THE track is firming and the finishing touches are going up on the grandstand – now all Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn needs is for the weather to come to the party.
That “party” is the Ipswich Cup, on this Saturday at the racecourse.
“This week everything comes in and we load up all the stock and get prepared for Cup day,” he said.
“For the Cup, we’re hoping to get over the 15,000 mark that we got last year.
“We’ve obviously got better conditions with the COVID situation a bit more under control and having some better weather and people wanting to get out among the community.”
Mr Dunn also confirmed the nine-race meet will be televised on Sky One Racing and shown nationally and internationally.
“It’s such a great social event for Ipswich. People all know about the Ipswich Cup.
The 1700m track is also firming very nicely, weather pending, according to Mr Dunn.
“The track has held up phenomenally well. The team has done an exceptional job to get it in such great order.”
He said recent wet weather had created “a couple of pauses” in their work but was unworried.
“It’s looking absolutely fantastic out there,” he said.
“As you know, unseasonal weather has been around and some of the grounds have been a bit of a problem but the team are working on those to get them in place.”
He predicts a good track.
“We’ve been rated a good 4 or soft 5, weather pending. There’s still some cold weather around, a bit of dew, so it should be around that sort of range.”
A new event for the Cup this year was the barrier draw held at Tulmur Place yesterday (Tuesday).
“It’s a first for the Ipswich Cup. That will also be televised nationally live on Sky One.”
As to the size of the field, Mr Dunn expects a number close to their capacity of 15 starters.
“We have a capacity of 15 at the 2150 start but it depends on how many horses nominate. We’ve had around the 12-14 mark most years but we don’t actually know until actual race day.”
Mr Dunn said nominations were “looking good” for a capacity field for the entire day.
“It gives a lot of our local trainers the chance to participate and be part of the winter carnival.”
The Ipswich Cup will run from 10am-5pm and feature live entertainment with a local DJ Festival on the infield featuring Mashd N Kutcher, Fashions on the Field and the after-party band playing after the last race in the forecourt.