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Talented mare The Charging Moa has run her final race in Queensland. The New Zealand bred daughter of Changeover – Special Ops has proven to be a great money-spinner for her connections winning 13 of her 16 races in the Sunshine State. And 11 were recorded at Albion Park. A winner of four Rising Stars Finals at Albion Park, the speedy type recorded a personal best time of 1:53.8 in winning one of her finals. At her most recent start on November 3 at Redcliffe, The Charging Moa finished an unlucky fourth as favourite behind Sweet As in a time of 1:57.4 for the 1780m event. Leading horseperson Kylie Rasmussen was the most recent trainer of the mare where she won 3 of her 8 starts under her tutelage. A talented sit-sprint type, The Charging Moa is headed to Victoria to join the stables of Dean Braun. Ultimately, the mare could end up in North America given the huge success ‘downunder’ mares have experienced over the past twelve months spearheaded by the ex-Braun trainee Shartin among many others. The Charging Moa ranks as a half-sister to Bettor Ops (9 wins - $92k). **********************************************************************   Broodmare Smooth Class achieved a rare result last night (Wednesday). The French Chef mare produced the quinella result in the UBET Pace at Redcliffe when Took Your Time defeated older brother Spondooley. Both pacers are sired by Grinfromeartoear. And both geldings are raced by Perth based owner Tanya Graham and prepared by her highly respected father Wayne. Young gun Leonard Cain took the winning drive behind Took Your Time while Wayne partnered Spondooley. Took Your Time (better known as Fletch) takes his record to 6 wins from 24 starts while Spondooley (aka Nash) has won 21 of his 210 starts. Their combined prizemoney now sits at $168,287. “It was a massive thrill seeing the boys fight out the finish, it didn’t matter who won as long as they both did their best. It’s very satisfying; they provide me with the opportunity to get home as much as I can because they’re my Flight Centre account.” Graham said. Based in Perth, Graham operates the Gloucester Park Garrards Horse & Hound store. The Graham family is synonymous in Queensland harness racing circles after racing the likes of Sparkling Melody, Yahoo Buckaroo, Albert Aralar, Mach Alert and reigning Albion Park Horse of the Year Glenferrie Hood.   ********************************************************************** Former multiple Queensland premiership winner Alan Donohoe is back in town. Based in Victoria for the past decade, Donohoe has returned home and prepares his small team of pacers at Alberton, south of Brisbane. His blue silks with a yellow diamond are very familiar to punters. Venturing to Redcliffe last night (Wednesday) with his first starter since relocating, Donohoe finished as runner-up behind Montana Express aboard race favourite Gunrneedrbigrboat in the Darren Ebert & Co Pace. Donohoe has prepared and won many features in Queensland with the likes of Armada Miss, Grants Law, Penny The Pussycat, Academy Award, Devils Dream, Pocket Battleship and Stratum among many others. His haul of state and metropolitan premierships is very impressive; State Drivers Premiership winner 86/87 90/91 94/95 97/98 98/99   Metro Drivers Premiership winner 90/91 91/92 94/95 95/96 97/98 98/99   Metro Trainers Premiership winner 94/95 95/96 Donohoe never won a State Trainers Premiership. **********************************************************************   A trio of classy mares was back in action earlier this week (Tuesday). Four-year-old mares Lisa Lincoln, Fame Assured and Aqua Miss all lined up in a Redcliffe trial over 1780m and performed as expected. The Melissa Gillies trained Lisa Lincoln led throughout defeating the Grant Dixon duo of Fame Assured and Aqua Miss in the 1780m workout. The winning mile rate was 1:58.3 with sectionals of 31.2, 28.8, 29.5 and 29.2 seconds. With a return to Albion Park imminent, expect to see these mares back in action shortly. ********************************************************************** Star Of Montana has scored himself a summer vacation. The exciting prospect, formerly prepared by legendary Auckland horseman Barry Purdon, has failed to handle the heat and humidity of a scorching Queensland spring. As a result, new trainer Darrel Graham is now left to radically change his upcoming engagements. “He’s basically melted under the Queensland sun; I was happy with the early stage of his preparation but as we got deeper, it got hotter and he hasn’t coped at all. To be fair, it has been very trying weather patterns lately with plenty of storm activity but he’s not worth risking or pushing on with so he’s out until February.” Graham said. The Art Major gelding was being readied for the upcoming Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics early next year but now the ultimate target has become the home town Queensland Derby in the middle of winter. A return trip to Purdon was considered before sending him to the spelling paddock. “I asked Dean (Shannon – owner) if he wanted him to go back to Barry for a shot at some of these bigger races but he wanted him back in the paddock, he believes he will acclimatize in time. “The Queensland winter carnival followed by a trip to Melbourne for the Breeders Crown if his form warrants it is the key focus now; they’re both in cooler conditions which will help. “It’s disappointing because we have a good opinion of him and thought he was up to the standard required to be very competitive in those southern features.” Shannon races talented three-year-old Belle Of Montana, a tidy Alexandra Park winner on debut back on October 26. The Bettors Delight – Lady Cullen filly is likely to head to Brisbane next year in preparation for the Queensland Oaks.   Chris Barsby

A pair of leading stables is eyeing the upcoming Queensland summer carnival. The summer features, to be staged at Albion Park from December 1 through until December 15 has caught the attention of Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy plus Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris. And both stables are likely to bring plenty of talent north of the border. In recent times, both combinations have been frequent visitors to the Sunshine State while success has also followed and consistently. The Queensland summer carnival clashes directly with the famed Inter Dominion series, being staged in Melbourne this year after spending the past three years based in Perth. With many leading stables heading to Melbourne, the Sydney combinations have focused on the Brisbane features. The Cross/McCarthy stable arrives this week and again will be based south of Brisbane at the property of Cristina Monte and Charlie Cini with six horses and the possibility of more to come in the coming weeks. “The carnival looks a good option for a number of our horses and we’re still considering on bringing Mach Doro up for the open class events. We haven’t made a decision about him yet but it’s definitely an option,” McCarthy explained. “We have runners this weekend at Redcliffe and they will remain for the Albion Park carnival. Hopefully, we can make a good start this weekend.” He added. The stable has Young American, Ima Kennedy Two, Blue Moon Rising, Rich Virgin and Living Again starting this Saturday night at the Redcliffe meeting. The Turner/Morris stable are yet to head north as they have confirmed their team but numbers should be strong with at least six to eight shortlisted. Stable favourite Aztec Bromac is likely for the open class events in December. Last year, the American Ideal gelding scored victories in both the Christmas and Queensland Cups. Two starts ago, Aztec Bromac rated a new personal best time of 1:51.6 when successful at TABCORP Park, Menangle. “We’re definitely looking at bringing him up again at this stage, he’s engaged to race again this weekend at Menangle while we’re sorting what races suit some of our team best,” Morris said. “As long as the features are at Albion Park, we’re keen to be part of the action again.” He added. The Queensland summer carnival features over three consecutive Saturday nights include; December 1 – Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprint, $20,660 APHRC Members Cup, December 8 - $20,660 Christmas Cup, $20,660 Forever Gold Mares FFA December 15 – Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup, Gr.2 $40,770 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final, $20,660 C2-C5 Feature & $14,999 King of the Claimers Final Chris Barsby

Classy performer January may have run her final race in Queensland. Negotiations are well advanced which could see the Cammibest – Ice Princess mare do her future racing in North America. In recent years, the desire of North American owners to purchase ‘downunder’ fillies and mares has grown exponentially given the success of Shartin, Nike Franco, Barynya, Delightful Memphis and Firebby among many others. The debut performance of all-conquering Australian and New Zealand three-year-old Filly of the Year Shez All Rock is eagerly anticipated. January, a last start winner at Albion Park on September 22 has raced in good form since joining the stables of Kylie Rasmussen winning 7 of her 22 starts. Placed at her past five starts, January proved too good defeating race favourite Mandy Kriden in the Changeover @ Burwood Stud Mares Pace over 2138m while recording a winning mile rate of 1:58.3. A winner of 13 of her 59 starts to date, her earnings now exceeds $100,000 following her latest victory. A graduate of the Redcliffe Yearling Sales, January displayed natural ability with a string of top efforts during her rookie season which culminated with placings in the $80,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Final and the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED 2yo Fillies Triad Final at Albion Park. January ranks as a half-sister to Perfection On Ice (10 wins), Silent Promises (1 win) and Modern Black Magic (2 wins). Chris Barsby

Aaron Bain is spreading the love. And the early signs are positive. During the recent Albion Park winter carnival, the talented and enthusiastic horseman made the long trek by road from Gawler to Brisbane with stable star Ideal World chasing the riches on offer. While a feature race triumph proved elusive, Ideal World raced with distinction during a number of events including his placing in the Premiers Cup behind star local product, Colt Thirty One. But the trip north proved invaluable for a number of reasons. Based at Glamorganvale (west of Brisbane) with Narissa McMullen, Bain enjoyed his time in the Sunshine State and the way the system works which prompted some serious thinking on his way home. “I like the Queensland assessment system and decided to explore it further and found its another way for owners to gain maximum reward with their horses. So, after careful consideration, I’ve sent two horses up to Narissa.” Bain said. The two horses sent to the care of McMullen were Prince Of Zanzibar and Just Seduce Me. And the latter scored an impressive first-up victory at Albion Park last Friday. The Ohoka Arizona mare overcame a second-line draw to defeat Mammals Magic and Motu Real Style in a time of 1:56.2 to claim the Mr Feelgood @Egmont Park Stud Pace. “We’re thrilled because she’s always been a better front-running type so to score from the back row is an added bonus. Narissa said she was happy with her going into the event and her recent trial was good but until you go out and do it, that’s another matter. “Taking a good time is an added bonus and only adds to her value long term, she’s a lovely big roomy mare with a nice pedigree so it’s a great start to the venture. I felt she reached her mark here in Adelaide but still had plenty left hence the move to Queensland. “I think she can win a few more, hopefully some of those Saturday night mares events are within range. Prince Of Zanzibar is better than what he’s showing presently and I’m sure Narissa can get him sorted in time. “I’ll be sending up another one soon, Hilltop Rose is being considered for a Queensland mission.” Bain also has a number of racehorses based in Melbourne with Alex Ashwood and Kate Hargreaves and they’re also enjoying good success spearheaded by Cresco Park. The talented horseman has prepared four winners for the new season in Adelaide. And stable star Ideal World is set to resume very shortly. The plan of putting the racing team in the best environment is certainly working and looks like paying good dividends.   Chris Barsby

Sparkling Melody, one of the greatest mares Queensland has produced, is returning home. The 2002 Queensland Oaks winner was bred and raced by Ken and Gwen Veivers and prepared throughout her career by Wayne Graham, the daughter of champion sire Fake Left won 29 of her 51 starts while banking more than $290,000 in Stakes. When successful in the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park, she defeated a crack field which included the likes of Oaxaca Lass, Sassy Sarah and Elect To Live among others. The following week, she finished a terrific third in the Queensland Derby. During her three-year-old term, Sparkling Melody won the Gold Coast and Redcliffe Oaks while finishing fourth (4th) in the Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley. Sparkling Melody contested the 2003 Gr.1 Chariots Of Fire at Harold Park and also won the Gr.2 Cranbourne Cup. In 2004, she finished third (3rd) in the Gr.1 Ladyship Mile at Harold Park. Following her retirement, Veivers bred with Sparkling Melody before sending her to Ross Pike in Victoria. Her progeny includes Village Maestro (by Village Jasper), Left Dreaming (by Dream Away), Lively Melody (by Live Or Die) and Jakalija (by Stonebridge Regal). Her last two foalings are colts by Sportswriter and Art Major. But after a number of years spent south, the former star racemare is headed back to the Sunshine State in the coming weeks. Better known as ‘Sarsy’ and now aged 20 - Sparkling Melody is a true Queensland harness racing star!   Chris Barsby

Racing Queensland was saddened to hear the passing of astute horseman John ‘Hollywood’ McMullen early Thursday morning aged 81. McMullen was a skilled trainer/driver before concentrating on breeding his own stock with good success. His silks of red jacket with white sash are fondly remembered during the halcyon days. Based behind Albion Park at Nariel Street since 1978, McMullen was constantly spotted by motorists using Sandgate Road swimming his racing team in the Breakfast Creek. Using a row boat, McMullen felt the training technique of swimming helped his charges in many ways including respiratory while taking pressure off their legs. Occasionally, he would drop the odd crab pot in the creek while undertaking his training regime. His on-track battles at the famed Brisbane raceway with the likes of Kevin Thomas and Darrell Alexander were legendary. McMullen was a pioneer in opening the market to North America. He was nicknamed ‘Hollywood’ owing to his frequent American visits during the 1980’s. McMullen prepared a string of top performers including Viking Reign, Alba Wings, Rameses, Parading, Toliver Bye Bye, Pleasant Fury, Maker Reign, Monty Reign, Sona Fury and Spirit Of Reign among others. Alba Wings won the 1984 Queensland Derby defeating Area Code while Viking Reign finished third behind Another Bart and Rowleyalla in the 1988 Australian Derby. His two sons John Jnr and Chris also followed in their father’s footsteps and have built strong reputations while his grandchildren Peter, Narissa, Dannielle and Taleah all currently drive. Only last season, Peter landed the Albion Park Metropolitan Drivers Premiership. McMullen built very strong friendships with many visiting horseman including the legendary Graeme Lang and Brian Hancock (Mr Inter Dominion). The funeral will take place next Wednesday (September 26) at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on 28 Chalk Street, Lutwyche commencing at 1pm. A celebration of life will follow at Albion Park.   Harness Racing Australia

Pint-sized pacer One Off continues to defy the believers. The former New Zealand pacer was bought for a ‘song’ after failing to win a race his native country but has turned his fortunes right around since arriving in Queensland. Leading owner Greg Mitchell took a punt on the McArdle – Jay Bee’s Gem gelding and placed him with his trainer, leading horseman Grant Dixon. Mitchell enjoyed good success with another of McArdle progeny several seasons ago, Only The Brave (28 wins - $268k) Since being based in the Sunshine State, One Off has never tasted defeat after winning a trial and then three racetrack triumphs. One Off scored a stylish victory in his Queensland debut when successful at Redcliffe on September 6 before conquering the Marburg to Albion Park heat/final series. Starting as a clear favourite despite an awkward second-line draw, One Off ($2.10) sat at the rear of the field before unleashing a powerful sprint with 500m left to run. In the end, he scored by a widening margin of 13.9m while rating 1:58.8 for the 2138m event. “He’s been a real surprise package for the stable, even after his trial victory I didn’t have any lofty ambitions for him but he’s continued to improve and strengthen each time we’ve taken him to the races. Obviously the pace was on but he let down nicely when I called on him going down the back straight, he’s headed in the right direction and will win more races.” Dixon said. But future plans remain unclear and Dixon is now scanning the calendar and weighing up his options. However, nothing is set in concrete at this stage. “Hopefully, we can find and target a few more of these heat/final series and keep him progressing through his grades at a nice rate. Like I said, he’s got some nice upside to him. “I like his versatility, in his three starts he’s proven he can race and adapt quickly so that’s a good thing going forward. “We’ll reassess the race and keep looking at what comes up but there aren’t really any solid plans.” Meanwhile, the Dixon/Mitchell combination struck in the Remembering Speed Ace Open Pace when Alleluia made it four straight victories. Backing-up from Monday, the Art Major gelding landed perfect one out/one back cover and proved too good in the straight holding out Bodhi Tree and Ohoka Punter in a time of 1:54.0. The perennial performer has claimed the current title as the best open class performer in the state given his recent form surge. “He’s a great old performer and his win streak is very satisfying, we’ve changed his work routine around and it’s obviously working while the track is a little softer at present and that’s playing a role. “We’ll just keep ticking him along but we’re likely to nominate for the Inter Dominion series given his current form.” The 2018 Inter Dominion series starts on December 1 and will be staged in Victoria this year. Chris Barsby

Jack Butler has made another flyer to the new season. Fresh from another century season during the 2017/18 term, his third straight, the former Bathurst horseman has jumped out of the blocks quickly and currently leads the way in the Sunshine State. Boasting 11 victories from his 34 starters to date, Butler is hungry to reach triple figures again. Butler has tallied seasons of 110, 119 and 111; he is now firmly established in the top bracket of trainers in Queensland. And he has a number of good chances again this weekend. Butler will take a team of 7 pacers to Albion Park this Saturday night. “If I was to nominate my best chance I would have to say Mandy Kriden, the mare is absolutely flying at presently and looks well suited against her opposition this weekend. Her past three wins have been really impressive in different ways so I’m confident she’ll race well again.” Butler said. Based at Logan Village on the south side of Brisbane, Butler has severely cut numbers with the change in season and is now working a team of 25. At one point last season, the numbers swelled to over 40. A season highlight last season was evergreen performer Markey Oh Markey taking the $20,630 Flashing Red Handicap at Albion Park; the stable stalwart is a last start winner and lines up in the Remembering Speed Ace Open this weekend. Markey Oh Markey takes on the likes of Ohoka Punter, Bodhi Tree, Glenferrie Hood and Alleluia in the 1660m event. “He’s a great old performer and he’s back in good form again, this week looks a lot tougher but he’s drawn the rail and can fill a place. When he won the Flashing Red, it was a great feeling because he’s been part of the stable ever since we made the permanent move up here. “The century probably took a little longer and was a little harder compared to previous seasons but we got there in the end and it’s very satisfying. Tara (wife) and Chloe (daughter) play such an integral part of my success while having Brendan (Barnes – driver) back is great because I believe in his ability. “I’m looking forward to the season ahead, it will be a challenge again and hopefully we can generate some new clients and stock and keep building on what we achieved so far. Chloe is likely to make her driving debut at some point this season which will be exciting, here’s hoping for another century.” Butler enjoyed good success with pacers and trotters last season and has a number of new trotters in his care. Chris Barsby

