Jockey Jed Hodge reflects on his winning ride aboard Charlie Cat at Ipswich racetrack.
Jockey Jed Hodge reflects on his winning ride aboard Charlie Cat at Ipswich racetrack. Rob Williams

Apprentice joins the big name winners

NEIGHBOURING training centre Beaudesert collected a win with the Greg Cornish-trained Charlie Cat at the latest Ipswich racetrack meeting.

It was the seven year old's first start at Ipswich and apprentice Jed Hodge guided Charlie Cat home for his sixth career win while pushing his career prizemoney tally over $100,000. Hodge was the only apprentice to collect a win on Friday as the senior riders made the play for most of the day.

The Beaudesert racing fraternity has been doing it tough over the past couple of years following another flood and a disjointed racing program. A win for long-term trainer Cornish was due reward for the perseverance of the training centre.

It was only the 19th career start for Charlie Cat giving a good win strike rate of near one in three and a place rate of more than one in two.

Five of the eight races last Friday were won by Eagle Farm trainers with Murwillumbah (Matthew Dunn trained The Ridge), and Sunshine Coast (David Vandyke trained Milly Will Party) joining Beaudesert in regional wins.

The Eagle Farm winners included a double to former dual Ipswich Premiership winner Robert Heathcote. These were with Real Estate ridden by Ryan Wiggins and Pinch Mountain ridden by Larry Cassidy.

The remaining Eagle Farm based winners were David Murphy's Stellarcraft who was ridden by Brad Stewart, Tony Gollan's Cailini ridden by Jim Byrne, and Kelly Schweida's Darktown Strutter ridden by Jeff Lloyd.

Premierships all but decided

BOTH Jeff Lloyd and Jim Byrne collected winning doubles aboard other winners Milly Will Party and The Ridge respectively, allowing Lloyd to retain his margin of six wins at the top of the Ipswich Premiership list with one meeting remaining this Friday to complete the season.

Tony Gollan is well ahead in the Trainer's Premiership race having collected thirty one winners to be twelve clear of both Matthew Dunn and Robert Heathcote.

It would be the fourth consecutive Premiership win for Gollan although a career first for Lloyd as he nears retirement. Soon to turn 57 years of age, Lloyd has declared that he will retire soon after the end of the current season, which is next week.

This has many wondering why, given that Lloyd seems to be continually riding winners and actually getting better over the past couple of years.

The Apprentice's Premiership race is much tighter as Emma Ljung is just one win ahead of Jackson Murphy who has more second placings, with a further two wins back to Boris Thornton on six for the season.

Emma Ljung is now a senior rider since completing her apprenticeship last month, however all of her nine wins at Ipswich this season came prior to that time.

Final meeting for season

THERE is just this Friday to complete the 2017-18 season at Ipswich.

August racing at Ipswich commences on the horse's birthday Wednesday, August 1, followed by Fridays 10th and 24th, and finishing with Wednesday the 29th..

In between these dates is a significant Saturday meeting on August 18, which features a Handmade Expo Market on the race day as well as many function bookings.

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