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

Warmer times ahead at Marburg


JUST eight days until the next Marburg meeting.

Hopefully our patrons, the hardy handful who seem unaffected by adverse conditions and who braved the icy blast for an eight race program last Monday, will be back again on Sunday, September 22.

More details next week.

New partnership?

TWO weeks ago, we highlighted the abilities of "people power” when it comes to the scenario of irresistible force versus the immovable object.

The following was the state of play at the close of the meeting highlighted two weeks back.

Troy Clive informed David Brick moving forward he wanted Brick to go back to Brendan Parnell and Adam Wallish and supply feedback on a direction forward for the club to explore for a viable reintroduction of the sport in the region as the passionate club members were not going away and wanted workable suggestions from RQ in the future. They will continue to lobby Local, State and Federal Government to assist in making this happen.

Round two: A compelling argument based on common sense.

(It's) been a productive week up here. We had a meeting with Senator Susan McDonald on Tuesday and indicated the code would be keen to investigate a move jointly with the greyhounds to Smiles Stadium (formerly the Willows), of which she is drafting a letter to the Mayor of Townsville Jenny Hill for consideration.

Travelled to the greyhounds on Tuesday night and the Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe was there. We mentioned the indicated move to him and his advisor of which they replied it made sense. The greyhounds are on a hiding to nothing with their current lease agreement with the Townsville Showgrounds and even I agree with RQ that this cannot be sustained.

As stated to him how can the greyhounds formulate a fan base to attend meeting at these facilities.

Remembering that this is through Building Better Regions and with Federal funding at no cost to RQ for the facility wouldn't it make sense for Steve Wilson and Brendan Parnell to support this?

The current status: At this point, no response from Adam Wallish or David Brick, on the proposition that a partnership between harness and greyhounds, could well secure tenure at Smiles Stadium at no cost to RQ.

We learn nothing from past events, so it seems.

How would Racing Queensland feel today if it's predecessor QHRB had the foresight to agree to a suggestion from Ipswich HRC that the club purchase the much talked about 60 acre site at Yamanto for $200,000 with Swifts football club as partners, and spend the $300,000 set down for Marburg on a training facility.

The negative response to that suggestion is said to be a $6.8 million "black eye” today.

Makes one think.

Welcome neighbours

IN the good story department, we at Marburg Showgrounds are about to gain new neighbours.

The best friends a Queensland standardbred ever had, SAQ are shifting their premises to a site on the Gary Rohl Oval.

This however is the silver lined cloud in reverse, as the following communique from horse placement officer Melissa Bell indicates that the massive, volunteer-fuelled operation may have to limit their activities due to a lack of financial support from control and integrity bodies.

I would like to let you know our circumstances and frustrations in regards to the Rehoming of Retired Standardbreds exiting the racing industry.

Our Association, the Standardbred Association Qld (SAQ) are wanting to get Racing Industry stakeholders together to discuss rehoming options for the future of this industry (RQ, QRIC, BOTRA and SAQ).

At present, SAQ is the only Association in Queensland with a Rehoming Program for Retired Standardbreds, and quite possibly, the largest Rehoming Program for Retired Standardbreds nationally.

Our Rehoming Program has been operating since 2002, when it became evident that there was a shortfall for opportunities for Standardbreds retiring from Racing, with a large majority of them finding themselves in slaughter yards.

Over the past 17 years, our rehoming program has steadily grown, from rehoming a few horses per year initially, to today, where we are averaging around 15 horses per month (over 150 per year), having transitioned and rehomed over 1150 Standardbreds to suitable pleasure homes since the program's inception.

I have been actively involved in volunteering my time to rehome Standardbreds through the SAQ Adoption Program for the past 12 years.

When I first started back in 2007, it only took a few hours of my time per week. Now I am dedicating more hours per week than my full-time, paid job.

It is no longer manageable, and I am burning out fast. Sadly, I will be standing down from the volunteering positions of Horse Placement Officer and Horse Welfare Officer come the start of our new financial year on 1st October if we cannot come up with a better solution to this problem.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Quinella 1-8: Feel The Reign (Pete McMullen) and Cruzy Dude (R Morris).

R2: Quinella 1-8: Casino Tommy (Brendan Barnes) and Divas Delight (T Dawson).

R3: Box trifecta 1-2-4-6: Fioki (J Elkins)-Ima Top Tycoon (N McMullen)-Squire (R Morris)-Beau Chisholm (R Maguire).

R4: Quinella 1-2: Pembrook Passion (R Morris) Aztec Bromac (A Sanderson).

R5: Box trifecta 2-8-10: Flying Wingard (N McMullen)- Ranfurly Rulz (N Dawson)-Mister Hart (R Morris).

R6: Box trifecta 2-3-5: Ballerina Couru (P McMullen)-Ima Black Beauty (P Diebert)-Aqua Miss (G Dixon).

R7: Box trifecta 1-6-9.. Kid Montana (C Shepherdson)-Our Sequel (R Morris)-Tennyson Bromac (Grant Dixon).

R8: Box trifecta 2-5-6: Gina Mach (T Dawson)-Kinetic Kate (G Dixon)-Stevie Dee (A Sanderson).

R9: Box trifecta 1-5-6: Lavros Texas (N Dawson)-Our Overanova (G Dixon)-Empire Bay (P McMullen).

Honour board

Pete McMullen cantered home to victory with six wins over Matt Elkins, Narissa McMullen and Adam Sanderson. Dave Russell and Graham Dwyer shared training honours at three apiece.

Most pleasing was Dave Russell's trio. Ipswich factor: 21/40.

Albion Park, September 6: Star Of Montana (Adam Sanderson); Rory Mach (Adam Sanderson); Ale Ale Kai (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Ima Birubi Boy (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, September 7: Havana Moon (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Elms Creek (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis); Empire Bay (Pete McMullen for Wayne Graham).

Marburg, September 9: Illawong Champers (Matt Elkins for Dave Russel); Light Horse (Paul Matis); Perfect Feeling (Matt Elkins for Dave Russell); Takitimu Express (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Ranfurly Rulz (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Albion Park, September 10: Northern Muscle (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith); Miss Blue Glory (Brendan Barnes for Alistair Barnes); The Hummer (John Cremin for Peter Donohoe); Halley Guinivere (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).

Albion Park, September 12: Just One Good One (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Ginatiano (Adam Sanderson for Rod Hinze); Feelingforarainbow (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell); Gotta Moment (Adam Richardson for Graham Dwyer); Sir Julian (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer.