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Albion Park's 50th Anniversary - Harness - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Arsenal

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O.P. « 2018-Aug-26, 05:04 PM »
Courier Mail report on plans to celebrate 50 years since night trotting started at Albion Park .....what a night that was massive crowds lines of bookies and many memories for those who were fortunate to attend ............"The opening night of “trotting” at Albion Park was conducted on September 7, 1968, where Curly Adios claimed the first victory, trained and driven by Sam Zammit.

Since then, Albion Park has been home to many champion horses and Hall of Fame trainer-drivers.

The club will acknowledge several participants, committeemen, sponsors, breeders, bookmakers and officials for their significant contribution."

For the record the winners and drivers on the first night the lights came on at Breakfast Creek were..........
Curly Adios, Princess Thor,Stormy Water,Hamilcar Chief,Froggie’s Choice, Morris Power and Chev Vonne...winning drivers Sam Zammit,Peter Mawby, Doug Coy, Ned Coleman , Alf Merson, Peter Wombwell and Alf Phillis.

Giddy Up :beer:
« Last Edit: 2018-Aug-26, 05:10 PM by Arsenal »

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Aug-26, 06:20 PM Reply #1 »
Canberra Times September 7th 1968

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-06, 09:55 AM Reply #2 »
Albion Park celebrates a night to remember

SPEEDY START: Joe Ilsley won the 1983 Sunshine Sprint on the opening night of Albion Park’s new track.

THIS Saturday night marks the 50th anniversary of night trotting at Albion Park.

In a significant moment for Brisbane city and a pivotal point in the history of the sport, the lights were turned on at Albion Park on September 7, 1968.

Albion Park, a then popular thoroughbred venue, was transformed into a dual code racing centre with an 800 metre right-handed shellgrit track, which was considered the most modern of its type in Australia.

This coexistence of the two codes occurred until 1981 when thoroughbred racing closed at the venue affectionately known as “The Creek”.

Another major signpost in the club’s history was the establishment of a 1000m lefthanded track in October 1983, leading to the venue being dubbed “the speed pacing capital of Australia”.

This Saturday night the club acknowledges through their race names some of the best pacers to have won major races at Albion Park, as well as showing gratitude to those who have had a significant impact in its history in asking them to join a special function to help celebrate the milestone.

In addition to the $25,000 First 4 jackpot Pool on Race 1, there is also additional quadrella and trifecta jackpot pools available.

STALLION Hurrikane Kingcole – based at Queensland’s Egmont Park – is certainly grabbing attention in the US, siring three two-year-old stakes winners last week.
Hurrikane Emperor won the Kentucky Sires Stakes, running 1.50.4 for the mile journey, the fastest recorded by a 2yo in the US this year.
The other two winners were in the New Jersey Sires Stakes, with Hurrikanesky winning the Fillies and Clintock in the Colts and Geldings division.
Hurrikane Kingcole is standing for a service fee of $1500 this season.

LATEST wagering analysis on harness racing over the past financial year shows the average winning odds for harness races conducted in Queensland was $6.40, with the average favourite price being $2.40 and a median favourite odds price of $2.30.

Courier Mail story today.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Wenona

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« 2018-Sep-06, 08:09 PM Reply #3 »
Most dominant horse I ever saw at the Creek was probably Chicken Rotten Legs  ..... could win a short course standing start off 120m   emthup  ... anyone else remember him?   :biggrin:
« Last Edit: 2018-Sep-06, 08:11 PM by Wenona »

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-Sep-07, 07:09 AM Reply #4 »
Thought I knew most horses but I was wrong. Chicken Rotten Legs  :lol:

Offline Wenona

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« 2018-Sep-07, 07:15 AM Reply #5 »
You wouldn't know him unless you were an Albion Park regular.... wasn't a big horse either, but had a huge engine for his size....... someone must remember him.  :chin:
« Last Edit: 2018-Sep-07, 07:48 AM by Wenona »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-07, 07:15 PM Reply #6 »
Can't say I ever heard of him .....shocker of a name good horses usually have good names....and a search for the name on Aust Harness Racing came up empty.

