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

Thursday Marburg meet to enjoy



ONE for the retirees, or folks just looking for something to do, is to enjoy Marburg's midweek TAB meeting next week.

Retirement is the time for relaxation and a bit of excitement in the one package so an afternoon of quality country harness racing at the Showgrounds fits the bill.

Maybe you could find a Sky Channel screen and catch the action in domestic comfort for the Thursday meeting.

There are plusses on course with the up close and personal noise and tight racing on the 700 metre track, where the back straight action is crystal clear.

Come and enjoy the best burgers, cheapest soft drinks and beers with the UTAB van on course.

Battle for crown

THIS week, and finishing tonight, the Breeders, Owners, trainers and Reinspersons Association is hosting the Queensland Young Drivers Championship.

Ten of the best sulky sitting lads and lasses are doing battle for the coveted crown and associated bragging rights.

As usual, there is a mixture of established names at the top of the tree, and lesser known drivers with a foot on the lower branches and great determination to rise.

The ingredients are there for red hot competition.

Statistics are sometimes boring but not those associated with this group.

It is often said that the future of harness is with the young.

Looking down the list, it is difficult to refute the assertion.

Brendan Barnes: Career wins 317. Prize money: $1,984,301.

Matt Elkins: Career wins 305. Prize money: $1,724,923.

Hayden Barnes: Career wins 297. Prize money: $1,803,465.

Danielle McMullen: Career wins 286. Prize money: $1,766,759.

Brittany Graham: Career wins 229. Prize money: $1,135,925.

Isabel Ross: Career wins 226. Prize money: $1,440,062.

Taleah McMullen: Career wins 66. Prize money: $353,525.

Justin Elkins: Career wins 20. Prize money: $95,533.

Ben Woodsford: Career wins 34. Prize money: $205,272.

Jonah Hutchinson: Career wins 3. Prize money: $31,783.

Total it up, and you see a final figure of $8,377,247.

One would think that with success stories such as the above, harness would be inundated with youngsters looking for the same career path. Not so.

A closer examination of the above contestants would reveal family connections to long-term established training operations.

For those who wish to gain access "off the street" if you like, a closed shop policy seems to apply.

The policies of Racing Queensland appear to be firmly rooted in the "now" rather than initiatives designed to attract and hold new faces in the long term, both in the sulky, and in the ranks of owners.

Reasonable requests

IN the aftermath of the Lara Whitaker tragedy, Queensland Workplace Health and Safety have conducted a series of audits at harness tracks.

Marburg was the latest, and as a result 20 notices were served relating to structural issues, safety equipment, maintenance and work practices.

All notices are considered reasonable requests for the club to address.

In the coming months, the Marburg Showground will not only be a pleasant environment, but a safer one as well.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: E/w 6: Recipe For Dreaming (P McMullen).

R2: E/w 2: Opononis Bliss (P McMullen).

R3: E/w 6: Argyle Beach (P McMullen).

R4: Quinella 7-8: Psychedelic (J Cremin) and Skyfella Camm (K Rasmussen).

R5: Box trifecta 7-10-13: Hughie Green (J Cremin)-Watch Pulp Fiction (C Turpin)-Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen).

R6: Quinella 8-10: Im Free Falling (B Barnes) and Tulhurst Ace (T McMullen).

R7: Quinella 1-6: Holding No Currency (K Rasmussen) and Getinanhangon (Tim Gillespie).

R8: Box trifecta 4-5-6: Rock With Sam (C Geary)-Tom Me Gun (N McMullen)-Innocent Crocker (P McMullen).

R9: Box trifecta 6-7-8: Spud (A Sanderson)-Needle (D Graham)-Maybe To The Max (N McMullen).

R10: Quinella 6-8: Gottagojazzyjet (K Rasmussen) and Lisa Lincoln (T Dawson).

Honour board

No ripples on the leader board this week. Pete McMullen remains up there tied with Hayden Barnes on four wins, rating 200 apiece. Narissa McMullen has a solid third on 150 rating. Chantal Turpin was again top trainer, leading Ron Sallis three to two.

Most pleasing was Toorbul-based battler Melissa Kendall, who had a great night at Redcliffe on Wednesday. She had three runners in one race for the quinella and fifth placing.

Albion Park, May 10: RocknRoll Classic (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Mister Diamond (Trent Dawson for John Cockburn).

Albion Park, May 11: Annika Magic (Taleah McMullen for Kerry Smith); Golden Year (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Maybe To The Max (Hayden Barnes for Ron Sallis).

Albion Park, May 14: Rainbow Delight (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Escalera (Darrell Graham); Mach Alert (Kelli Dawson for Ian Gurney); Sache Girl (Adam Richardson for Travis Makay).

Redcliffe, May 15: Comigal (Hayden Barnes for Brett Cargill); Bettor Because (Pete McMullen for Mark McNee); Janies Got a Gun Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Annas Best (Dannielle McMullen for John McMullen); Wild About town (Narissa for Melissa Kendall).

Albion Park, May 16: DH Garland Greene (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini) and Stoned Again (Hayden Barnes for Clint Petroff); Ima Birubi Boy (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte); Timeless Appeal (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Casino Tommy (Hayden Barnes for Jack Butler).