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Trot Tactics Denis Smith - Harness - Racehorse TALK

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O.P. « 2014-Apr-10, 04:47 AM »
Denis Smith is a 70-year-old harness racing devotee who has been a licensed trainer/driver for 45 years. He is a highly respected industry figure and has written a weekly column in the Ipswich daily newspaper, The Queensland Times, for cumulatively 18 years across two different stints. He has been on the Marburg committee all up for 10 years and is a former committeeman at the Ipswich Harness Racing Club (five years) and the Ipswich Harness Association Inc also for five years. He’s also served on the BOTRA committee for eight years and the QSTA for 15 years. Denis rates the best horses he has trained as “a toss-up between Sunsett (23 wins), Sombrero (25 wins) and Fox Valley Appeal (7 wins, including 5 at Albion Park in free-for-all company).
Denis has agreed to the  regular reproduction of his column on the Forum I'm sure members interested in trotting will enjoy reading his views. :beer:



"TROT TACTICS"..05/04/2014..
 
  A couple and their horse. A bit of human interest in how we view our equine friends. Scottish apparel and accoutrement vendor Doug Manger and his wife Karen had good success with the tiny pacer, Enrique Of Malacca, firstly from the home barn and later in professional circumstances. Things were travelling well until a significant and chronic lameness set in. On returning home to the Manger stable, the cards were firmly on the table. $5,000 to remove a bone chip, or a more final solution. To Karen Manger, the problem was easily surmounted. Surgery was the only option and the chip was duly removed. KM walked the convalescent daily for two months, and commenced a careful jogging program last October. In all, the rehab and race preparation took a full five months. On resuming, Enrique Of Malacca was blocked  for a run when it counted, was a promising fifth at his next start and ran a solid third while pulling a flat tyre at his third appearance.
 
  Work commitments then caused EOM to be transferred up the road to Glenn Dawson. Two starts for camp Dawson have resulted in a fast finishing second after getting out late, followed by a feature MO victory. It will only get better. It's the old story. Where there's life, there's hope!!
 
  Former Marburg resident, Steven Doherty, is about to take the adventure trip of a lifetime. That is, of course, if you are a farrier who specialises in pacers and trotters and a trainer/driver to boot.  Providing that working visa requirements can be satisfied at the German Consulate in Sydney next Thursday, Steven will jet out on April 21, bound for Dusseldorf and the stables of top trainer Henk Grift. Grift,a Dutchman by birth, was looking for a full time farrier for his team which currently stands at 68. HG mainly campaigns in Germany, his native Holland and, to a large extent in France, where the class of racing is considered to be as good as it gets. How did the 28 year old Steven score a plum like this. The chain starts with an enquiry directed at former Redcliffe then Canadian and now Menangle based trainer/driver Darren McCall. DM's partner, Karina was next consulted and was able to call on a long time friendship with Klaus Koch, undoubtedly the best known and most influential figure in Northern Hemisphere trotting. The rest, as they say, is history. One of the best features of the deal is that the visa will allow Steven Doherty to travel around Europe fairly freely. He will come back with a swag of knowledge in the field of shoeing trotters gathered from his European and Scandanavian counterparts who have 150 years of practical experience in this field. It is a dream about to come true with a sound future at the end.
 
  The latest update from Perth shows that Lauren Jones has made it in colour into the trotting segment of the West Australian newspaper. Trotting writer, Ernie Manning, quoted Jones's new boss Gary Hall Snr as saying that LJ  impressed him with her dedication to stable tasks and routine and had no hesitation in booking her for former Sydneysider Passion Stride in the Ray Duffy Memorial  at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Fourth place was the final result but LJ was back in the winner's circle with Vapour on Tuesday night at Headquarters. Lauren Jones says she is there to stay, and, on disclosed form so far it's a sound choice. We are often told that print media is a dying form of communication. An exercise conducted in this paper perhaps 20 years ago indicated that square centimetres of space allotted to the three codes of animal racing closely approximated the percentage of TAB turnover attracted by each code. Worth thinking about perhaps. Obviously they think it justifies the effort in WA.
 
  As usual, there were mixed comments coming from the Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale last Sunday. When you see the actual amounts it just doesn't look too bad at all. The top four lots were a Rock N Roll Heaven colt from Our Sweet Victree which went to prolific buyer Brian Manzelmann for a very healthy $43,500. Next was another Rock N Roll Heaven from Hot Stuff bought by "Doc" Mammino  for $35,000, closely pressed by Neil Badcock who shelled out $33,000 for a colt by Bettors Delight from Simply Loz. Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham went to $23,000 to obtain the colt by Rock N Roll Heaven from Strawbs Interact. In the bracket between $8-16,000, 17 lots were sold and between $5,-7,500 a further 23 were knocked down. As was predicted, there was something for every budget. Given current economic conditions ,and the harsh reality that Queensland prizemoney at the weaker meetings bears little relation to the costs of racing a pacer or trotter today, whether it be in a professional situation or hobbyist, it seems that we still have owners who are willing to take a punt. That in itself is encouraging.
 
All roads lead to Marburg next Sunday, April 13. Don't miss it, see the young drivers in action over the two Sunday meetings. Enjoy the Marburg hospitality. Jump outs are tomorrow morning with nominations taken from 7.15 am as usual. First education to go at 8.00am.
 
 No great surprises on the leader board with Trevor Lambourn and Chantal Turpin tying the trainers division on two wins each, and Pete McMullen leading driver with three. The hobbyists were silent this week.
 

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« 2014-Apr-15, 07:27 PM Reply #1 »
"TROT TACTICS"..12/04/2014..
 
  Change our timeslot and we lose the plot as well. So it seemed when this writer totally overlooked the local content in the impressive win of Its Three By Two in the Jim McNeil Memorial Trot, which was decided on Friday night March 28 at Albion Park. In the minds of many who are fans of the traditional trotter, the "McNeil" is the most important of our four feature trot races in the Queensland calendar, as it commemorates the decisive contribution of Jim McNeil to the establishment  of the trotter as a racing reality in the Sunshine State.
 
  JM invested a large sum of money in loosely assessed trotters which he purchased in New Zealand and flew to Queensland ,where he saw that they fell into the hands of trainers who were keen to see the gait go forward. It was instant racing, and 16 years later we are still forging steadily ahead. Its Three By Two is a gelded son of Malabar Maple,owned, trained and raced by ex-pat kiwis, Frank and Karen Bennett, and was driven by Coominya based Clint Sneddon. The Bennetts race trotters exclusively, and are not afraid to put on drivers with low profiles. So far, they have made admirable choices, with Lauren Jones, now "flying" in Perth WA, who drove the McNeil winner to several victories, and Clint Sneddon who gets little opportunity, was able to do a great job when he gained the drive on the big night. CS has a laid back temperament, an excellent pair of hands, and the ability to match driving instructions to the emerging pattern of a race.
 
  Frank Bennett, mindful of the need to turn large handicaps into just that, instructed Sneddon to keep Its Three By Two on the pace, and see that it was strong. CS ensured that the horse did exactly as required in economical fashion and the result was a 25 metre victory in a 2:04.1 mile rate for the 2647 metre journey. As long as this writer has been in trotting there have been trainers like Frank Bennett and drivers like Clint Sneddon.They do remarkable things but get little recognition. Strange, but true! Jim McNeil fell into the same category. The above result was fitting indeed.
 
  Head out to Marburg tomorrow, as the first day of the Easter "double header" kicks off. proceedings commence with the first trial a 11.30 am and the race program proper goes at 12.30pm for the first of five races. Features on the day are Heats 1 and 2 of the Ipswich West Young Drivers Invitation Series. Race 2 starts the Series and is a mobile event for pacers assessed at R1 only over the 1850 metre trip. Four heats will allow the young driving talent from this area to display their skills. The eventual winner will need to adapt to horses that he or she may not have driven before and also must have a modicum of luck in barrier draws  and level of horse ability. The best drive goes nowhere without the horse.
 
  A further WA update, where Lauren Jones landed her first Metro winner at Gloucester Park on Friday April 4th in the $17,500 M0- M2 Tab Funding The Industry Pace. Mr Sheedy (Presidential Ball x Intoxicating) provided the necessary horsepower and determination to score by a neck in a mile rate of 1:59.9.. The LJ train just keeps on rolling..
 
  The leader board  lights up Fernvale with Lord Mayor, Darrel Graham, taking honours in both training and driving sectors. Three of each thankyou very much!. A glimmer of hope for the hobbyists with the announcement that Friday night at Albion Park will go to a permanent night spot after July 1st. Hopefully it will be a 7.00pm or later start.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 04/04.. Look Now Bill (Chantal Turpin).. Judyfree (Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 05/04.. Five Card Draw (Darrel Graham).. Morethanmeetstheye (Gary whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Lebron (Pete for Brian McCall)... Albion Park 07/04..Just A Little Jery (Mitchell Dawson for Glenn Dawson).. Rocky Rogue (Dani-Elle for John McMullen)..  Albion Park 08/04..Major Montana (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 09/04.. nil... Redcliffe 10/04.. Rollon Las Vegas (Darrel Graham)... Vain Spirit (Dani-Elle for John McMullen).. Teenteeitsdynamite (Amy Rees for Mark Rees).. Platinum Art (Pete for Ron Sallis).. Dee Jay Ray (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn)..
 

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« 2014-Apr-21, 06:47 AM Reply #2 »
"TROT TACTICS"..19/04/2014..
 
It's not local news, but it gives insight into how closure of tracks and the consequences following can impact on a sport. Brian Manzelmann, a refugee from the closure of trotting in Mackay some years back, and now having gained asylum in the Logan area of Brisbane,  has taken a strong position in the yearling market, buying some 20 youngsters across the 2014 sale roster. Add 14 from the same sales last year, and 16 mares currently in foal, and you can see that the BRISAM STUD operation,(Brian and Samantha Manzelmann) is looking for a steady output of well bred juveniles to the races, in similar mode to the Grant Dixon stable. As BM said, it is probably the surest way to get a better class of horse with early earning potential. The intention is for some of the juveniles to race in Melbourne with Gaita Pullicino and others in Sydney under the care of John McCarthy. The balance will be added to the home team at BRISAM under the care of Rob Gorman, Jessica Manzelmann, Ray Law and Darren Hooper.. Several syndicates have been formed, including "For the Fighter"  and "Manzelmann Racing" with membership of six owners apiece. Early indications are that, given the interest shown by members friends, six can become fifteen in a very short time.
 
  The Manzelmann family had capacity for 70 pacers when Mackay was in full swing, and BM's parents were shattered by the closure. The last three or four years has seen the older couple re-kindle their interest and they now race some members of the 55 strong home team. It is this interest that has bought about the use of the stable's flouro-pink sulkies as an aid in picking out the home horses on Sky Channel. What ever way you look at it, Brian Manzelmann has backed his opinion and hopes to the tune of some $300,000., plus the ongoing costs of training and maintenance which will add a large sum to the total by the time the newcomers hit the races. We can only wish BRISAM STUD every success!!
 
  The above can be interpreted in several ways. The relocation of "Team Manzelmann" to the Brisbane area, can be seen as a strong positive, adding numbers to a dwindling horse pool. Closure of any track or Race Club can only be seen as a total negative, as has recently been the experience in Victoria and NSW. Both states are now taking steps to rectify the position. Currently,  in realistic terms,we are down to two tracks, from which to regenerate  Queensland trotting. QHRB and RQ are currently looking at a site at Yatala to replace Gold Coast Parklands. We can only hope that it eventuates, sooner, rather than later. QHRB and RQ might like to look favourably on any other proposal for a fourth track, on the simple premise of building facilities where there is a large slab of the harness horse population and fans.
 
  Just an update on the Steven Doherty adventure. The trip is now a reality and SD jets out to Dusseldorf this Monday, where he will join up with the Henk Grift stable. It's all go from there, but Steven will combine shoeing with pleasure, making sure that he sees as much of Europe as work commitments permit. We will keep you up to the mark in the news department.
 
 
  The leader board again in the lower Brisbane valley. The trainer's section split three ways with John McMullen, Chantal Turpin and Glenn Dawson on a trio each. Pete McMullen was top driver with four wins..
 
