“TROT TACTICS” 28/01/2021..
First things first even though it will be a day behind the Australian Pacing Gold Sale mentioned below. Owners and trainers should make the effort to attend the following meeting. Depending on your perception of the “standing” of owners and trainers, in the eyes of Racing Queensland (Harness), and your rights as a participant, you may find the subject of “driver’s colours” contentious indeed. Do not allow this opportunity to be heard go bye.-(commence italics). “Dear members and all participants, BOTRA is holding a meeting at Albion Park Paceway to discuss the proposed promotional trial of drivers colours. Racing Queensland will be in attendance to explain this proposal in detail. Meeting date: Monday February 1st @ 6.30pm Venue: The Creek Bar If you are unable attend, you are welcome to send us your thoughts via email so this can be presented at the meeting. This Meeting is a must attend so you are able to listen to the presentation from Racing Queensland Regards Your BOTRA President and Committee.”(close italics).
More good news for the breeders and buyers of potential Q-bred juvenile talent, with the announcement of healthy prize money increases. (commence italics). The Group 1 Albion Park Gold Final is poised to become the third richest harness race in Queensland after receiving a stakes’ increase to $150,000. Ahead of Sunday’s APG Sale at The Creek, which will see 48 pacing lots go through the ring, Racing Queensland and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club have announced a $50,000 prize money increase for the two-year-old feature from 2022. In recent years, the Brisbane APG Sale has produced some of Australia’s best juveniles, including Muscle Factory and Expensive Ego, and continues to go from strength-to-strength. “There’s never been a better time to purchase Queensland standardbreds,” Racing Queensland EGM Operations Adam Wallish said. “With a further $600,000 per annum being injected into our QBRED scheme, including a rise in the first-win bonus and the continuation of the second-win bonus, it's important that we continue to support our industry.“The uplift in prize money for the Albion Park Gold Final should provide genuine confidence for those purchasing at the Brisbane Sale this week and choosing to race in the Sunshine State.”(close italics).
What goes through the mind of a Senior Stipendiary Steward when he reflects on a career that spanned almost half a century, from the early 70’s, to retirement in late 2020. John Hackett is our man , who grew up in Warwick, and, as a youngster helped his Uncle, Les Noye, in the preparing of a small but successful team of gallopers. A young JH commenced employment as a casual Cadet steward with the original Queensland Trotting Board, then chaired by Sir Abraham Fryberg, with Jack Gregg as Chief Steward. The QTB at that point was operating out of the Frank Nicklin pavilion at the EKKA Ground. His first on-track stints were at Redcliffe and Rocklea on Saturday afternoons.. His early and best remembered mentors were Darryl Kays, who later held the Chief Stewards post for many years, and Alan Pearson. JH went full time in 1973 and worked under a succession of great Boards Chaired by Carl Robertson, backed up by Peter Burge. He described Board Secretary, John Hicks, as a first class administrator.
A high point from those early days, was working the first Redcliffe meeting held under lights, and he remembers Beau Brown, driven by Keith Addison as winning the first race on that night.It’s mainly memories from here on in, with John remembering the equine stars of the past as “real characters” as the likes of Harleray, Paleface Adios, Village Kid, Preux Chevalier and Koala King scorched around the track while up to 70 bookmakers shouted the odds, and the Stand was packed solid. JH saw a lot of Blacks A Fake, but observed that the champion raced under somewhat different conditions. JH worked a number of Inter-Dominions, starting with that won by Stanley Rio. He described the format in existence at that time as the best test of champion horses ever devised. John Hackett was Deputy Chairman of Stewards in Qld Harness for 13 years, but the wear and tear of late nights and travel, prompted a shift to a Senior Steward post at the Gallops, where he worked from 1996—2010,when he retired for the first time to spend more time with his family. Not for long, however, for JH took an investigative role, as a number of problems arose in the aftermath of the 2011 floods. The departure of Martin Knibbs, saw JH in the Captain’s chair for almost 12 months, during which period he also filled in as Chief Steward at the dogs.
John Hackett has no regrets, having enjoyed his career. He carries the conviction that the bulk of licencees and owners, are thoroughly decent people, doing their best for themselves and the sport/industry. However, there are about 5% bad apples who do their best to rort proceedings, and they are hard to catch. In a sucessful Steward, JH believes the attributes are, a passion for all facets of the sport, and an intimate knowledge of the mechanics of racing. A steward’s role is to provide integrity for the punters, who are our prime source of income, and safety in all aspects of race track matters, be it drivers, sulkies or gear. Safety is paramount ,and it is the Stewards job to see that this is the case. JH has seen a number of safety innovations in his time, but rates wheel discs as Number one. Gone is the regular sight of feet through wheel spokes, with disastrous consequences.
There you have him, John Hackett, on his way to a peaceful retirement on the Northern Rivers, catching fish, and watching Sky Channel. He should be remembered by drivers and trainers, as playing by the rules. Searching for the truth. Very hard, but very fair with it!!
McMullen again at the top of the charts, with Taleah scoring on four occasions, just shading Cousin Trent Dawson who found the winning post first, three times. TD went very close to the top trainer slot as well, nosed out by Darrell Graham 4 to 3.. Most pleasing, Miss Lily May for Phil Mitchell with Angus Garrard in the cart. Ipswich Factor 16/33.
Resultsville Kilcoy 25/01.. Montana Pride (AngusGarrard for Darrell Graham).. Hurrikane Special (Taleah McMullen for Steve Benham).. Gosling In Flight (Taleah McMullen).. Groovy Miss Annie (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).. Montana Lad (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham).. Courageous Saint (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham).. Albion Park 26/10 Montana Chief (Angus Garrard for Darrell Graham).. Boomchuckalucka (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe 17/01.. Toanui Spirit (Trent Dawson).. Miss Lily May (Angus Garrard for Phil Mitchell).. Rock The House (Matt Elkins for Tayla Gillespie).. Redcliffe 28/01.. Brisket (Taleah McMullen for Darren Ebert).. Kissesforyamisses (Trent Dawson).. Fire Eyes (Steve Doherty for Mal Charlton).. Feel The Thunder (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).. Mykindoffeeling (Trent Dawson)..