Some great stories will be re-lived at Albion Park tomorrow night. The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will celebrate 50 years of night trotting at 'The Creek'.  The first meeting under lights took place on Saturday 7 September 1968, in front of packed grandstands with an estimated crowd of 15,000 and over 60 bookmakers fielding at the meeting. Curly Adios won the opening race on the program while the feature event was taken out by star performer Stormy Water at a very short quote. Many that have played a role during that time will be present while other family members will also be represented; it’s a night of celebration and a great chance to reminisce. Ian Gurney has many fond memories of Albion Park, largely owing to the deeds of mighty pacer Avonnova, a triple Queensland Horse of the Year. The Chambers Flat horseman returns to the famed Breakfast Creek oval with a team of four pacers competing across two races. Smooth Showgirl and Ideal Scott will contest the Welcome Advice Open Pace over 1660m while Our Hi Jinx and Sparkling Cullect start in the Stanley Rio Pace over 1660m. The quartet are resuming from lengthy breaks. “It’s good to be back, I’ve had an ordinary time of it lately owing to viruses and other niggling setbacks in my team but we’re back amongst it. I’m happy with all of them but obviously they will improve with whatever they do this weekend.” Gurney said. All four runners have had a number of trials in recent weeks to be readied for their respective assignments and Gurney is hoping for some luck. Talented reinsmen Adam Sanderson (Smooth Showgirl & Our Hi Jinx) and Paul Diebert (Ideal Scott & Sparkling Cullect) will handle the team. “Most have been off the scene for 15 weeks or longer so it’s tough coming straight back into this grade but there’s no other options for them. All their work and preparation has been pleasing and now it’s just a matter of getting back out there and getting the miles into their legs. “Smooth Showgirl won her most recent trial on Tuesday night when leading most of the way; she’s got class and landed a good draw so I’m hopeful she will measure up. Ideal Scott has drawn a touch wide with some in-form runners drawn to his inside so he might require some luck. “Both Our Hi Jinx and Sparkling Cullect should prove competitive, their trial form is pretty good and the small field will suit both of them. It looks like being a good night and I’m happy to be part of it.” Gurney listed the victory of Avonnova in the Gr.1 $100,000 Sunshine Sprint back in 2015 as his best memory at the track while Our Hi Jinx deserves special mention following his triumph in the 2015 Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship.   Chris Barsby

