, prior to Friday 24th and Thursday 30th according to latest RQ programming.