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

Fine family focus at Marburg


AS we charge into October with three major race meetings in front of the Marburg Pacing Association, harness racing in the Ipswich footprint can continue to present the sport as a family friendly, exciting entertainment, with a dual focus.

Not only does the MPA try its hardest to present an attractive betting product, we try to do so at bargain basement cost.

In today's world of escalating expenses, the MPA's primary aim is to send our on-course patrons of any age, home with the sense that they have enjoyed a great afternoon's racing and support features, and it has not cost the earth.

Come out on Monday and take part.

On offer is great racing on the 700 metre circuit plus mini-trotters, a UTAB van on course to bet on any event, Sky channel screens, a Funny Money bookie, "Pick the last six winners” competition now worth $1550 and a share in multiple winners and raffles.

For the kids, all supervised, there's an obstacle course, jumping castle and colouring-in competition.

In the eats department we have the best of country burgers, homemade desserts, cold drinks, Lion's chips, ice cream and coffee on course.

Gates open at 11am with the first race from 12.48pm.

Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3 and kids free.

Race books with two entry forms cost $3.

Worthy winners

AWARDS night for 2018/19 has come and gone with the Ipswich footprint being well represented.

Long-time administrator Warren Cummins got the ultimate accolade, when he was the sole inductee to the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame. This appointment was earned over a massive 60 years of service to harness, and in fact all horse breeds as a frequent judge at horse shows, including Auckland in the last few weeks and a long stint as ringmaster at the EKKA (check out the story in yesterday's QT and online).

Add that to a couple of terms on the Queensland Harness Racing Board and you have the package.

In the hands on divisions, Marburg's leading driver was Pete McMullen. Leading trainer was Darrell Graham and Horse Of The Year was the Clint Petroff-trained Stoned Again.

The state's leading concession driver was Matt Elkins with 81 winning drives. Matt fared well on the night winning the male half of the Kevin and Kay Seymour American study trip which he shared with Taleah McMullen.

In December, Elkins will also represent Queensland at the Australasian Young Drivers Championship in New Zealand.

Three locals were recognised as centurions, having driven more than 100 winners in the season past. They were Pete McMullen (185), Narissa McMullen (137) and Adam Richardson (114).

Pete will be joining Grant Dickson in Hobart for The Australasian Drivers Championship on November 9.

Short response

ONE result of an email strongly supporting the latest press release from the rightfully disappointed SAQ re-homing group was an in-depth hearing at Racing Queensland.

The reply to the sender, however, was short and at least polite.

Please contact Animal Welfare at QRIC with this inquiry.

The sender should at least have been told if the content was soiled or just too hot to handle.

In either case, they washed their hands of it.

Farewell Jack

SADLY North Queensland harness racing industry stalwart Jack Rix passed away last Friday.

Jack had his last starter Bistro Star in Townsville in 2005. The same horse was his last winner in June 2005.

Jack trained many winners in his career including multiple winners Nells Son, Condorman, Smokey Gaze, Duarango Kid, Oh Lord, Torpid Boy, Commander Byrd, Freedom, Wipe Out, Attaviros and Captain Sunshine just to name a selection.

Attaviros was a great old campaigner who won 22 races in North Queensland and Captain Sunshine was a grand horse who beat a crack field in the 1991 Greens Pacing Cup Final in Rockhampton.

Wipe Out was a horse with which Jack travelled down to South East Queensland, winning four races at Albion Park in late 1990.

Perhaps top of the tree was Percy Lyric , three times North Queensland "Horse Of The Year”, and successful on 35 occasions.

Yet another high profile trainer driver of a happier era, gone to that big trotting track in the sky.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-3-6: Top Flight Cruize (M Tenardi)-Getarattleon (N McMullen)- Feel The Reign (P McMullen).

R2: Box trifecta 1-6-7: Somewhereovarainbow (K Rasmussen)-Chapter One (P Diebert)-Classie American (G Dixon).

R3: Box trifecta 1-2-7: The Doorman (N McMullen)-Cobbler Lane (A Richardson)-Train wreck (T Lethaby).

R4: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Rowdys Ace (D McMullen)-Half Moon Beach (P McMullen)-Takitimu Express (M Elkins).

R5: Quinella @-8: Matron Jujon (P Diebert) and Caesars Astrum (N McMullen).

R6: E/w 8: Aqua Miss (G Dixon).

R7: E/w 4: Aqua Cruiser (M Tenard).

R8: E/w 2: Wave Dancer (P Diebert).

R9: Box trifecta 4-5-7: Mattgregor (P McMullen)-Fame Assured (P Diebert)-Colt Thirty One (G Dixon).

R10: E/w 4: Quietly Spoken (N McMullen).

Honour board

Not much in the way of surprises on the driver's side of the leader board with Narissa McMullen skating home on four wins, just ahead of Pete McMullen and Adam Richardson on three apiece.

A change in the training department however, with Alistair Barnes besting Ricky Gordon, three to four - the end of the training rainbow firmly in the Haigslea/Marburg zone.

Most pleasing was Modern Day Falcon, prepared in the back blocks of Laidley by tri-code wining trainer and veterinarian Charlie Welch. Trent Moffat had the steer.

Albion Park, September 27: Wecanonlyhope (Ricky Gordon for Lacey Hinze); Sir Tiger (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Tommy Under Fire (Taleah McMullen); Getarattleon (Taleah McMullen for Steve Cini).

Albion Park, September 28: Colonel Joy (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Northern Hustler (Adam Richardson for Alistair Barnes); Dolly Mach Lombo (Nathan Dawson for Jay Edmunds); Ballerina Couru (Pete McMullen for Craig McKinnis).

Albion Park, September 30: Little Dee (Adam Richardson for Steve Towns); Swaffham Water (Kelli Dawson for John McMullen); Risky Buziness (Ricky Gordon); Modern Day Falcon (Trent Moffat for Charlie Welch); Caesars Astrum (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Montana Chief (Brittany Graham for Adam Sanderson).

Albion Park, October 1: Full Of Herself (Adam Richardson); Monorail (Pete McMullen for Lisa Bahr); The Cruise Missile (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); The Money Ball (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Secret Agent Tycoon (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Clarry (Danielle McMullen for Steve Cini).

Albion Park, October 3: Billy Lincoln (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Montana nights (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Just One Good One (Chantal Turpin); Risky Buziness (Ricky Gordon); Montana Chief (Trent Lethaby for Adam Sanderson); My Secret Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).