On Saturday, September 8, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will celebrate 50 years of night trotting at 'The Creek'.  The first meeting under lights took place on Saturday 7 September 1968, with packed grandstands with an estimated crowd of 15,000 and close to 80 bookmakers.  Some legends of the sport both past and present will be in attendance to share their memories of the night, and to cheer on the current generation on the 10-race metropolitan program. In the lead-up to the meeting, we caught up with some people who have played a leading role in Albion Park over the past 50 years. Racing Queensland will have many more in next month's edition of PACE Magazine.  Kevin Thomas – former leading harness trainer/driver Kevin Thomas was the leading Australian driver for three seasons running, his most prolific being the 1976/77 season when he steered 174 winners. He is now well-known for his highly successful spelling and pre-training facility Washpool Lodge near Aratula, which has hosted champions such as Black Caviar, Buffering and Black Heart Bart. My favourite moment was probably finishing third in the 1977 Inter Dominion with Sporting Sun. He was owned by Victorian interests and they sent him here to Queensland to race with me. He was always a good horse but he really thrived here in Queensland. He ran third in the final that night and I can remember the stands were packed. They were the days when there was 40 bookmakers under the trees at Albion. Silks Restaurant was always full, you couldn’t get in there unless you booked. It was unbelievable, the crowds, the bookies and the competition very fierce. We had some really good trainers ... They had big teams of horses and were really competitive. Kevin Seymour AM – Lifelong harness fan, former APHRC committeeman and owner/Breeder Mr Seymour has bred and raced some of the greatest horses seen on Queensland race tracks. On opening night back in 1968, Mr Seymour was working at the club. He remembers the night fondly. And, despite the countless feature wins he has shared in over the years, one Albion Park winner stands above the rest. There was 15,000 people there on opening night and the club employed 110 staff and 79 bookmakers. The crowd was that big we had tractors with carriages towed behind them to bring customers from the infield across to where the stand was. The chair of the club was Sir Clive Uhr, who was also the chair of the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club at the time, and it was the first time that a trotting meeting had been held under lights. The first race was won by Curly Adios and was trained by Sam Zammit. It was a very popular result. I think there was eight races on the night and the (standard) prize money was about $775 per-race. That was pretty good prize money for the day, in relative terms. One win that stands out for me over the years was a horse I owned called Crazy Chief – I bought him with a deposit for a lounge suite that I was to buy for my wife. I went down and put $200 on the nose and he won at 10-1. He paid for himself right there and then. That’s what hooked me on harness racing and I’ve been hooked ever since. Brett Rail – Racing Queensland Harness Manager (Operations) Brett Rail has a lifelong love of harness racing, which has extended into a career in administration at both Harness Racing Queensland based at Albion Park and now at Racing Queensland. Once upon a time, Mr Rail was a keen owner and punter. This is just one of his favourite memories of Albion Park over the many years. I have many fond memories of Albion Park over the years not only with horses I owned that were successful at Albion Park such as The Power Of Chris, Lethal Reign, Cams Crusader, Tilman and The Demolition Man but memories of great wins such as Village Kid’s Interdominion, Thorate’s track record breaking win and Riverlea Jack’s Winter Cup win against an outstanding field in a closing quarter of 27 flat which was unheard of at the time. Importantly I also met my wife Amanda at Albion Park. Perhaps my greatest memory is a win by a horse called Sammy Batman. I spent about $10 on a multiple double with bookmaker Andy Pippos who was keen to take my money with Sammy Batman in the last leg at 25/1. Horses in my earlier legs had won and, if I remember correctly, two of them were Peppermint Pattie and Toura. The late Darrell Alexander celebrating a win in-front of a packed house at Albion Park. Coming into the last race my brother Craig Rail, who at the time was practising race calling into a hand-held recorder from the grandstand, declared Sammy Batman as no chance. In the straight Sammy Batman stormed home to win by a nose with Craig declaring “he’s won” in astonishment as they crossed the line. To this day I consider this his greatest ever race call. Needless to say, Andy Pippos was not overly happy in paying out the substantial sum won on the multiple double. Sammy Batman never won another race. Ron Wanless – former trainer, driver and owner Ron Wanless made his name across a variety of sports, but had a real love for harness racing. Son of the great trainer/driver Merv Wanless, who prepared the great Queensland champion Lucky Creed, Ron and his brothers Keith and Leigh were steadfast figures at Albion Park. There was one night at Albion Park that holds special memories for me. I had won the first 18 races for two-year-olds in Queensland in the 1981 season and it was the Sapling Stakes for two-year-olds. My horses ran first, second, third and fifth, but I can’t remember the fifth horse off the top of my head. It was a proud moment and I believe the first time anyone had trained the winning trifecta in a feature race in Queensland. Ron Wanless' father, Merv Wanless, prepared the great Lucky Creed.  The success of Albion Park trotting wouldn’t have been possible without Russell Hinze (former racing minister). I remember walking into Silks Restaurant during the 1980s and you’d see Russell and his wife Fay sitting there with his two Rottweilers in the corner – he was the only person allowed to bring dogs in. I trained horses for Russell, he was a good bloke. One day, he rang me and said, “Son, I’ve done it. I’ve got Albion Park for the trots.” I couldn’t quite believe it. That was a very special moment because we’d been fighting for years to get it. He loved trotting more than racehorses or greyhounds, although he did own a couple of successful thoroughbreds (notably Our Waverley Star).  Former Queensland Racing Minister Russell Hinze (right), with then Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.  I loved trotting because it was a family sport. My dad was a champion trainer. He reared me and my three brothers and sisters on trotting horses. What I loved was that you could own, train and drive your own horse. Damian Raedler – CEO Albion Park Harness Racing Club Damian Raedler has enjoyed a close association with ‘The Creek’ for 35 years. Mr Raedler was the club’s longest-serving CEO (1983-2003) before spending time as the CEO of HRNSW and as the Racing Operations Manager for Harness Racing Queensland and Racing Queensland. I was the CEO responsible for the conduct of three successful Inter Dominion Carnivals at Albion Park in 1986 (Village Kid), 1993 (Jack Morris) and 2001 (Yulestar). I was also heavily involved in the conduct of the 2009 series (won by Mr Feelgood USA) hosted by the APHRC at the Gold Coast. I’d have to say hosting all three at Albion Park was a real honour for me to successfully run and represent the club at an executive level. In those days the series was heavily covered by all of the publications in Queensland. Village Kid winning every heat and the final was a special memory. There was the best part of 20,000 people there on the night of the final, with a temporary grandstand and infrastructure placed in the Member’s carpark. During this time there was no SKY Racing Channel so I negotiated with the ABC to cover it. They produced a half-an-hour special, which showed the last lap of the heats and then an hour-long special on the night of the final.  Jack Morris’ win in 1993 holds both fond and sad memories. Jack Morris’ trainer Sean Harney, who I was close friends with, was suffering cancer and died soon after. This meeting was also covered by the ABC at a cost of $40,000.   RQ Media

