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

Marburg to share prizemoney boost


IT doesn't seem like the best part of a year since the Winter Carnival of 2018 but Racing Queensland is already spreading the good news.

The Oaks and Derby 3yo classics have regained Group One status with their prizemoney rising to $100,000 for each of the features.

The elevation will take the Group One content of the carnival to a total of six events, with a star-studded supporting program on each night of the series.

Racing Queensland Harness Manager David Brick looked forward to further announcements regarding the make-up of the carnival over the coming weeks and months.

A change in the prizemoney structure at Marburg will lead to an overall rise from $2000 to $2300. That comprises $1320 (for first), $399 (2nd), $219 (3rd), $152 (4th), $110 (5th), $25 (6th to last).

As the $2000 threshold is now broken, winners will take an (R) penalty.

While the above may seem an insignificant increase, any rise in money is a good rise and will help owners and trainers of the moderate type of horse to defray costs.

The Marburg Pacing Association was formed to assist the battlers of the Ipswich footprint to be competitive at the top tracks in South East Queensland and this was achieved.

Owners and trainers, who once believed that Rocklea was the limit of the known universe in trotting, found themselves competitive at Redcliffe and Albion Park.

All this, due to the introduction of weekly "trainer and horse friendly” trialling facilities at the Marburg Show Ground, run by a dedicated band of volunteers.

We now have the task of seeing that the much eroded numbers of hobbyist trainers erodes no further, as Marburg hopefully progresses to bigger and better things under the UTAB flag.

The MPA could do with a few more of those old style volunteers. People who would like to see and be part of a rebuild of harness in Queensland.

No structure can be built from the top, and the sport of harness racing is no different.

The MPA wants to give harness in Queensland a solid and expanding base.

Meanwhile, the supreme being that influences our breeding activities - the "Lord of the Mile Rates” - has been throwing parties on a weekly basis.

The old goat is celebrating the quantum drop in race times across the board in harness across Australia.

World records at Menangle for 2400 metre events, while the benchmark of excellence which stood at 1-55.0 is under serious attack.

Perhaps we should move the benchmark down in increments of one second from here on in as 1-50 is beginning to loom large on the display of the stop watch.

Dual code venue bid

THE battle to re-open harness racing at Townsville goes on.

From the Townsville Bulletin: "The club will meet with representatives of Racing Queensland on March 13 after lobbying Government and opposition MPs.

"There had also been discussions with the Townsville Showground as a possible venue, and with Townsville Greyhound Club, with a view to conducting dual code meetings.

"Having the two clubs working together would decrease costs for both.

"The Minister for Racing, Stirling Hinchcliffe, has requested a face-to-face forum with RQ and the club.

"It is hoped at the end of this, both sides can collate their findings and come to the correct outcome for harness and the people of North Queensland,'' Troy Clive said.

He also said that "the venture would create about 100 jobs while generating $200,000 in GST revenue for the state.”

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 7-11-12: Bells Beach House (K Frenning)-Secret Jack (K Dawson)-Franco Tariq (K Manning).

R2: Box trifecta 4-8-12: Annika Magic (N McMullen)-RocknRoll Emma (K Dawson)-Lincoln Road (M Young).

R3: Box trifecta 1-4-8: My Mojo (K Turner)-Casino Grin (K Manning)-Psychedelic (M Young).

R4: Quinella 2-12:Majordoit ( E Suvaljko) and Tom Me Gun (K Dawson).

R5: Quinella 1-5: Oscars Glory (K Dawson) and Misterriodejaniero (A Richardson).

R6: Quinella 2-4: Everything (K Hryhorec) and Lexus On The Beach (K A Turner).

R7: Box trifecta 3-7-12: Sir Semper Fidelis (H Van Dongeren)-Renee Dale (K Manning)-Left A Terror (N McMullen).

R8: Box trifecta 3-4-5: Invite Only (K Hryhorec)-Our Diamond Edition (K Manning)-Just Rokin (M Young).

R9: Box trifecta 3-6-7: Springbank Eden (D Graham)-Needle (G Whitaker)-Our Overanova (G Dixon).

Honour board

It was happy families on the leader board yet again this week. Star driver Pete McMullen greeted the judge on nine occasions this week, rating 450. His other half, Chantal Turpin, led three winners back to the home barn.

Most pleasing was battling hobbyist Rachel Belier preparing One Last Roll to get the bikkies at Recliffe Thursday.

Ipswich factor: 29/51.

Albion Park, March 1: Magoogan (Justin Elkins for Ryan Veivers); Brian Who (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Heavens Hurricane (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Maretti (Narissa McMullen for Chris Monte).

Albion Park, March 2: Bells Beach House (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Franco Tariq (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Scorched (Adam Sanderson for Doug Lee); Mach Alert (Kelli Dawson for Ian Gurney); Mister Mddle (Hayden Barnes).

Marburg, March 3: Oscars Glory (Kelli Dawson for John McMullen); Lots More Grins (Pete McMullen for Wayne Davis); Sir Semper Fidelis (Paul Matis); Newmerella Molly (Brett Towns for Max Towns); Misterriodejaniero (Adam Richardson for Tayla gillespie); My Secret Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, March 5: Escalero (Darrell Graham); Jacks At The Beach (Trent Dawson for Mal Charlton); Im Free Falling (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); LancelotBromac (Pete McMullen for Stewie Dickson); Corey William (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).

Redcliffe, March 6: Hot Dogma (Matt Elkins for Ross Fletcher); Feel The Reign (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Goodtime Stride (Nathan Dawson for Rob Gorman); Getoutnwalk (Hayden Barnes for Ryan Veivers).

Redcliffe, March 6: Bettor Than Torque (Hayden Barnes for Ricky Hart).

Redcliffe, March 7: One Last Roll (Pete McMullen for Rachel Belier); My Wingman (Paul Diebert for Ricky Gordon); Ruato Bay (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis); Rory Mach (Darrell Graham); Sache Girl (Adam Richardson for Travis Mackay).