Brett Kitching at the Turf Club development.
Brett Kitching at the Turf Club development. Cordell Richardson

Major revelopment progress at ITC


THE construction zones of the Ipswich Turf Club are not pretty sights at the moment.

However there is clear evidence of progress on the infrastructure project.

The double story events centre with racing stewards and jockey's rooms below has started cracking along this past month.

The pouring of slabs on two levels gives a clear display that the long-awaited works at the ITC are well and truly under way.

A three-week spell from racing has allowed an uninterrupted period of construction and the contractors have taken advantage of this.

The main building is still forecast for completion in the spring followed by the new race day stalls, demolition of the old stalls, and completion of a new carpark and full forecourt.

The first stage of the forecourt is set for completion a month prior to the Ipswich Cup on June 15.

While it is far from a pretty venue at the moment, it is promised by the contractors that the site will be presentable without impact on Ipswich Cup Day.

Marquees will be in place as normal and the public will have access to the entire Viewing Terrace which provides a terrific view of the racing in a central position.

The ongoing construction sites will be fenced off on Cup Day leaving the event to be enjoyed by what will be another bumper attendance judging by early interest.

The "sold out'' sign went up last week for the private grandstand side marquees and there is strong interest for all areas including the Infield Festival.

The interest for this year's Cup Day augers well for the future of the major community event as completion of the current projects gives way to modern site that will be a great source of pride for the overall community of Ipswich.

Rain helpful for Ipswich track

THE first decent rainfall for months after a hot dry summer arrived in mid-March with almost 100mm falling over the weekend at Bundamba. This rain helped to give the course proper a full drenching and assisted in the recovery of the track from the woes of the previous month.

While the track is not fully recovered in areas, QRIC stewards are expecting to give the go-ahead for the scheduled meeting on Friday following track inspections over the next couple of days.

However, there is still no solution to the 130 year old problem of the poor subsurface drainage around the course, other than to hope there is no rain on the morning of a race meeting at the time of the steward's inspection.

Group 1 excitement

ROSEHILL had its biggest day of the year on Saturday as the running of the world's richest two-year-old race the Golden Slipper was conducted.

The highlight of the day however was the champion mare Winx collecting her 32nd consecutive win in the George Ryder as she heads towards her swansong outing in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the second day of the Championships at Randwick in a few weeks.

Next meetings

The next programmed Ipswich race meeting is on Friday.

Next month's racing commences on Thursday, April 4, followed by three Wednesdays - April 10, 17 and 24.