Back to tomorrow night's 50th anniversary meeting all races named after some of the well known winners in the early days Stormy Water... Wondai's Mate.. Paleface Adios..Lucky Creed...and initial winner Curly Adios/ Sam Zammit ... etc and an invitation drivers' race which used to be an occasional highlight in years gone by......amongst the invitees from the South  Ian Mc Mahon who had his small team stabled oncourse at AP at the time my trainer secured a couple of boxes thanks to then APHRC chairman Lloyd Rees......Jim O'Sullivan ..Ken Belford...Peter Greig..Dayl March.....Brian McCalland other younger drivers Pete McMullen .... Kylie Rasmussen ......Darren Weeks.... Grant Dixon ....John Cremin ...Brett Towns..  make up the forecast looks a bit dicey possible thunderstorms would be a shame to spoil the night.

Can't say I know anyone from the past favoured with an invitation but all welcome admission is usually free and you can't get better than that but no bookies Vince Aspinall was the last bookie to field there and that was quite a while ago.

Giddy Up :beer: 

« Last Edit: 2018-Sep-07, 07:32 PM by Arsenal »

Offline Wenona

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« 2018-Sep-07, 07:44 PM Reply #7 »
  :lol:  Probably not on the database because he was a Shetland Pony.   emthup

Back in the day, every now and then they would add a Standing Start Shetland Pony race to the evening.

Not sure of the distance of the races (about 1/3rd to 1/2 of a lap) but Chicken Rotten Legs would be handicapped in the back straight all by himself and some of the others would start nearly half way around the final bend. He was a mighty machine and the crowd would get right into it as he made contact then reeled them in one by one.  :clap2:

Really added to the enjoyment of the night ...... be a shame if those sorts of memories of Albion Park are lost.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-08, 08:57 PM Reply #8 »
No meeting tonight all races abandoned  I assume due to the weather pity with all the pre publicity the night had to be called off probably the invited guests were entertained watching last week's replays's some memories from RQ's the best I can do.

50 Years of Night Trotting @ Albion Park
07:07 AM 08 Sep 2018 NZSTComment (0) Tweet Share Email Print
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Albion Park,Harness racing
Albion Park
On Saturday, September 8, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will celebrate 50 years of night trotting at 'The Creek'.

The first meeting under lights took place on Saturday 7 September 1968, with packed grandstands with an estimated crowd of 15,000 and close to 80 bookmakers.

Some legends of the sport both past and present will be in attendance to share their memories of the night, and to cheer on the current generation on the 10-race metropolitan program.

In the lead-up to the meeting, we caught up with some people who have played a leading role in Albion Park over the past 50 years. Racing Queensland will have many more in next month's edition of PACE Magazine.

Kevin Thomas – former leading harness trainer/driver

Kevin Thomas was the leading Australian driver for three seasons running, his most prolific being the 1976/77 season when he steered 174 winners. He is now well-known for his highly successful spelling and pre-training facility Washpool Lodge near Aratula, which has hosted champions such as Black Caviar, Buffering and Black Heart Bart.

My favourite moment was probably finishing third in the 1977 Inter Dominion with Sporting Sun.

He was owned by Victorian interests and they sent him here to Queensland to race with me. He was always a good horse but he really thrived here in Queensland.

He ran third in the final that night and I can remember the stands were packed. They were the days when there was 40 bookmakers under the trees at Albion. Silks Restaurant was always full, you couldn’t get in there unless you booked. It was unbelievable, the crowds, the bookies and the competition very fierce.

We had some really good trainers ... They had big teams of horses and were really competitive.

Kevin Seymour AM – Lifelong harness fan, former APHRC committeeman and owner/Breeder

Mr Seymour has bred and raced some of the greatest horses seen on Queensland race tracks. On opening night back in 1968, Mr Seymour was working at the club. He remembers the night fondly. And, despite the countless feature wins he has shared in over the years, one Albion Park winner stands above the rest.

There was 15,000 people there on opening night and the club employed 110 staff and 79 bookmakers. The crowd was that big we had tractors with carriages towed behind them to bring customers from the infield across to where the stand was.

