QT trot columnist and harness racer Denis Smith.
QT trot columnist and harness racer Denis Smith. David Nielsen

Christmas spirit riding high at Marburg


TAKEN by and large, 2018 has been a good year, and tomorrow, the Marburg Pacing Association gives you a great opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and get in the Christmas spirit.

Gates open at 11am at the Marburg showground.

The first 100 patrons over 18 through the gate get a $5 betting voucher to cash with bookie Stephen Anthony.

The TAB van will be on course along with the "funny money" bookmaker.

For the kids there will be the animal farm/petting zoo and for all ages, the mini-trotters plus "pat a pony".

It's a top class card of harness racing on the up close exciting Marburg circuit.

The "Pick the last six winners" is worth $2100 (share) and 20 lucky people will win prizes in the Leukaemia Foundation's monster raffle.

It's a great day out with prices that won't erode the Christmas budget. Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3, and Race book $3.

Welcome presents

IT'S starting to feel like Christmas with the Santas at Racing Queensland announcing an expansion of the popular $1000 QBRED Cash bonuses for harness racing, with more than 300 expected to be distributed to participants annually from December.

The expansion comes with the support of the Harness Racing Advisory Panel. It is a sign of Racing Queensland's commitment to continue its significant investment in the QBRED scheme.

"Bonuses will now be offered on all Queensland TAB races worth $4500 or less and other selected races, commencing at tomorrow's Marburg meet.

QBRED cash bonuses are paid when a QBRED-eligible horse wins a race that carries the bonus and helps ensure the benefits of the QBRED scheme are spread evenly throughout the industry.

"This enhancement complements recent upgrades to the QBRED scheme, where horses will be 'QBRED for life','' Racing Queensland Harness Development and Strategy Manager David Brick said.

Recent prizemoney increases included the introduction of a $10,000 First Win bonus (For horses of any age) and the introduction of a $7500 second-win bonus in any subsequent racing season, providing the race stake value is more than $4,500.

Other enhancements to the QBRED scheme for the current season include the introduction of $15,000 Double QBRED Features for 2YO's (for each sex) and a $10,000 QBRED Triad Trot for 2YO's (mixed sex)".

Life in harness is full of surprises, a sport where a step back into the past, equates in practical benefits to a "giant leap forward".

The positive thinking which has produced this modest bonanza might now be directed back to rummage through the wreckage of what was once a great sport in Queensland. There are, no doubt, other gems well worth restoring.

Festive wishes

AS Trot Tactics is a believer in the dictum that, "to do good is good", we take the opportunity to wish all folk involved in trotting, fans, punters and participants alike, all the joy of the Festive Season.

Next week, we will review the high and low points of the year past.

On the strength of the above, and the proposed expansion of TAB racing at Marburg we should head for the dawn of 2019 in a spirit of guarded optimism, mindful that we are, in a great part, responsible for our own destiny, be that success or failure.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Quinella 4-9: Its Just Kenny (G Dixon) and Franco Totem (D Graham).

R2: Quinella 2-6: Rich virgin (L McCarthy) and Sports Bounty (M Elkins).

R3: Quinella 4-6: Nerio (B Barnes) and Shards Halo (E Rixon).

R4: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Rory Mach (D Graham)-Ohoka Squire (A Richardson)-Comply Or Die (N McMullen).

R5: First four 1-2-5-9: Admiral Bronski (L McCarthy)-Young American (B Barnes )-Watch Pulp Fiction (C Turpin)- Eleniark (G Dixon).

R6: E/w 1: Casino Grin (B Barnes).

R7: Box trifecta 1-3-4: Somemondosomewhere (G Dixon)-Top Flight Cruize (M Tenardi)-Gotta Good Reason (L McCarthy).

R8: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Our Diamond Edition (A Millard)- Invite Only (D Graham)-Caesars Astrum (P McMullen).

R9: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Slice Of Heaven (Reece Maguire)-Spike Bromac (T McMullen)-Im The Golden Child (P McMullen).

R10: First four 5-6-8-9: Maybe To The Max (H Barnes) -Kyvalley Boomerang (L McCarthy), Mister Gunsen (B Woodsford)-Our Overanova (G Dixon).

Marburg selections

For tomorrow's meeting.

Race 1: 6-2-9.

(1) NEWMERELLA MOLLIE: Has terrible draw, but if gets clear will be winning.

(2) PERFECT FEELING: 3rd at Albion Park last start, beaten 3m. Likely leader.

(3) WHATA STRIDE: Form solid, can work round these.

Race 2: 8-2-1.

(1) IF YOU BELIEVE: Top stable has been placed at AP and Redliffe in fast time. Did plenty of work in win here October.

(2) SUGAR BRICHERS: Resuming, likely leader. Winner this track April in fast time.

(3) ACE MONTANA: Learning its trade. May take trail for easy trip.

Race 3: 4-7-10.

(1) BOURBONONTHEROCKS: Up and coming mare, does everything right.

(2) JUST LIKE MUM: Resuming but in strong stable and market is best guide.

(3) STONED AGAIN: Marburg specialist with top ability, go well again.

Race 4: 2-4-7.

(1) JACKS GAMBIT: Not won since May 2017 but recent form very sound. Go close.

(2) REDDY FIRE: Last two runs ordinary but goes better.

(3) EMARGEE: 2nd at Tamworth at most recent run is good enough to place here.

Race 5: 2-7-8.

(1) VILLAGE CRUISER: Possible leader. If so would be real chance.

(2) EXPRESS PASS: Has great form and gets easy trip.

(3) DOMESTIC ART: Marburg specialist, excellent form, top driver and should get a drag into this.

Race 6: 2-1-9.

(1) DIAMONDS FROM HEAVEN: Goes well here. Midfield last two at AP but were in fast time.

(2) OUR CHAMPION: Last four runs not impressive but ace draw helps.

(3) LOTS MORE GRINS: Veteran with solid form and can still hoof it here.

Race 7: 5-6-2.

(1) JUMPING JOLT: Great form and big winner here last meeting.

(2) DRIVE THE DREAM: If it gets off the fence early is probable winner.

(3) OLIVER WINKLE: Honest pacer, gets cheap trail and can place off that.

Race 8: 2-1-8.

(1) ROLLING ALONG: Been racing Newcastle and Menangle. Big class drop.

(2) PLAYNSERIOUS: Trial winner last Saturday, frontrunner with right draw.

(3) SURFACE TO AIR: No worthwhile form for some time. Market best guide.

Honour board

The geographical abberation of last week has been firmly corrected. Driving and training honours return to the bottom of the Brisbane Valley, with Nathan Dawson and Pete McMullen each rating 200 for their four winners. Darrell Graham was yet again top trainer, leading in four of the best. Most pleasing was Live In Style for Greg Minns at Redcliffe on Thursday. Nikki Chalk was in the sulky.

Albion Park, December 15: Mark Of Integrity (Nathan Dawson for Kerryann Turner); Rory Mach (Jacob Wallace for Darrell Graham); Nui Toc Tien (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Im Norma Jean (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).

Albion Park, December 17: Norahs Fling (Denis Smith); Invite Only (Darrell Graham); Roll Ona Rainbow (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Drive The Dream (Darrell Graham); Fiery Blue Chip (Danielle McMullen).

Albion Park, December 18: Ole Sun (Hayden Barnes for Mal Charlton); Just Deal It (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Courageous Leo (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Lisa Lincoln (Nathan Dawson for Melissa Gillies); The Boys GNP (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis); Lumos (Pete McMullen for Mitch Faulkner).

Redcliffe, December 19: Lynnsanity (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Takitimu Express (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Bob Gage (Nathan Dawson for Ron Sallis).

Redcliffe, December 20: Purple Shades (Gary Whitaker for Tayla Gillespie); Live In Style (Nikki Chalk for Greg Minns); The Harlem Hammer (Adam Richardson for Doug Lee); Lincoln Road (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes).