Just on the track rating, below from LGHR website. https://letsgohorseracing.com.au/
LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN CHIEF STEWARD HIGHLIGHTED AGAIN ON IPSWICH CUP DAY – HOW MUCH LONGER CAN THIS CONTINUE?
IN arguably the most embarrassing blunder of the Winter Carnival stewards failed to post what many jockeys considered was close to a heavy track on Ipswich Cup day and only downgraded it from a Soft 5 to 6 before the last race.
The track fiasco again highlighted the lack of confidence the punting public and many stakeholders have in Chief Steward Peter Chadwick who over-saw the Bundamba panel chaired by Paul Zimmermann.
Bernadette Cooper, a former top jockey and now compere cum form expert with SKY, uncharacteristically went on the attack:
“How do you have a track downgrade after eight races when there has been no rain?” she asked. “Perhaps the track was wrongly rated this morning.”
Competing jockeys, headed by ‘Ipswich’ gun Jim Byrne, declared the track a Soft 7 early in the day after those watching coverage of the opening races could see runners throwing up giant clods of turf.
But amazingly ‘Pete the Plodder’ and his band of merry men failed to react and left the rating at a Slow 5 before downgrading it before the last to a Slow 6 – and that only came after agreeing to a request from co-trainer Will Freedman to scratch the favourite Juan Diva believing she would not perform at her best on the surface.
It prompted the most successful trainer of the Freedman family, Lee (now based on the Gold Coast) to go on the attack on Twitter:
‘Amateur hour again here in QLD. Ipswich rated 5, all jockeys say 7. Gold Coast rated 5, definately at least 6. Warwick off, passed as raceable but couldn’t possibly hold a meeting. Insult to owners and trainers all round.’
As Archie Butterfly wrote on his subscriber-only website www.peterprofit.com
THE Ipswich track redevelopment only cost $30 million. Money well spent, wasn’t it?
Bundamba State School is right next door to the Ipswich track. The school doubles as a weather station. Not a single drop of rain was recorded there in the past 18 days. Less than two-thirds of an inch has fallen in the last month. Yet somehow the multi-million dollar redeveloped track was a Soft 5 at the start of Cup day and rated a Soft 6 by the end of the meeting.
There are only two ways that can happen. Either the course proper has been over-watered or the track has a major drainage problem – or both. $30 million and what we get is this, the exact same thing that we got at Eagle Farm when Racing Queensland was in charge of rebuilding it the first and second times around. Even the most cynical of race watcher must surely be starting to realize that all roads lead back to the door of RQ and its CEO Brendan Parnell.