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A PERFECT barrier draw should see buzz Kiwi pacer Self Assured maintain his unbeaten status and win his first Group 1 race at Albion Park on Saturday night. Fresh from a breathtaking last-stride win over Lochinvar Art in last week’s Group 3 South-East Derby, Self Assured has drawn much better against the largely the same rivals in Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby. Self Assured has gate four with Mark Purdon returning to drive, while major rivals Lochinvar Art (six) and superstar filly Our Princess Tiffany (10) drawn much worse. Only stablemate Jesse Duke, who Luke McCarthy will drive, drew better in gate two. It looks certain Self Assured will push forward and find the front, in contrast to having to sit parked and win last week. The Aussie TAB opened him $1.40 and punters have already stepped-in and he’s now $1.35. Jesse Duke is $5 second elect, while Our Princess Tiffany ($6.50) and Lochinvar Art ($9) are next. In the other feature, the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake, a back row draw to Inter Dominion winner Tiger Tara has breathed plenty of life into the race. Tiger Tara has gate 12 and already eased from $2.40 to $2.60. Our Uncle Sam, who ran second to Tiger Tara in that Inter Dominion final, has been crunched from $3.60 into $2.60 and could challenge for favouritism from gate two. The Chris and Anthony Frisby-trained pacer was poleaxed at the start of last week’s Group 1 Sunshine Sprint and basically took no part. Local hero Colt Thirty One also drew the back row (gate 11), but it could suit his preferred sit-and-swoop racing style. He’s a $4.60 shot. Last week’s upset Sunshine Sprint winner Ohoka Punter goes from the pole to outside front (gate seven) and is a $51 shot to complete the double.   Adam Hamilton

Even 20 hours after achieving his greatest moment in harness racing, Paul Diebert, still hadn’t fully realised the enormity of what he did at Albion Park at 8.35pm on Saturday. “It still hasn’t sunk in. But when you are being contacted by people that didn’t even want to know me this time last week, well then you know something’s up. It’s all very humbling,” Diebert told Racing Queensland. “This is one of the best moments in my life and certainly my most memorable moment on a racetrack. It’s races like this that we all dream of winning. This is why we all work so hard - to achieve results like this,” Diebert said on his way to the Redcliffe Trots on Sunday. Ten years after first doing jog work for his family, 24-year-old Diebert, has driven the Grant Dixon trained Ohoka Punter to his firs Group One victory in the $100,000 Group One Garrards Sunshine Sprint. It was one of three Group Ones, a Group Three, and a Listed race that were competed for on the second night of the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. Diebert sat behind stablemate, favourite and eventual runner-up Colt Thirty One (Dixon) and then in the passing lane had enough sprint to win by 1.3m. Ohoka Punter’s sectionals were 26, 32, 27.8 and 27.7. He stopped the clock in 1:56.8 (mile rate 1:53.2) for the 1660m mobile. It was Ohoka Punter’s 27th win in 109 starts. He’s also placed 51 times and banked $1.17m in stakes. It was the 9-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding’s fourth Group One to go with his 2016 Blacks A Fake, and 2013 Victoria Derby (Melton) and Great Northern Derby (Auckland) victories. “He’s a great old horse who has been there and done that. He’s rising 10 now so he might be getting towards the end of it, which will be a shame,” Diebert said. “But he felt awesome on Saturday. He was jogging it from the 400m. I hope he keeps racing on next season, because the way he is going I think he can go close again in next Saturday’s Blacks A Fake,” Diebert said. Kevin Seymour, who co-owns both Ohoka Punter and Colt Thirty One with his wife Kay, told Diebert he would be a giant if he won on Saturday. “We had a few light-hearted words before the race and I told him he would be seven-foot tall and bullet proof if he could get ‘Punter home’ – and he did,” Mr Seymour said. “It was a fantastic drive and I honestly believe Paul is one of the most underrated drivers going around in Queensland. That was a lovely drive tonight and Kay and I are so proud of him.” Diebert said he was born into a harness racing family in the Riverina region in New South Wales. He said he got the bug from his grandfather and father and (Norm Diebert Sr & Jr). “They never wanted me to get into harness racing, but like I said I got the bug when I was in my early teens and haven’t looked back. I’m proud to be a third-generation member of my family that has taken up harness racing for a living,” he said. “I have worked for a few trainers since starting out in 2010 when I left school. I even left the industry and went to Thailand for a while. I’ve also worked for stables in New South Wales, Western Australia (2016-2017) and Queensland. “I’d worked for Grant previously and this time I’ve been back at his (Tamborine) stables since late last year. He’s a real pleasure to work for. You can see why he’s Australia’s top trainer. Grant leaves nothing to chance and gives a lot of attention to detail,” he added. After admitting he had a slow start to the season, Diebert has now driven 55 winners this season and just over $420,000 in stakes. He said he nailed his first winning drive behind the Shaun Snudden trained Chrissy Styx at Leeton on April 14, 2012. “I drove a double that day and I remember it well, but what happened on Saturday night I’ll never forget either. I just want to thank Grant and Mr and Mrs Seymour for believing in me,” he said. “There are so many other people who have been great to me as well. I just want to thank them all and let them know I’m grateful to everyone for making this happen. It’s taken a wee while, but now that I’m here I want to do it all again – starting this Saturday,” Diebert said. It was a night when the big guns stepped up. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Our Princess Tiffany ran them into the ground when winning the Group 1 TAB Queensland Oaks. An effortless 11.5m win was further bolstered by the fact she did it in track-record time for 3YO fillies (1.54.7 mile-rate) previously held by 2017 Oaks winner Shartin. “She cruised that tonight. She’s so fit and so well gaited. It was an absolute pleasure to drive ‘a machine’ like this. She has some gears,” said catch-driver, Kylie Rasmussen. The other Group One event – the $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup, went to another Kiwi raider, the Tim Butt trained and Anthony Butt driven Majestic Courtney. It was the Butts’ first Group One trotting victory at Albion Park since the legendary Take A Moment won the $200,000 Interdominion Grand Final in April 2001. “He’s a lovely horse who is still only four and has a bit to learn. We definitely think he will make a nice open class trotter one day,” butt (Tim) said.   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

