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

Taleah displays true talent


GLAMORGANVALE-based Taleah McMullen took out the Garrards-Marburg Young Driver's Series last Sunday.

The series, run over two meetings and four rounds, is designed to showcase emerging driving talent in the greater Ipswich footprint.

Such events require considerable talent - genuine ability to consistently drive good races throughout the series - and secondly, to be able to establish a viable working arrangement with the horse in the short time allotted for the preliminary.

Taleah is a member of the Beryl Dawson harness dynasty.

In a short time as a licencee, Taleah has amassed stats of 456 drives, resulting in 31 wins, 96 placings and a bankroll of $172,293.

In this instance, however, we should look at Taleah as an individual.

In a Driving Championship, there are only three factors: Driver, horse and opposition.

Family connections become irrelevant. It was a great effort.

Marburg highlights

IN a rare day at the "Burg” there was only one "odds-on” favourite, Montana Chief - winner of the first race.

On the same program there were four training and or driving doubles achieved.

Depending on one's position in the pecking order, a race day double can be a big or insignificant milestone in a harness career.

Tony Jenkins, who has trained for more years than he might want to remember, led in a career first with Cutmearinhalf and Eulo Flyer.

Jack Colley-Presnell drove Eulo Flyer and Springfield Spirit, Kay Crone trained Daveys Gift and Dollarbill, and the David and Andrew Millard combo took out the last two races with Diamonds From Heaven and Our Diamond Edition.

It was a day to remember.

Marburg races next Sunday, with Sky Channel coverage, and TAB van on course.

All the traditional country harness attractions will be offered with a full run-down next Saturday.

Paying the price

THE following message from Breeders Owners Trainers and Reinspersons puts us in the picture regarding the destination of the $2 million mentioned below.

Far be it for Botra to consult with the majority of the sport's participants on this matter.

"Dear industry participants, Following on from the Racing Queensland (RQ) decision of yesterday to allocate $2 million to Harness Racing from the Point Of Consumption Tax, the contemplated industrial action is now on hold as further talks with RQ are proceeding regarding prize money allocations from this funding, therefore it is business as usual for now and a further update will be issued in the coming days.” Dan Costello, BOTRA

Racing Queensland has revealed how prizemoney increases for harness racing will be distributed to the industry, following the announcement of a $2 million stakes increase on Tuesday.

Highlights of the prizemoney increase are listed below.

QBRED enhancements: A new look QBRED scheme where horses will be 'QBRED For Life' has been introduced.

The offer includes enduring returns for all eligible QBRED horses of any age during their racing career.

$10,000 First win bonus in Queensland at any age upon winning a race with a stake value higher than $4,500. $7,500 Second win bonus in Queensland in any subsequent racing season following the First Win bonus being won, providing a race stake value higher than $4,500. Further enhancement to the QBRED Cash component of the scheme.

The new scheme will commence from September 1, 2019.

However, for the 2018/19 season the 2YO bonus will increase to $10,000 effective immediately.

Further details on the mechanics of the new scheme, including sustaining fees, will be discussed with industry prior to implementation.

Trainers' Percentages (effective December 1): The trainers stakes percentage will increase by 2.5% (from 5% to 7.5%) to help support the important role trainers play in the industry.

Importantly, this increase will be on top of existing stakes levels to ensure owners are not negatively impacted. This will also bring Queensland in line with other states.

Trotters' Bonus (effective December 1): A $2,000 first-win bonus will be paid to the owners of any trotter upon its first win in Queensland, subject to the horse being trained by a Queensland trainer.

This initiative complements RQ's strategy to grow the active racing population of trotters in the state which in 17/18 resulted in a growth in trotting races of 14%.

General Prizemoney Increases (effective December 1): $1,000 increase for all 'Band Penalty' races. Restricted Penalty' races at Redcliffe increased to a minimum $3,500. Career Penalty' Races at Redcliffe and Albion Park lifted to a minimum $5,000.

Now the piece that all the participants who provide the base for the Queensland Harness Pyramid have been waiting to hear.

"In addition to these initiatives, RQ will continue to convert non-TAB product to TAB where possible and work with stakeholders to expand racing opportunities for hobbyist participants.”

Yes, there's nothing for the hobbyists.

The roll out of these initiatives (with the exception of the QBRED enhancements) will commence from tonight's Albion Park Race meeting, which features the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-6-8: The Diplomat (J. McCarthy)-Dance For Glory (R Morris)-Beau Cishlom (D McMullen).

R2: Box trifecta 4-7-9: Mafuta Vautin (D Graham)-Casino Tommy (B Barnes)-Majestic Major (G Dixon).

R3: Box trifecta 1-2-5: Everything (G Dixon)-My Ultimate Fella (N Dawson)-Ranfurly Rulz (J McCarthy).

R4: Quinella 1-9: The Space Invader (N McMullen) and Under Worked (J McCarthy).

R5: Quinella 4-13: Lincoln Road (A Barnes) and Mr Kalypso (K Rasmussen).

R6: E/w 7: Lisa Lincoln (T Dawson).

R8: Box trifecta 1-8-13: Bohdi Tree (L Cain)-Raka Rolla (J McCarthy)-Frankie Rocks (G Dixon).

R9: Box trifecta 1-5-6: Our American Princess (R Morris)-Our Millward Maizie (K Rasmussen)-Elienark (G Dixon).

R10: Quinella 1-2: Rich Virgin (T Dawson) and Colt Thirty One (G Dixon).

Honour board

Nathan Dawson dominated his sulky-sitting rivals this week, posting six wins for a rate of 300. On the hardworking trainer's side of the board, Ron Sallis and Darrell Graham could not be separated, finishing the week on three winners apiece. Most pleasing was Tony Jenkins' training double at the home venue. Ipswich factor: 23/42.

Redcliffe, November 23: Springfield Spirit (Sheree Tomlinson for Ron Sallis); Oozinville (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin); Rainbow Styling (Nathan Dawson for Tayla Gillespie).

Albion Park, November 24: The Space Invader (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Gangster Boy (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Dance for Glory (Nathan Dawson for KerryAnn Turner); Opononis Bliss (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Marburg, November 25: Montana Chief (Darrell Graham); Cutmearinhalf (John Cremin for Tony Jenkins); Springfield Spirit (Jack Colley-Presnell for Ron Sallis); Daveys Gift (Adam Richardson for Kay Crone); Eulo Flyer (Jack Colley-Presnell for Tony Jenkins); Dollarbill (Taleah McMullen for For Kay Crone).

Albion Park, November 27: Montana Chief (Darrell Graham); Havana Moon (Pete McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Lethal Star (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); The Boys GNP (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Illawong Dreamtime (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee).

Redcliffe, November 28: Mo Jarney (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig); Tell The Future (Kelli Dawson for Ross Fletcher); Concentration (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Fortes In Fide (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Wee Jimmy (Jack Rees for Mark Rees).