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

Family race day worth enjoying

SUMMER is over and tomorrow Marburg holds the first of its autumn program of race meetings at Marburg.

Gates open at 11am, with a trials segment preceding the racing which commences at 1.30pm.

The mini-trotters are on, providing their usual "pat a pony" feature for the kids and adults when their racing is finished.

The UTAB van will be on course along with Marburg's regular bookmaker Stephen Anthony.

The "funny money" bookie will be there, for those people who want the thrill of a bet but cannot afford a loss.

Bet with Conn Mann at extravagant odds, finish the day in front, and you have a stash to bid at the fancy goods auction after the last.

Enjoy the food and beverages while watching close up and exciting harness racing on the 700 metre Show Ground circuit. It's a family value day out.

Principal concerns

THE Courier Mail's Sunday racing column, penned by Nathan Exelby, has reported that Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal member Robert Olding, in the course of a discussion to determine the Principal Racing Authority (PRA) in Queensland, asked: "what is Racing Queensland (RQ)".

As reported, both RQ and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission act in the capacity of PRA, depending on the nature of the matter under decision, be it a purely racing matter, or one of integrity.

The above seems to provide cause for alarm, as it is perhaps not the first time that a QCAT member has been unfamiliar with even the most basic administrative structure of the codes of animal racing.

A quote from the same article, attributed to RQ CEO Brendan Parnell is as follows:

"The system needs to be fixed. It is not working and leads to reputational damage for racing.

"We look forward to the government fast-tracking solutions".

I believe that the QRIC is totally hampered by the system, as it is working with a set of "rules", which for all practical purposes, are not applied as rules, but as laws.

There are a number of areas that fall into the QRIC basket and are all part of the overall picture.

However, for any "fixing" to take place, these areas must be identified, segregated and prioritised, then dealt with piecemeal.

If we are to apply "corporate reality" and admit that we depend on the punter's dollar (turnover) for our future and our growth, then we should first attack the problems on the race track. That is our product, which we must sell in the wagering marketplace.

Since the advent of crystal clear video patrol vision for the actual racing component, there has been no need for any doubt or failure of memory concerning any incident or chain of events.

Where it is clearly visible that an offence against the rules by driver(s) or horse(s) has taken place then a set and severe penalty should be applied with no appeal available.

We start with the race track, as this is the point where "protection of the punter" must be seen to be a reality.

Rules must be simplified and dramatically reduced in number.

Race track rules in Austria (Europe) are contained on 1.5 sheets of A4 paper.

We should be aiming for the same.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-2-3: RocknRoll Music (L Cain)-The Boys GNP (N McMullen)-Psychedelic (J Cremin).

R2: Box trifecta 1-2-8: RocknRoll Emma (G Dixon)-Miss Kenny (A Richardson)-Jossie Jones).

R3: Quinella 1-8: Gas Monkey (M Dux) and Lincoln Road (B Barnes).

R4: Quinella 1-2: Speedie McArdle (M Elkins) and Whiskey Blaze (B Battle).

R5: E/w 1 - Divas Delight (T Dawson).

R6: Box 4-5-7: Miss Invasion (N McMullen)-Greg The Great (J Cremin)-Jeddy R You Ready( K Rasmussen).

R7: Box trifecta 1-6-7 - Beaver (T Dawson)-Lilac Flash (K Rasmussen)-Glenferrie Hood (P McMulen).

R8: Box trifecta 2-5-9 - Lavros Texas (N Dawson)- Mister Gunsen (A Donohoe)-Our Overanova (G Dixon).

R9: Quinella 1-8: Casino Grin (B Barnes) and Mr Kalypso (K Rasmussen).

R10: Quinella 2-3: Clintal Do (N Dawson) and Invincible Loxton (K Rasmussen).

Honour board

Gary Whitaker was rewarded for effort in the sulky this week. Whitaker greeted the judge on five occasions for a rating of 250. On the trainer's side of the leader board, yet another "hard yards" man Ron Sallis was top trainer with four winners. Most pleasing was Under The Kilt for owner Doug Manger and trainer Warren Hinze with Leonard Cain driving.

Ipswich factor: 27/48.

Albion Park, February 22: Left A Terror (Gary Whitaker for Chris Monte; Only In Rome (Trent Dawson); Tuesdays Fella Kelli Dawson for Trevor Lambourn); Brian Who (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Comply Or Die Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Albion Park, February 23: Secret Jack (Gary Whitaker for Chris Monte); Im The Golden Child (Chantal Turpin); Monivae (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis); Matt Belford (Reece Maguire for Murray Thomas); Glenferrie Hood (Pete McMullen for Wayne Graham); Jossie James (Adam Sanderson for Wayne Graham); Needle (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly).

Albion Park, February 26: Tom Me Gun (Narissa McMullen).

Redcliffe, February 27: Novena Rose (Adam Sanderson); Ohoka Cooper (Jack Colley-Presnell for Brian McCall); Mach Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Molly Montana (Darrell Graham); Dont Be Jealous (Matt Elkins for Lacey Hinze); My Ultimate Major (Darrell Graham); Under The Kilt (Leonard Cain for Warren Hinze); Golden Year (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Redcliffe, February 28: Montana Malone (Darrell Graham); Minion Girl (Dan Russell for Dave Russell); Sache Girl (Gary Whitaker for Travis Mackay); Springfield Spirit (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Veloce Bella (Gary Whitaker for Ken Belford); Unassuming Champ (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson).