It was an absolute thrill to see horse racing return to Eagle Farm last weekend, highlighted by the addition of another Group 1 race to an already great card.
After the gee-up that was supposed to be Queensland Oaks Day I was simply hoping one race on the Straddie card would be contested, so it probably goes without saying that I was happier than Pharrell Williams when they reached the last.
I watched a number of standout racehorses, backed plenty of winners and got through a carton by midday – the Brisbane Racing Carnival reached a particularly impressive high.
Enter 2016 Ipswich Cup Day.
I’ve heard that nothing quite breaks the spirit of a Brisbane resident more than travelling to the western suburbs. The next major city west of Brisbane is Perth and deary me, the thousands of kilometres of nothing begins at Kenmore.
A day that largely draws the out-of-form horses from the preceding Winter Carnival in the hope of jagging one of the racing calendar’s more questionable black type crowns, Ipswich Cup Day is the opposite of impressive.
Owing to the fact Ipswich Racecourse is in Ipswich, it is also the grand final day for south east Queensland’s finest collection of trash. Trust me lads, there’s more chance of finding your princess at an all-male country club than there is at Ipswich Cup Day.
I am all for sneaking a cheeky goon sack into the races, but not when it’s the intended hydration source for your six kids under the age of ten.
The Ipswich Cup has attracted all of ten runners this year and as assumed, not one carries winning form into the race.
One of the biggest jokes in racing anyone can make is when they reference Group 1 form from New Zealand, and that is exactly what Puccini has. Well, from more than two years ago anyway. Even the great Darren Weir can’t get this thing firing properly and connections should certainly consider taking the tour at the Bostik factory if it can’t get the job done at the Switch.
This has been another Winter Carnival where the locals have barely been able to make an impact. God, it’s not much of a consolation but I actually think a couple of them could take out the Ippy Cup.
Worthy Cause has been the stable star for Sunshine Coast trainer John Zielke recently and if he enjoys a reasonable step up in trip with only a week between runs, this could be his race.
I think there’s a lot to like about Jumbo Prince – Drawn and weighted ideally and a couple of good results on the board already. A few locals taking the $8.50 odds and it runs in, Ipswich is sure to be out of Fruity Lexia come Sunday morning.
The Listed Eye Liner Stakes runs race seven and has drawn what you’d expect of a mid-week Doomben sprint, plus one reasonably strange interstate raider in Ninth Legion. Even with a race-high 59 kegs, his class is sure to count for a lot.
I am yet to figure out why on earth Gai Waterhouse is honoured with a namesake race in west Brisbane, but she is and that event is the final at Ipswich on Saturday. Put a few on Echo Gal, for no other reason that is being saddled by Gai Waterhouse.
I am pretty bloody unenthused by the racing this weekend, if that wasn’t obvious. Throw a dart at any of the others sports on this weekend and watch that instead.