  Resultsville.. Albion park 11/04.. Chevals Diamond (Ricky Thurlow for Jason Carkeet).. Albion Park 12/04..Five Card Draw (Darrel Graham).. An American Rose (Dani-elle for John McMullen).. Lively Hero (Kelli Dawson for Melissa Gillies).. Marburg 13/04.. Flightline (Gary Litzow for John McMullen).. Mister Moseby (Nathan Dawson for Sigi Leitenberger).. Tiki Topaz (Hayden Barnes for Glenn Dawson).. Miss Flick (Richie Williams).. Dutch Cream (Steven Burke).. Albion Park 14/04.. Rollon Montana (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Chicken On A Chain (Nathan for Glenn Dawson).. Certainly James (Gary Whitaker for G. Stanfield).. Cold Real Dimpled (Brendan Barnes for Al Barnes)..  Albion Park 15/04..nil... Redcliffe 16/04..Im Young Tommy (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Macs Choice (Nathan for Glenn Dawson)... Recliffe 17/04.. Flightline (Narissa for John McMullen).. Won Delight (Gary Whitaker for Ken Belford).. Intrepid Traveller (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Reddy Fire (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Art And rhythm (Trent Moffatt for Trevor Lambourn).. Opals Delight (Pete for Ron Sallis)..
 


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« 2014-Apr-29, 10:10 AM Reply #3 »
Trevor and MPA Committee,
Congratulations on another successful Easter meeting.
 The day was perfect, great crowd, great racing and the track was in magnificent order- the best I have seen the actual surface and surrounds.
 The atmosphere was great and everyone I spoke to was very happy. I have been to a few of the Carnival of Cups meetings in NSW of late and what the MPA offered on the weekend would certainly rival the NSW counterparts, which is exactly what QLD is needing right about now.
 A true credit to the Club- count me in as a regular fixture for Easter Sunday.
 Regards
AC .
 
  The above is a quote from gallops race caller Anthony Collins, who partnered the "voice of Marburg", Dean Jones and "Mr Redcliffe", Bernie Ring  on the microphone throughout the day.
 
  Local member, Sean Choat, had his usual happy day at the trots. SC was delighted that there was no provision for segregation of the hierarchy. It was one in all in. Choat's fellow MPA patrons, David Pahlke and Warren Cummins were in the thick of things.  The crowd was estimated at 700 and $2,500 was the gate take. not too shabby. RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon and his wife were on hand and Mrs Dixon took the traditional ride in the mobile for the start of a race.
 
  Peak crossing based trainer, Mark Rees, is currently in St Andrews Hospital  on assisted breathing equipment thanks to a fall in trackwork. Rees and his horse ran into a mare which had escaped from its paddock, and had decided to join in a two horse workout taking place on the home track. The resulting collision cost Mark Rees 8 fractured ribs and a punctured lung, plus considerable ongoing pain. He wont be sighted for a while. He has our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Meanwhile, the team is in the hands of his capable daughter Amy, who was beaten by a count back into second spot in last Sunday's Ipswich West Young Driver's Invitation Series, won by Nathan Dawson. Amy Rees, who is becoming known for her level head and willingness to please the trainers for whom she drives, was delighted with her second spot, describing the series as great fun and a pleasure in which to compete.
 
    Harness Racing NSW has pulled the right rein and endorsed prominent owner/driver Colin McDowell as Australian representative to the "Fegat" World Amateur Driving Championship which will be run over a 9 race series in Finland commencing on July 6th. McDowell has a great record in juvenile feature races ,and, if he draws well in the barrier and horse department, will do Australia proud. It would no doubt come as a great surprise to the majority of administrators in this country to observe the level of driving skill displayed at "Fegat"  organised events.  This comes about from the practice of running not only exclusively amateur driver races but requiring amateurs to hold the same standard of licence as is issued to professional reinspersons. The only exclusion which applies is that which prevents a professional from competing in an amateur event. Amateur drivers are able to compete in open events including Features and Classics. Frequently they get the bikkies. In the USA, a country whose practices we often follow blindly, Mal Burroughs was able to own, train and drive Malabar Man to win America's greatest trot race, the Hambletonian 3yo classic. Colin McDowell has achieved a number of milestones in harness, the World title trophy would sit very comfortably in his cabinet.
 
  A badly jet-lagged Ray and Janelle Cross returned from a European holiday last Sunday having spent some time in France. Naturally, there was a strong focus on the horse department and a chance meeting and some hospitality to a visiting French lady at Albion Park sometime back, bore fruit in an introduction to a leading French trainer who stables at the Grosbois traing complex. RC said that he had never seen the equal of the set up. While rent of facilities is on a per horse basis, this rental provides stabling, training tracks, including a qualifying course and living quarters above the stables. At Vincennes, the major racetrack, the on course stabling is superb. Some 93% of runners compete unshod, with farriers on hand to remove shoes prior to racing, and replate after. The race book identifies those horses which are racing shod. Feed is similar to here with the exception of hay which is made from natural pasture and fed in large quantity. At Grosbois, Ray and Janelle had the pleasure of a jog in a two seater training cart through miles of forest tracks which utilise traffic lights to cross several busy roads in the region. Their opinion of the French countryside. Magnificent!!
 
  Again the leader board squarely in the lower Brisbane Valley. Trainers, again a three way split between Chantal Turpin, John McMullen and Darrel Graham on three apiece. Pete McMullen leads the drivers with five wins.
 
  Resultsville.  Albion Park 19/04.. Gallymont Cohort (Trent for Geoff dawson).. Lebron (Pete for Brian McCall).. The Pearl Of Paris (Narissa for John McMullen)... Marburg 20/04.. Royearl Quest (Dale Chalk for Gradan McCoombes).. Certainly James (Brittany Graham for Geoff Stanfield).. In The Present (Hayden Barnes for Glenn Dawson).. The Flying Scot (Amy Rees for Ricky Gordon).. Arvee Bromac (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham)... Albion Park 21/04.. My Mustang (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park  22/04.. Jilliby Ling (Dani-Elle for John McMullen).. My Ultimate Hell (Pete for John Davis).. Chal Fire (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Missing Letters (Darrel Graham)..  Redcliffe 23/04.. My Crazy Ex (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Redcliffe 24/ 04.. Im Mached Out (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Midnight Montana (Nathan Dawson for Richie Williams).. Arvee Bromac (Brittany for Darrel Graham).. Melton Bonny Mabel (Narissa for John McMullen)..
 

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« 2014-May-04, 07:46 PM Reply #4 »
           "TROT TACTICS"..03/05/2014..
 
  The wheels of light harness turn with the passage of time, and things which were unheard of 50 years ago are now commonplace. In this writer's youth, there were probably only two stables in New South Wales which boasted horse numbers in excess of 20, these being A D (Tony) Turnbull at Bathurst with possibly 40 plus, and J C (Jimmy) Caffyn  at Granville who hit 64 at one stage. Both were Premiership winning trainer/ drivers, with Caffyn always in contention at Harold Park, while Turnbull was vitually unbeatable in the Western Districts of NSW.
 
  Both were exceptionally busy operators, with ADT covering a thousand miles weekly, getting to and from meetings. Caffyn in the 60's confined his racing to Headquarters and the Sydney provincial tracks. Turnbull was everywhere, Hawkesbury on Thursday night, Harold Park on Friday ,Orange or wherever on Saturday afternoon and his brother George would meet him at Bathurst Showground in the evening with a truckload of fresh horses for the night's racing.
 
  Horse numbers were so high that six Sunday Gymkhana meetings were held over each month, with the two "stand alone" fixtures, Fairfield and Bankstown attracting 20-25 races  with full fields at each venue.
 
  Where am I headed? Here we are, half a century on and horse numbers are low, yet we have a disproportionate number of large teams. Grant Dixon  heads not only the trainer's ladder but the horse ladder as well currently having a team of 60 under his care. Brian Manzelmann is hovering around 60 and likely to expand. John McMullen is at 40 plus, Darrel Graham 30, Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen at 30, Ricky Gordon 25, Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham 40, Julie and Lola Weidemann at 40, and Glenn Dawson  20 plus. There you have a random selection of stables canvassed at Redcliffe on Thursday afternoon, with the nine training establishments home to 345 horses.
 
  In the 60's, backyard trainers, or hobbyists, were thick on the ground. There was not the need for stables to run up to four horses in a race to make up fields, with the resulting knee jerk reaction from punters when the longest priced representative gets the bikkies and the more popular choice comes home with "browns cows". There was in fact more of everything good about trotting. The concept of "get big or get out" does not sit well with the light harness sport. Our current administrators would do well to re-jig their thinking in regard to the " hobby owner/trainer/driver " and turn the "family sport" back to a reality. Currently "family", when viewed in the context of harness, more closely equates to "dynasty".
 
  If you want to view the proposed plans for the Gold Coast Harness Racing Complex, tomorrow is the day. The presentation  will be at 11.30am on site at Zipfs Road, Alberton. Follow Jacobs Well Road past the Gem Hotel, turn left into Alberton Road and then right into Zipfs Road. Look for signs. Enter on the right opposite the cricket club.  BYO hats and  picnic chairs.
 
 
The leader board, new names but geography remains the same. Trainer was Chantal Turpin with four clear victories while Adam Sanderson ran Pete McMullen to a dead heat, both on three winning drives.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 25/04 Blytheburn (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 26/04 Miz Lulabell Lombo (John Cremin fgor Jay Edmunds).. One On The Wood (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Marburg 26/04..  Bowee Bromac (Nathan Dawson for Ricky Gordon)..  Beejays Abundance (Steve Burke).. Lily Ultimate (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Camivista (Tom McGuire for Chris McGuire).. Albion Park 28/04.. nil.. Albion Park 29/04.. Sign To Inverell (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Five Card Draw (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 30/04.. Reddy Fire (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).. Ohoka Mach (Trevor Lambourn).. Son of Lopez (Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe 01/05.. Mimesis (Pete for Phil Mitchell).. Studleigh Billy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham)...

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« 2014-May-12, 08:22 AM Reply #5 »
"TROT TACTICS..10/05/2014..
 
When the trotting bug bites, the resulting infection can usually be considered permanent. It may go into remission but usually surfaces somewhere down the track. Such is the case with new arrivals in the Ipswich footprint, ex West Australians, Alan Johnson and his wife of many years, Darcel Lindau-Johnson. The couple actually left WA for the nomadic life in 2004, selling a large cattle feed-lot operation at Northhampton, some six hours drive north of Perth. 2007 saw them in residence in the Gold Coast hinterland, and it was there, last October, that Darcel's early interest in light harness, as a member of the high profile Lindau family, flared again. The Lindaus  rose to prominence outside WA in the late 60's through the efforts of Blue Pennant, a gelded son of Machine Again and Silver Shadow, winner of The Brennan Memorial, Stratton Memorial, and a heat of the 1967 Inter- dominion among numerous other Features.
 
Back to the Gold Coast, where Darcel is casually listening to a trot meeting in Victoria and hears the breeding details of a pacer named Los Bravos. The dam's name, Tactile Magic rings alarm bells and subsequent research proves that that she is a Lindau family product, being from a mare called Boobianna bred by Darcel's father D'Arcy. Further research leads to Bob and Coral Hawkes of Echuca. By this time, Darcel is on fire, determined to turn a segment of her past into a serious future. The next move is to purchase the total stock of Team Hawkes, sending Reverend Black, Diva Dolly and Los Bravos to Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham. Now the search was on for a property, and having bought six yearlings at the recent Redcliffe sale and two more at the Melbourne Australian Pacing Gold venue, naturally a horse breaker must be engaged. Enter Purga based Ray Pullen, a former top Tasmanian trainer/driver with an established reputation in the education business. The well appointed Pullen property just happens to be on the market with the Pullens hoping to head back to the Apple Isle to be close to Ray's father Henry ( a legend in his own right) in his declining years. You guessed it. Springfield Farm is about to be renamed Menlo Park, as it, the resident horses and the great bulk of the working plant are now property of the Johnsons. Further, Bob and Coral Hawkes will be moving in to assist with training what is an expanding team.
 
Where does Alan fit in all this. AJ is a stock horse and campdraft man and, from comments by Ray Pullen on Alan's technique in handling young stock, we could all benefit from watching him in action. From RP's description Alan Johnson's approach seems to be based on similar principles to that practised by the late James Wilton, who in his hey day was classed as a genius. Both appear to communicate  with the horse on a different level to "Joe Average". There you have it. New people coming into the game, and bringing enthusiasm with them. We welcome Darcel and Alan, and can only hope that their horses move as fast as they themselves moved on what they saw as a series of "good things".
 