To own, train, breed, and drive a Group One winner for the first-time in more than 40 years service to harness racing would be “life-changing” for Logan Village horseman Doug Lee. Those were the 62-year-old’s exact words when asked what it would mean to finally crack a big one. “I’ve won a couple of Group Threes, and it would mean so much to my family and even the horse’s family if he got up. “Justabitnoisy’s family dates back to my grandfather’s (Snowy Finn) 1952 U Scott mare, Snow Jane, who produced Snow’s Interdominion Trotting Champion, Bay Johnny back at Globe Derby Park in 1976,” Lee said. “Winning on Saturday would mean the world to me. To win a Group One with a horse that dates back to my grandfather’s days would be precious. He was the one who got me into harness racing soon after I left school in the early 1970s,” he added. Lee and Justabitnoisy have drawn ideally at three in Saturday’s Group One $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup. “It’s a nice draw but this fella is a sit and sprint type, who will have to be saved for one run. Hopefully I can get a nice position with him an then he can show the sprint he has got,” Lee said. Justabitnoisy goes into the 2,647m standing start event having won 15 of his 90 starts and placed in 35 others for $129,851. His last two starts have really impressed Lee. Last week the 6-year-old Lawman gelding was beaten 1.8m by the current Queensland Trotter-of-the-Year, Our Overanova. But it was the start before that had Lee looking twice at his stopwatch. “The night we were beaten a short head by Majestic Courtney that horse set a new track record mile rate of 1:59.9 mile rate. My fella started from 10 metres behind that night and we timed him at 1:59.4. “That is very good form going into this race because Majestic Courtney is no slouch and she’s got a tougher front row draw (8) to contend with this time. In saying that she will be tough to beat, and from the draw I’m hoping we will be right in it again,” Lee said. Lee works a team of 12 south of Brisbane, which includes six trotters. “I got the racing bug from my grandfather. I was born in Blacktown (NSW) and have been in Queensland seven years now. We made the move because it was just too far to travel to Menangle and back from where we were living at the time. In total it was about an eight-hour return trip.” Justabitnoisy won the group Three Jim McNeill Trot in 2016 and then he repeated the dose with Scorched in the same race in early March this year. “When the whips are cracking hopefully we will be close to or on the pace. Winning this race would mean so much to me,” Lee emphasised. Whatever happens at 9:12pm, Lee will be hoping his star trotter doesn’t emulate the meaning of his mother’s name. That late 1997 Riegle Lobell mare, Justabitlooney, won 14 races and placed 31 times ($62,621) for Lee between June 2000 and November 2004.   Racing Queensland

An ideal draw in this Saturday’s Garrarrds Sunshine Sprint for talented pacer Colt Thirty One poses the question will the Albion Park track record be broken? Often run as the fastest race of the year in Queensland, there is plenty of excitement around the feature race that was recently announced to have a prize money increase to $100,000 and rightfully be returned to Group 1 status. The official barrier draw was live on SKY1 this morning (Tuesday) and Queensland trainer Grant Dixon can be relieved securing draw number two with his stable star Colt Thirty One. The handy colt has won at his last five outings, taking out three Albion Park feature races, the Egmont Park Stud Mr Feelgood Open, Egmont Park Stud Wondais Open and the Badcock Group of companies Lucky Creed Open. Colt Thirty One has been blitzing the clock in recent times, in particular when he set a personal best two weeks ago with a mile rate of 1:51.3, which is just 0.9 seconds outside the track record set in the 2014 Garrards Sunshine Sprint by Imthemightyquinn. Other talented types that line up this Saturday night include Majordan, Our Uncle Sam, Cash N Flow, Watch Pulp Fiction and Holy Camp Clive. This sought after feature has been a cavalcade of champions over the years that have also added their name to the honour board. Winners include Koala King (1976), Paleface Adios (1973 & 1978), Amazing Trick (1983), Wondais Mate (1986), Thorate (1988), Blacks A Fake (2007 & 2011), Mr Feelgood (2010), Avonnova (2015) and Hectorjayjay (2016 & 2017). The Albion Park Harness Racing Club sincerely thanks Chris Garrard (OAM) and family for their continuous long term sponsorship of this time honoured and prestigious feature event. The night will also host the 2019 TAB Queensland Oaks (G1), Pryde’s EasiFeed Queensland Trotters Cup (G1), Egmont Park Stud South East Derby (G3) and the Listed Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes. The final night of the TAB Winter Carnival and the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake takes place on 20th July. Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577. Barrier Draw – 2019 Garrards Sunshine Sprint (G1) Ohoka Punter NZ 1 Colt Thirty One 2 Alta Orlanda NZ (EM) 3 Our Uncle Sam 4 Alleluia NZ 5 Cash N Flow NZ 6 Rock With Sam 7 Watch Pulp Fiction 8 Majordan 9 Northview Hustler 10 Cullenburn NZ 11 Holy Camp Clive 12 Letspendanitetogetha 13   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Media

