Picture: Rob Williams
Picture: Rob Williams

Tribute to fine harness pioneer



IN the final analysis of life's race, time will be the eventual winner.

Last week Doug Coy passed at the ripe age of 95.

Born in 1925, Doug lived his entire life on the family farm "Hillside" near Warwick on the Southern Downs.

In later years, the farm became Junabee Stud, one of a tiny handful of commercial studs in Queensland up until the early 1980s.

Doug's first horse was the 1940 purchase Bluebell destined for general farm duties.

At the end of World War 2, Doug bought Clumber Maid, possibly from Downs star Cliffie Mewes.

Bred to trot, the Maid went the other way, and improved out of sight when hoppled.

At this time, there was very little "registered" racing in Queensland.

This shortfall was remedied by the most amazing calendar of show racing ever seen in this country.

As well as great racing opportunity, the accompanying prizemoney was high indeed. Consequently Doug, and his brother Fred, went big on the shows on the southern and western downs.

Racing led to breeding. Sandy Scott, a son of successful import Sandydale, from the U Scott mare Daisy Scott was purchased from New Zealand.

Scott paid his way on the race and show tracks, and when sent to stud, sired an even century of winners.

So impressed was Doug with the U Scott factor that he purchased the 1963 colt from the Wrack mare Wrackeen.

The colt raced as Stormy Water and later went south to win a feature at Harold Park.

At stud, Stormy Water produced 131 winners.

When I came to Queensland in 1978, the aforementioned stallions were standing at Junabee Stud in company with the champion Lucky Creed.

Doug Coy was the patriarch of a wide harness family.

Sons Jeff and Neale are still involved, and grandsons Andrew and Bradley Millard, plus Dale March are super-committed to the light harness sport.

In later years, Doug was a devoted volounteer for the Darling Downs Harness Racing Club. The love of the game, which characterised the life of Doug, lives on, both on two legs and four.

He will never be forgotten for his efforts to improve harness in Queensland.

Like the other pioneers of breeding here, Doug Coy put a lot more into the game than he ever got out.

Welcome boost

QUEENSLAND harness racing participants are set to be boosted next month with the state's base driving fee set to rise to $60 per drive.

Since 2017, Racing Queensland has lifted the base driving fee from $45 for all races worth $3000 or more, an initiative that was included in a plan to support and sustain industry participation.

A further increase will be delivered in 2021 as part of the third and final year of an agreement with the Breeders Owners Trainers and Reins-persons Association of Queensland.

The increased driving fee will now be applicable at Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg, with drivers previously receiving $25 per drive at the latter.

While COVID-19 recently forced the abandonment of the TAB Queensland Constellations, a number of feature races will still proceed this year including the Group 1 Garrards Yearling Sale Graduate 2YO Final and Redcliffe Gold Cup this Saturday.

The meteoric rise of Angus Garrard through the driving ranks in Queensland hit yet another high last Saturday night, when the 17 year old celebrated his first night as a Metropolitan licenced driver with a treble.

Garrard was understandably overjoyed with the effort, but his feet are firmly planted on the ground.

He was, as quoted in this column some weeks back, just being "the best he could be".

One wonders what yardstick we could apply to measure Garrard's ability as a driver, given the number of times he has greeted the judge since Saturday night.

On disclosed form, Angus Garrard will be the yardstick.

Honour board

NO surprises on the driver's list this week with in-form Narissa McMullen heading off brother Pete, five wins to four.

The training honours were tighter with Geoff Dawson and Dan Russell tied on two winners apiece.

Most pleasing was Aqua Cruiser (Michael Tenardi), who was turned out immaculate and went accordingly. Ipswich factor: 22/58.

Redcliffe, June 19: Wheres Tascott (Nathan Dawson for Steve Towns); Loyola Trios (Narissa McMullen for Pat Croghan); Gwendalion (Nathan Dawson for Dan Russell); Manila Playboy (Kelli Dawson for Shane Fraser); Perfect Feeling (Nathan Dawson for Dan Russell).

Albion Park, June 20: The Cruise Missile (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini).

Redcliffe, June 21: Jewel Of peak (Paul Diebert for Mark Rees); Threo (Trent Moffat for Ricky Gordon); Pittsworth Man (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Western Showgirl (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).

Albion Park, June 23: Aurora (Narissa McMullen for Terry Hancock); Imperial Poet (Pete McMullen for Jarrod Alchin); The Reaper (Narissa McMullen for Terry Hancock); Feelingforamiracle (Kelli Dawson for Geoff Dawson); Maywyns Best (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).

Redcliffe, June 24: Mach Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Aqua Cruiser (Michael Tenardi); Sister Feelgood (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).

Redcliffe, June 25: Maywyn Troubador (Kelli Dawson for Geoff Dawson); Sombeachsomegift (Adam Sanderson forAlistair Barnes); Tinka Terror (Brittany Graham for Stephanie Graham); Eulo Flyer (Taleah McMullen for Dale Belford).

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Redcliffe tonight.

R1: E/w 1: Maretti (A Garrard).

R2: Quinella 1-3: Billboard Bonnie (A Garrard) and Kotare Elite (I Ross).

R3: Quinella 2-6: Commodore Jujon (T Dixon) and Blue Moon Rising (A Sanderson).

R4: First four in five: Majestic Simon (P McMullen)-Sir Fahrenheit (A Garrard)-Justabitnoisy (L Wiedemann)-Northern Muscle (P Diebert)-Our Overanova (G Dixon).

R5: E/w 4: Sam Is Perfection (B Barnes).

R6: E/w 7: Manila Playboy (K Dawson).

R7: Quinella 1-2: Bangkok Bravado (K Dawson) and Burmach (P McMullen).

R8: E/w 10:Watch Pulp Fiction (P McMullen).

R9: Quinella 3-4: Tact Bess (T Dixon) and With The Band (P Diebert).

R10: E/w 8: Just A Little Bit (P McMullen).