There’s nothing like a Friday afternoon in Ipswich.
Not for the shopping, or the dining. Although I’m sure that would be enjoyable too.
No, I’m referring to racing. Surprise surprise.
The end of the week meeting at Bundamba. It’s become a regular event on the turf calender.
Of course, you need a day off to enjoy it. Or holidays. Or have a kindly boss.
There are plenty of advantages in heading to the track mid-week. You’ll always find a seat. Want a row to yourself? No problem.
If you’re chasing a cool drink, forget lining up. Every chance you’ll have your own barman. From experience, that can be dangerous.
What I’m trying to say, is that it’s not a hectic afternoon. Far from it. And that’s the beauty of these meetings. Relaxing. Without the push and shove of a Saturday.
I know a bit about the mid-weekers. Because in another life, I worked weekends.
Those who toil on a Saturday and Sunday enjoy a weekday or two off. Unless you’re employed in a Chinese salt mine. If that’s the case, and you’re reading this, welcome aboard. Now get back to work.
Generally, I enjoyed being off when everyone else was on duty. Easier to pay the bills. Empty cinemas. Fewer people at the shops. And mid-week races.
I had one of my biggest wins on a Wednesday.
Many years ago now. Bored, and with no playmates, I’d jumped on a train bound for Warwick Farm.
Late in the day, I jagged a trifecta. A decent one. It was more money than I’d seen for many a month. My solo jig in the public stand was the talk of the track.
The boys at home were filthy. Not only was I strutting around a racecourse while they were working, I was winning. That day anyway.
Since then, my mid-week visits have been few and far between. Gainful employment will do that to a man.
There are exceptions though. And today is such a day. The annual Crimestoppers Raceday at Royal Ipswich. It gets bigger every year. And it’s a ripper.
They do a great job, this bunch, helping police catch bad guys. Cops and community working together.
It will be the biggest Friday crowd all year. There’ll be a heap of them on track. Some might even get Full on Friday.
The racing? Don’t get too excited. Seven events. Four of them maidens. Tips welcome. Ok, it’s not Derby Day at Flemington. But there’ll be laughs and refreshments. Hard not to have fun.
When the sun goes down, the crowd will head to the local club, and have a few more. All in the name of charity, of course.
A word of warning if you’re thinking of coming along. Full Friday can lead to Sick Saturday. You might need another day off. Unless you’re in that salt mine.