WE all know about the huge advantage on playing at your home ground in a major sporting event. Queensland’s best pacer Colt Thirty One will have that and more when he tackles the most significant challenge of his career in next Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint. As well as the overwhelming support of an adoring home crowd, Grant Dixon’s stable star has the most amazing record at his home track, Albion Park. He’s raced 33 times at “The Creek” for 28 wins, two seconds, a third and a fourth. And Dixon thinks he’s never had the four-year-old better. “Everything has fallen into place with his preparation and he’s matured into the complete racehorse now,” he said. “I’m sure sheer speed is his best asset against the absolute top horses, but he’s versatile.” Colt Thirty One capped his preparation with a dominant win over the longer 2680m trip at Albion Park last night. “I didn’t think I could beat Northview Hustler from the draw, but when he was trapped wide and going back, I took the chance to get going and was lucky enough to find the front,” Dixon said. “I got going fairly early and they came at him late, but he did it well and, importantly, seems to have come through it really well. “Now we just need a draw. They are so important up here at the moment with the times we are running.” The barrier draw for the Sunshine Sprint is Tuesday morning. _______________________________________________________________________________________ WHEN Mark Purdon used the words “could be a bit special” about Self Assured last week, everybody took notice. And, just seven days later, we all saw why. Self Assured’s win, when driven by Kylie Rasmussen, in last night’s (Saturday) Group 3 JC McMullen (2138m) was mesmerizing. To come and sit parked about the older and classy former Kiwi pacer Alta Orlando and easily beat him was a phenomenal effort. They paced a 1min54.5sec mile rate for the 2138m, but blazed home in 55 flat and 27.7sec. Self Assured beat Alta Orlando, who was having his first from for the Craig Cross stable, by 2.8m with another 16.2m away to third-placed Dazzle Me. It took Bettor Delight three-year-old’s record to four wins from as many starts and affirmed his status as a rising star of the sport. Self Assured gets this week off then heads to the $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby, most probably against stablemates Jesse Duke and Our Princess Tiffany, at Albion Park on July 20. Our Princess Tiffany opened her Queensland campaign with a strong and hard-fought win over Miss Striesand in last night’s South-East Oaks. Stand-in driver Kylie Rasmussen was forced to sit parked and always felt in control despite the margin only being a half-neck. “I had to urge her a bit near the line, but apart from that she felt great,” Rasmussen said. “She hadn’t raced since June 1 and will be better for the run.” Our Princess Tiffany backs up in the Queensland Oaks next Saturday and is also expected to tackle the boys in the Derby a week after.   Adam Hamilton

IT only took Mark Purdon one race to stamp himself on the Queensland Winter Carnival. Purdon and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen’s first two runners this raid – Self Assured and Jesse Duke – snared the quinella at the Albion Park last night (Saturday). The quinella came the day after the Allstars’ glamour filly Our Princess Tiffany blazed her way to a 1min51.4sec trial win for 1660m at Albion Park to show she was right on target. The hype around the Aussie-owned Self Assured continued to grow despite his third win from as many starts only being by a whisker over Jesse Duke after trailing the last-start Jewels winner throughout and getting last shot at him. Self Assured, the latest exciting pacer raced by Victoria’s Jean Feiss, was privately-timed to run his last quarter in a scorching 25.9sec.  “We were rolling along and he did a good job to get up,” Purdon said.  Jesse Duke made him earn it, peeling-off a 53.9sec last half in front after driver Kylie Rasmussen dictated terms in front.  It’s going to take something special to stop the Allstars winning the Queensland Derby and Oaks judging by Princess Tiffany’s trial and the fact Self Assured and Jesse Duke are Derby-bound.  “Princess Tiffany will line-up next week and we’ll have one of these boys (Jesse Duke or Self Assured) in the Premiers’ Cup next week as well,” Purdon said. _______________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart dominated last night’s stellar Vicbred semi-final card, but arguably the best horse at the meeting was Mick Stanley’s Rackemup Tigerpie. More on yet another monster night for Stewart soon, but let’s talk about Rackemup Tigerpie first and where he’s headed. With Chariots Of Fire winner Poster Boy falling ill and being scratched from the Vicbred series, Rackemup Tigerpie looks to have the final at his mercy judging by last night’s powerhouse win. Perhaps because of Stewart’s dominance, punters surprisingly crunched Major Times into clear favouritism over Rackemup Tigerpie, but he was no match. Rackemup Tigerpie did all the work around the field then parked and left Major Times standing in a slick 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2230m. It was 1.2sec faster than the improving Three Summas went in the other semi. “He’s come back really well and is still on the up,” Stanley said of Rackemup Tigerpie. “He felt great in the run and will be better again for the final.” He will need to be now he’s drawn gate 12 in the final. Longer term, Stanley is looking at the Victoria Cup in October. Back to Stewart and she looks set for a gala night next Saturday in the Vicbred finals after winning a staggering eight of the 12 pacing semi-finals run last night. Of all her wins, it was a runner-up who set tongues wagging. Art Major colt Mirragon was beaten a nose in his semi after striking early trouble and settling down at least 60-70m from the leaders. As good as stablemate Pandering was winning the other semi, Mirragon looks something special. It was also great to see Stewart’s star juvenile of last season, Hurricane Harley, back to his best winning a semi of the 3YO series by a big space in quick time. _______________________________________________________________________________ HOPES continue to grow Colt Thirty One is good enough to snatch a hometown win in of the upcoming major races at Albion Park. Trainer-driver Grant Dixon bypassed the Chariots Of Fire and happily skipped last week’s Redcliffe Cup to focus on this Winter Carnival. And, instead of taking the easy option against his own 4YO age group, Dixon is setting Colt Thirty One for the two marquee races of the Carnival – the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint on July 13 and the $250,000 Blacks A Fake a week later. Both are Group 1. Colt Thirty One made it seven wins from eight starts this campaign when he did all the work, ran time and won with authority in the Wondai’s Mate at