Trotting action at Marburg
Trotting action at Marburg

Marburg turns on ‘harness spectacle’


Denis Smith

AS we waltz into a fine autumn weekend, we can think about spending Sunday afternoon at the Marburg trots.

It's the best with the "harness spectacle" much enhanced on the 700 metre showground circuit where you can identify your fancy going down the back straight with the naked eye.

Gates open at 11am, with trials before the first race, which goes at 12.51 pm.

Eight races are programmed with a TAB facility, bookmaker, "funny money" bookmaker, mini-trotters, "pat a pony", best country burgers, cheap alcoholic beverages, home made desserts and "pick the last seven winners" with $2,000 on a share basis if multiple winners.

Free supervised kids activities are planned.

Admission is adults $5, pensioners $3, members $3, kids under 16 free.

Racebooks are $3.

It's a family day out at a family price. Don't miss it.

Massive boost

THINGS are going to get even better on the Marburg scene, with the Marburg Pacing Association receiving a hefty grant from Racing Queensland's Infrastructure Fund.

The cash will morph into a flash new canteen/kitchen and will assist an upgrade to a new seating area, dragging MPA catering into the 21st century.

The following two articles are from the Queensland Harness website.

The first is by Jodan Gerrans and the second by Darren Clayton. They focus on successes of two local trainers, more of our underlying obsession with speed and the ups and downs and near misses of harness racing in the great South East.

When Bathurst trainer Chris Frisby calls Trent Dawson offering up a new pacer, he cannot say yes fast enough.

Frisby has sent the Clarendon-based stable of Dawson several quality horses over the years, including new TAB Trot Rods leader Yep Got Chooks.

In a thrilling night of the 2021 TAB Trot Rods series on Wednesday at Redcliffe, a new benchmark was set in the opening heat by Maffioso Girl for the Elkins team in a time of 65.8 seconds.

In driving rain, that time lasted less than an hour as Yep Got Chooks - driven and trained by Dawson - shot to the front in a slick time of 65.03 seconds shortly after.

The leaders set a cracking pace in front in Heat 8 of the series before Yep Got Chooks was able to slip up the inside and win in a tight three-way go on the line.

"The way the barrier draw was, I thought it would suit him, and I think that was the deciding factor in it all last night, the draw," Dawson said. "They went hard for him and made it a nice time.

"The rain may have played a part in it; it might have taken a bit out of the ones that were making the speed."

Wednesday evening's quick spin around the Redcliffe triangle was just the second effort for Yep Got Chooks with the Dawson stable.

The four-year-old pacer comes from Frisby in Bathurst and while he has now won second-up in Queensland, Dawson did not have high hopes when he first arrived, but now can see plenty of potential in Yep Got Chooks.

"Chris has always been really good to me, we are friends," Dawson said.

"I never hesitate when he calls me up, I take his word and we just go from there.

"I have bought a few from him that have turned out quite all right. I will just keep going back to him then if he keeps giving me good ones.

"I will have to ask him what else has he got (laughs)."

After "The Kid" Angus Garrard and Living Free set the benchmark for the 2021 TAB Trot Rods on the opening night, it has now been broken three times over the last week.

With a few more weeks until the big Trot Rods Final night, Dawson is hopeful his time of 65.03 seconds with Yep Got Chooks can claim the title.

"It would be too nice if he could hold on and win it," he said. "That was a reasonably high class race on Wednesday, being a mid-60s I think, it is getting up there in class.

"Even with those kinds of horses, it is good enough money just to win the race, so you need to temper it a little bit.

"You have to have the right balance between trying to run the fastest time and wanting to win the race." Trainer-driver Dawson, who has around 15 in work at his property, heads to the QBRED TRIAD 3YO Fillies Group 1 (2138m) on Saturday night at Albion Park with two leading chances - Talent To Spare and Kissesforyamisses.

Two more heats for the TAB Trot Rods series will be run this coming Wednesday night, May 19, at Redcliffe.

Over the series, 10 heats to be run over successive Wednesday nights before the Trot Rods Final night on Wednesday May 26.

A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the owners of the horse with the fastest time throughout the series, thanks to Otto Tuza.

The winning trainer will also receive an Otto Tuza two-horse angled and fully enclosed horse float valued at over $21,000.

