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

The ins and outs of sale time

THERE are many ways that an aspiring, or established harness horse owner can come by racing stock with which to pursue his dream. The dream, of course, is high level race track success, with the accompanying raft of dollars, which he or she can use to finance subsequent tilts at glory. We all have the dreams, and very few of us, once bitten with the harness bug, can control,or abandon the tilting, unless we abandon hope at the same time.

We now return to the options, and their relative chances of achieving "the dream”. Firstly, you can buy an advertised horse, through the internet 'Trading Ring' or 'National Trotguide'. Not for the aspiring owner, as the animal concerned is on the market because its current connections have no belief that it will ever achieve race track glory. May suit the established owner, as he or she may be looking for something to race in a particular area, or class bracket, where, should the horse improve a bit, it will be a bonus. Second option is the claiming race, where all the runners are for sale at a published price, and offer a quick entry into harness racing. Claim it tonight and it races for you next week. Consult an expert trainer who has regular runners in the "claimers”, otherwise forget it!

Now we get down to the real deals, never losing sight of the ultimate goal; race track glory and megabucks. You could breed a champion. Not every owner wants to be a breeder, satisfying as it may be if it all works out. It is possible to buy really well bred mares that have won a race or two from limited starts and have a full or half-sister that has been a star juvenile. You then breed the mare to the top stallion of the day, (they get less dodos than their mates and will assist the sale should the owner fall out of love with the whole enterprise) setting in motion a three year cycle which is also a test of staying power in the bill paying department. It may, however, be the highway to the city of pure gold. It may also be the bullock track to the dump but, the owner and his trainer are at least working with stock, the potential of which is completely unknown.

Now is the time of the year when our dream-chasers get to exercise their democratic right to purchase a yearling at the two annual sales held here in Brisbane. The event under discussion today is the Queensland division of the Australian Pacing Gold Sale. The heavily promoted APG auction is backed by international betting giant Ladbrokes and will see an offering of 46 juveniles go under the hammer at Albion Park Paceway on Sunday January 27, commencing at 12noon. Yearlings bought here are eligible for a $100,000 race to be run in the 2019/20 season. This sale is considered the top end of the market, and is generally reflected in higher prices. This year's line-up is notable for the absence of a draft from Kevin and Kay Seymour's ""Solid Earth” operation.

Plus factors for the newcomer: If the youngster makes the grade as a two year old inner, it has only been a twelve months wait for a first return on the investment. In a normal progression, the horse will improve as it matures, so the dollars should keep coming. Just remember, a horse auction is a lottery, where the tickets have four legs. There are, on this occasion, just 46 tickets, and the only sure prize is the sales related race. Maybe your choice is the $100,000 race winner in the making. For the newcomer, take a top trainer to the sale, and follow his or her advice. Do not exceed your budget. The untried juvenile is always the best option if you want the best result!.

Just 16 days to the Monday TAB meeting. Watch this space.

Local drivers shine in Brisbane

Bullseye again in the lower Brisbane Valley. Local driving stars, Nathan Dawson and Pete McMullen went head to head all week, finishing on six wins apiece, and rating 300 in the process. Chantal Turpin, out on her own in the trainer's section producing six winners from the Patrick Estate barn. Most pleasing, Cupcakesnwhippedcream for Brian McCall at Albion Park. Brother Darren was up from Sydney to take the drive. Ipswich factor 29/44.


Albion Park 04/01: Cupcakenwhipcream (Darren McCall for Brian McCall). If You Believe (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Some Dash (Darrell Graham for Daren Garrard). Paravani (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Morroch Bay (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Stevie Dee (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Lincoln Road (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes).

Albion Park 05/01: Somexcusesomewhere (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Slice Of Heaven (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith). Argyle Beach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Ivanov (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly).

Albion Park 08/01: Grinvil (Pete McMullen for Richard Hutchinson). CC Jones (Nathan Dawson for Steve Cini). Stevie Dee (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham). Maretti (Danielle McMullen for Christina Monte). Tom Me Gun (Narissa McMullen).

Redcliffe 09/01: Life In Heaven (Adam Richardson for Doug Lee). Hot Rod Heaven (Nathan Dawson for Tayla Gillespie). Swaffham Water (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen). Getoutnwalk (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers). Getinanhangon (Gary Whitaker for Tim Gillespie). Torque With Esteem (Reece Maguire for Chantal Turpin). Gigantic Jasper (Nathan Dawson for Mark McNee). Miss Invasion (Narissa McMullen for Don Hancock).

Redcliffe 10/01: Future Fun (Hayden Barnes). Rainbow Atomic (Nathan Dawson for Gary Vernon). Jumpin Jolt (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins). Jax Navaro (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins). Precious Cullen (Nathan Dawson for Graham White).

Selections for Albion Park 12/01

R 1: e/w 1: Officianado (M Elkins).

R 2: e/w 2: Paternity Suit (G Dixon).

R 3: Box trifecta 1-2-3: Zaras Delight (B Barnes), Grinvil (P McMullen), Argyle Beach.

R 4: Quinella 2-3: My Mastercraftsman (Adam Sanderson) and Bet Im Special (H Barnes).

R 5: e/w 2: Hot Dogma (M Elkins).

R 6: Box trifecta 2-4-5: Its Just Kenny (G Dixon), Our Millwood Maizie (K Rasmussen), Someexcusesomewhere (P McMullen).

R 7: Box trifecta 1-9-12: Our Diamond Edition (A Millard), Stevie Dee (D Graham), Jossie James (A Sanderson).

R 8: e/w 10: Ohoka cooper (S Doherty).

R 9: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Bodhi Tree (L Cain), Watch Pulp Fiction (C Turpin), Frankie Rocks (G Dixon).

R 10: Box trifecta 1-6-8: Stoned Again (C Petroff), Needle (G Whitaker), Mister Gunsen.