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

Countdown on to 'blockbuster' meeting



JUST eight days to one of Marburg's signature meetings, the "Oktoberfest-Graham Harriott Memorial" blockbuster.

Super racing, with the Harriott trot and the last two rounds of the Garrards-Marburg Young Drivers Championship.

Mini-trotters, Fashions on the Field, sponsored by Elly-Rae Fashions of Rosewood and B's Barbershop and Hair Salon of Willowbank.

There will be also be a monster fundraiser raffle for Chrissie Turner's "Ride and Stride" in aid of mission work still needed to combat the aftermath of the Vietnam war.

There will be supervised rides for the kids, funny money bookmaker, "pick the card", now worth $1650, UTAB van on course, the food and beverage, just the best fed sporting event at bargain prices, plus the return of the Kranskys for that festive beer hall touch.

A stallion service fee raffle "My High Expectations" will also be offered with 34 wins and $482,000. Tickets are $5.

Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3 and race books $3.

See next week's QT for race times and fields.

Unique experience

THE Marburg Pacing Association made one of its best investments to date when track curator John Ballin attended last Tuesday's track maintenance seminar, hosted by Harness Racing Victoria at Tabcorp Park, Melton.

Track curators came from as far away as Perth and New Zealand for an event unique in Australian harness history.

Expert speakers covered matters such as selection and application of suitable material for the racing surface and correct use of the four main tools to prepare the track on a day-to-day basis.

These are the water truck, the conditioner (with its companion, the mesh screen) and the grader.

Much valuable information was handed on plus an understandable and well illustrated booklet covering the procedures.

The booklet pressed home the three main aims in preparation of a harness race track.

As the exercise is based on welfare of the horse, the three targets were "Cushion, Cushion and Cushion".

Harness Racing Victoria is to be congratulated on this great initiative, putting the equine part of the harness equation before the obscene fascination with "time" which has characterised and blighted harness racing from day dot.

We at the MPA are thankful that John Ballin took the time and interest to attend.

Marburg, our patrons, and especially our four-legged mates, will benefit greatly.

People power grows

IT seems that people power at Townsville is gathering momentum and allies.

Cluden Gallops have come forward with a proposition that NQHRC race on the 1400m+ sand track at the racecourse. This is the ultimate low cost enterprise, in amenable surroundings on a roomy track, where there won't be too many hard luck stories.

In a city where RQ has a permanent staff of stewards, including former Brisbane trots steward Darryl Griffith, there seems to be no realistic impediment to racing in the north.

What's good for Gympie is even better for Townsville.

Nathan's US boost

SOME time back we reported that Nathan Dawson had shifted to Tamborine to expand his horizons in the fields of romance, fame and fortune.

Recently, he has been to the United States accompanied by his cousin Danielle McMullen and their respective partners.

The cousins were taking the four-week Seymour "Working/Study Scholarships" that they won for excellent race track performances over a 12 month period.

Nathan and company were attached to the Chris Ryder barn (some 20/25 horses) which is based at the "Winners International Training Centre".

Dawson was able to drive some track work.

He did short stints with high profile trainers Jimmy Takter (trainer of Moni Maker, a superstar trotting mare of some years back), Julie Miller and Ron Burke.

Dawson thought the public were better catered for in the States with many tracks having better viewing areas and usually a casino attached.

On the training front, 2yo's were kept fresh for their race track engagements, and all horses received a lot of veterinary support with all medicines administered by qualified practitioners.

Part of this constant support is the battle against "wobbles", which is rarely seen here but is part of the overall picture in the US.

Dawson was surprised by the reliance of trainers on two lugging poles per horse to keep them straight.

Would he go back? Yes as it was very interesting.

Dawson drove five winners last week to help the Ipswich factor quite a bit.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: E/w 1 - Montana Chief (A Sanderson).

R2: Box trifecta 1-3-5: Three Mugs In (N Dawson)-Clarry (T McMullen)-Beau Chisholm (R McGuire).

R3: Quinella 8-10: Feeling For A Rainbow (A Richardson) and Sodier Of Fortune (L Manzelmann).

R4: E/w 3: CC Jones (N Dawson).

R5: E/w 3: Victree Mikayla (P Diebert).

R6: Box trifecta 1-8-10: Speech Is Silver (K Rasmussen)-Ale Ale Kai-Royal Lincoln (J Wallace).

R7: Quinella 1-8: Ares (N McMullen) and Donny Jones.

R8: Box trifecta 4-5-7: The Bus (K Rasmussen)-Fame Assured (G Dixon)-Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen).

R9: Quinella 1-4: Ares (N Dawson) and Grizzly Montana (H Barnes).

Honour board

Top trainer this week was Greg Elkins leading in three of the best. Close up was Kay Crone and Chantal Turpin on two apiece. Driving honours were split with Adam Richardson and Pete McMullen each posting three wins.

Most pleasing was Fui Fui for Peter Jones at Redcliffe on Wednesday with Ben Battle in the sulky. Ipswich factor: 23/43.

Albion Park, October 11: Wheres Tascott (Narissa McMullen for Steve Towns).

Albion Park, October 12: Major Currency (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Glenferrie Hood (Pete McMullen for Wayne Graham); Gee Up Neddy (Hayden Barnes).

Marburg, October 13: Rosehill Magic (Denis Smith); Impetuoso (Brendan Barnes for Ken Belford); Jewel Of Peak (Codi Rauchenberger for Mark Rees); Moonlight Butcher (Dan Russell for Dave Russell); Ritchie Bee (Angus Garrard for Mitch Dawson); Wanjiru (Dan Russell for Dave Russell); Aqua Cruiser (Michael Tenardi).

Albion Park, October 15: Princess Katerina (Adam Richardson for Kay Crone); Dream To Share (Adam Sanderson); Live Atom (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins).

Redcliffe, October 16: Monumental (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Todays Hero (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Social Media (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Fui Fui (Ben Battle for Peter Jones); Full Of her Self (Adam Richardson).

Redcliffe, October 17: Our Doug (Adam Sanderson for Wayne Graham); Dollarbill (Adam Richardson for Kay Crone); Jumping Jolt (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins); Bee Gees Bandit (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).