A $1,000 bonus will be awarded to the connections of any horse that eclipses the previous best series time, split 80% to owner and 20% to trainer. With The Band took out the inaugural Trot Rods crown last year, and the $10,000 bonus, in a time of 64.77 seconds. Jordan Gerrans.

Darren Clayton commented on the subject of tight photos and how they can spoil your night.

A short half-head; as an official margin, it is the smallest margin in deciding the winner of a race.

A minuscule measurement that can be the difference between glory and vanquishment.

For trainer Mark Rees, that was the difference between victory and defeat and it came at the expense of a career first metropolitan double.

Jumping Jack Jimmy is a newcomer to the Rees stable and has been a good addition to his barn with a win and two narrow seconds in three outings.

Taking the step up to Saturday night veterans' grade, the seven-year-old was setting the speed in front in race two with Angus Garrard in the bike.

After being given no respite in front, 'The Kid' and Jumping Jack Jimmy were in for the fight and fought hard to the wire, beaten in the final stride as Misterfreeze descended from the deep to score.

It was a game second placing and franked the assessment of the gelding's previous trainer, John O'Shea, that the horse will be well suited to racing in Queensland.

Rees had a pair of runners engaged in the final race on the card, the Marburg to Albion Final, with Jewel Of Peak and Kay Nora Shannon progressing through following Monday's heats at Marburg.

While both mares were outsiders in the market, Rees was able to train first and third across the line, with just under one metre the difference between snaring the quinella.

Kay Nora Shannon finished over the top to land the prize with Nathan Dawson taking the drive on the mare who recorded a new PB of 1.56.2 in claiming the victory.

The Rees stable is firing at present and with five horses in work, four of the five have been successful over the past 14 days.

If only for the short-half-head margin, Rees would be celebrating his first ever metropolitan double.

Alas, he will wait another day.

Honour board

ON the respective leaderboards, no change in sight as the Turpin-McMullen juggernaut rolls relentlessly on, week in, week out.

Pete again at the top of the driver's list, landing the biscuits on six occasions. Matt Elkins was at least in in sight with four wins.

On the training side, Chantal Turpin scored a massive five winners for the week. Others to figure on the training side were Tayla Gillespie, Dan Russell, and John McMullen, all with two apiece.

Albion Park, May 7: Its Mr Clooney (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Barkway Arnold (Taleah McMullen); Rancho Man (Dani Veivers for John McMullen); Ignite (Clint Sneddon for Denis Smith).

Albion Park, May 8: Speedy Dominic (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); A Rainbow Delight (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Tactical Response (Dani Veivers for Steve Cini); Kay Nora Shannon (Nathan Dawson for Mark Rees).

Redcliffe, May 9: No Confession (Matt Elkins for Tayla Gillespie); My China Doll (Brendan Barnes for Dale Belford); Deadly Rocker (Matt Elkins for Tayla Gillespie); SpecialandIknowit (Steven Doherty for Mal Charlton); Estarday (Matt Elkins for Dan Russell).

Albion Park, May 11: Chasin Dreamz (Matt Crone for Kay Crone); Raani (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Dance In The Sun (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Call Me Keith (Ben Battle); King Triton (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Saucy Dreams (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, May 12: Maffioso Girl (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Yep Got Chooks (Trent Dawson); Left A Hurrikane (Justin Elkins for Chris Monte); Moonlight Butcher (Jordan Topping for Dan Russell); The Midnight Rambler (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).

Albion Park, May 13: Majestic Simon (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Melton Lucky (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Western Showgirl (P Diebert for Peter Greig); Vienna Boy (Justin Elkins for Steve Cini).

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.

R1: Quinella 10-11: Fond Memories (G Dixon) and Better Than Diamonds (P McMullen).

R2: Quinella 7-12 : Blacks A Dance (P McMullen) and Gleneagle Warrior (S Graham).

R3: Quinella 1-3: Laker (C McIhenny) and October Racketeer (C Petroff).

R4: Quinella 1-3: Cat King Cole (K Rasmussen) and Goldies A Delight (T Dawson).

R5: Quinella 6-11: Manila Playboy (S Graham) and Big Wheels (P McMullen).

R6: Quinella 2-4: I Am Sparta (S Graham) and Misty Creek (L Weidemann).

R7: E/w 11: Talent To Spare (T Dawson).

R8: E/w 3: Lillies (B Barnes).

R9: E/w 6: Speak The Truth (A Sanderson).

R10: No 1: Roses Are Sweet (P McMullen).