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

Priceless boost for Qld racing


TWO-year-old trotters made their debut on the Queensland stage last Tuesday in the final race in a combined series.

This "never before” event commenced in late July and comprised eight races under the banner of "Springboard” and Qbred.

Five juveniles went round, often in a field of three runners, and they were as follows.

Shegotsass (Tim Gillespie, Minden) boasting stats of seven starts for six wins and one second, banking $15,947 in the process.

No Love About It (Lisa Bahr) 8-1-6-1 and $10,553.

Indefensible (Kay Crone, Marburg/Minden) 3-1-1-1, earning $10,531.

Mistakes Were Made (Mal Charlton) 2-10-1 and $6632.

First Offence (Lisa Bahr) 8-0-1-5 for $4804.

That's a total of $39,467 distributed plus a number of Qbred first bonuses, which bought priceless publicity and goodwill for the 2yo trotter in Queensland.

This investment is the seed capital that will see the juveniles as a big factor in the long term future of the diagonal gait outside of Victoria. There will be many more than five contesting the same program next season.

The five pioneers will be 3yo tomorrow, and already there is a fly in the future ointment.

On last Tuesday's program, a two year old trotter named Makin Good trialed at headquarters in a mixed stand over 2138 metres.

The youngster trotted flawlessly throughout at his third public appearance, having trialed the previous week followed by a trip to the Marburg jump outs last Sunday, finishing 4th beaten 22.4 metres in a personal mile rate of 2-04.5.

Bred by Doug Lyon and now part owned by trainer Bob Foster the gelded son of Mr Feelgood is the real deal.

Battle of the north goes on

PEOPLE power is a strange thing.

When a group of rational and reasonable people band together to achieve an end it is amazing their tenacity in the face of opposition.

David Brick, Racing Queensland's Manager Harness, accompanied by RQ board members Margaret Reynolds and Jane Seawright recently met with North Queensland Harness Racing Club reps and local politicians.

The next round in the battle to restore harness racing to Townsville has begun.

The next three items state the RQ position: 1. Townsville has no suitable track, RQ preferred is 800 metres or larger; 2. No coverage on SKY 1 only a commitment of coverage on SKY 2; 3. RQ estimates a loss of around $1.3 million annually.

NQHRC representative Troy Clive responded to this with information based on Brendan Parnell's figures that if the participants raced for stakes of $2500 per race the club would return a small profit to RQ even with coverage only on Sky 2.

Brick replied the cost of investing on horses for the participant would not be viable. One key factor overlooked here is that no owner is, or can be, guaranteed "viabilty”. Financial risk is inherent in any racing venture.

Steve Harris added that all members of the club had agreed to this point as a starting figure to gain a start for the sport back in NQ.

Clive said the new national handicapping system would work in this thresholds favour as a horse would need to win three races before going up a grade.

Clive also added the animal welfare topic of giving the horses in the south east a chance to be rehomed in the north.

Brick told the group RQ had no funding for infrastructure.

Clive requested guidelines on what was required as the club was happy to try and lobby for grants to assist with this.

My information is that the rest of the meeting was stimulating, to say the least.

The paragraph below puts the NQHRC position clearly, and the ball very firmly in the RQ court.

Troy Clive informed David Brick moving forward he wanted David Brick to go back to Brendan Parnell and Adam Wallish and supply feedback on a direction forward for the club to explore for a viable reintroduction of the sport in the region as the passionate club members were not going away and wanted workable suggestions from RQ in the future and will continue to lobby local, state and federal government to assist in making this happen.

Stable's helping hand

SUSPENDED Lord Mayor of Fernvale, Darrell Graham, is always willing to give a young bloke a chance to climb the ladder of Queensland harness.

Witness the rise to solidarity of Adam Sanderson.

Among the workers at Stable Graham is yet another Kiwi Jacob Wallace.

The 25 year old Auckland-born lad not only works for Graham but trains several horses in his own right.

One of these, Royal Lincoln, was successful last Saturday night, putting up the tough performance which recent efforts had suggested would be there if things fell into place.

Wallace has driven 40 winners in a short career and was permanently hooked when driving his father Mark's pacer Jacks Cuzzy to victory on the grass at Thames, a town on the Coramandel Coast.

His first winner was Red Sky Night at Auckland.

Jacob came this way in search of more opportunity and is prepared to work steadily towards that goal.

The best horse he has seen is Self Assured, and the best he has sat behind is Ohoka Punter (in trackwork).

Jacob has the endless patience of his Maori forbears, a level head, and his feet firmly planted on the ground. He will go far if he gets the chance.

Honour board

THERE was hardly any room left for the crowd on the driver's side of the leader board this week with Narissa McMullen, Justin Elkins and Adam Sanderson all with five winners each across the seven days. Adam Sanderson was out on his own as a trainer, leading in five of the best in the same time frame.

Most pleasing was a second at Redcliffe on Wednesday: Myrtle Beach for John Ballin. It was a long hard road about to become a highway. Ipswich factor: 33/51.

Albion Park, August 23: Greg The Great (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Major Slip Up (Pete McMullen for Bill Crosby); Star Of Montana (Adam Sanderson); Majestic Kiwi (Justin Elkins for Trevor Lambourn).

Albion Park, August 24: One Hell Of A Ride (Pete McMullen for Jarrod Alchin); Royal Lincoln (Jacob Wallace); Northview Hustler (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Ivanov (Adam Sanderson for Brad Connelly); No Confession (Ben Battle for Tayla Gillespie).

Redcliffe, August 25: Always In Command (Justin Elkins for Donny Smith); Don't Call Me (Justin Elkins for Donny Smith); Non Passare (Taleah McMullen for Ken Belford); Eulo flyer (Taleah McMullen for Dale Belford); Stevie Dee (Paul Diebert for Adam Sanderson); Art Sunset (Adam Sanderson for Martin Hanrahan).

Albion Park, August 27: No Love About It (Hayden Barnes for Lisa Bahr); Miss Invasion (Narissa McMullen for Don Hancock); Targaryen Hanover (Adam Sanderson); The Doorman (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Platinum Roulette (Adam Sanderson); Bells Beach House (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, August 28: Sache Girl (Danielle McMullen for Travis Mackay); Datsgood (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Swaffham Water (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Our Ridgy Didge (Matt Elkins for Ron Sallis); The Reaper (Narissa McMullen for Terry Hancock).

Redcliffe, August 29: Beejays Delight (Kelli Dawson for John McMullen); Raging Inferno (Narissa McMullen); Caesars Astrum (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Three Mugs In (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin); Call Me Yours (Justin Elkins for Tess Neaves); Platinum Roulette (Angus Garrard for Adam Sanderson); Always In Command (Justin Elkins for Donny Smith).