Three tendon injuries in quick succession have robbed Fernvale based trainer, Darrel Graham of a swag of talent..Having lost potential stars, Mafuta Vautin (7 starts for 6 wins) and Major Montana (4 for 2), for at least this current season, it was salt in the wound when Graham lost Montana Marie. The massive daughter of Art Major and Just Del retires to stud with a record of 18 wins from 27 runs and $122,763.
 
Queensland's "Iron Horse", Destreos will appear at Menangle tonight in the Plough and Harrow Stakes over the mile journey. It will be start number 313 for the old marvel who now boasts stats of 312 for 71 wins 54 seconds and 46 thirds banking $559,905. His last visit to Menangle amounted to one run for one win and $7,500. He is staying for a month this time and Kelli Dawson will be the pilot.
 
After an ordinary week resulting in just 10 winners, Greg Elkins and Darrel Graham shared trainers honours with two apiece and Kylie Rasmussen was top driver, again with two wins.
 
Resultsville.. Albion Park 02/05.. Chevals Diamond (Ricky Thurlow for Jason Carkeet).. Albion Park 03/05.. Tinted Pearl (Kylie Rasmussen for Greg Elkins).. Chal Fire (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Albion Park 05/05.. Red Luck (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Signowar (Mitchell Dawson for Trent Knack).. The Falcon Legend (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 06/05.. Cheesy Grin (Kylie Rasmussen for Greg Elkins).. Franco Bulgari (Pete for Narissa McMullen).. Redcliffe 07/05.. Speedy Love (Darrel Graham).. Dutch Cream (Steven Burke)..
 

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« 2014-May-19, 09:04 AM Reply #6 »
"TROT TACTICS".
 
Just what are your plans for today. Is it a bright clear Autumn morning, just a bit nippy. If so, Marburg trots are the place for you and the family. The trials program kicks off at 11.00am and race one on the five race card goes at 12.30pm. Entry is $5 for adults, $3 for pensioners and kids under 16 go free. Come along and try the country burgers from Barry's BBQ and the rest of a large selection of hot food. Hot and cold drinks and bar prices to beat the budget, coupled with a bookie that comes there to bet. Sky Channel for the gallops coverage, and all we need is you, to make it a great day. Fun in the sun and "up close" action at Marburg showground. Don't miss it!!
 
  In the diary for June 14th. Charity Day Race meeting at Marburg. We will have at least one very special guest on that day. More news to come. Make it a "must go" day.
 
  The grass circuit is about to kick off with a combined trot and gallop meeting scheduled for Beaudesert on Saturday, May 24th. With this in mind, qualifying trials will be held on the grass tomorrow morning, and the first trial is set to go at 8.00am. These will be under mobile start conditions, but only bars incurred on grass can be lifted. Other penalties incurred at Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg will remain in place. Slip on over and black book a winner for the next week.
 
  Raceview owner/breeders, Jeff and Leanne Wallace, have a strong hand in tonight's $100,000 Seymour Nursery Pace Final for 2yo colts and geldings. Lining up for "Team Wallace", will be Mista Natural, unbeaten at two runs so far. Educated by Geoff Dawson and trained and driven by Peter Greig, the colt is by Mr Big from the prolific winner, Impish Princess, a daughter of Fake Left. Impish Princess, herself a winner of $200,000 plus has already produced How Will I Know, currently boasting a bank balance of $127,000. The Wallaces are also breeding from Sweet Shania, Forgiven and Lets RockNRoll.
 
  Again the wheels of harness are turning, this time focussing on an animal welfare issue.  Harness Racing Australia has made additions to approved and banned gear as a result of discussions at the recent meeting of Chief Stewards and Veterinary Officers. Consideration is given to the need of the item, alternative items available, horse welfare and integrity when these decisions are made
The use of chain, twisted wire or rope pulling bits (irrespective of covering), or devices which constrict a horses jaw, is banned. Items that wrap around the jaw and which are designed to severely tighten on the jaw when pulled create an animal welfare issue. These particular items can cause permanent damage to a horses jaw and are therefore not permitted to be used.
The use of twisted wire bits are banned for any purpose in the State of Victoria under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008.
  This column has often made reference to the need to eliminate or severely curtail the use of the whip in horse racing. To date, most Australian control bodies have been unable or unwilling to achieve this, and we are still guilty of sending out TV images of drivers flogging horses at any stage of a race. This negative image is now bolstered by the above news. It seems that our potential audience are faced with the peculiar dilemma of a hypothetical driver flogging a horse (causing pain)to encourage it to greater exertion whilst resorting to steering gear more suited to the Spanish Inquisition (causing pain) to guide and or restrain the equine athlete. One day our administrators will realise that we cannot continue to exist without the group of punters that we don't have, and simply must attract in the immediate future. That group is a solid majority  of the Australian population who appreciate an exciting horse fuelled spectacle and contest produced by that most excellent of animals, "the willing horse". They will not have a bar of cruelty, overt or covert.
 
  Winners again thin on the ground. Just eight this week with the leader board showing Trevor Lambourn and Darrel Graham head to head on two wins while Narissa McMullen took the driving honours with the same total.
 
  Resultsville..Albion Park.. 09/05.. Cheesy Grin (Narissa for Greg Elkins)... Albion Park.. 10/05.. Arvee Bromac (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Navarda Ace (Narrissa for John McMullen).. Redcliffe.. 11/05 Dee Jay Ray (Trevor Lambourn)... In No Mans Land (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn).. Albion Park.. 12/05.. Hachem (Brittany Graham for Adam Sanderson).. Albion Park.. 13/05.. nil... Redcliffe 14/05.. Speedy Love (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe.. 15/05.. Mimesis (Pete for Phil Mitchell)..
 

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« 2014-May-19, 12:10 PM Reply #7 »
Arsenal
Thanks for putting these up.
I enjoy having a read of these and it takes me back to when I was a regular at Harold Park in Sydney where I witnessed some of the best ever pacers going around .
The likes  Hondo Gratton, Paleface Addios, Koala King ..these were just some of the names I remember.
Harold Park back in those days was overflowing with people, and the placed buzzed with atmosphere and excitement .

When I moved with work up to Qld I settled in the Redlands after a short period at Sunnybank.
Often would take myself out to the Cleveland showgrounds where some local trainers would put their pacers through some work and often races would be staged at the local show.
These were always exciting affairs with the tight saucer tracks being way to small to accommodate too many horses.

Eventually caught the bug and purchased my first pacer...a tried horse I think they called it which had already won 6 or 7 races at Rocklea.
A local trainer at the time said I paid way too much for this bloke but even conceding he may be right I asked him to train this horse which he was happy to do.

The bloke I bought him off was, I found out later, was what some  would call a "Colourful Character" and had done a bit of time. This didn't really worry me as I'd mixed with a few colourful characters in my days growing up in the southern suburbs of Sydney and found if nothing else these types were loyal.

After many set backs whilst training this horses I was starting  to get frustrated and feeling as though the trainer was correct in his assumption I had paid too much for him.
Ok a plan was put into action and we were to "set him up" for a win at Rocklea which was his place of triumph in previous wins.

Back then you could get set for any amount of money with the on course bookies and with the help of a mate ( who was a copper back then) we  proceeded to place numerous bets on my horse with prices as high as 33-1.
Without going into a description of the race the plan was to lead and if he got to the lead he would just win...well he never got to the lead and ended up in fourth position.

Sitting up in the stand my mate and I were devastated and close to broke..so after composing ourselves we headed out to Doomben to recoup our losses.
We managed to claw back some of our losses at Doomben and the excesses of alcohol seem to diminish not only our losses back at Rocklea but our declining spirit and we decided to kick on further into the night with a few more bets at Albion Park trots then into the city for some more refreshment.  
Remembering I was the designated driver that day and night I tried to remain under the limit, those days .08 but the free drinks from the bar managers on duty that my mate knew first hand were starting to take their toll on my thinking process and in the end thought I would just chance my luck once more by driving home.
The night ended badly just as the day had started and I got pulled over and asked to blow into the bag which set off the alarms so was taken back to the city watch house and retested which went even higher than my roadside reading.
Anyway a $1500 fine and 3 months disqualification added to my losses on the punt of my pacer that day led it to be one of the most unremarkable days of my life.

Thirty years later we can laugh at it now but it was no laughing matter back then and after one more unsuccessful go at owning a pacer I thankfully saw the light and went back into Thoroughbred ownership with far more better and rewarding results.
One lesson  that did come out of it was it was too difficult to get from A to B without  a car so that was the end to my drink driving days.

Still have a slight intertest in the main pacing races but its sad to see the decline in both interest and attendaces at harness tracks.

p.s
Sorry If Ive hijacked your thread.

« Last Edit: 2014-May-19, 12:15 PM by monologue »

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« 2014-May-19, 03:48 PM Reply #8 »
Very interesting contribution Mono you obviously were a real desperate in days gone by...... pleased that you survived to tell the tale ..after all "money lost ..nothing lost ..confidence lost ...everything lost"  Eric Connolly. :beer:

 

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« 2014-May-26, 07:08 AM Reply #9 »
                         "TROT TACTICS".24/05/2014..
 
  Great turmoil in the halls of power this week as two members of the Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board (QACRIB) tendered their resignations. It is believed that both members were acting in protest against what is seen to be an ongoing lack of consultation, transparency and accountability in QACRIB's handling of negotiations leading to the  re-selection of TattsBet as the wagering service provider of choice in the Sunshine State. The same opinions have been voiced on decision making processes on a number of other projects and initiatives since QACRIB's inception. Barry Taylor (Gallops) and Brad Steele (Harness) have pulled the plug, and so far neither gentleman has confirmed their motives.
 
  Animal racing in Queensland is a huge business in dollar terms as it runs on a host of expensive consumables and repetitive services. Expenditure on feed, farrier, transport and veterinary services runs to millions per week across the state, and any turn down in the business due to lack of confidence in the Control Body would soon be felt in the State's economy. With two of the five QACRIB members heading for the pavilion it falls squarely on the shoulders of the Minister for Racing, Steve Dickson to open an inquiry into the reasons behind these actions. Given that most of the racing fraternity voted LNP in the hope of a promised better deal under a new Government, the ball is now fairly in the Minister's court. Nothing less than complete disclosure and appropriate remedial action based on the findings of such an inquiry  will satisfy what is now a very nervous racing community. If, as it is rumoured, we have a number of puppet masters operating behind the scenes, then these people have to go. It's called integrity, and like justice, it must be seen to be done.
 
  The Marburg Pacing Association, aka Marburg Harness Racing Club, will race on next Saturday, May 31, as a lead in to the June 14th Charity Cup meeting. The Charity day clashes with the Ipswich Cup gallops meeting, but, rather than seeing this as a problem, Marburg will offer a less glitzy, not so overpowering event, aimed at providing exciting trotting in a more laid back and budget conscious family day setting. All the usual Marburg features will be on offer. The best burgers, straight off Barry's BBQ, a variety of other hot and cold food including Sharlene's delicious desserts, hot and cold drinks with bar prices that can't be beaten, bookies that come there to bet plus Sky Channel coverage of the gallops, and several value packed raffles. Get a taste of what's on on June 14 by rocking up next Saturday May 31. $5 gets adults through the gate, Pensioners and Members are in at $3 and children under 16 years old go free. The day starts at 11.00 am with official barrier trials and the Racing commences at 12.30 pm. If it's value for your dollar that's wanted, Marburg is the place to get it.
 
  Former Ekka Ring Master, Warren Cummins, reports that the standardbred section at Ipswich Show attracted 18 entries, and he was more than impressed with the level of presentation of both horses and handlers. The presence of the trotters in the show ring has been much on the decline in recent years, with this writer having judged the breed at the Ekka in 2012 when the turnout was less than double figures. Maybe things are about to change for the better.
 
  Having reported the string of tendon injuries which affected talented pacers in the Darrel Graham stable recently, it is good to see that former star, Lanercost, put his toe in the water on the comeback trail, winning a trial at Albion Park last Monday with Adam Sanderson in the sulky. DWG is not about to get too excited, saying that Lanercost will have to complete more trials in a consistently satisfactory manner before there is any thought of a race start.
 
