Great news as Ipswich extends lease until The Q is ready

Caption: It took 510 days and 57 starts but the Kim Shedden-trained sprinter Johnny Baha finally broke through for his first win in an Ipswich maiden last month. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)


Ipswich Club Wrap By MIKE HILL

IPSWICH greyhound boss Steve Woods was relieved and happy after his club and the Ipswich Show Society reached an agreement last month to allow racing to continue at the Ipswich Showgrounds complex for another 12 months.

The current lease ends on January 31, 2024 and securing an extension until early 2025 was upmost in the mind of the club president, who only recently stepped into the top job.

The new agreement allows Ipswich to continue racing at their home of 40 years before the anticipated relocation to The Q – the new multi-million dollar three-track complex – at Purga, which is expected to be in operation by the end of 2024.

In a special statement, the club said: “The committee of the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club are pleased to inform members that we have successfully negotiated an extension to the lease for the club at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

“The lease is for a further 12-month period, with options on a monthly basis, should they be required.

“The exact details of the lease are not able to be released at this point, however, the club’s committee carefully considered the limits to our expenditure given our potential involvement in The Q and the financial requirements should that occur.

“The committee had an agreed figure for the negotiations and this figure was approved by Racing Queensland. 

“We are pleased to advise that we negotiated a lease within the boundaries of that agreed amount.

“The committee used fixed infrastructure on the premises and the demolition of some infrastructure to achieve a reduction in the club’s financial outlay.

“The committee were mindful at all times of the ramifications to its members, staff and the racing industry as a whole, should the negotiations fail and the Ipswich club was forced to close prematurely. 

“To that end the committee members planned a structured approach to the negotiations which ultimately assisted in achieving an outcome that was satisfactory to both parties.

“A members’ briefing on the detail of the arrangement will be made in the future.”

Woods said he was relieved that club staff would continue in their jobs.

“Our new lease agreement guarantees that we will continue racing at our complex at least until the end of January 2025,” he said.

“We’ve crossed a big, big hurdle.

“It’s a big relief for me.

“I’m so happy our club’s staff will be retaining their jobs.”

Racing Queensland said the (new) agreement would see racing continue at the Ipswich Showgrounds before the completion of Queensland’s future home of greyhound racing, The Q.

“At the conclusion of this lease, both the IGRC and the ISS will work together to ensure a seamless exit arrangement from the site with a view towards it being utilised for alternative community purposes,” RQ said in a statement.

“RQ extends its congratulations to both parties on the agreement, which provides greater certainty to industry stakeholders and participants.

“Earlier this month, it was announced that construction of The Q will soon commence with the appointment of FKG to complete the main body of works at Purga.

“In a major milestone for the project, the next phase of works is poised to commence, setting new standards in modern track design once completed next year.”

Meanwhile the Ipswich club will hold an extraordinary general meeting of members on Saturday, December 9, at 10am to vote on the proposed amalgamation with the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club going forward to The Q  as well as other issues.


IT’S been a long wait for connections of white-and-brindle chaser Johnny Baha to taste victory.

In fact, it’s taken the Elite And Classy-Lightning Larico sprinter 510 days and 57 starts to break his duck.

He finally did it last month to the delight of owner-breeder-trainer Kim Shedden.

Johnny Baha, a $17 chance, shocked punters with his victory in a 431m maiden at Ipswich.

Better known as ‘Floody’ around Shedden’s kennels, the sprinter was one of the first to leave the boxes and battled all the way with the Mick Pearce-trained Where’s My Beer ($16), gradually getting the upper hand close to the post.

Casey Dargusch’s Runaway Reach ($6.50) was a close third.

Shedden, based at Boronia Heights, south of Brisbane, manages the dog’s ownership syndicate, Lost Friends, with Victorian Sean Flood.

He said he’d heard that Sean, who lives in Geelong and loves a bet, ‘had shouted the bar’ at his local watering hole after the victory.

“My phone went off as soon as Johnny Baha went across the line,” said Shedden, who never gave up on the dog eventually winning a race.

“But I didn’t expect him to take this long.

“He has a few little idiosyncrasies and he’s never been the sharpest tool in the shed.

“He’d had a few opportunities before to break his maiden but he failed to take them.

“He’s been a bit of a tease.”

Back in July Johnny Baha had come oh so close to victory when he failed by less than a head over the Ipswich 431m trip.

And before last month’s win the sprinter had chalked up seven seconds and nine thirds after beginning his track career in mid-June 2022.

“It’s good that he’s finally won,” said Shedden, who missed the victory.

“I was at work and the dog was handled by Anne Clelland, who does so much for me with the dogs.

“I couldn’t do this without Anne’s help.”

He said he felt Anne had anticipated the win as her hair colour matched the dog’s blue rug.

“The victory now means that all four members of the litter are winners.”

Shedden bred the litter (three males and a female) although one of the males, Burnt Snags (25: 7-1-3; $19,220), the best of the quartet, succumbed to a race fall injury 12 months ago.

“I’ve known Sean for 20 or so years,” Shedden said.

“I was training a dog (Low Flying Sissy) for Melbourne owner Colin Cuncliff in the early 2000s.

“He knew Sean, who at the time also had a dog (Bud Jet) in work in Melbourne and he suggested that Sean give us a call in view of sending the dog to us to train.

“That’s how it all began.

“We were lucky enough to win first-up with the dog at Ipswich in May 2007.

“We then lost contact with Sean and it wasn’t until Shedden and his late wife Maria bought a dog (Parks Cruiser) in early 2013 that they reconnected with Flood.

“We wanted to get Sean re-involved, so Maria tracked him down and the connection has continued ever since.”

Unfortunately, Maria passed away suddenly in 2015 but Shedden and Flood have remained close friends through their ownership connection.

“The three of us were great friends and the Lost Friends syndicate is a constant reminder of that,” said Kim.


MULTIPLE winners have been hard to achieve at Ipswich in recent weeks.

However, Churchable-based conditioner Mal Cuneo landed a quartet of winners at a Friday meeting early last month, while Tom Tzouvelis picked up a treble on Cup night.

Cuneo’s winners were One Name Needed $4.80 (Maiden 288m), Firefly Samantha $7 (Maiden 288m), Timmy Turbo $4.80 (Novice 288m) and Hide The Cash $4.20 (P5 288m); and Tzouvelis produced Pursuer ($1.90 fav), Amendola ($5.50) and Fancy Gift ($3.75).

A group of trainers landed doubles during the month – Greg Stella, Ricky Hassall, Darren Russell, Chris Brydon, Andrew Monaghan, Daniel Lee and John McCarthy.


WITH just a month remaining in 2023, Peter O’Reilly and Pauline Byers are in commanding positions to win the Ipswich male and female trainers’ premierships.

Last month O’Reilly (501) had a 105-point advantage over nearest rival Darren Johnstone (396), while Byers (585) led the female brigade by 226 points from Kerry Hoggan (359) and Jedda Cutlack (332).

The Board Racing Syndicate heads the owners’ leaderboard by 63 points over T Bar Racing (475-412), while John McCarthy sits in third spot on 304.


THE Des Heilbronn-trained Delivery Mail has won the Ipswich October Greyhound of the Month award.

Delivery Mail (Hooked On Scotch-Snowball Shirl) picked up 18 points for three wins (288m) and two placings at the track during the month.



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