Albion Park last night (Saturday). It was his 30th win from just 43 starts and he smashed his PB race time with a scorching 1min51.3sec mile rate for the 1660m despite sitting parked. It took 1.3sec of his previous best. It was just 0.9sec outside Im Themightyquinn’s track record, but it must be noted the times were absurdly fast across the board at the Albion Park meeting. Veteran Holy Camp Clive went 1min51sec flat winning the race before Colt Thirty One, albeit after a soft run behind the leader and use of the sprint lane. Colt Thirty One’s owner-breeder Kevin Seymour is clearly excited: “Grant has got him peaking nicely towards the Winter Carnival. That was pleasing.” Dixon snared the quinella last night with rejuvenated veteran Ohoka Punter – also owned by Seymour – following his fantastic second in the Redcliffe Cup a week earlier with a game second last night. _______________________________________________________________________________ DRIVER Mark Reed wasn’t as surprised as punters when he upstaged Chicago Bull aboard Golden State in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. “I thought he’d hold the lead and could run 1min55sec for the 2130m, so I wanted to hold the front unless Chicago Bull got to me really easily and quickly,” Reed said. “Chicago Bull had to do a lot of work to get there and, no matter how good you are, it’s hard to come from that far back and do all the work in times like they ran tonight.” That said, Chicago Bull looked flat and tired late to run a 2.8m fourth with inferior horses like Tommy Be Good and Tact Major getting past him late. Chicago Bull has mixed his form somewhat on the comeback trail, but connections are not fazed, citing the fact he’s still not full wound-up after so long on the sidelines. The Gloucester Park card also features Group 1 Westbred Classic finals for the juveniles. The colts and geldings went to top young trainer Justin Prentice,  but not with the pacer most expected. Prentice took the reins himself on Major Martini, who upset stablemate Aristocratic Star. The long-time power combo of trainer Ross Olivieri and Chris Lewis combined to win the fillies’ final with Sweet Lou’s daughter Double Expresso. Chicago Bull’s shock defeat aside, his stablemate Ideal Liner was the other major talking point of the night after overcoming an awful draw to win his seventh race from just eight starts this campaign. Everything about Ideal Liner says he’s an open-class star in the making and already a horse to treat seriously for the WA and Fremantle Cups in January.   Adam Hamilton

THE All Stars’ latest budding star Self Assured will back-up quickly at Albion Park next Saturday night. It takes a lot to surprise Mark Purdon, but that’s exactly what Self Assured did when he ran down decorated and more-seasoned stablemate Jesse Duke in a “warm-up” race at Albion Park last night (Saturday). Jesse Duke ran home in mesmerizing splits of 53.9 and 26.1sec, but Self Assured came off his back and snatched victory by a nose. “I didn’t think he could do that,” Purdon admitted. “He could be a really nice horse. “We changed a few things after that last win of his back home because he paced a bit roughly at times. We added the overcheck and took the half blinkers off. “He’s been unlucky in that he had a freak accident at home and missed lots of the good races back home, like the Jewels.” Self Assured will chase his fourth win from as many starts in the $31,600 Group 3 JC McMullen (formerly Premiers’ Cup) at Albion Park on Saturday night. Princesss Tiffany will also open her Queensland campaign in the $31,600 Group 3 South East Oaks this week. “Jesse Duke will have this week off and go to the South-East Derby the next week,” Purdon said. Purdon said the plan was for Princess Tiffany to join Jesse Duke and Self Assured in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (July 20) if she pleased him through the South-East Oaks and Queensland Oaks.   PURDON’S PLUNDER Where his stars are headed in Queensland: PRINCESS TIFFANY July 6: $31,600 Group 3 South-East Oaks July 13: $100,860 Group 1 Queensland Oaks July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby SELF ASSURED July 6: $31,600 Group 3 JC McMullen July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby JESSE DUKE July 13: $31,600 Group 3 South-East Derby July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby   Adam Hamilton

During the first three weeks in July all roads in harness racing will lead to Albion Park or as it is affectionately known ‘the Creek’ for the renowned TAB Winter Carnival and the conduct of Queensland’s major feature races that will be spearheaded by the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) a leg of the Australasian Grand Circuit on Saturday evening 20 July 2019. The local star in Colt Thirty One trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon has fired the first shot with a resounding win in a lead-up feature the Egmont Park Stud sponsored Mr Feelgood last Saturday night at Albion Park when he paced the mile and a quarter journey in a slick MR of 1:53.4. New Zealand’s top harness barn All Stars conducted by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will head a list of prominent stables from New Zealand, Victoria and New South Wales that will be campaigning in Brisbane during this time with a list of ‘possible and probable’s that will include leading stables the likes of former NZ’ers Tim and Anthony Butt and Sonya Leigh Smith as well as the satellite stable of Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby. New South Wales will have strong representation through campaigners Chris Frisby, Kevin Pizzuto, Scott Hewitt, John Boserio, Rickie Alchin, Robbie and KerryAnn Morris, Barry Lew, Shane and Lauren Tritton, Grant Jones, Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy whilst the Victorians will be headed by Dean Braun, Zac Steenhuis, Emma Stewart and last year’s TAB trainers bonus winner Mattie Craven to name but a few. On opening night 6 July the feature races are the $30,000 Egmont Park Stud Southeast Oaks (G3) for the three year old fillies, the inaugural running of the ‘J C McMullen’ (G3) for C2 to C5 pacers only taking a career penalty for winning this $30,000 event, the $20,000 Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic for the two year olds and the Badcock Group Of Companies Lucky Creed (Listed) for the open class pacers of $25,000. The middle night 13 July sees the running of the time honoured sprint in the $100,000 Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint (G1) for the open class, the $100,000 TAB Queensland Oaks for the three year old fillies, the Egmont Park Stud Southeast Derby (G3) for the three year olds, the Fleur de Lil Ladyship (Listed) of $25,000 for the mares and the $50,000 Pryde’s EasiFeed Queensland Trotters Cup (G1) and a penalty exempt Female Driver’s Invitation of $20,000. There is every indication with the caliber of the field available for the Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint (G1) that West Australian Im Themightyquinn’s Albion Park track record for the metric mile of 1:50.4 set in this race in 2014 may be in some jeopardy!   