  Same leader board, same names. Trainers, Chantal Turpin three for the week, drivers, CT's fiancée Pete McMullen, right up there with five.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 16/05.. Cullens Jewel (Pete for Phil Mitchell).. Albion Park 17/05..Whatajetstar (Narissa McMullen).. Marburg 17/05.. Rubys Falcon (Amy Rees for Mark Rees).. Albion Park 19/05.. Instant Chemistry (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 20/05.. Cheval Zeppenology (Ricky Thurlow for Jason Carkeet).. Cheesy Grin (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Redcliffe 21/05..Matt Belford (Ken Belford).. Highview Ember (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Redcliffe 22/05.. Just A Fling (Mathew Neilson for Denis Smith).. Mimesis (Pete for Phil Mitchell).. Teenteeitsdynamite (Amy Rees for Mark Rees).. Diamond Fantasy (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Blessed Is The Boy (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen)..
 

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« 2014-Jun-02, 07:26 AM Reply #10 »
"TROT TACTICS".. 31/05/2014..
 
  Sadly, death is with us again, with two ladies, wives of trainers, leaving us this week. Firstly, Paula, wife of Marburg identity Ken Burwell, who lost a battle with severe illness and was cremated on Thursday at Laidley. Incredibly, Valma, widow of Boonah based Snowie Staines died the same day from injuries received when trying to chase a cow out of the house yard on the family property. Both will be sadly missed.
 
  The last day of Autumn. What better way to spend it than out at Marburg Showgrounds watching the trots. Be close to the action on the 700 metre circuit, while enjoying the country cooking, the bookies that have a go and the liquid refreshment ranging from hot and cold drinks and probably one of the best priced bar lists anywhere. The trials start at 11.00am and the five race program goes at 12.30 pm. Plenty of opportunity for the punter as the bookies field on a number of gallops meetings as well as the local trots. Sky Channel screens keep you up to date on fluctuations. Today is a lead in to "Charity Day" ,coming up on June 14th. Slip on out and preview a laid back alternative to the extravagance and glitz of the Ipswich Cup.
 
   A super bonus prior to the "Charity Day" trot meeting can be enjoyed by attending the Poets In The Park Breakfast, held in the Community Park opposite the Marburg Hotel that morning. Fans of lyric, introspective, social and heroic verse can hear devotees of the muse read their latest works. Food for thought has always been the poets stock in trade, reflecting times in which we live, troubled or otherwise, and providing balm for the soul. Make it a big and satisfying day, combining both events.
 
  Former Marburg resident, Steven Doherty, currently pursuing his career as a farrier based in Dusseldorf (Germany), is already gaining the respect of high profile trainers. SD recently plated long time superstar, Commander Crowe after a track record breaking performance at Volfega in Holland. The multi- millionaire trotter is one of Europe's  harness heroes  of the last five years, and his recent effort shows that his star is far from set. Top race horses in that part of the world are treated as royalty, and to be asked to shoe him is a big wrap in itself. Check the website <austrotforum.com> for phone photo. Go Steve !!
 
  The Winter Carnival rolls on with Triad Finals for 3yos of both sexes enjoying Group 2 status at $80,000 apiece. Group 2 prestige also applies to the 4yos which will race for $50,000. It is a strange logic ,apparently driven by the need for an early return on the investment of buying a yearling, which sees the 2yos race for even bigger purses and Group 1 status. A number of thinking owners and trainers have for many years requested that the prizemoney be reversed with the 4yos getting top dollar. The rationale for this is, that there would be a reduction in the wastage of juveniles from training stresses incurred chasing the big money, thus ensuring a larger pool of undamaged mature animals with race track longevity as a keystone of their resume!
 
  Not high scores but plenty of names on the leader board this week. Three way dead heats for trainers, John McMullen, Darrel Graham and Glenn Dawson all on two winners. Drivers likewise at two apiece for Nathan Dawson, Adam Sanderson and Pete McMullen.
 
  Resultsville. Albion Park.. 23/05.. Teasing (Dale Chalk for Shaun Gillespie).. Albion Park 24/05.. Praze An Beeble (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Albion Park 26/05.. Its Well Said (Hayden Barnes for Pete McMullen).. Blessed Is The Boy (Narissa for John McMullen).. Look My Way (Nathan Dawson for Glenn Dawson).. Gloveman Gilly (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Big Bazz (Ricky Gordon).. Albion Park 27/05.. Missing Letters (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 28/05.. My Man Dan (Pete McMullen).. All Dreams Aside (Trent Dawson for Geoff Dawson).. Redcliffe 29/05.. In The Present (Nathan Dawson for Glenn Dawson).. Only One Slim (Pete for John McMullen)..
 

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« 2014-Jun-09, 08:59 AM Reply #11 »
"TROT TACTICS"..07/06/2014..
 
  Just keep that black book open for next Saturday June 14th. Marburg offers the best of cruisy packages as an alternative to the hype and glitz of the Ipswich Cup. Start the morning  with a visit to Poets In The Park. Have breakfast with the tellers of tales and the weavers of fantasies. Food for the body and sustenance for the soul.
 
  Then a short walk up the road to the Showgrounds, where a $5.00 entry will get you into the Marburg Pacing Associations Charity Day trial and race meeting. Trials kick off at 11.00am and the serious racing at 12.30pm. Marburg at its best with top class country cooking, brilliant desserts, hot and cold drinks, plus the best bar prices available any where. Brilliant spectacle of the pacers on a 700 metre track with all its close up action. The bookie covers local trots and the major gallops action with Sky Channel screens to keep you on the ball if you fancy a bet. Come along. and support our fund raising effort for 18 year old disabled rider, Phoebe Roche. Help her to get herself and her dressage horse, Comet, to the "Special Olympics", set down for Melbourne in October. All you have to do is roll up, enjoy the day's racing, enjoy the food, meet Phoebe, hopefully buy a few raffle tickets, and, it will be dream come true for Melbourne. It's as easy as that but we can't do it without your support. We need you!
 
  As reported previously, our globe trotting farrier, Steve Doherty, has kept his options open and has now shifted to France. His own words best describe the new situation. "I have a job in France and I'm working for the best. Currently a goom for the Dubois stable. No shoeing here for me only stable duties but learning so much. The farm is massive I've counted 8 tracks 4 straight tracks, water walkers undercover swim treadmills and about 8 normal walkers. The place is amazing.French trotting is the best in the world and I'm lucky enough to be working for the best in France." See, it just gets better.
 
  "The merry, merry, month of May" was a line from a popular song of years ago. It was back to the future for several owners on the Brisbane scene last month as the flow of winners seemed never ending. Kevin and Kay Seymour's harness operation, Solid Earth Pty Ltd was in Victory Lane on no less than 23 occasions over 28 race meetings. The equine earners were a mix of home-breds and NZ purchases, including Gold Medallist, Charming Allie, Field Officer and Majestic Mach. Next up was harness racing Control Board Member Greg Mitchell, who was up where it counts with 14 winners, among which were Lord Luna, Max Richter and Only The Brave. Out Ipswich way, Raceview based Jeff and Leeanne Wallace had a corker with their home products taking the laurels 7 times, thanks to Mista Natural and How Will I Know. See, it can be done. Just takes the right mixture of optimism and patience, plus a dash of luck.
 
  Meanwhile harness in Queensland is lacking a Control board Member, and a Racing Manager. This needs to be rectified smartly. The preceding paragraph would make you believe that all is going well indeed. Sadly, it is not. Much needs to be done to repair cracks at the base of the pyramid. First thing is to provide viable racing opportunity for the hobbyists. In other words, timeslots that allow the owner/trainer/driver to compete without losing time from work, plus the programming of races in which his horses will be competitive. Give them that for starters and a lot of the cracks will disappear.   
 
  Jump outs at Marburg tomorrow morning. Nominations taken at 7.15am and education goes at 8.00am. Great Marburg  breakfast and hot and cold drinks.
 
  Just nine winners for the week with ever reliable Darrel Graham top trainer with just two wins. It took nine drivers to get the nine winners home. Joy for every one.
 
  Resultsville Albion Park 30/05.. Certainly James (Gary Whitaker for Geoff Stanfield).. Albion Park 31/05 .. nil... Marburg 31/05..Hashtagyolo (Mitchell Dawson)... Take Seven (Nathan Dawson for Max Towns).. Albion Park 02/06.. My Mate Billy (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Judyfree (Pete McMullen)... Albion Park 03/06.. Sign To Inverell (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. The Falcon Ute (Brittany Graham).. Big Zee (Chris Petroff for Trevour Lambourn)... Redcliffe 04/06.. Montana Falcon (Darrel Graha).. Albion Park 05/06.. nil..
 

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« 2014-Jun-16, 08:03 AM Reply #12 »
"TROT TACTICS".. 14/06/2014..
 
  Well, now it's crunch time. What to do. Head on down for the hustle and bustle of the Ipswich Cup , or  take in the laid back atmosphere of the Charity day meeting at Marburg trots. Today, Marburg will host a fund raiser for disabled rider, Phoebe Roche. Phoebe, who doesn't mind a challenge, is hoping to compete  with her horse Comet in the Dressage events at the Special Olympics, to be held in Melbourne in October. Go good there and Los Angeles is a possibility next year. PR  and Comet will give a demonstration of their skills between races today, and the Marburg Pacing Association will be running a 600 ticket, 6 prize raffle on her behalf. Come on out, support Phoebe, and enjoy the spectacular, " close to the action" racing on the 700 metre circuit. Best of country burgers, all sorts of goodies including local baked Walloon pies, hot and cold drinks and the best bar prices. Bookmaker fielding on gallops and local trots with Sky Channel screens to follow the fluctuations. Leave home early and have breakfast at  Marburg's Poets in the Park  on the way. Trot trials start at 11.00am and the race program at 12.30 pm. Admission is $5, with pensioners and students $3, children under 16 go free. A great and affordable family day.
 
  Moving to tonight and leading into the Winter Carnival, Albion Park presents a top meeting. Two heats of what is now the Kevin and Kay Seymour Premier's Cup. The prestige event for C2-C5 pacers is a standing start handicap run over 2647 metres, and, the Final has never been won by anything but a good horse. Formerly run at the now defunct Gold Coast Parklands from 1984, the race is true staying test. Now in its 30th year, the Cup has been won by the likes of Pocket Battleship 1993 (Paul Matis), which went on to earn over $240,000, and last year Alberto Contador, currently banking $217, 868 from 64 starts was the victor. Add to this a Free For All over the mile journey, which sees the return of Lanercost for the Darrel Graham stable after a long absence from the track and a season at stud. All the current sprint stars are there including  LeBron, Avonnova, Destreos and Sign To Inverell. All up, the nine runners have earned  $3,042,810 between them, with the lowest just $105 short of the magic $200,000 mark and the highest on $573,765. See, there is money in trotting, you just have to get the right horses.
 
  Former high profile trainer/driver, and highly successful Ipswich based accountant and businessman,Paul Matis, has been among the missing for some years now. His last horse of any note was the injury plagued kiwi, White Star Sam, which Matis was able to put in the black side of the ledger with a couple of well executed plunges at Gold Coast. A far better driver than he was ever rated, Matis resumed behind Regal Eagle, trained by Geoff Dawson, for a midfield effort at Albion Park last Tuesday. PM has also purchased Ruckus Hanover, currently prepared by Barty Cockburn at Logan Village. Too busy at work to train, Matis's intention is to drive for pleasure. We shall see.
 
  Your thoughts are directed to Jenny Halliday and John Davis, both battling serious health issues. We need them back on deck again soon.
 
  Changes on the leader board this week with the Mayor of Mt Walker West, Trevor Lambourn  sharing the trainers with Darrel Graham on three winners apiece, and the drivers section split between Chris Petroff and Adam Sanderson on two.
 
  Resultsville. Redcliffe 06/06.. Instant Chemistry (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Montana Falcon (Darrel Graham).. Albion Park 07/06.. Sign To Inverell (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Big Zee (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn).. Albion Park 09/06.. Jaylets Fury (Glenn Dawson).. Luke Hobbs (Brittany Graham).. Albion Park 10/06.. Missing Letters (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Alta Antonia (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Redcliffe 11/06 .nil... Redcliffe 12/06 .. Teasing (Shaun Gillespie).. Vicar Sivad (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn).. Big Zee (Brendan Barnes for Trevor Lambourn)..
 
 

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« 2014-Jun-23, 07:46 PM Reply #13 »
"TROT TACTICS"..21/06/2014..
 
