Racing is set to return in Ipswich on April 13 after a successful trial on the resurfaced grass track.
Racing is set to return in Ipswich on April 13 after a successful trial on the resurfaced grass track.

Key changes to note as Ipswich racing returns

TURF CHAT

ALTHOUGH it was not under full race conditions, grass gallops at Ipswich on the course proper last week satisfied all stakeholders that the surface is in great shape.

This followed the works of recent times.

It was decided to cancel trials set down for this week to strengthen isolation and zonal procedures to again do all possible to protect the big picture of continued racing.

New Qld zones set up

RACING is the only mainstream sport remaining in these troubled times of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The introduction of zones is another step to continue with the sport.

Two zones in Metro South East Queensland, along with a number of other zones across the state, have been established to give every chance to protect the state's third largest industry while the jobless queues continue to grow in other industries.

Ipswich is in the south west zone along with Gold Coast, Beaudesert, Toowoomba and the Downs.

Brisbane and Sunshine Coast make up the north zone within South East Queensland.

There are programs set through to the end of May with particular zones racing on particular days.

During this time, Ipswich has been allocated two public holidays on Easter Monday and Labour Day, along with four Sundays.

These four Sundays are on April 19 and 26, and on May 17 and 24.

It would seem to be an odd schedule for Ipswich. However nothing is off the table during these difficult times and the racing administrators of the state have to be complimented for coming up with this logical and well thought out plan to continue racing somewhere as long as possible.

It does mean for Ipswich that the originally planned restart of April 8 has been further delayed although no one is complaining about a racing return five days later.

The meetings will be patron free for all of this time.

The program beyond May has yet to be developed.

The theory behind zones is that an outbreak in one will not stop the others from continuing as separated within the individual zones are stewards, jockeys, stables of horses, trainers and stable hands as well as staff to operate the race meetings.

Ipswich racing returns on Easter Monday, April 13, barring any further effects of coronavirus. After no racing for five and a half months, many are eager for the return, even if it is only to be watched on televised viewing by patrons.

Winter carnival cancelled

A WEEK after the Ipswich Turf Club determined that the Ipswich Cup would be run without patrons, if at all, Racing Queensland has cancelled the entire Winter Carnival.

It is not since World War Two that races such as the Stradbroke Handicap and Ipswich Cup have not been run, confirming the extent of the economic and social effects of the coronavirus.

It is for this reason that the Ipswich Turf Club decided to do all possible to aim for continuation of racing, including a patron free Ipswich Cup.

The subsequent cancellation of the carnival has vindicated that Ipswich Turf Club lead.

Racing without crowds

GROUP one racing continued on Saturday after state borders were shut to movement of jockeys and horses.

Hence the Tancred Stakes at Rosehill had only NSW resident equine stars and jockeys in attendance.

New Zealand bred Verry Elleegant, who won the Group 1 Vinery Stakes on the same day last year, added a third Group 1 scalp to her resume with regular jockey James McDonald aboard in a dominant display.

Verry Elleegant should now go to the Queen Elizabeth and trainer Chris Waller has an eye on the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the Spring.