New year brings renewed promise

THE race dates are out, and the merry folk of Marburg have no less than 16 meetings for the 2019/2020 racing year at this point, most of which will be TAB fixtures.

As the racing season and the racing year do not correlate, we head into 2019 with Greg Elkins leading the trainer's Premiership with 5 wins and 6 placings on the board. GC's elder son, Matt, is right up there as leading driver, and currently ahead in the horse stakes, is Clint Petroff's talented trotter, Stoned Again. The first meeting for the year will the Australia Day holiday on Monday, January 28.

The MPA Committee have several projects on the boil and foremost at this point is provision of permanent "TOTE" facilities.

It is, as they say, "all happening".

Much depends on the crowd support we get from the local areas, and the Committee needs input from our fan base to ensure that we are supplying a promotable and viable product.

If we work with our supporters we will all go forward together.

With the following press release, an 80 year, cleverly orchestrated program to re-direct the destiny of trotting in Australia, has come to fruition.

Finally and at long last, the men of influence in harness, have totally Americanised what was once a brilliant, spectacular sport, available for participation to a very broad sector of the Australian population.

They deserve our congratulations for a complete obliteration of a sport which throve on realistic handicapping through standing starts, middle distance and staying races.

They have worked diligently to chase hobbyists from the game, never once realising that the methodology employed, mobile conditioned racing, was doing an equally brilliant job in removing the recreational punter, whose regular contribution to "turnover" is now so sorely missed that they dare not introduce the subject, for fear of attracting adverse comment.

The boring, stultifying, and intellectually insulting, imported " one mile" vision from American tracks, which appears on Sky Channel in the morning slots, is about to become the prime time norm in this country.

Something to look forward to!!!

The Miracle Mile, Sydney's signature pacing event, will carry record prizemoney of $1 million next March, making it the richest harness race in the southern hemisphere.

Club Menangle chairman Ray Sharman confirmed the $250,000 boost in stakes was fully funded and sustainable.Sydney now boasts the world's richest turf race with the $14 million The Everest, the world's richest greyhound race with the Million Dollar Chase, and the southern hemisphere's richest harness race with the $1 million Miracle Mile.

Sharman said the significant lift in prize money for the Miracle Mile (up from $750,000), which is run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 2, will "ensure that connections of all our Grand Circuit horses will endeavour to secure their place in this great race, further raising the profile of harness racing both in NSW and nationally.''

Trainers of horses such as the defending Miracle Mile champion My Field Marshal (Tim Butt) and recent Inter Dominion Grand Final winner Tiger Tara (Kevin Pizzuto), which are both trained in NSW, will be enticed to concentrate on the Miracle Mile next March - now double in value of any other Grand Circuit race in Australia.My Field Marshal, who resumed at Menangle on Wednesday with an easy win, paced the fastest mile ever seen in Australasia when winning last year's Miracle Mile clocking 1:46.9s.

Again a dead heat on the driver's side of the leader board this week with 200 raters, Narissa McMullen and Matt Elkins getting home first on four occasions each. Ron Sallis stood alone as top trainer, leading in four winners for the term.

Most pleasing, Ominous Flyer for Dale Chalk breaking a frustrating run of close up placings in recent runs. Ipswich Factor 25/37.

Honour Board/Tips

Albion Park December 28: Divas Delight (Trent Dawson); Lincoln Road (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Golden Year (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis; Tuesday's Fella (Kelli Dawson for Trevor Lambourn); Gotta Good Reason (Trent Dawson for Craig Cross); Montana Chief (Darrell Graham); Call Me Yours (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Monrail (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes).

Albion Park December 29: Parisian Rockstar (Adam Richardson for Peter Greig); Courageous Leo (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Weedons Express (Pete McMullen for John McMullen); Officianado (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Quietly Spoken (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Midnight Bender (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).

Redcliffe January 2: Drive The Dream (Darrell Graham); I'm Free Falling (Taleah McMullen for Ron Sallis); Lifeinheaven (Adam Richardson for Doug Lee); Life's Black (Hayden Barnes for Mark McNee); Sheza Galvinator (Hayden Barnes for Mark McNee); Kiwi Soldier (Dan Russell for Dave Russell).

Redcliffe January 3: Gotothemoon (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Ominous Flyer (Dale Chalk); Elms Creek (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Golden Year (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); It's All Go (Matt Elkins).

Selections for Albion Park tonight: R 1: Quinella 1-4: Makoa (G Dixon) and Gunrneedabigrboat (A Donohoe); R 2: E/w 3: Young America (L McCarthy); R 3: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Sir Julian (J Cremin), Clintal Do (D March), Courageous Leo (M Elkins); R 4: Box trifecta 3-4-5: I'm The Golden Child (P McMullen), Weedon's Express (N McMullen), Rich Virgin (L McCarthy); R 5: first four 1-5-8-10: Our Millwood Maizie (K Rasmussen), Bodhi Tree (L Cain), Frankie Rocks (T Dixon), Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen); R 6: E/w 8: Macheasy (G Dixon); R 7: Quinella 8-9: Drive The Dream (D Graham) and Valtona (G Dixon); R 8: E/w 1: Gas Monkey (M Dux); R 9: Quinella 1-8: Ima Kennedy Two (L McCarthy) and Argyle Beach (P McMullen); R 10: E/w 10: Dieu De Lamour (L McCarthy).