  Well folks, we can report that the Marburg Charity Race day was a big success. Wet weather did not help, but there was a fair sprinkling of new faces among the crowd. Our star attraction, disabled rider Phoebe Roche, under the watchful eye of her coach, Cathy Binz, gave a neat display of her dressage skills  aboard her warm blood cross gelding, Comet.. The racing was top quality, with Bronze Ecstasy, driven by Amy Rees for her father Mark taking out the Phoebe Roche Fundraiser Stakes in the smart mile rate of 2.04 and change. Bronze Ecstasy went on to win at Albion Park on Tuesday, confirming the Marburg form with a blistering 1-57.4 performance.
 
  The fund raising was equally successful with a total of $1820.00 coming from the raffle and several large cash donations. Winners are grinners, and Canteen volunteer, Sharlene Russell won first prize of a case of wine , while Phoebe, her mum Shaneen and good old Comet will be going to the "Special Olympics", scheduled for Melbourne in October. The Marburg Pacing Association wishes "Team Roche" every success and our thanks go to the Advertiser, Queensland Times and Gatton Star news papers which gave us great coverage and really put the fundraiser on the road to success. Who said "print media" was on the way out. Not here it isn't..
 
  An interesting view of the Ipswich Cup comes from a Mrs Cochrane, who with her husband Ron, were first time attenders at the big gallops day. The Cochranes have been Ipswich residents for the last five months since "crossing the ditch" and are determined to attend every sporting venue in the greater Ipswich footprint. Mrs Cochrane found the "Fashions In The Field" to be a high class event with the ladies sporting the latest in elegant style. She reports that many in the crowd were delighted to see that the top award went to an Ipswich lady, as apparently either Brisbane or the Gold Coast supplies the winner on most occasions.  Crowd numbers were good, and Marquees plentiful. Ron Cochrane was also delighted. He backed the winner of the Cup. Best of all, the Cochranes are coming to the Marburg race meeting on July 12th. We must do our best to see that they become regular patrons.
 
  Racing Queensland has announced a Strategic Plan to be implemented from this point until June 2017. The plan contains eight primary objectives as follows. (1) Building a passion for our sport.. (2) Creating a compelling racing product.. (3) Increasing and diversifying revenue streams.. (4) Becoming a Data-driven and Technology-led industry.. (5) Championing animal welfare.. (6) Investing in infrastructure.. (7) Celebrating our people.. (8) Upholding integrity.. There should have been a 9th primary objective aiming at a brighter future for "hobbyists", but it seems to have been overlooked.
 
  The entire document can be read from the RQ website and I can only suggest that anyone with the future of the sport at heart  and a comprehensive  grasp of "buzzwords" and "guru speak" should do just that. Strategic plans were much mooted in the late Peter Caldwell's (CEO) time, and that of Harness Racing Board Chairman, Keith Hamburger. Generally speaking, such plans are easy to generate, and extremely difficult to implement. Usually, this can be attributed to a lack of real knowledge of the situation on the part of the generators. Hopefully, this will not prove to be the case in this instance.
 
  Harness has a new Racing manager. Congratulations to David Aldred , previously CEO of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club (Vic). David will no doubt find himself very much involved over the three year life of the Strategic Plan. It will be a baptism of fire, and no place for the faint hearted!
 
  The leader board lights up for Nathan Dawson, way out in front driving five winners, trainers were split between Darrel Graham and john McMullen on three apiece.
 
  Resultsville. Albion Park 13/06.. Hachem (Adam Sanderson).. Makinamove (Shane Graham for Doug Lyon).. Albion Park 14/06.. Chal Fire (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Missing Letters (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).... Marburg 14/06.. Four Starz Cam (Ray Law).. Bronze Ecstasy (Amy Rees for Mark Rees) ..Take Seven (Nathan Dawson for Max Towns).. Jaylets Fury (Nathan for Glenn Dawson).. Albion Park 16/06.. Justanothermaori (Chantal Turpin).. Vicar Sivad (Nathan Dawson for Trevor Lambourn).. Opals Delight (Pete for Ron Sallis).. Dancing Major (Nathan Dawson for Trevor Lambourn)... Albion Park 17/06.. Bronze Ecstasy (Amy Rees for Mark Rees).. Carnival Pride (Narissa for John McMullen).. Redcliffe 18/06.. Arvee Bromac (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 19/06.. Halfway Holme (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Badjellys Courage (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Navarda Ace (Narissa for John McMullen).. Blessed Is The Boy (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-01, 07:34 PM Reply #14 »
TROT TACTICS".. 28/06/2014..
 
  Recent performances indicate that there just might be a another young harness talent on the rise. Almost 19 years old, Nathan Dawson is beginning to make his mark. With just eight weeks left of his second season in the sulky, ND is assembling  a resume based on consistency. All up, Dawson has "been round" on 341 occasions for 22 wins and 62 placings, but this season, the stats are, to date, 239 starts for 18 wins, 49 places and 30 4ths. What this means is better than 40% cheques to the owners  per start. Nathan Dawson works for his Uncle, John McMullen, whose stables are located at Glamorganvale, pretty much the epicentre of success in Ipswich trotting.
 
  Naming Double Identity as the best pacer he has seen, and Enrique Of Malacca as the best he has driven, the modest lad hopes to become a good driver and do well in the sport. He views trotting as "going OK at the moment, but in need of more tracks". Nathan Dawson has a Saturday night licence, plenty of ambition and the ability to make that ambition a reality. No different to any  other young driver, his fortunes will be heavily influenced by the quality of horses that he drives. His already respectable efforts have been achieved with "bread and butter" horses. Show him the right cattle and he will show you the winners.
 
  If you were wondering just what the new Racing Manager for Harness, David Aldred, who has left a good job at Bendigo trots in Victoria for a hard slog in Queensland, has to recommend him, the following is a statement  from Bendigo Chairman, Dennis Bice. "It is very disappointing to lose David from our club and harness racing in Victoria as he has achieved a great deal in setting the framework and direction for the Bendigo Harness Racing Club,” Mr Bice said.
 
“Under David’s guidance and leadership we have achieved a number of milestones and have been recognised for those at industry awards nights. None more prominent than the Bendigo Harness Racing Club winning the Victorian Club of the Year in 2012 for the first time, as well as several other industry awards for media and promotions, including the successful Race for Fun Club promotions in conjunction with the Bendigo Advertiser and a national award for best social and digital media last year.
“David’s dedication, hard-working approach and leadership have set the benchmark for us moving forward and I can understand why a body such as Racing Queensland have sought out his experience and expertise."
 
  Mr Aldred  is a former Queenslander who commenced his involvement in racing here some 34 years back as a rookie race caller at the same time as David Fowler. DA called trots at Rocklea and the original Gold coast track at Queen Street Southport. He then transferred to MacKay for some six years, calling races and doubling up as Secretary manager of both trots and gallops clubs. A four year stint at Penrith trots as CEO was followed by nine years at Sunshine Coast gallops. A further four years was spent in Canada as CEO of the western division of the Canadian trotting authority, but he was back in Australia to oversee the Tasmanian Inter-Dominion of 2006. Thence Bendigo and now back here commencing in August. That is some "CV". David Aldred may just be the man we need!
 
  The leader board lights up with just eleven winners for the week. Darrel Graham heads the trainers with just two wins , while Adam Sanderson, Kelli Dawson and Narissa McMullen share the driving honours again with a pair apiece. Again the geographic factor. All four reside within a stones throw of each other at Fernvale and Glamorganvale.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 20/06.. Just a Fling (Mathew Neilson for Denis Smith).. Missing Letters (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Franco Bulgari (Narissa McMullen).. Albion Park 21/06 Sign To Inverell (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham)..  Albion Park.. 23/06.. Call Me Yours (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Cold Real Dimpled (Brendan Barnes for Al Barnes).. Albion Park 24/06.. Jilliby Ling (Narissa for John McMullen).. Redcliffe 25/06.. Sir Camelot (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe 26/06.. Beaver (Kelli Dawson for Melissa Gillies).. Opals Delight (Ron Sallis).. Art and Rhythm (Trevor Lambourn)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-07, 03:59 PM Reply #15 »
"TROT TACTICS"..05/07/2014..
 
  There is no doubt that the biggest buzz in trotting is race driving. This was borne out last Tuesday when Pete McMullen was selected by WA trainer, Gary Hall snr, to drive Im Themightyquinn  in an Albion Park trial as a lead up to his tilt at the Garrards Sunshine Sprint tonight. Twenty two year old McMullen who is firmly entrenched as one of Queensland's top drivers, put the superstar pacer round the 1660 metres at Headquarters  in very impressive fashion, bolting away from his opposition in a mile rate of 1-51.9 just 0.1 seconds outside Suave Stuey Lombo's track record. PM described the drive as the greatest thrill he has ever experienced, a privilege and an honour. It will be back to normal tonight when Gary Hall jnr takes the reins and Pete will be reunited with his regular Free For All charger, the tough and honest LeBron.
 
 For the stats buffs, "Quinny" (Washington VC from the Sokys Atom mare, Love Sign) has banked $4,468,736 from 108 starts for 56-20-13.. Feature wins include two Inter-Dominion Grand Finals plus four heats, three Fremantle cups of $250,000 (one under stand start conditions), two West Australian Pacing Cups of $400,000 and a $400,000 mobile event unnamed in his summary.Interestingly, Love Sign appears to have gone empty for the next five seasons, going back to Washington VC in 2009/10 to produce another colt which now races in WA as Themightynadal. As this season draws to a close, Themightynadal has been round six times for a respectable 1-1-2 and $4,732 in the bank.
 
  Too late for our deadline last week was the announcement that Racing Queensland has signed a 30 year agreement with TattsBet to provide wagering services. The new deal is said to provide considerable extra funds, and is apparently made possible by a reduction in the Government's take out from the "betting tax". At the moment, who gets what ,and where the additional monies will be spent is unclear. No doubt the matter will be clarified in due course.
 
  Racing Queensland CEO, Darren Condon, said RQ is determined to make Queensland a leader in the animal welfare cause through initiatives such as GAP (greyhounds) and our new thoroughbred rehabilitation program. Apparently harness did not warrant a mention. We have two organisations "AFTER" and "SAQ" which have been re-homing standardbreds for at least a decade in Queensland. Animal welfare at its best. This blinkered approach is very much like that applied to an endangered species in harness, the owner/trainer/driver. Once the backbone of a flourishing sport, the "hobbyist" is headed the way of the Tasmanian Tiger. Harness administrators have lost sight of the truth in the old adage "strength in numbers". In their efforts to create an elite operation attracting only wealthy owners, they are trying to turn the pyramid upside down while removing its stability at the same time.
 
    Human interest for the week comes out of the North Island town of Thames in NZ. There lives New Zealand's oldest trainer, Bill Darrah who is 93 and still going strong. BD took up the trotters several years after retiring from a life on the farm. He had used horses for most of his early farming and had seen plenty of trotting as a casual punter. Looking for an interest, Darrah put in a very modest track in  his home paddock, in his own words, " a topping of rotten rock, not much more than a metre wide" acquired a horse and some gear and was on his way. To his great joy and surprise, that first horse was able to win at Alexandra Park. Win numbers now stand at a respectable 22. He professes no particular ability as a horseman, maintaining that any real ability lies in the horse itself, and your efforts as a trainer are only to get a little bit more out of the animal. Bill Darrah is a fit old bloke  and probably one of the few men in Australasian racing to use nosebags as a feeding technique. His two ambitions are, "to go on as long as he can" and to keep training winners.
 
  Put July 12th in the diary. It's only a week away and Marburg races are on a gain. There will be another multi-prize raffle headed up by a $200 voucher on Woolworths plus a good card of racing. Trials are tomorrow morning, 7.15 nominations and education goes at 8.00am. Burgers, hot and cold drinks, all at rock bottom prices.
 