As earlier stated the closing night on Saturday 20 July sees the running of the ‘jewel in the crown’ the prestigious TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) for the open class, the $100,000 TAB Queensland Derby for the three year olds, the $100,000 Egmont Park Stud QBred Triad Finals for the eligible two year olds, the $30,000 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4YO Championship (G3), the $20,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Trotter’s Marathon and a penalty exempt Driver’s Invitation of $20,000. The record book shows that it’s a who’s who of winners of the TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) spearheaded by the races namesake who saluted on three occasions with Natalie Rasmussen in the bilke and in more recent times smart campaigners in Let It Ride, Hectorjayjay and Im Themightyquinn were successful. Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival on Saturdays 6, 13, & 20 July with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577.   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Media

With multiple feature races in both North America and Australia, a reputable stud career and more than 3 million dollars prizemoney to his name, it’s more than merited that this Saturday night’s feature race is named after the great Mr Feelgood. Albion Park has been honoured to host the feature race in recent years leading up to the Winter Carnival held in July. Bred in the United States, Mr Feelgood raced in North America for many years with victories including the Little Brown Jug, the Presidential and the Graduate FFA. His stud career began while he was still racing. The best of his Northern Hemisphere progeny are Im Feeling Good 1:49.6 winner of over $500k– (The Big Dog), Feels Good 1:53.2 – winner of over $200k (Camluck) and Nathan Feels good 1:53.2 winner also of over $200k (Keystone Raidar). In 2008, the talented pacer was purchased by distinguished owners Kevin and Kay Seymour and Peter and Zilla O’Shea, and relocated to Australia under the care of trainer Tim Butt. He went on to win the 2009 Hunter Cup and Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, which led to him being crowned Australian Harness Horse of the Year. Taken over by trainer Luke McCarthy, the pacer continued his great form and gained further Group One wins including the Queensland Pacing Championship in 2010 and 2011  and the 2010 Victoria Cup. In May 2012 Mr Feelgood was retired and has since stood at Queensland’s Egmont Park Stud. He has been listed in the top 20 Australian 2YO Sires for three consecutive seasons and he currently sits 13th in this season’s National Sires Premiership for all ages. This Saturday night’s feature race is the first of many listed and group races to be held this winter at Albion Park. The three main nights are 6th, 13th and 20th July with the final night highlighting a Grand Circuit Event the TAB Blacks A Fake. Wagering service provider TAB has a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for this Saturday night’s meeting spearheaded by a $25,000 First 4 Jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 4:47pm EST. This is complimented by a $5,000 Quadrella Jackpot on races 2 to 5 and $2,000 Trifecta Jackpots on races 3, 4 and 5. To view the fields and form analysis refer to http://www.harness.org.au/racing/fields/race-fields/?mc=AP150619#APC15061901 The opening race gets underway at 4.47pm EST while The Egmont Park Stud Mr Feelgood Open Pace is race 6 at 7.11pm. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au Visit the Club website at www.aphrc.com.au   Albion Park Harness Racing

In a funding package delivered by Racing Queensland to the three racing codes earlier this week came the announcement under the harness racing section that the Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint will have a prize money increase to $100,000 and rightfully be returned to Group 1 status. The 2019 running of the Group 1 $100,000 Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint will be conducted at Albion Park on Saturday evening July 13 on the second night of the TAB Winter Carnival. Chris Garrard (OAM), the long term sponsor of the Sunshine Sprint said ‘the announcement was great news not only for participants in Queensland but the entire harness racing industry. This is the Sunshine State and it is a race that Queenslanders can claim as their own’. He then joked ‘I only wish that I could get one good enough to race in it’. Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman David Fowler thanked the Garrard family on behalf of the Club for their continuous long term sponsorship of this time honored and prestigious feature event. The Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint is certainly worthy of its Group 1 status, since the races inception in 1969 when the bonny mare Teeny Reena partnered by Brian Hancock took out the inaugural edition of this sought after feature there has been a cavalcade of champions over the years that have also added their name to the honour board. Koala King won it in 1976, four years before going on to win the 1980 Inter Dominion and the legendary Paleface Adios became the first horse to win the race twice, backing up his 1973 win with another success in 1978. On the opening night of the new Albion Park 5/8th mile track in 1983, Joe Ilsley drove Amazing Trick to victory in a time of 1.59.4 to break the two minute barrier with Queenslander Wondai’s Mate successful in 1986 while another Inter Dominion winner in Thorate won it in the bi-centennial year of 1988. Into the new millennium and more big names of harness racing were etched onto the trophy including ‘Hall Of Famer’ Blacks A Fake with victories in 2007 and 2011, Mr Feelgood in 2010, Avonnova in 2015 and Hectorjayjay going back to back in 2016 and 2017. West Australian, Im Themightyquinn set the Albion Park track record for the mile journey of 1.50.4 when saluting for the father and son Hall stable in 2014.  Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival on Saturdays 6, 13, & 20 July with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577.   Albion Park Harness Racing

