Again we borrow the talents of Darren Clayton, as he tells of the battles of a hobbyist who is a regular at Marburg. (Commence italics)... THE MILESTONE
Trent Hodges was able to break through for his first driving win this season when steering a pacer he trains, Writeaboutchelsea to victory at Marburg on Sunday. With 14 placings and 44 unplaced returns for the season, it was starting to look likely that an elusive victory would pass by for season 2021. However, a front-running drive aboard the nine-year-old mare was able to break the drought, with Writeaboutchelsea able to secure victory by just under five metres. Capitalising on barrier one, Hodges was able to secure an easy opening half and then slowly increase the tempo to claim victory over Our Eduardo Denario with Lord Denzel grabbing third in the closing stages.
The win was the 13th victory for the season for Hodges as a trainer with Noel Parrish and Trent Moffat doing most of the driving for the stable. Manoflisa has been in the winner’s enclosure on seven occasions this season for Hodges with the two wins for Writeaboutchelsea placing her second in the stable pecking order. Hodges had three runners in at Marburg on Sunday, Manoflisa unable to match the deeds of his stablemate when finishing at the rear of the field. Artistic Humma was the third of his trio and while the mare was given little hope by punters as a $126 chance, a good drive by Noel Parrish saw the five-year-old grab second placing behind Littledee. At his current strike-rate, Hodges looks set to secure his 50th training success next season, the latest victory taking his career tally to 40 wins. (close italics).
As Kermit The Frog sang, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green”. The same could be said for the hobbyists of harness racing in Queensland. Trent Hodges is resilience personified as he pushes the family team around week after week. A love of the sport now counts for nothing in the eyes of Racing Queensland, and the hobbyists are merely cannon fodder, useful only to make up fields. It’s time that our senior administrators made good the promises of a serious school based program to get people into the sport, and ensure that we have a training school for people who do not have the “family push” to guarantee their successful future. What we need for Christmas here is scheme that covers people from 15 to 50, and ensures that they arrive in, and stay, on a level playing field in harness, regardless of their ancestry. We need an outcross in people, and we needed it twenty years ago!!
The first of the January 1st----December 31st, racing seasons is now behind the Marburg Club, and below are the year’s achievers. 124 trainers presented horses to race at the showground, and 61 drivers went round. Below are the top ten drivers and trainers and the “HORSE OF THE YEAR”. It was a top training effort for Logan Village based Ben Aldons, as NIGHT NINJA narrowly defeated his stablemate, SCHEU CREEK for the consistency laurels.
TOP TEN DRIVERS. STARTS. WINS.
L T (Leonard) Cain--- 73 16.
P J (Pete) McMullen--- 61 15.
M J (Matt) Elkins--- 58 14.
P J (Peter) Greig--- 55 9.
A R (Angus) Garrard--- 44 12.
T J (Taleah) McMullen--- 46 7.
M P (Mathew) Neilson--- 34 9.
N J (Narissa) McMullen--- 35 6.
L J (Lola) Weidemann-- 47 3.
L S (Lachie) Manzelmann. 52 4.
MARBURG HORSE OF THE YEAR 21/21 SEASON.. “NIGHT NINJA” TRAINER.. BEN ALDONS.. 16 STARTS.. 4 WINS..1SECOND.. 4THIRDS..
TRAINER STARTS 1STS 2NDS 3RDS POINTS STAKES
P J (Peter) Greig 104 20 16 11 103 $48,792
L J (Lola) Weidemann 79 4 9 13 43 $21,905
J N (John) McMullen 53 3 13 5 40 $17,775
R J (Ricky) Gordon 48 6 6 9 39 $16,530
G C (Greg) Elkins 23 8 5 1 35 $17,148
B H (Ben) Aldons 28 8 2 7 35 $16,978
R J (Ryan) Veivers 27 7 3 3 30 $18,256
G F (Graham) Dwyer 19 4 3 5 23 $9,508.
On the leader board as the season draws to a close , Pete McMullen first home with nine wins, just ahead of Nathan Dawson who scored seven times with Matthew Neilson gaining enogh momentum to get to the post first on five occasions. As is pretty much the go, Chantal Turpin took home four first placegetters for the week with Steve Towns and Ricky Gordon managing two apiece. Most pleasing, Circle Line for James Lewin. Matt Elkins in the sulky. Ipswich Factor 32/57..
Resultsville.. Albion Park 17/12.. Marianna Bromac (Matthew Neilson for Wayne Waltisbuhl).. Spike Bromac (chloe Butler for Ryan Veivers).. Digby Dee (Mtthew Neilson for Jason Carkeet).. Little Arrows (Pete McMullen for Ross Fletcher).. Mister Decorum (Hayden Barnes for Dale Belford).. Majestic Mannequin).. Albion Park 18/12.. Captains Pick (Matthew Neilson for Grant Dixon).. Doug (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).. Marburg 19/12.. Little Dee (Matthew Neilson for Steve Towns).. Writeaboutchelsea (Trent Hodges).. Jang Pel (Ricky Gordon).. Butcherfeelgood (Matt Elkins for DanRussell).. Circle Line (Matt Elkins for James Lewin)..Risky Buziness (Matthew Neilson for Ricky Gordon).. Sir Bulski (Tim Gillespie).. Albion Park 21/12..O B Legal (Peter Greig).. Glenledi Boy (Nathan Dawson for Melissa Gillies).. Hemsworth (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe 22/12.. Regal Nightshade (Nathan Dawson for Mark Dux).. Fire and Ice (Justin Elkins for Vic Frost).. Big Wheels (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Roses Are Sweet (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Im Plain Jane (Pete McMullen for Jamie Donovan).. Wedding Night (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin).. Doug (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).. Go Away (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Redcliffe 23/12.. Studleigh Rowsey (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen0.. Little Dee (Shane Graham for Steve Towns).. Little Arrows (Nathan Dawson for Ross Fletcher).. Ill Be Watching (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson).. Lorimer Lady (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig).. Little Change (Nathan Dawson for Graham Dwyer)..Regards Folks.. Upwards and