  We can't get away from the lower Brisbane Valley. The leader board says Darrel Graham (Fernvale) is the top trainer with four wins, plus Pete McMullen (Patrick Estate) and Narissa McMullen (Glamorganvale) equal in the drivers with a score of three apiece..
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 27/06.. Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. My Man Dan (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Im Young Tommy (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 28/06..Five Card Draw (Darrel Graham). Intrepid Traveller (Pete for Chantal Turpin)..Studleigh Billy (Darrel Graham).. Four Jokers (Narissa for John McMullen).. The Pearl Of Paris (Narissa for John McMullen).. Albion Park 30/06..Monkseaton (Rob Gorman for Jay Edmunds).. Spirit Of Aurora (Glenn Dawson).. Albion Park 01/07.. Call Me Yours (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Redcliffe 02/07.. Rubys Bad Boy (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Speedy Love (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 03/07.. Monkseaton (Rob Gorman for Jay Edmunds).. Melton Valueless (Narissa for John McMullen).. My Mate Billy (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Betonthebay (Trevor Lambourn for Greg Minns)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-14, 10:11 PM Reply #16 »
  A new arrival from the deep south, Menangle would you believe, is trainer Mark Zohn. MZ has been involved in both codes of horse racing, starting out with the gallopers, including stints with Les Bridge in Sydney and Danny Bougoure Snr  here in Brisbane. Zohn switched codes in 1984 and named Bucklerburn Boy as perhaps one of his better performers in the early years.  Currently he works a mixed team of six pacers and three trotters, with Red Rocker, recently beaten narrowly in 1-52.0 at Menangle, Big Bazz and Lets Press On as the best of the hoppled contingent. The trotters are Heart Throb Hest, Jarsovfaks  and Sambalada which has been campaigning here in recent months for Haigslea based Ricky Gordon. Mark Zohn  prefers the trotters to the pacers, a policy which will endear him to a lot of local trainers who find the room and the patience for the diagonal gaited horse. Whatever side of the fence you are on, in a time when smaller operations are being wound up on a regular basis, Mark Zohn stands out as an asset in the Ipswich footprint and we should make him very welcome.
 
  Well, Im Themightyquinn lived up to his reputation as the fastest horse in Australia by posting a new track record in last Saturday night's Garrards Sunshine Sprint. The rising ten year old scorched around  Albion Park in 1-50.4 to knock a massive 1.4 seconds off the previous mark. Very few horses get where "Quinny" is without a very dedicated and competent trainer, and Gary Hall snr is no exception. GH's first contact with horses of any sort was with the milk and bakers cart working animals. The then 13 year old would make contact with the gentle giants and in due course would go with the delivery men to complete their rounds. As a natural progression, the lad was allowed to handle the reins. Soon, spare pocket money was spent at the local riding school, hiring a pony or hack at the weekends. As time went by, GH began to put in time at Gloucester Park mixed with a bit of punting.
 
  The idea soon formed that "I could do that" and young Hall was off to the reinsman's school. By age 16  he was a hobbyist  on a one horse basis. His first winning drive, for another trainer was Russvic, and Tovaree, trained and driven, followed in due course. It has been an upward progression since going full time in 1983, from which point onwards he has been in the top five trainers. GH claims it took 30 years to get to the top after deciding that was where he wanted to be. He is now well and truly there, topping the national stake earning figures for the last 6 or 7 seasons and leading metropolitan trainer in WA for the last 7 years. Hall  gave away the sulky on race night some 16 years ago. He had notched up some 600 winners but was not rated as a driver, being considered "too aggressive". He says that he trains the same way and facts seem to support the value of that approach. A one off return to the sulky some two years back saw G. Hall salute behind Famous Alchemist just to prove a point. Gary Hall, with his team of 50 horses, and his acknowledged ability, is amazed at the welcome which has been extended to him and his horse here in Queensland. It might be GH's personality. He is justly proud of his achievements, but in a modest fashion. Such attributes seldom go hand in hand.
 
  To finish off ,a heart warming positive accompanied by an astounding negative. On the upside, trainer/driver/farrier, Mark McNee  spent two days last weekend at the annual Zone 1 pony Club Camp, held at Beaudesert  Showgrounds. Mark was asked by Hendra Pony Club to bring along a couple of mini-trotters to introduce the kids to harness. MM gave 8 demo sessions over the two days assisted by his children who are keen competitors in the world of mini racing. All was well received, with every youngster having a drive, and a number of adults present who claimed no knowledge of harness racing in Queensland had the hands on experience as well. The downside of this is the lack of recognition for harness racing/trotting in the community at large. For many years now, successive administrations have failed to put the harness message out there. Any promotion that may have been done was through the sport's own publications and Sky Channel. A costly and useless exercise in preaching to the converted. Mark McNee's experience was further franked when one couple not only bought a pony for their child, but then approached MM indicating strong interest in buying a full size pacer or trotter and going off to the races. For sometime now racing admin in Queensland has talked about thinking outside the square. Just holding up a sign, so that the people outside our square could see it, would be a good place to start.
 
  No contest on the leader board this week. All the way with Darrel Graham, four of each.
 
  Resultsville..Albion Park 04/07..Lanercost (Darrel Graham).. Seaspray Notch (Gary Whitaker for James Harriott).. Albion Park 05/07..Franco Bulgari (Narissa McMullen).. Missing Letters (Darrel Graham)... Albion Park 07/07.. Goodwill Lad (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen) .. Paris To Berlin (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Albion Park 08/07.. Red Luck (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 09/07.. Jilliby Mac (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Rubys Bad Boy (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 10/07.. Opals Delight (Pete for Ron Sallis).. Therecomesatime (Pete for Ron Sallis)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-20, 07:29 PM Reply #17 »
"TROT TACTICS"..19/07/2014..
 
    Fans heading off to Albion Park this evening for the big night of the Winter Carnival will get a trip down memory lane when Champion pacer, Blacks A Fake (now retired) leads out the field of top liners which will contest the $100,000 Feature which bears his name. "Blacky" started on 105 occasions for for 72-19-5.., banking $4,575,438 and stopping the clock at a mile rate of 1-53.7. The "Black Superman" won no less than four Inter-Dominion Grand Finals. Fittingly, his closest rival in the prizemoney stakes is Western Australian  Im Themightyquinn, currently boasting earnings of $4,507,456 from 110--57-21-13 and a best record of 1-50.4.. At $67,982 behind "Blacky", the WA pacing machine would not get enough out of a win tonight to take the crown but it seems likely that this mark will be achieved in his next couple of starts.
 
 
Local trainer Bill Crosby and his regular pilot, Gary Whitaker, have a better than average chance of taking out the 2yo Colts and Geldings division of the Q-bred Triad Final with Constantlysideways. The son of Village Jasper and the Speed King mare, Misscilla has been to the races on seven occasions for one win and four placings, with only $10,020 to show for his troubles. The winner's cut of the $80,000 purse would boost the bottom line. The Crosby/Whitaker combo has tasted much success with Western Mail, Shez No Fake, Lady White Water and Morethanmeetstheye having contributed some $576,647 to the pot.
 
  Nathan Dawson continued on his winning way at Marburg last weekend driving his third "double" of his short but spectacular career. Last Saturday it was the "book ends" with Helava Grandview, trained by Trent Knack  taking out the first and Take Seven for Max Towns  successful in the final event. ND's total stands around 25 for the season, and he is certain to add to that, before August 31..
 
  There will be NO jump outs this Sunday as Darren Ebert will conduct a horse and gear sale in the morning, and the Marburg Show Society requires the grounds after 12noon until noon Monday
 

 As a follow up to the closing sentiments expressed last week, the following statement comes from Dr Pene Kirk, a highly respected Veterinary Surgeon and successful trotting trainer/driver while based in Queensland. Ms Kirk not only raced her team but sent them out to compete successfully at other horse disciplines including dressage and jumping between race starts. PK is recognised as a committed trotting person. This is her view of the current administrative trend to sell trotting as an elite sport for wealthy owners to the detriment of the hobbyist. "A lot of the top people in our industry start out very humbly as the owner- trainer of one or two moderate horses.  The imagined superiority of the entrenched British thoroughbred industry, with lads, head lads, stable foremen, assistant trainers IS NOT what we want to emulate, as most of OUR industry’s elite began as owner trainers, with their success and enthusiasm bringing in new owners and groups of owners keen to have a part of the action.  These people bob up out of all sorts of backgrounds, and are the ones we need to encourage, because their circle of acquaintances invariably taps into new potential enthusiasts, from most likely no previous racing background.  The very nature of this sport, and these horses, allows more immediate contact, and more personal involvement, from owners and their followers, than does the thoroughbred industry- maybe not the glamour, prestige or high potential stakes, BUT it gives people more personal thrills and more racing for their money. We need to recognize and embrace the very differences that give new owners potentially more positives, rather than seeking to ape the other racing code in a poorer fashion. THIS is the way to keep harness racing alive; keep the wider public involved and foster new interest by keeping our entrance level broad and relatively humble, and PROMOTE the achievements of these lesser-known individuals, equine and human."
 
  The leader board for this week sees Chantal Turpin up there on four training wins, and, Darrel Graham, Nathan Dawson and Pete McMullen all on two apiece.
 
  Resultsville. Albion Park 11/07.. Studleigh Billy (Darrel Graham).. Only Rainbows (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin)... Albion Park 12/07.. Arvee Bromac (Darrel Graham).. Marburg 12/07.. Helava Grandview (Nathan Dawson for Trent Knack)..  Hez To Blame (Noel Parrish).. Bee Jays Abundance (Steve Burke)..  Bonjour Le Belle (Glenn Walsh).. Take Seven (Nathan Dawson)..  Albion Park 14/07.. nil... Albion Park 15/07.. Gallymont Sport (Kelli Dawson for Geoff Dawson ).. My Man Dan (Chantal Turpin)..  Redcliffe 16/07..Oneonthewood (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Rubys Bad Boy (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Reddy Fire (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Pistolero (Ken Belford).. Redcliffe 17/07/2014.. Well To Do Lombo (Narissa McMullen)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-29, 04:46 PM Reply #18 »
"TROT TACTICS"..26/07/2014..
 
  For the hard core of us who resist the popular culture of "change for change's sake" when there seems little, if any point, in the exercise, this may be the highpoint of the week.  Probably the best news to surface in Australasia is the announcement that Western Australia has taken up the rights to the Inter-Dominion Series for the three years, 2016/18. Australasia's supreme test of the light harness horse is about to be put back on the pedestal where it rightfully belongs. The format will be three rounds of heats and a Grand Final. It will be 80 years since the first Championship was conducted at Gloucester Park in 1936 with Logan Derby (J. Agnew) emerging as the victor. When you are lost in the woods, as trotting in this country has been for some time, it is a positive move to retrace your steps. WA is to be congratulated on having the courage to do just that.
 
  In the current climate of "get big or get out" thinking which appears to be favoured by horse racing administrators nationwide, some extracts from Lets Go Horse Racing's "Wednesday Whinge" might be of interest. Leading NSW gallops trainer, Chris Waller is apparently the subject of negative comment over the number of horses he starts in metropolitan races. Former "dominant" trainer Lee Freedman has supported Waller, saying that to cap his runners would amount to a restriction of trade. Waller's comment was short and to the point.Waller said: “This is nonsense. It’s not my fault owners want horses with me. It’s not my fault I can keep my horses in work longer than some other trainers.’’
 
  No doubt that is correct, but Freedman qualified his support by saying that he did not believe that "super dominance" was too healthy, and, that he further believed that Waller would come back to the field within three or four years. NSW Chief Steward, Ray Murrihy, recalled suggestions to bracket runners from the T J Smith stable during that trainer's long period of dominance. Murrihy said that the class and quality of Waller's runners, including many imports, at least ensured that Sydney racing was at an elite level, even if race fields numbered no more than seven or eight horses.
 
   Currently horse racing derives the great bulk of its income from TAB turnover. The cornerstone of turnover is punter confidence. Bracketing stable runners is as good a method of boosting punter confidence as you will find. If any stable has multiple starters the punter is on all of them. Problem solved. A number of integrity issues are addressed at the same time. In the "Golden Age" of the trots in the 50's and 60's, Gordon Rothacker might win the Melbourne Premiership with 13 or 14 winners for the season. However, there would be perhaps a dozen other trainers grouped between 10 or 12 wins. It was a truly competitive situation in both Melbourne and Sydney, with one and two horse trainers also prominent on the metropolitan stage. Such a situation, if restored today, would see the trots come back to life in a rush. 
 
