REG fundraiser a success
LAST Saturday's Marburg fundraiser trot meeting in support of the Rosewood Equestrian Group (REG) project produced a good result.
Gate was up, food and bar sales were up, the REG raffle was a howling success and from a quick glance at the crowd it seemed there were about 100 faces that I did not recognise.
The racing was, as usual, on the smaller circuit, very much in the exciting spectacle mode.
The lucky gate draw was a bonus on the day with bookmaker Gordon Turner offering the winner the odds to $150 if they could back a winner in races two through to five.
Our lucky punter with ticket 60 was Wendy, who assured Gordon Turner that she got her moneys worth in excitement even though her horse did not get the bikkies.
Marburg races are again on February 16 and Fast Work Horse Supplies' tip the card competition has jackpotted to $250.
REG's Annual General Meeting will be at Rosewood RSL Hall on Tuesday from 7.30pm.
Call for appointments
If you sit back and look at the future of the horse codes of racing in Queensland, there is little room for optimism in the near future.
With less than 80 days until April 1, the deadline for the seven-person (four quasi independents with the final say and three supplicants - one representing each code) control board is nearing and there is still only one member (Justice Muir).
Seriously, if the other six were firmly in place by this Monday, it would not be a day too soon.
Meanwhile, without any realistic control, we remain up to our rear ends in alligators.
Surely, in the Racing Minister's staff of advisors, there must be a number of senior bureaucrats with long track records of familiarity with the Racing and Betting Act of 2002, and a grasp of recent events in Queensland racing.
If they can't give reliable advice to their Minister, who can?
What action the Minister takes, she must be aware that time is of the essence.
Fixed betting concerns
UBET's fixed odds service may be a two edged sword, if a worrying rumour, which we will run past UBET executive Brad Tamer when he returns from holidays on Monday, proves to be correct.
UBET now operates both as a tote (pari-mutuel), and as a bookmaker (fixed odds), with the revenue, or the lack of it, from both combined to produce the end sum which finds its way into the coffers of Racing Queensland on a meeting to meeting basis.
It is said that last Saturday's Magic Millions meeting produced a mammoth sum in turnover on the two betting options, which would have produced revenue for RQ in the order of $450,000.
Sadly the UBET "fixed odds" bookies had a bad day, and the combined revenue shrank to $150,000.
That, of course, is part of the great attraction of betting with bookmakers.
There is an element of contest between bookmaker and punter.
The bookmaker is backing his judgement just the same as the punter is backing his horse. Both are taking a calculated risk.
The tote takes no risks, with the operating percentage removed before the remaining pool is divided by the number of live units.
All the above tells us that if we are to continue with our 30-year agreement with UBET, we need to attract a lot more new punters who are tote-oriented.
The light harness sport could do with the lion's share of any new blood attracted.
But, since no submissions focusing on turnover alone have ever been requested, that seems an unlikely scenario. One can but ask however.
Selections for Albion Park tonight:
R1: E/w 1: Drawing Away (h. Barnes).
R2: Quinella 1-8: Montana Falcon (B. Graham) and Yerrington Bob
R3: Quinella 1-8: Funny Boy (H. Barnes) and Corey ODonohue (P. McMullen).
R4: E/w 1: Regal Point (M. Neilson).
R5: E/w 2: Dixie Trix (S. Graham).
R6: Quinella 1-3: Cankickatarget (T. Dixon) and Motu Miss Lilli (M. Neilson).
R7: Win 4: Our Overannova (G. Dixon).
R8:E/w 1: Applause (G. Dixon).
Family orientation as usual was on the leaderboard this week with father and daughter combo Darrell and Brittany Graham at the top.
Darrell four winners in the training department and Brittany scoring three in the sulky.
The most pleasing events of the week was the Marburg win by Wheres The Limit, trained and reined by Glenn Walsh. A real tonic for a battling trainer.
No one turns a horse out to race in better condition than Nikki Chalk, and she was rewarded when Glenburn Red scored at Albion Park last Tuesday.
Shane Graham had the steer and the rate was a very tidy 1-54.8.
Mitchell Dawson was up there training two winners at Marburg and Albion Park on Tuesday.
Gold Coast at Albion Park, January 8: El Chango (Chantal Turpin-McMullen); Chattanoogachoochoo (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Subtle Advice (Nathan Dawson for Don Hancock); Special Thoughts (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Saratoga (Adam Sanderson).
Albion Park, January 9: Corey ODonohue (Hayden Barnes for Ron Sallis); Murano (Narissa McMullen); Mafuta Vautin (Darrell Graham); Tyron Lochie (Gary Whitaker for Rachel Scott).
Marburg, January 9: Nedra Gold (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Washingtons Flier (Trevor Lambourn for Ron Sallis); Major Command (Trevor Lambourn for Rachel Scott); Pegasus Rocks (Kelli Dawson for Shane Fraser); Wheres The Limit (Glenn Walsh).
Albion Park, January 12: Karloo Kix (Barty Cockburn); Glenburn Red (Shane Graham for Nikki Chalk); Mafuta Vautin (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Chicken On A Chain (Hayden Barnes for Mitchell Dawson).
Redcliffe, January 13: Penny A packet (Amy Rees for Mark Rees); Russian revolution (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Ceear Rail (Matt Elkins for Debbie Belford); My Crazy Ex (Pete for Chantal Turpin McMullen); Im Jack Black (Adam Richardson for Tess Neaves).