Ipswich race winner Good Chat, ridden by Ryan Maloney and trained by David Vandyke. Picture: Claire Power
Ipswich race winner Good Chat, ridden by Ryan Maloney and trained by David Vandyke. Picture: Claire Power

Pre-race dining in Barn enhances chance of winning success

TURF CHAT

Brett Kitching

IT may have been coincidence but dining at the Barn Restaurant and coffee house today seemed to be the key for various trainers.

The Barn Restaurant at the Ipswich Turf Club has been receiving rave reviews from a growing number of visitors and last weekend welcomed the highest number to date.

Several trainers were seen entering the restaurant a couple of hours before their races and all later had a win.

Brisbane trainer Les Ross took the opportunity to lunch at the Barn Restaurant prior to saddling up his easy winner Mishani Enchanted in the first race.

It was the only runner for the stable and Les was glowing in his rating of his earlier dining experience.

 

Soon after, Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke visited the restaurant and Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears was in the Brew Barn coffee house.

Vandyke subsequently had a winning double from just two starters with both Good Chat and Splendoronthegrass winning with Ryan Maloney in the saddle.

Tony Sears also collected a win with Dis Dah Wun for jockey Jim Orman pointing to success following a Barn visit.

Racing Queensland announce financial result at AGM

THE Control Body Racing Queensland (RQ) yesterday held the Annual General Meeting for the year ended June 2020.

Chairman Steve Wilson delivered his fifth annual report.

During this meeting there were some impressive statistics on racing improvements during the year. These included the highest ever return to participants in the sport, resultant largely from the unexpected COVID related surge in wagering and popularity of racing in the Sunshine State.

It is not only the traditional punter who has increased wagering activity on all three codes of racing, but also new generations who have discovered, or rediscovered, the excitement involved with the sport of racing.

RQ approach at odds with club strategies

NOT all was rosy at the AGM however as questions from the audience were fielded on transparency of RQ communications with clubs.

The Racing Queensland chairman also noted that he is looking forward to the Gold Coast Turf Club being the "Happy Valley" of Queensland.

Happy Valley races successfully every Wednesday night in Hong Kong.

However, such a move of regular midweek racing at individual clubs wrecks the long and successful business models of clubs such as the Gold Coast and Brisbane racing every Saturday, or the Sunshine Coast with racing every Sunday - as turf tracks are unable to race more than once a week.

Ipswich as well has been hard done by receiving a patchwork strategy of programming since helping to cover Eagle Farm when it first went down from racing seven years ago.

The promised returns to a regular program have not materialised over those seven years as the memory of consistent Friday racing becomes distant, with no clear answer in sight.

The RQ approach to night racing includes a recent approval for lights at the Gold Coast as part of an overall package of infrastructure works that will improve the offering from the growing course on the growing glitter strip.

However, with murmurings arising from those clubs questioning the benefits of regular night racing which interrupt their current business models, there is a question - Has the overall racing strategy been fully considered prior to coming up with a plan of where to program racing and where to install lights?

Ipswich Turf Club chairman Wayne Patch last week noted in the ITC Annual Report that "Ipswich has clear logistical benefits, in terms of proximity and traffic accessibility, outstanding facilities to attract patrons to the fastest growing region in SEQ, and the most frequent race day alterations through heat policy which could be easily resolved through later racing time,'' Patch said.

"So, whether it be logistics, patronage growth, implementation cost or animal welfare, Ipswich has every box ticked when night racing strategies are formulated . . . and we will be pushing the logic of those arguments as forcefully as we can."

Next meeting

DECEMBER racing in Ipswich begins next Friday before meetings on Wednesday 9th, Thursdays 17th and 24th to see out 2020 racing.

Racing for 2021 at Bundamba starts early on New Year's Day.


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