Racing Queensland will launch the inaugural $30,000 Stallions Australasia Springboard Series for 2YO trotters at Albion Park this month. Following a number of recent initiatives to support breeding and racing opportunities, the introduction of the Springboard Series – complemented by a new $10,000 2YO QBRED feature on August 16 – has been strategically developed to enhance the trotting gait in the Sunshine State. In addition to three $5000 heats at Albion Park on June 25, July 9 and July 23, a $15,000 final will be staged on August 2. Stallions Australasia will also provide a complimentary service to one of their leading sires, Wishing Stone, to the winning connections of the Springboard Series final. The sponsorship follows RQ’s announcement to expand the definition of a QBRED trotting stallion to include those registered within Queensland for whom only frozen semen is available in Australia. In addition to Wishing Stone, Stallions Australasia’s other stallions who will fall under QBRED for the 2019/20 breeding season include Trixton, Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank and Royalty For Life. “The Springboard Series forms part of RQ’s strategy to grow the trotting gait in Queensland,” RQ COO Adam Wallish said. “We’re grateful for Stallions Australasia’s support and for their willingness to stimulate breeding and racing opportunities in the Sunshine State “Following the success of QBRED for life – the nation’s premier state-based incentive scheme – there’s never been a better time to race trotters in Queensland.” While there are no eligibility restrictions other than age for the Springboard Series, a minimum of three starters are required for each heat, with those qualifying for the final required to have contested at least two heats. The 2YO series will be complemented by a 3YO series in 2020 to provide further development and racing opportunities for juvenile trotters. In recent years, RQ has launched a number of new initiatives for trotters including: A $2000 first-win bonus (paid upon any trotters first win in Queensland, providing the horse is trained by a Qld trainer); Removing the age restrictions under the ‘QBRED for life’ bonus structure that provides a $10,000 first win bonus and $7500 second win bonus for any QBRED trotters that win a race with a stake value higher than $4500; The introduction of a monthly Trotters Cup thanks to Ultimate Tools; and The ‘Breed-a-trotter’ promotion in conjunction with Haras De Trotteurs at the 2018 Winter Racing Carnival.    Click here to see further information on the RQ’s QBRED for life initiative.   RQ Media

Ace Brisbane harness racing driver John Cremin usually tends to keep it all low key...but at the moment he's, understandably, quite upbeat. Cremin, a former Albion Park metropolitan premiership-winning reinsman, has formed an awesome partnership with boom two-year-old filly Pelosi (American Ideal USA-For Dear Life (Life Sign USA). Pelosi continued on her winning way at Newcastle on Saturday night with a sparkling victory in the Rock N Roll Heaven Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge 2yo fillies heat. Starting a short priced $1.04 favorite, the Wayne Honan-bred and owned youngster, took control soon after the start and made it five wins (the last four in a row) from six starts. Cruising through the first few quarters in 29.4 and 31 seconds, Cremin slipped the pacer into another gear over the final half, which was run in a brisk 56.1. "She was entitled to dash home in good time as she did the first part of the event well within herself," Cremin said. "I only let her quicken up at the 400-metre mark but didn't fully extend her and she just felt super. Credit must go to the runner up Shezlikeroyalty who popped off my back and was brave, although she was eight metres back." Race Replay Cremin was full of praise for trainer Anna Woodmansey, who is enjoying the ride of her life in the sport. "Anna is doing a terrific job and the filly has been in peak condition ever since I first sat behind her in a few trials back in February," he said. "I've been friends with her for a long time - probably since our teenage years. "Over the years I've driven for Anna on and off, although I was pretty much her number one driver for about 12 months at one stage." Pelosi will now head to the $25,000 semi-finals at Menangle next month with the big $125,000 final at that track on June 30. Cremin, who flew down from Brisbane with his wife Tanya to drive at the Newcastle meeting, had two reasons to celebrate. Their pacer Psychedelic (Rock N Roll Heaven-Pretty Inpink (Statute) won the Qualifying Pace at Albion Park - the 18th win of the six-year-old's career. "We pulled over and watched it on our phone. The horse is owned by Tanya, so she was pretty excited. He's now won nearly $140,000," Cremin said. The win saw what could perhaps be described as "musical chairs" between Cremin and well-known trainer, albeit sometimes-driver, Graham Dwyer. Cremin is number one driver for Dwyer who prepares a big team. "Graham decided to concentrate mainly on the training side of things and sort of only drives when he has to," Cremin said. "When we were heading to Newcastle and looking for a driver for Psychedelic he got the first call, and jumped at it. "I told him after the race that the drive didn't rate all that highly! But it was actually very good - we do have that sort of working-friendship relationship." Cremin, who has been the senior farrier at the strong Grant Dixon stable for the past 15 years, said his success was due to help he was getting around him. "My wife Tanya has been the mainstay for a long time, and just recently we had some Victorian friends in Nigel and Kim Ingram lending a hand. You always need that help going on in the background and it appreciatively lightens the load," he said. After flying back home from Sydney on Sunday, Cremin managed to put his "backside on a chair for an hour or two" before heading off to a Redcliffe meeting