The chair of the club was Sir Clive Uhr, who was also the chair of the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club at the time, and it was the first time that a trotting meeting had been held under lights. The first race was won by Curly Adios and was trained by Sam Zammit. It was a very popular result.

I think there was eight races on the night and the (standard) prize money was about $775 per-race. That was pretty good prize money for the day, in relative terms.

One win that stands out for me over the years was a horse I owned called Crazy Chief – I bought him with a deposit for a lounge suite that I was to buy for my wife. I went down and put $200 on the nose and he won at 10-1. He paid for himself right there and then. That’s what hooked me on harness racing and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Brett Rail – Racing Queensland Harness Manager (Operations)

Brett Rail has a lifelong love of harness racing, which has extended into a career in administration at both Harness Racing Queensland based at Albion Park and now at Racing Queensland. Once upon a time, Mr Rail was a keen owner and punter. This is just one of his favourite memories of Albion Park over the many years.

I have many fond memories of Albion Park over the years not only with horses I owned that were successful at Albion Park such as The Power Of Chris, Lethal Reign, Cams Crusader, Tilman and The Demolition Man but memories of great wins such as Village Kid’s Interdominion, Thorate’s track record breaking win and Riverlea Jack’s Winter Cup win against an outstanding field in a closing quarter of 27 flat which was unheard of at the time. Importantly I also met my wife Amanda at Albion Park.

Perhaps my greatest memory is a win by a horse called Sammy Batman. I spent about $10 on a multiple double with bookmaker Andy Pippos who was keen to take my money with Sammy Batman in the last leg at 25/1. Horses in my earlier legs had won and, if I remember correctly, two of them were Peppermint Pattie and Toura.

The late Darrell Alexander celebrating a win in-front of a packed house at Albion Park.

Coming into the last race my brother Craig Rail, who at the time was practising race calling into a hand-held recorder from the grandstand, declared Sammy Batman as no chance. In the straight Sammy Batman stormed home to win by a nose with Craig declaring “he’s won” in astonishment as they crossed the line. To this day I consider this his greatest ever race call.

Needless to say, Andy Pippos was not overly happy in paying out the substantial sum won on the multiple double. Sammy Batman never won another race.

Ron Wanless – former trainer, driver and owner

Ron Wanless made his name across a variety of sports, but had a real love for harness racing. Son of the great trainer/driver Merv Wanless, who prepared the great Queensland champion Lucky Creed, Ron and his brothers Keith and Leigh were steadfast figures at Albion Park.

There was one night at Albion Park that holds special memories for me. I had won the first 18 races for two-year-olds in Queensland in the 1981 season and it was the Sapling Stakes for two-year-olds. My horses ran first, second, third and fifth, but I can’t remember the fifth horse off the top of my head. It was a proud moment and I believe the first time anyone had trained the winning trifecta in a feature race in Queensland.

Ron Wanless' father, Merv Wanless, prepared the great Lucky Creed.

The success of Albion Park trotting wouldn’t have been possible without Russell Hinze (former racing minister). I remember walking into Silks Restaurant during the 1980s and you’d see Russell and his wife Fay sitting there with his two Rottweilers in the corner – he was the only person allowed to bring dogs in. I trained horses for Russell, he was a good bloke.

One day, he rang me and said, “Son, I’ve done it. I’ve got Albion Park for the trots.” I couldn’t quite believe it. That was a very special moment because we’d been fighting for years to get it. He loved trotting more than racehorses or greyhounds, although he did own a couple of successful thoroughbreds (notably Our Waverley Star).

Former Queensland Racing Minister Russell Hinze (right), with then Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

I loved trotting because it was a family sport. My dad was a champion trainer. He reared me and my three brothers and sisters on trotting horses. What I loved was that you could own, train and drive your own horse.

Damian Raedler – CEO Albion Park Harness Racing Club

Damian Raedler has enjoyed a close association with ‘The Creek’ for 35 years. Mr Raedler was the club’s longest-serving CEO (1983-2003) before spending time as the CEO of HRNSW and as the Racing Operations Manager for Harness Racing Queensland and Racing Queensland.

I was the CEO responsible for the conduct of three successful Inter Dominion Carnivals at Albion Park in 1986 (Village Kid), 1993 (Jack Morris) and 2001 (Yulestar). I was also heavily involved in the conduct of the 2009 series (won by Mr Feelgood USA) hosted by the APHRC at the Gold Coast.