  Another double to Nathan Dawson last Monday at Albion Park. Mister Attitude for Jenny Halliday and Navarda Ace for uncle and employer John McMullen saw ND's season tally rise to 25 wins ,55 placings and 31 fourths from 282 drives.  More than impressive, but just when we were about to kill the fatted calf, up pops Brittany Graham on Thursday at Redcliffe and drives a treble, already having scored on Saturday night with Emperor Montana at Albion Park.BG scored on Roughnready Nelson, Hachem and Montana Falcon. All are prepared at Darrel Grahams Fernvale property either by DWG himself, or Adam Sanderson. It just goes to show that nothing succeeds like success. Best of British luck to both Brittany  and Nathan . They are flying!!
 
  The Winter Carnival has come to a close. No real surprises with the bulk of the money slipping away over the border as used to be the case years ago. However, horses like Im Themighty Quinn and Bling It On, and those horses which pushed them to great things leave a lasting impression of just how good a spectacle the trots can be. Superstars and their efforts stick in the memory for years to come.
 
  The leader board is in family mode this week with Darrel Graham training four winners, and daughter Brittany driving an equal number.
 
  Resultsville..Albion Park.. 18/07.. nil... Albion Park 19/07..Emperor Montana (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Five Card Draw (Darrel Graham).. Albion Park 21/07..Mister Attitude (Nathan Dawson for Jenny Halliday).. Mevagissey Mickey (Brendan Barnes for Al Barnes).. Navarda Ace (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen).. My Mustang (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Albion Park 22/07.. The Love Affair (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Whoseme Father (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Redcliffe 23/07 nil... Redcliffe 24/07.. Roughnready Nelson (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Hachem (Brittany Graham for Adam Sanderson).. Montana Falcon (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham)..
 

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« 2014-Jul-29, 08:58 PM Reply #19 »
"TROT TACTICS"..26/07/2014..
 
  For the hard core of us who resist the popular culture of "change for change's sake" when there seems little, if any point, in the exercise, this may be the highpoint of the week.  Probably the best news to surface in Australasia is the announcement that Western Australia has taken up the rights to the Inter-Dominion Series for the three years, 2016/18. Australasia's supreme test of the light harness horse is about to be put back on the pedestal where it rightfully belongs. The format will be three rounds of heats and a Grand Final. It will be 80 years since the first Championship was conducted at Gloucester Park in 1936 with Logan Derby (J. Agnew) emerging as the victor. When you are lost in the woods, as trotting in this country has been for some time, it is a positive move to retrace your steps. WA is to be congratulated on having the courage to do just that.
 




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« 2014-Aug-04, 06:56 AM Reply #20 »
"TROT TACTICS"..02/08/2014..
 
  Well, according to the rumour mill, the three codes of racing have had their Tatts Bet distribution pie divided at Tuesday's Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board meeting. The mill has it that gallops got 75% and trots and greyhounds 12.5% each. Previously, the galloper's share was76%, trots 14.5% and dogs, which punched well above their weight in recent years, were on 9.5%. I imagine, if the mill has the correct figure, that both the gallops and trots will be a tad unhappy with the result and the dogs quietly pleased.
 
  If the envisaged cash bonuses from the Tatts Bet deal above the distribution figure are in fact a reality, then the trots might stay fairly static in the funds available for the next seasons prizemoney and administration costs. In the short term we might not feel the effects of a 2% loss. It depends on which way you look at it. If the Queensland Harness Racing Board shrugs it's shoulders and say's "we can live with that", well, we will just continue on the way we are going and next time round our chop might be 10% or less. If the Board sees this apparent setback as a timely wake up call, ditches the hopeless "punter unfriendly" racing format to which we currently adhere and substitutes an easily understood and reliable form line which will allow Joe Average punter and his friends to make their own selections, and, after the race, win or lose, be satisfied with the product they have just bet on. Once and for all, administrators must accept that the punters provide the money in racing. Their needs must be met first, and in such a way that that will attract new customers. That is the only way ensure a growth in general prizemoney  available to owners. Owners, like punters, take risks. The individual monetary sums are usually quite different, but the owner needs opportunity to earn money with his horse to defray the expenses of maintenance and training. Insufficient money, or money concentrated in some areas of racing to the detriment of others, causes just one thing, a decline in owners and a decline in possible replacements. What ever new format we adopt, and we will be forced to adopt one directly, it must be simple. The current format, "mobile conditioned plus claiming stakes" is impossible for Joe Average to work with. This writer has just imported from Canada a fourth text book on how to bet on the harness races. Titled "How To Make Money At The Harness Races" it is the work of Barrington J Wilks and is a well written and thorough approach to the punters problems. It, like all the other works on the subject, is far too complicated for anyone other than a committed professional to understand, much less use effectively. Wilks lists at least 100 factors for consideration in making a selection and deciding how much to invest.
 
  Kevin Seymour has called it a day. After a 47 year association with Queensland trotting, which has included four stints as Chairman of Albion Park Harness Racing Club, the massively wealthy Seymour will no longer be involved in the administration of the light harness sport. KS along with his wife Kaye have been major owners for many years using the company, Solid Earth Pty Ltd as their race book identity. Along with bulk winners, the Seymours put together a gold plated band of broodmares and also imported racing stock from New Zealand. Involved in the ownership of a number of stallions, the Seymours hit the jackpot with the USA bred Mr Feelgood which raced at top level in the States and here, winning the Inter-dominion Grand Final and the Hunter Cup among other "down under" features. No doubt K and K Seymour and Solid Earth will continue to race horses around Australia. In administration, Seymour developed a reputation as a "my way or highway" man. History shows us that it did not always work for the best. It is to be hoped that Kevin W Seymour will be remembered for the good things that he achieved. Stepping back from administration means just that. There should be no place for what could be perceived as shadowy figures in the background.
 
  There will be no trials at Marburg  tomorrow as there is a TAB meeting scheduled for the grass track at Deagon. A day "on the grass" appeals as a splendid way to spend a sunny Sunday. The first race, for the trotters, goes at 12.19pm.
 
  Yet again the leader board is focussed on the lower Brisbane Valley, with Fernvale's "first Citizen", Darrel Graham training and driving no less than four winners for the week. Just to the north west, at Patrick Estate, Pete McMullen matched the driving achievement, again with four wins.
 
  Resultsville..Albion Park 25/07.. Missing Letters (Darrel Graham)... Albion Park 26/07.. Intrepid Traveller (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. My Mustang (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Chal Fire (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).. Beaver (Kelli Dawson for Melissa Gillies).. Justanothermaori (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Albion Park28/07.. Lots More Grins (Pete for John Davis)... Albion Park 29/07.. Montana Terminator (Darrel Graham).. Missing Letters (Darrel Graham).. My Ultimate Hell (Gary Whitaker for John Davis)... Redcliffe 30/07.. Red Luck (Darrel Graham).. Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Redcliffe 31/07.. Just A Fling (Mathew Neilson for Denis Smith) .. Chicken On a Chain (Nathan Dawson for Glenn Dawson)..
 

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« 2014-Aug-11, 12:52 PM Reply #21 »
"TROT TACTICS"..09/08/2014..
 
  No wonder they call him the Lord Mayor of Fernvale. We refer of course to Darrel Graham, and, with the season drawing to a close, we should examine DWG's efforts for the 2013/14 racing year. As a trainer, DWG has started 626 runners so far, for 114 wins, 131 placings and 63 fourths, hauling in $599,875 in prize money. In the sulky, he has made 530 appearances for 79 wins, 119 places and 57 fourths, earning $518918... It's a pretty healthy effort, for a bloke who doesn't mind putting his workers on if they can do the job.
 
  It's DWG's lifetime (computer records from 84/85 onwards) stats that tell the full story. Training, 14,128 runners, 2032 winners, 3052 placegetters, 1355 fourths for a whopping $8,676,419.. Driving wise, 12,679 trips round the track, 1895 victories, 2876, places and 1283 fourths for $7,860,884..Darrel has proven a good judge of driving talent over the years as well, with the 1,449  runners he did not partner picking up a cool  $816,030 for their efforts. Those are the stats, you must understand that the numbers only underpin the effort and skills that make the Darrel Graham Stable an ongoing success story. Following in father's footsteps is elder daughter, Brittany with first season figures of 212 drives for 33 wins, 53 places, 24 fourths for $100,468.. Training as well, netted 91 runners, 12 wins 28 places and 10 fourths. Into the BG cash register went $68,850. Figures do your head in, but they are the  yardstick in Queensland trotting today!
 
  The Breeders Owners Trainers and Reinspersons  Association held an open meeting last Monday night  QHRB member Greg Mitchell in attendance. Mitchell was accompanied by QHRB's new Racing Manager, David Aldred and RQ's new Manager of Operations, Declan Martshinkd. Topic of the night was the end result of the "distribution" meeting conducted by QACRIB the week previous. Little information was available as the sums could not be settled, nor released until the Government is prepared to sign off on the financials.  Time frames of 7-10 days for finalisation of prize money figures and 7-14 days for the working party to give a firm assurance that construction of the Albion Park grandstand will commence in October and will take 18 months from sod-turning to grand opening. Both resident Greyhound and Harness Clubs are said to be agreeable to adding $1 million each to the grandstand project.
 
  Declan Martshinkd said that frequent reviews of the prize money split will be based only on turnover. To this end, we were told that Tatts Bet will be able to "seed" any pool at its own discretion in an endeavour to attract the punting dollar. A selection process to find us a third QHRB member to replace former Chairman, Brad Steele is in train, but, again, no hint of the names on the short list. About the only reasonably certain figure released was $1 million over three years for the Q-Bred scheme. It will however, be some weeks before the destination of these monies is known.
 
  In a nutshell, the only thought to come from the meeting, seems to be to err on the side of caution in money matters. There is something there, but how much is not known by the rank and file, and, we can do nothing until we do know. Play it cool!
 
  No track work at Marburg showgrounds this weekend and no jump outs tomorrow morning.. Jump outs are cancelled due to racing at the EKKA. Track closure is due to a Show Society event which will occupy the grounds. Marburg Pacing Association will hold its monthly meeting at the Community Hall on Monday night at 7.00pm. It is essential that we get a good roll up at this one as we need to re-establish some continuity of trials and access to training facilities. MPA is there to provide a service to harness owners and trainers in the South East footprint and it is finding it difficult to perform that service. It is a sad commentary on current thinking when a group of volunteers, whose sole aim is the advancement of all levels of trotting / harness racing is hampered in any way.
 
  Proof of the last paragraph is the 2yo "ready to run" sale proposed by MPA for Sunday 16th October. The trialling sale concept is not new but is now a very well accepted method of selling stock. Prospective purchasers can observe speed gait and manners in the youngsters, removing many of the "lottery" aspects of the traditional yearling sale.. Nominations for the sale ($100) close on August 23 at 3.00pm. MPA needs 10 entries to go ahead with the event. Contact MPA for details of trial conditions and distance. Steve Towns 0402 171 871... Denis Smith 0408 352 478..
 
  The leader board, same old same old. Darrel Graham top trainer with seven winners for the week, also shared driving honours with Pete McMullen on five apiece.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 01/08.. Better Than Money (Darrel Graham).. Red Luck (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 02/08.. Justanothermaori (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Deagon Grass 03/08.. The Pearl Of Paris (Narissa for John McMullen).. Luke Hobbs (Brittany Graham).. Emperor Montana Brittany for Darrel Graham).. Major Son (Darrel Graham).. Albion Park 04/08.. Our Maple Tart (Narissa for John McMullen)..Jessica Dale (Ken Belford).. Mimesis) (Pete for Phil Mitchell)..Badjellys Courage (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 05/08.. The Love Affair (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Montana Terminator (Darrel Graham).. Better Than Money (Darrel Graham).. Redcliffe 06/08.. Mister Manhattan (Trevor Lambourn).. Redcliffe 07/08.. Instant Chemistry (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Abercrombie Zombie (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Montana Falcon ( Brittany for Darrel Graham).. Lord Jowers (Matt Elkins for Ron Sallis)..
 

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« 2014-Aug-18, 08:30 PM Reply #22 »
"TROT TACTICS"..16/08/2014..
 
  Yet another veteran left the ranks of  Brisbane trotting men late last week. Wally Mitchell passed away just short of his 89th Birthday. Wally and late wife Jean were regulars at Albion Park on Saturday nights for many years. He was an owner, a trainer, and a sponsor and was active at Rocklea in its heyday. Possibly the best horse that Wally raced was Swishaladin, winner of $57,00 when that was a serious sum of money. Wally will be remembered by all who knew him as a gentleman and a friend of trotting. His smiling face will be sadly missed.
 