With 12 days of the current season remaining, a question needs to be asked. Can Grant Dixon crack the 300 mark? As it stands, no trainer in Australian harness racing history has ever prepared more than 300 winners in a single season but that record is under immense pressure. Ironically, the current training record belongs to W.F Dixon, Grant’s father Bill, who prepared 299 winners during the 2010/11 season. But both Emma Stewart and Grant himself are rapidly closing in on that magical and somewhat mythical figure of 300, the Victorian based Stewart has trained 286 winners while Dixon has a tally of 284. Extraordinary numbers indeed. During the current term, harness fans and historians have witnessed champion reinsman Chris Alford break the record for most wins in a single season with his tally currently at 434 and still climbing. The previous mark belonged to Daryl Douglas at 388. Fair to say, the 2017/18 season has been a season of record breaking achievements. For Dixon, this current season will be his best as he will eclipse the mark he set last term when he prepared 286 winners. Since taking over from his father Bill at the commencement of the 2011/12 season, Grant has trained in excess over 200 winners every year since with figures of 265, 226, 260, 282, 246 and 286. During that time frame, Dixon has been the leading state trainer plus the leading trainer in the country! In fact, the Dixon name has sat atop of the National Premiership since the 2007/08 season. And during that reign, over 200 winners have been churned out each and every season. In the next 12 days, Dixon has 9 meetings in his home state while he will also compete at the Breeders Crown meeting at TABCORP Park, Melton this Saturday night. But he isn’t represented at tomorrow’s meeting at Albion Park while he has three runners engaged at Redcliffe on Wednesday night. And more are expected later this week. So, can he do it? Only time will tell but it’s quite remarkable given Queensland races only five times a week while the odd extra meeting is added here and there but most times the Dixon is not represented at those additional meetings. Many other states race seven days a week while at times, they stage 2 meetings per day. Bottom line, the Dixon numbers are very impressive. On nine occasions, he has prepared 5 or more winners at a meeting. And he’s achieved that feat on three occasions this season, twice at Albion Park (11/11/17 & 12/5/18) and once at Redcliffe (4/4/18). His best effort was 6 winners at a Gold Coast meeting back on June 14, 2013. The watch is on and time is ticking. Chris Barsby

It was a great weekend for Darrel Graham. But overall, it’s been a great year for his stable. The Fernvale horseman landed winners at each of the three meeting staged in the South East; Albion Park on Friday afternoon followed by Kilcoy on Saturday afternoon before backing up at Albion Park later that night. His winners came via Regal Rock, Franco Totem and Springbank Eden. A mixture of pacers and a trotter. Graham is a great supporter of grass track racing and provided plenty of support for the Kilcoy meeting with eight runners for the three events staged. When Franco Totem scored, he led home a first four result for the stable with Ruffalo, Tact Ollie and Itz Pleasurable filling the placings behind him. And it was the same again in the following race, My Mastercraftsman is prepared by Graham’s foreman Adam Sanderson, the talented performer defeated the Graham trained trio of Rory Mach, Mafuta Vautin and Drive The Dream. A quasi result for the Fernvale stable. “We had some luck and got some good results at Kilcoy, it’s always a great day and it’s something different for both horse and driver. It works really well in New Zealand and it’s a different spectacle compared to the traditional way of racing.” Graham said. The victories across the weekend have added to what is the best season for the respected horseman, his tally now sits at 143. Only Grant Dixon has prepared more winners in his home state while he is fourth in the national premiership race with Emma Stewart, Dixon and Kerryann Turner having prepared more winners. While Graham has driven more than 2000 winners, his training results have been equally impressive. Prior to the current term, his hauls have netted him figures of 107, 89, 125, 122 and 131. His best season came during the 2012/13 season before easily eclipsing that mark this year. With time ticking on the current season, can he break into the 150’s? “We’re close now so we’ll give it a go, it would be a major effort to train over 150 winners and there are a lot of people that have played a significant role in that success. You can’t achieve figures like this on your own so I’d like to thank everyone for their help. “Obviously my wife Linda and two daughters Brittany and Stephanie plus Adam (Sanderson) and Jacob (Wallace) have been the backstop; it’s really a team effort with the help of Fev and Dougie. “And the owners have been great too, Dean (Shannon), Jodie (Scott) and Adam (Sofoulis) among many others. As we know, without owners we have no industry.” And he capped his weekend by heading to the EKKA (Royal Queensland Show) with his family watching the trotting action on display. Darrel Graham has trained 2505 winners throughout his career to date. Chris Barsby

Kiwis Clive and Rona McKay have raced a long list of top horses, but Muscle Factory is potentially the best yet. Rona went a step further after Muscle Factory’s mind-blowing $100,000 Group 1 Australian Gold Brisbane Graduate final at Albion Park last night. “I’ve been waiting 80 years for this moment, for this horse to come into my life,” she beamed after the presentation. “This is so exciting. Did you see how easily he won it and the time he went?” Muscle Factory paced a smoking 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1660m capped by mesmerizing closing splits of 27.4 and 26.8sec. His winning margin was a whopping 37.9m, reviving Queensland memories of 1999 when Courage Under Fire won the Gold Coast Derby by 48.75m. “He’s still raw and has so much to learn. I can’t wait to get him out for a spell now and being him back as a three-year-old,” co-trainer Shane Tritton said. “I know this is a strong crop, but after a break I’ll be surprised if there are many better three-year-olds next season than him.” The McKay’s snared a large slice of Muscle Factory’s ownership following a conversation Rona had with Tritton on Miracle Mile night. “I told Shane and Lauren to buy us a nice two-year-old if they found one, but Clive said we already had enough horses,” Rona smiled. Adam Hamilton