where he had a big book of drives - including snagging a winner in the first in Gotta Moment (Gotta Go Cullect NZ-Fleeting Moment(Falcon Seelster) for, you guessed it, his mate Graham Dwyer   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The McMullen sisters have pulled off what is believed to be an Australian, if not a world, harness racing first. At 5.30pm last Friday (April 12) the trio nailed their first ‘sister-trifecta’, when finishing one, two, three in the eighth event at Albion Park. Oldest sister, Narissa (25) trained and drove the winner,  Tom Me Gun. She had 3.6m to spare over second placed Danni-elle (23) and Speedie McArdle. Youngest sister and the cheekiest one of the McMullen four, Taleah (17) finished a head back in third behind the brown gelding trained by her father John, Weedons Express. “I’m very proud of what we achieved, but I would’ve preferred to beat my sisters,” said, Taleah, who is based with her parents at Glamorgan Vale. “All of us siblings are very competitive and definitely like to win. We’ve all had the same teacher (Dad) and that’s why we all drive a bit aggressive and love coming out of the gate,” she added. Oldest sister, Narissa, the current Australian Female Drivers champion, and winner of the 2017 Australasian Young Drivers’ title, said she was proud to have led the ‘eldest to youngest sister trifecta’. “It was good to beat my two younger sisters home, but Taleah was quick to tell Danni-elle and me that she would have won if we didn’t get in her way. “The family have had a few trifectas before with Peter, Danni-elle, and myself, but last week was the first sister trifecta with Taleah,” she said. Danni-elle was also proud, but did give her big bro a cheeky serve. “I think it’s great that it was the three of us girls, without the older brother getting in the middle. However, it would have been good if he ran fourth,” she said. All three said their next family goal was to run the ‘First Four’ with older brother Peter. Mind you the 27-year-old Glamorgan Vale horseman and his wife Chantal (nee Turpin) had weekend to remember themselves. They won three races on QBRED night at Albion Park on Saturday, including two Listed events. Chantal trained and drove Will The Wizard to win race three - the Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings. A race later Peter drove the Turpin trained Amaya Becomes to nail the Listed $25,000 Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing fillies. Then the husband and wife duo then combined to win the last event, the $13,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2yo Fillies Consolation. Mother of the ‘McMullen four’, Jennette, said she was ‘oh so proud’ of her children, daughter-in-law and wider family. “It was so exciting to see their first sister trifecta. We just need a first four now. They are all good mates and were pretty wrapped with their feat. “I’m sure Taleah would love to repeat it with her having bragging rights, through being the youngest sibling.  Their grandma, my Mum - Beryl Dawson, 85, gets a great thrill out of their achievements. “No doubt that will be her story at the next CWA (Country Women’s Association) meeting. Eight of her 10 grandchildren all drive in races and another one is a trainer. Her life revolves around the Sky Channel following the Dawson-McMullen clan,” Mum said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase First String added another feature to his collection when triumphant at Albion Park last night. Winner of last season’s Group One Qbred Triad Final, First String returned to successfully defend his title for trainer Craig Cross. Pleased with the three-year-old’s performance, Cross has elected to extend First String’s Queensland campaign. “He will stay up there for another run to try and pick up his bonus,” Cross said. “We’ve got two-year-old which will be going up for the APG series in a few weeks, so he will stay until then and come back with those. “After that he will have a short freshen-up before we take aim at the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge.” With Luke McCarthy holding the reins, First String settled midfield from his second row draw as Left A Terror led from the pole. Angled three-wide during the middle stages the son of Roll With Joe was sent forward to test the pacemaker from the ‘death seat’. Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, First String staved off a late challenge from Lifes Black to score by a head, with Left A Terror three metres away third. Rating 1:57.3 over 2138 metres, the gelding stretched his record to seven wins and three placings from 16 starts for earnings of $121,860. “He went enormous,” Cross said. “It was good to see him bounce back last night as he went terrible in Bathurst, but I discovered after the race he had an abscess in his foot. “With his foot fixed and the way he worked on Tuesday before heading up, I knew he was ready to win.”   APG Media

“Pressure? What pressure? I’m too old for pressure. I’m even too old to get excited these days,” joked Australia’s number one trainer, Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman was referring to his champion four-year-old pacer, Colt Thirty One, when asked how he felt when the TAB opened him $1.05 to win Saturday night’s Listed $25,000 QBRED 4YO Triad Final at Albion Park. "I don't take any notice of what the TAB says. If it I did I'd be a wreck. All I worry about is having my horses spot on come race-night, and so-far Colt Thirty One has done everything we have asked of him this preparation," 46-year-old Dixon said. Colt Thirty One, who is Queensland’s best pacer and the state’s current Horse-of-the-Year, has drawn three on the second line (10) in Saturday’s 2,138m mobile. However, the way he won his trial at Albion Park on April 2, he’d still be at minuscule odds, even if he drew 20. "That was his first hit-out since late January and Trista (Dixon) drove him confidently. It was what we needed going into Saturday night,” Dixon said. Dixon initially sat parked with the son of Mach Three before letting him loose down the back straight the last time. The pair then strolled up the home straight to win by an increasing 7.9m, under a hold. The winning time was 1:58.8 with a 1:55.1 mile rate. His sectionals were 28.6, 30.8, 28.7, and 27.1. “That was a nice run. He’s fit and ready to race. I’ll see how he progresses throughout autumn and winter and then take it from there. I’m not one to