Connections of Hold the Line celebrate their win at Ipswich Racetrack.
Connections of Hold the Line celebrate their win at Ipswich Racetrack. Rob Williams

Jockey's treble, trainer's double sets pace

SUNSHINE Coast trainer David Vandyke collected a winning double at the first Queensland meeting for the new season at Ipswich.

Vandyke's two winners last Wednesday were Hold the Line and The Mechanic, both of whom were ridden by Queensland's leading jockey Jeff Lloyd.

Since winning the Ipswich Cup with Maurus and his first Queensland Metropolitan winner on that day in 2016, Vandyke has been a strong supporter of Ipswich racing.

He has taken the lead in the current Premiership with the two wins.

Although it is a long way to go - in fact 364 days until the end of the current season - Vandyke declared an intention to do all he can to maintain the early lead in the Ipswich title race.

Vandyke is the trainer who most enjoys a famous Ipswich Turf Club corned beef sandwich in the Winner's Lounge after a victory.

The Sunshine Coast trainer has been promised an extra helping if he is able to retain the lead over the ensuing year.

Based on this promise, Vandyke is highly motivated to continue winning at Ipswich.

However, Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan will again provide the benchmark for Queensland trainers one would imagine.

Gollan was present at Ipswich with a couple of stable entrants on Wednesday and during the day was presented with his fourth consecutive Ipswich Training Premiership trophy.

Whilst a third and fourth place was the best that the stable recorded on the day, one would expect another big season to follow for the powerful Gollan stable.

 

WINNING LINE-UP: Connections of Hold the Line join treble-winning jockey Jeff Lloyd at Ipswich Racetrack on Wednesday.
WINNING LINE-UP: Connections of Hold the Line join treble-winning jockey Jeff Lloyd at Ipswich Racetrack on Wednesday. Rob Williams

Lloyd charging on

QUEENSLAND'S premier jockey Jeff Lloyd was presented with his first Ipswich Jockey's Premiership title on Wednesday and he proceeded to follow up with a winning treble on the day.

After breaking a run of four consecutive Ipswich Jockey Premierships to Jim Byrne, Lloyd was quick with a grin to quip that "Jimmy can have it back again this season.''

Byrne was able to collect his first for the season with a win aboard Dansez for Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida.

Apart from his double of wins for David Vandyke, Lloyd also picked up an earlier win aboard Crab Boy for Brisbane trainer Wayne Nugent.

Born in England and turning 57 years of age next month, Lloyd moved to South Africa as a youngster and made his name riding in that country.

Included in his career were a couple of seasons in Hong Kong and for the past five seasons South East Queensland has been his home.

Based on the Gold Coast, Lloyd has twice broken the record of the highest number of Queensland winners in a season. He has collected more than 5,500 wins across a 40 year career.

While apparently going from strength to strength in recent years, Lloyd last week confirmed his intention to retire in November giving just a few months for punters to be able to witness on course this impressive jockey with the unique pumping action over the last 100 metres.

Upgrade progress

RACEGOERS have noticed over the past couple of weeks the demolition works underway at the Ipswich Turf Club.

Quite a few questions have been asked on the status of the project.

The current dismantling of the beer garden structure will be soon followed by the tearing down of the old stewards and jockeys' rooms, and then the old bar and kitchen.

Construction of the new jockeys' and stewards' rooms, public bar and kitchen, along with Member's Lounge and event centre will follow the demolition.

Completed works to date include the painting of the remaining buildings, the installation of the Ipswich Racing Museum, the correction of Viewing Terrace roof leaks, and relocation and installation of new Sky Racing equipment.

Temporary facility works underway to cater for the construction period include portable steward and jockey rooms, a new kitchen under the viewing terrace and refurbishment of the Viewing Terrace.

This will become the primary public facility on race days as early as next week.

More details about the project progress will follow with an official announcement imminent.

Next meetings

RACING this week at Ipswich is on Friday followed by Saturday, August 18, which doubles as a Handmade Market Day.

The final two August meetings are Friday 24th and Wednesday 29th.

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