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

Marburg's TAB status growing


JOT down Sunday, November 25 in your black book.

Marburg will go TAB again, with full details in next Saturday's QT.

Fernvale-based Darrell Graham will be there, fresh from his success in the Barastoc Feeds short trainer's premiership, conducted over three Marburg meetings.

The Melbourne-based feed giant, through local representative John Daley, put up $1500 worth of premium performance product over a span of three Marburg meetings.

Graham went away happy, thanks to consistent efforts by his team on the track.

The Marburg Pacing Association is delighted to have been involved with Barastoc in this promotion and look forward to a long and happy relationship with the company in this age of pre-mixed and manufactured racehorse nutrition.

Autonomy back?

THE rumour mill of harness is beginning to turn again, albeit slowly.

The subject is the possible return of racing in Queensland to the three code system of administration. It seems, at this point, that harness at least, would welcome a return to autonomy.

Watch this space. Where there is smoke there may be fire.

Albion Park progress

WE don't get much in the way of good news in Queensland harness these days, but the following from Racing Queensland appears to indicate that there is now some light at the end of the Albion Park tunnel.

Works to upgrade the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) racing surface and safeguard it against future disruptions continue to progress.

Works to the track were undertaken following the cancellation of three race meetings due to wet weather and the subsequent state of the track.

Racing Queensland has relocated meetings to the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club during this time, with the track performing exceptionally well following major renovation works to the racing surface in September and October.

The significant work at Albion Park includes:

An upgrade to the track base including a new base layer of crusher dust;

An improved track design with increased camber and better transitions from turns into the straight;

An extension of the crown at the top of the track on turns 3 and 4; and

The spreading of a new racing surface material.

To enable the finishing touches on the upgrade to be completed, the following meetings set down for Albion Park next week have been transferred to the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club: Tuesday and Thursday.

Racing is scheduled to return to Albion Park on November 24.

To mark the return to racing and acknowledge the industry for its cooperation while the track has undergone works, RQ will make the following increases to stakes for the meeting:

All races that were advertised at a value of $11,000 or more to be increased to $14,999 and;

Races advertised at a value of $8,160 increased to $10,660.

"RQ would again like to thank participants and all clubs for their cooperation and patience as we work to ensure Albion Park returns to its status as Queensland's premier harness racing venue,'' Racing Queensland chief operating officer Adam Wallish said.

APHRC chairman David Fowler also thanked "all participants and the Redcliffe Club for their cooperation during this period''.

"It is pleasing to see RQ has agreed to increase stakes for the return meeting scheduled for 24 November,'' he said.

We, on the outside looking in, have no doubt that the works catalogued above will result in a quantum improvement in mile rates, which will no doubt please stallion owners in the southern hemisphere.

More pleasing is the anticipated weather-proofing, which will take some of the tension out of the unsettled weather situation which is forecast for December.

Whatever, it was no doubt a costly project, and such cost needs to be recouped.

Perhaps meaningful changes could be made to the racing format and programming, that might attract the punters to support the revamped circuit.

After all, punters have little interest in mile rates, but are very concerned with consistent and reliable form lines to assist them in their wagering activities.

No matter how consistent and reliable a racing surface may be, it is totally wasted if the product presented on it, is inherently inconsistent and unreliable.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Recliffe tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 4-5-9: Padrisimo (L Cain)-Our Major Day (N Dawson); Tiwanaku (G Dixon).

R2: E/w 3: My Ultimate Fella (N Dawson).

R3: Box trifecta 2-3-6: Anna Bay Al (G Whitaker)-Illawong Dreamtime (D Lee)-Mandy Kriden (L Cain).

R4: Quinella 2-3: None Bettor (M Elkins) and Darby Brights (K Rasmussen).

R5: Box trifecta 2-6-7: Bohdi Tree (L Cain)-Ohoka Punter (G Dixon)-Frankie Rocks (J Cremin).

R6: Box trifecta 1-5-6: The Ides Of March (R Maguire)-Franco Totem (A Sanderson)-Mafuta Vautin (J Wallace).

R7: Box trifecta 3-6-9: Just Seduce Me (N McMullen)-Just Rokin (P Greig)-Argyle Beach (P McMullen).

R8: Quinella 6-7: Lilac Flash (K Rasmussen) and Cousin Tommy (B Barnes).

R9: Box trifecta 3-5-10: Bettor Watch Him (T McMullen)-Lots More Grins (H Barnes)-Reddy Fire (J Elkins).

R10: Box trifecta 1-4-6: Astral Ruler (T Dixon)-Southern Alps ( G Dixon)-Maybe To The Max (H Barnes).

Honour board

Larger numbers on the driver's side of the leaderboard this week, with Gary Whitaker rating 350 from seven successes. Matt Elkins showed he is on the way to the top, rating 250 from five wins for the week. John McMullen and Paul Matis tied the trainer's side of the business with two trips each into victory lane. Most pleasing was Taleah Mcmullen rating 150 from three winning drives. Ipswich factor: 29/46.

Marburg, November 9: Kid Calvert (Matt Elkins for Ray Cross); Annas Best (Nathan Dawson forJohn McMullen); Real Knuckey (Hayden Barnes for Peter Jones).

Redcliffe, November 10: Novena Rose (Adam Sanderson); Anna Bay Al (Gary Whitaker for Christina Monte); Rich Virgin (Trent Dawson for Craig Cross); Ketut (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith).

Marburg, November 11: Stoned Again (Clint Petroff); Headwin (Trent Moffat for Alan Godwin); Royal Taz (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Reddy Fire (Leonard Cain for Paul Matis); Bettor Watch Him (Taleah McMullen for Murray Thomas); Sir Semper Fidelis (Ben woodsford for Paul Matis); Lurah (Darrell Graham); Jax Navarro (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).

Redcliffe, November 13: Sache Girl (Gary Whitaker for Travis Makay); Somerosesomewhere (Gary Whitaker for Christina Monte); Needle (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly); Hot Rod Heaven (Nathan Dawson for Tayla Gillespie).

Redcliffe, November 15: Gizzmo (Matt Elkins for Vic Frost); Veloce Bella (Gary Whitaker for Ken Belford); Arbit Major (Nathan Dawson for Brad Connelly); Tell The Future (Kelli Dawson for Ross Fletcher); Mach Sam (Taleah McMullen for Jack Butler); Our Champion (Nikki Chalk for Tess Neaves); Mr Meddle (Hayden Barnes).