  Harness control bodies in New South Wales and Queensland  are to try a proven formula at the end of this month. A six race "State Of Origin" series for young drivers will be run across two nights, with the opening rounds held at Menangle on August 26 and the second group of three races to be run at Albion Park on Friday, August 29. A tight and compact series with NSW represented by Cameron Jones, Chris Geary, Kasey Hocking, Kylie Barnes and Todd Prest, while the locals are ,Pete McMullen, Narissa McMullen, Trent Moffat, Chantal Turpin and Amy Rees.The brainchild of former Albion Park Chairman, Kevin Seymour, the series should attract fair horses as the races are worth $10,000 apiece and, are, of course, penalty free.
 
 
  Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams.
“To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now,” Mr Condon said.
“Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver’s confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future."
 
  Driving stats on our local team for the 13/14 season so far are Trent Moffat, 480 starts for 51 wins, 95 placings and 60 fourths and earnings of $231,666.. Amy Rees, 186, for 12-38-19 and a bank of $47,150.. Chantal Turpin, 158 for 18-40-27 netting $120,546.. Pete McMullen, 1034 for 166-299-116 and running total of $809,550.. Narissa McMullen, 1011 for 135-212-120  with $542,780 on the credit line. Chantal Turpin has posted her second lowest total since commencing in the sulky some seven years back but this has been caused by a shift in roles to that of a trainer with stats of 584 runners for 97-168-69 and $505,689 in stable revenue.
 
  As is not infrequent these days, I have misinformed you yet again. The proposed 2yo trialling sale is set down for Sunday November 16th, NOT, October as stated last week. It is also very likely that the nomination date will be pushed back to allow owners and trainers more time to decide whether to enter their stock. A good concept this, and should be under serious consideration by owners keen to turn precocious yearlings into hard cash with  the added premium for the purchaser of buying into a known and demonstrable quantity.
 
  There are unofficial trials at Marburg tomorrow morning. Nominations are at 7.15am, first education goes at 8.00am and the usual  bargain priced quality breakfast of burgers and hot and cold drinks will be available from the get go. A good chance to show that forward yearling the track on which it might enhance its value in dramatic fashion .
 
   Brisbane Pastoral Company is looking for a younger person to work as a stable hand at their Harrisville property. This is a top opportunity for an energetic and intelligent young person with basic horse experience, to learn the game from the ground up with skilled horse educator / trainer / driver Ray Pullen. The successful applicant would be handling valuable young stock and would receive a grounding in harness horse care that would set them up for a lifetime in trotting. Good accommodation can be had on site , and stable facilities, track and equipment are first class. Contact Ray Pullen on 0416 081 954 to arrange an interview.
 
  Slight changes to the leader board sees Darrel Graham and Chantal Turpin equal in the trainer's standings at three winners apiece and Pete McMullen, Brittany Graham and Trevor Lambourn sharing drivers honours at two each. 
 
  Resultsville.. Redcliffe  08/08.. Exceptional Mach (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Albion Park 09/08.. Emperor Montana (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Montana Falcon (Darrel graham).. Ideal Tact (Ray Law).. Supabet (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 11/08.. nil.. Albion Park 12/08.. Beau Starlight (Trevor Lambourn).. Redcliffe 13/08.. Saint Flash (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. My Crazy Ex (Pete for Chantal Turpin)... Redcliffe 14/08.. Our Diemos (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn).. Betonthebay (Trevor Lambourn for Greg Minns).. Platinum Art (Nathan Dawson for Ron Sallis)..
 

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« 2014-Aug-25, 04:58 PM Reply #23 »
"TROT TACTICS"..23/08/2014..
   Racing Queensland has released the new prize money structure, derived from the first year's distribution figures. Gallops, which were on 75%  of the overall figure under the original agreement, now will receive 73.38%. Trots which were on 14.5%, are at 13.74% and dogs up from 10.5% to 12.87%. In cold dollar terms, all codes will receive more money as the distribution pie is somewhat bigger than in the current season.
 
   The Monday harness meeting has gone with the races being added to  other meetings. The new prize figures  are as follows, Saturday night up by 19%, with the claiming class getting the biggest lift, 50% taking them to $12,000. The trot did not fare quite so well, rising by 33% to $8,000. Given that the trotting race has an identifiable form line for punters, and is experiencing unprecedented growth in Victoria, it seems strange that it should not attract the same level of money as races in which the runners are for sale, and  graded on price by the trainers and could be considered as having attraction only for the professional punter. Changes to other venues include Albion Park Tuesday up by 27.5%, Friday at Albion Park up 39% Redcliffe Wednesday up by 52%. The only meeting to fall was Redcliffe on Thursday down by $250. Marburg remains static at $1501..
 
   Like most shiny objects, there can be a rough side. Annual performance reviews will be held, based on turnover figures only. The message to the Queensland Harness Racing Board is crystal clear. If turnover on our code does not rise significantly in the next 12 months, and the other two codes do well, then the axe will be applied to our percentage, with disastrous results. This is not a negative statement, merely a fact.
 
  Breeders or buyers of trotters to race in Queensland as 2yos will be pleased with Chief Steward, Mr David Farqharson's decision to remove the time component from the qualifying requirements for 2yo trotters. The youngsters will be required to trot solidly throughout any trial, and display reliable manners. This is a good move, allowing trainers to introduce their charges to racing in a minimal pressure environment. The next round of Non TAB education races should shift from a "let's hope we get the horses" scenario to a valuable feeder into the Queensland horse pool.
 
  "Father's day at the Trots". Just circle Sunday September 7th for a family outing  on the Darling Downs. Harness on the grass at Allman Park, Warwick. Make it a family deal as the Darling Downs Harness Racing Club have included a heap of amusement for the kids along with exciting racing. Gates open at noon and the first race goes at 1.00pm. An hour to refresh yourself with excellent local cooking after a lovely country drive to get there. Horse racing against a natural backdrop. Admission is Adults $10, Pensioners $6 and under 18s free. Don't miss it.
 
  It's "back to the future"  with the roar of the crowds as trotting returns to the EKKA. An excerpt from the QHRB website says what it really means.
  Chris Garrard, a major sponsor and primary instigator of trotting's return to the main ring, was delighted with the end result.
"The cheapest promotion for the sport that money can buy," he claimed.
After a 14-year absence, the rebirth of EKKA trotting was treated cautiously but whatever angle you marked it on, 2015 promises to be a bigger and better event.
 
 This writer recalls interviewing top driver Des weeks after he piloted Scientific to victory for trainer John Stariha in a heat of the Inter-dominion. I stated that "this must surely be your greatest thrill". " No way" he replied, "any race at the Ekka with 20,000 people screaming their heads off and close enough to touch, is far above the Inter win". Just think, 14 years back, some goose bought all that to an end.
 
  Leader board much the same as last week. Chantal Turpin and Darrel Graham trained three winners each, Pete McMullen managed five in the sulky.
 
  Resultsville.. Albion Park 15/08.. Better Than Money (Darrel Graham).. Gallymont Cohort (Trent Dawson).. My Ayaye (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 16/08.. Montana Falcon (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Supabet (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Lord Jowers (Pete for Ron Sallis).. LeBron (Pete for Brian McCall).. Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby)... Albion Park 18/08.. Eye Spy Lombo (Nathan Dawson for Neville Doyle).. Vain Spirit (Narissa for John McMullen).. Paris To Berlin (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Albion Park 19/08.. My Man Dan (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe  20/08.. Lifesa Ranger (Gary Whitaker for Tommy Sanderson).. My Arthur Bee (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham).. Rib And Roll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Redcliffe 21/08.. nil...
 

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« 2014-Sep-02, 08:27 AM Reply #24 »
"TROT TACTICS"..30/08/2014..
 
  We have run with 12 horse fields in "Mile" (1660 metre) races at Albion Park for several seasons now, the ruling premise being "the more runners, the more turnover". Having found that this theory perhaps failed to stack up in practice, and also that a diminished horse pool could not guarantee a full field on every occasion, the Queensland Harness Racing Board were ready to listen to further opinion from trainers that a third factor cast doubts on the suitability of the 12 horse format. It was argued that, given the short duration of the 1660m event, barrier positions had become far too important, and horses with "unfavourable" alleys were being denied an even winning chance.
 
  To this end, QHRB have instituted a trial of the 10 horse format as follows.
  "Following feedback from industry participants, Racing Queensland is pleased to advise that a 3 month trial will be introduced where the field limit for 1660m races at Albion Park will be reduced to 10 runners.
Racing Queensland has elected to coincide the trial period with start of the new racing season on September 1 2014.
This limit only relates to races of 1660m held at Albion Park, all other field limits will remain unchanged.
The seeded barrier positions for a field limit of 10 will be conducted in the following way:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 6, 7, 10."
 
 
There is, of course, a simpler solution. Cut out the "mile" events and bring our sport back to a mix of middle distance and staying races, including stands. This will lessen the importance of barrier draws and restore the visual spectacle. While the preceding statement may attract a charge of heresy, it might bring us a few more fans who pride themselves on having an attention span of longer than 1 minute and 55.0 seconds. As to the spectre of losing favour with Sky Channel due to time consumption factor associated with longer races, an upgrade of our pre-start procedures would soon save us the extra minutes we would need.
 
  An update from the "State of Origin"  series for young drivers, which had its first round of three heats at Menangle last Tuesday, shows the Blues well in front with two wins to one. As often happens in this type of contest, where horses are assigned by ballot, someone gets a chance to demonstrate skills previously thought not to exist. Flying the blue flag is Newcastle based Kylie Barnes, who took out the first two heats, driving two totally different races, leading  and grinding home on Miss Artistic Tara, then waiting patiently at the rear to bring El Chango with the big late charge. KB has been licenced since 2010, and in that period has had only 543 drives for 53 wins and 107 placings. Like so many others, Kylie Barnes has the skills, but lacks the horseflesh with the quality to take her forward.
 
  In the last heat at Menangle, Queenslander, Trent Moffat put the maroons up on the board, partnering Fellas R Trouble to victory. Our girls picked up some valuable place points from seconds by Brittany Graham and Chantal Turpin, with Narissa McMullen contributing two thirds to the pot. How did Brittany Graham make the team?. It seems that Pete McMullen incurred the wrath of the Stewards panel late last week and commenced a 14 day suspension on the Sunday prior to the series. Brittany Graham's current season stats of 248 drives for 40 wins 63 places and 29 fourths easily qualified her for a jersey on the maroon team. When you read this, it will all be over, as the final three heats will have been decided yesterday afternoon at Albion Park.
 
  Considering the Kylie Barnes scenario, we should look at the positive attitude of Wagga (NSW) based trainer/driver, Adam Richardson. "Richo" has had two stints in Queensland, the first with Darrel Graham. The second saw him training a small team of basically second hand stock. His runners were well trained and very well presented, but, their lack of real ability saw AR in the swim but treading water. Nothing appeared likely to happen. A month or so back, "Richo" headed home to Wagga. He has had some 15 drives to date for four wins and two placings, a much better strike rate than he was able to manage here. If he continues to drive horses of the calibre of Cams Victory and Lily Lane, he will become a good sized fish in the elite Riverina pond. Then, he will be back, and be respected when he comes!!
 
  A correction from last week. The Metro Claimer purse stays at $8,000, the 50% lift to $12,000 apples to another race on the program.
 
 Unofficial trials at Marburg tomorrow morning. Noms at 7.15am and first education goes at approx. 8.00am. Hot and cold drinks, and beaut breakfast burgers, all at bargain prices. Come along and "black book" a winner for the next race meeting on September 13.
 
  A shuffle on the leader bard this week with Bill Crosby and Chantal Turpin dividing the trainer's laurels at three winners apiece and Garry Whitaker out on his own in the driving department also on three.
 
  Resultsville. Albion Park  22/08.. Major Sam (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham).. Courageous Kiwi (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Whosemefather (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Just A Fling (Denis Smith).. Albion Park 23/08.. Justanothermaori (Pete for Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 25/08.. Miss Catalina (Ricky Gordon).. Kyvalley Racer (Kay Crone for Gavin Crone).. Colada Rainbow (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).. Four Jokers (Narissa for John McMullen).. Albion Park 26/08.. nil... Redcliffe 27/08.. Abercrombie Zombie Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).. Rib And Roll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Whosemefather (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).. Redcliffe 28/08.. nil...
 


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