I’d have to say hosting all three at Albion Park was a real honour for me to successfully run and represent the club at an executive level. In those days the series was heavily covered by all of the publications in Queensland.

Village Kid winning every heat and the final was a special memory. There was the best part of 20,000 people there on the night of the final, with a temporary grandstand and infrastructure placed in the Member’s carpark. During this time there was no SKY Racing Channel so I negotiated with the ABC to cover it. They produced a half-an-hour special, which showed the last lap of the heats and then an hour-long special on the night of the final.

Jack Morris’ win in 1993 holds both fond and sad memories. Jack Morris’ trainer Sean Harney, who I was close friends with, was suffering cancer and died soon after. This meeting was also covered by the ABC at a cost of $40,000.

RQ Media

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-09, 03:56 PM Reply #9 »
Quite remarkable there's no media release about the abandonment of the 50th anniversary meeting that was due to be held last night....all I found  was a two line notice in the results section of the Racing Liftout in the SM under the heading Harness Racing that the meeting was abandoned due to the weather and the state of the track......must have been a bitter disappointment to the APHRC and those who attended only to find it washed out.

All is not lost tho the meeting has been reprogrammed for tomorrow not in daylight as I assumed but under lights starting a little after 6pm might catch the workers on their way home at least the weather won't interfere fine fine fine.......UBET has no races scheduled for tomorrow at Albion Park...RQ website shows the fields and race times starting at 6.12pm but I might have been right the first time that it's a day meeting ........turns out the meeting was abandoned after the scheduled time of the first race...put back 30 minutes due to the state of the track ..... most of the horses had arrived on course......and they'll be back tomorrow.......race times have to be clarified......major stuffup.

Giddy Up :beer:
« Last Edit: 2018-Sep-09, 04:36 PM by Arsenal »

Offline Thebigdog

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« 2018-Sep-09, 05:14 PM Reply #10 »
Racing tomorrow day time, first race 11.15 last at 4.13, need to be done before the greyhound meeting.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-20, 09:50 AM Reply #11 »
Rain hits Albion Park night racing anniversary
THE 50TH anniversary celebrations for night racing at Albion Park on September 8 didn’t go according to plan when a sudden downpour just before the running of the first race resulted in the meeting being rescheduled for the following Monday.
However, the gala dinner held in the Silks Trackside Marquee went ahead with club patron and former chairman Kevin Seymour addressing dignitaries from Albion Park’s colourful history.
Lockton Luck (pictured with Chloe Butler), prepared by Jack Butler and driven by Pete McMullen, took out the running of the Curly Adios–Sam Zammit 50th Anniversary Cup, while Kylie Rasmussen – wearing her father Vic’s colours – won the drivers invitation race with the Ron Sallis-trained Chirpy Chuckles.
With the 2017-18 season concluded, it’s congratulations to all of Queensland’s premiership winners.
Nathan Dawson, 22, ranked as the state’s leading driver for the first time with 208 wins, and also secured the concession drivers’ premiership.
The metropolitan driver’s premiership was topped by Peter McMullen while Grant Dixon took out both trainers’ premierships.
The Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achiever Award judges couldn’t look past Dawson after an impressive record in the final month of the season, landing 40 winners and 42 placings from 149 drives.
Dawson drove four winners at two Redcliffe race meetings as well as trebles on three occasions throughout August.
On August 9, he recorded his 500th lifetime winner aboard Falcon Vista who is trained by his uncle, John McMullen.
Another special milestone came two weeks later when he drove his 200th winner for the season behind Unassuming Champ, who is trained by his brother Mitchell.
This wraps up the monthly nominees for the 2017-2018 season award. The winner will be announced at the October 14 Harness Awards Night.

Courier Mail story today.......unfortunately the lead story on the Wallace family who started in harness racing when father Des , who was known to me a very decent and successful businessman involved with ownership many years ago... isn't in a reproducible form but for those with access to the CM it's a very good story.... lots of good people in harness racing the wallace family amongst them .

Giddy Up :beer: