How it all began
ONE day after Marabou carried 49.5kg to win the 1935 Melbourne Cup – then worth 8500 pounds – a mare named Faith Australia took the first Ipswich Cup at odds of 4-1 in front of thousands of spectators at Bundamba. The race was born after an Ipswich Amateur Turf Club committee meeting on Saturday, September 21 of the same year, where member Charles Bonham agreed to donate a gold cup to the winner, with the overall prize money set at 150 pounds. It was to be then governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Wilson’s first visit to the track. The Courier-Mail reported it was “the best handicap field” assembled for some time. Red Ross would start a 3-1 favourite, with Highlensis and Faith Australia on the second line of betting at 4-1. The pundits of the day were firmly in Highlensis’ corner after the horse finished second in the Brisbane Handicap a week earlier, in a time just half-a-second outside the state record. He would be forced to carry 9st for his efforts, but with a claim by the jockey listed as Wrigley, he would carry 8.9. Faith Australia had “come from the clouds” in a race on Saturday, but was up against her toughest opposition to-date. However, she would power away to win by three lengths, ahead of outsider Christopher Robin, and 5-1 chance Sage Force. The Cup was moved back to August the following year, with then Ipswich Amateur Turf Club president, Mr Canty, donating a whip to the winning rider.
ON TRACK: Amexed (closest to rail) won The Queensland Times Winter Provincial Stayers Series BM 80 HCP at last year’s Ipswich Cup.
Last year’s winner was trained by David Vandyke and ridden by Damian Browne.
Jockey Damian Browne