How do you beat Stradbroke Day? Bumper crowd, perfect weather and a hat full of winners.
Yet here we are, just seven days later, getting ready for one of Queensland’s biggest funfests.
Ipswich Cup is like nothing else. I have no idea where they put all the people. And no-one goes without a cool drink. Or seven.
It also features Australia’s highest percentage of racegoers wearing brightly coloured suits, super hero costumes, and animal prints. Don’t ask me why. Must be an Ipswich thing.
As challenging as it is to keep up with these fashion leaders, there’s a more daunting task at hand. Backing a winner.
Ipswich poses some major hurdles. To be brutally honest, I rarely find success there.
It’s such a tricky track. Tight and turning, with a short straight. Just 300 metres.
You have to be up on the pace. Hard luck stories are common. Mostly mine.
If your jockey is down on confidence, or experiencing a run of outs, tear up your ticket now. Everything has to go right to be saluting here.
Cup Day throws up even greater problems. Big fields for most races. And those sneaky visitors.
It’s a bit like going to Sandown after Melbourne Cup week. You have to work out which horses have been set for the day.
Plenty of visiting trainers hang around after the Stradbroke, to make the trip west. Some have red-hot chances. Others are just delaying a return to the southern chill.
They have runners across the day today. And a few in the Cup.
Gai has Kinnersley, coming off a trial win and some solid form at Rosehill. Michael Moroney is back with Shenzhou Steeds. Believe me, he doesn’t travel for the frequent flyer points. There’s even a runner from Tamworth.
They’ll need to be good to catch one from across the ditch. Ginga Dude has been unlucky all carnival. Solid efforts behind Stradbroke Day stars Lights of Heaven and Solzhenitsyn.
The Kiwi has matched strides with some of the best in the land for a few seasons now. The question is, can he carry the hefty weight, and handle the track?
I reckon he ran. We might finally jag a winner.
Don’t be too concerned if you miss out. Today is all about fun. Especially if you’re in a lime green suit. Some things never go out of fashion.