look too far ahead,” Dixon said. “Potentially this fella is up there with Majestic Mach as the best I’ve had.” That’s a big call considering Majestic Mach won 35 of his 94 starts, including four Group One events, between March 2012 and September 2017. He also placed 20 times, paced a 1:53.9 mile and banked $796,397. Colt Thirty One has so far won 23 of his 35 starts, placed in seven others, sprinted a 1:53.2 mile, and has banked $453,345. Both pacers were bred and owned by Kevin and Kay Seymour. "He's a bit of a dud isn't he. Not much at all really," joked Seymour. Then he switched to serious mode. "The reason he's done so well is because Grant has managed him perfectly. He's only four and he’s looked after him and not over-raced him. He once told me that to get a good long-term open grade horse you have to take your time with them. "For that reason I think Colt Thirty One will make a nice grand circuit horse one day and Grant should have a top Free-For-Aller for several years to come. “Mr Feelgood is the best horse Kay and I have raced and Colt Thirty One is the best that we have bred.” Colt Thirty One is seventh of nine foals of out of the 2000 maiden Vanston Hanover mare, Charm personified. His older sister, Charming Allie (by Mr Feelgood) recorded a 1:53.9 mile and won 18 races and $266,329. She also nailed four Group Two races and ran second in the Group One $75,000 Queensland Oaks in 2014. Colt Thirty One won his first Group One at Albion Park on July 15, 2017 when he was too smart in the $100,000 QBRED 2YO Triad Pace. He also won the QBRED 3yo Triad a year later under Group Two conditions. Colt Thirty One also cleaned up a quality Victoria Derby three-year-old field at Melton's Tabcorp Park on January 27 last year. That race was worth $200,000 pocketing his owners a cool $114,000 for that win. He also placed in the Breeders Crown 2 and 3yo Finals in 2017 and 2018. Dixon has won Queensland Horse-of-the-Year previously with Majestic Mach and the 1990 Jeremy Laurence black colt, Jeremy Lee (22 wins and $216,971). "I was working for Dad (Bill) when he trained Speed Ace (1991 Speed King gelding). He was Queensland Horse-of-the-Year as well. He won 15 races ($130,274)," Dixon said. Dixon is currently Australia's top trainer with 187 victories - 31 clear of second-placed Emma Stewart. He also sits fourth on the national driving premiership with 118 wins behind Chris Alford (228), Greg Sugars (138), Ryan Warwick (123).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Jake Davis not only drove his first winner at Albion Park on Saturday night (April 6) but he also kept up a family tradition dating back a couple of decades. Davis and his father Leigh made the 970km journey from their Browns Creek stable near Bathurst, to campaign six horses in Queensland. They were rewarded for their efforts when Studleigh Kristen, despite facing the breeze for much of the 2138m Pace (Race 11), careered away for a dominant victory over Call Me Yours and Caesars Astrum.  Travelling to Albion Park is something the Davis family have done since Jake’s grandfather, Ray, started racing standardbreds in Queensland a couple of decades ago. “Dad drove the 13 hours to get here with the team the week before last and I arrived here on Thursday night after the races. I will head home again next Sunday to do my main job on our dairy farm,” Jake said. The 26-year said he had been driving for almost a decade. “That was about the time when Dad last campaigned horses up here. He drove them back then. I’m over the moon. Tonight was my first drive at Albion Park and I loved it." Jake said. “I won’t forget the night in a hurry. It’s something I wanted to achieve when I knew we were coming up here. The team will stay for about four or five weeks, depending on how they go." Davis had two drives at Albion Park on Saturday. He finished a close-up second behind Rays Choice in the third event, and then thanks to a very confident drive he steered Studleigh Kristen to victory in the final event. “I don’t mind sitting parked with her. About 70 per cent of the time I’ve sat in the ‘death seat’ and she's gone on to win races. She’s as tough as old boots and can stay all day. I was delighted with that performance. She felt the winner a long way from home,” Davis Jr said. Studleigh Kristin drew six of seven and settled last early before Davis sent her to sit parked at on ‘Alan Border Field corner’ the first time. That's where they remained until the home straight. Davis then gave the mare some rein and she left them to it winning by an increasing 9.7m. She paced the 2,138m mobile in 2:37.2 with a 1:58.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were: 32.1, 30.5, 28.2, and 28.1. It was the Kenneth J 6-year-old mare's 11th win in 83 starts. She's also placed 22 times and banked $69,666 in purses. "She's a lovely, tough mare, who always gives her best. We paid $3,000 for her at the Sydney Yearling Sales. As a 2-year-old she wouldn't steer straight and Dad wanted to get rid of her, but there was no way Pop (grandfather) was going to let him do that," Davis said. "She started her career as a 3-year-old and has consistently been in the money since. She is always well backed. I think she will do well up here," he added. Davis Senior and Studleigh Sonny won at Redcliffe Paceway on Thursday, three days after Studleigh Stride and the same driver ran second at Albion Park (Monday). The Davis’ originally housed their horses at John McCarthy’s property, but these days they park up at Peter McMullen and Chantal Turpin’s barn at Patrick Estate. “We love it up here and our horses have already performed well with two firsts and two seconds from four starts. We also have another 12 horses at home, mostly yearlings and 2-year-olds, I have to get back and tend to,” Davis said. One of the other highlights on Saturday was the running of the Jack Waltisbuhl Memorial. His family on-course to watch the Darrel Graham trained and Kylie Rasmussen driven $38.50 outsider, Platinum Roulette, get up and win. Mr Waltisbuhl raced horses in the 1970s and 1980s and  enjoyed multiple successes with Penny Express, Bulltossa, and Fiery Tan. He raced and won at tracks all over Queensland including Amberley, Redland Bay, Lawnton, Capalaba, Cleveland Showgrounds, Redcliffe Showgrounds, Kedron Park, Rocklea and of course Albion Park.    Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

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