Ipswich track passes wet weather test with flying colours
AFTER the rain last week, the Ipswich track was not even in the heavy range this morning. There was however a further 10 millimetres of rain midmorning prior to the racing commencement and this rain pushed the track rating back to the heavy range.
There was an upgrade after race 4 back to a soft 7 giving further clear evidence of the newly free-draining Ipswich surface of 2020.
Despite being rated in the heavy range, the times of the early races were more like good to soft ratings as the first was run in 1.10.4 for the 1200 metre journey - less than half a second outside of the class record. These times continued and hence the track reverted back to the soft range.
That first race was won by $1.75 favourite Keefy trained by David Vandyke and ridden by Ryan Maloney.
Another favourite won the third race of the day as Devine Grey saluted for Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn and apprentice jockey Emily Atkinson.
Ipswich track giving every chance
THE wins of favoured runners was another indication that the track was playing evenly giving all runners an equal chance.
This early pattern defied the old adage of "wet track, don't back" in reference to the tendency of wet tracks to favour particular "mudlark" runners only.
After struggling to keep moisture in the track over the past couple of months in hot dry conditions, there was a major turnaround this past week as 127mm rain fell, including the rain on race day morning.
Ordinarily such an amount of rain would result in a cancelled meeting. However the newly refurbished Ipswich track includes drainage channels every two metres around the course.
These channels have served to extract much of the irrigation water this year requiring larger amounts to be disbursed on the track in hot dry times. The upside is that this drainage also serves a much needed purpose in saving race meetings.
Today's meeting may have been in serious doubt prior to the refurbishment works as well as on a couple of other occasions over the past few months.
The last lost Ipswich meeting was on March 10, 2019 when just 12mm rain on race day forced the cancellation due to surface water on the track.
Congratulations go to the Ipswich track staff in presenting such an outstanding surface week after week.
The Ipswich Racetrack was today clearly in great shape with very little kickback, very little marking of the track, and giving every runner a chance. This was despite five inches of rain on the old scale in the lead up to, and on the day of the race meeting.
Vale Gary Parcell
THE funeral of rugby league legend Gary Parcell was held last week at Harrisville.
Gary was the last of the famed Ipswich trio with Noel Kelly and Dud Beattie who formed the Kangaroos front row in the late 1950s.
Gary later served on the Committee of Management of the Ipswich Turf Club for a number of years until the age disqualification of 70 required him to stand down 17 years ago.
Gary is fondly remembered by those that came across him at the Ipswich Turf Club over the years.
Condolences go out to his family.
IPSWICH December racing continues next Thursday on Christmas Eve to see out 2020 racing. The 2021 year of racing at Bundamba has an early start on New Year's Day, followed by Saturdays 9th, 16th, and 23rd in January.