ENJOYING Queensland’s pleasant weather this week, power couple Lauren and Shane Tritton are hoping for a warm reception at Albion Park on Saturday. The duo are set to contest the Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sale Final with Muscle Factory, which is the short-priced favourite from his wide draw. Winner of his heat at the same venue last weekend, Muscle Factory will begin from the outside of the front row. Despite the two-year-old’s tough starting position, Shane is positive Muscle Factory can add the Group One to his impressive record. The son of Roll With Joe has won four of his eight starts, with three placings also to his credit. “He has pulled up super from his heat and everything is moving along nicely,” Tritton said. “He needed that run in the heat as he hadn’t one in a while. “His work has been great this week and he will be better again in the Final., “We couldn’t be happier with him going into this race…it is the best he has been all season as he’s started to work out what it’s all about.” Citing Victorian filly For All We Know as the one to beat, Tritton expects Miss Moneybags to improve from a favourable draw. Prepared by Brett Bunfield, For All We Know also won her heat, which followed a second in the Qbred Final at her previous start. Triumphant in the nation-wide APG Consolation last April, the daughter of Art Major has drawn gate two. Fourth behind Muscle Factory in her qualifier, Miss Moneybags will begin from the pole to local horseman Grant Dixon. The daughter of Mach Three is one of four runners Dixon has engaged in the $100,000 feature. Dixon will also be represented by Saint Kilda Beach, Sea Hawke and Bettor Because. “For All We Know is a nice filly, which has proven she is Group One class against girls, is the one to beat here,” Tritton said. “The saying tells us ‘a good colt will beat a good filly’ but For All We Know has to be given respect. “Miss Moneybags has been thereabouts all season and gets her chance from the pole.” APG Media

VICTORIAN filly For All We Know is in a solid position to register an overdue Group One triumph at Albion Park on Saturday night. Winner of her heat last weekend, For All We Know is engaged in the Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sale Final where she has drawn barrier two for trainer Brett Bunfield. Triumphant in the nation-wide APG Consolation last April, the daughter of Art Major went into the series fresh from her second in the Qbred Triad Final. “She has done a top job since making her debut and deserves to add a major to her name,” Bunfield said. “Drawing two is great, but there is a lot of speed outside her. “I will have a discussion with Luke (McCarthy, driver) later in the week and decide what’s the best way to go. “Brad’s (Chisholm) been up there looking after her and is very happy with her condition, so it’s full steam ahead.” Selecting Muscle Factory as the one to beat, Bunfield admits the task ahead is a daunting one, but isn’t prepared to concede defeat. Also successful in his qualifier, Muscle Factory is a short-priced favourite despite drawing the outside of the front row. “Muscle Factory will work his way forward I would imagine, which will make him very hard to beat,” Bunfield said. “He’s been the favourite all along, and deserves to be, but favourites do get beaten. “It’s fair to say whoever beats him will be the winner and hopefully it’ll be us.”   APG Media

Team Frisby is flying! Literally and figuratively. The father/son combination of Chris and Anthony Frisby have enjoyed their best season to date, the Bathurst based combination have enjoyed great results in their home state while their annual Queensland winter campaign has netted stunning results. And that was evident on Friday night with quality pacer Our Uncle Sam dominating his rivals to claim the final feature of the 2018 Queensland winter carnival, the Listed $25,450 Chris Garrard’s Patrons Purse at Redcliffe. Starting as a clear punters elect, the Sportswriter four-year-old raced without cover for the bulk of the 2280m feature after starting from a second-line draw before holding Anychance and My Mastercraftsman in a time of 2:00.3. It was his second feature triumph during his northern campaign after claiming the Listed $25,540 Lucky Creed Open at Albion Park on June 23. Our Uncle Sam has also established a new personal best time of 1:52.6 at Albion Park when scoring first-up on June 9. “It’s easily been our best season, our previous best was 32 which came last season and when we passed that mark, Dad said let’s get to 40 and now we’re over 50 so it’s very satisfying and rewarding.” Anthony Frisby said. The Frisby combination has raced nine individual horses during their Queensland stint and all have won race/s during their time in the warmer climate. Queensland Oaks runner-up Major Occasion was the latest winner when successful at Albion Park on Saturday night and it was only her second start in the state. Currently based on the border at Tweed Heads, there’s a small community of New South Wales trainers at the same venue and they prepare over 30 horses as they escape the winter chills. “It’s been great; we have Dean & Rikki Cernovskis, Scott Hewitt, Dennis Picker and Katie Jenner and we’ve all had some success which is great. We’re based at the Tweed Heads Pony Club and we got permission to build our own jog track and the horses have thrived during their time up here. “We’re more than pleased with the way our time has performed up here and most have been multiple winners. We planned for some time prior to the trip making sure we had the right horses and we’ve worked the handicapping system to our advantage. “I’d say we’ll be here for another week or two before heading home, hopefully things are starting to warm up a little back home.” Team Frisby have three runners engaged at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) Albion Park meeting. Chris Barsby

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