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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has appointed Stirling Hinchliffe as the Minister for Racing plus Minister for Local Government and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the new Labor ministry. Mr Hinchliffe succeeds former Racing Minister Grace Grace who has been appointed Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations. Mr Hinchliffe’s Sandgate electorate takes in Racing Queensland’s headquarters at Deagon racecourse and adjoins the Redcliffe electorate – home of the Redcliffe Paceway for harness racing. Racing Queensland CEO, Dr Eliot Forbes, said he looked forward to a positive working relationship with the new Minister. “I want to thank the former Minister, Grace Grace, for her strong support of all codes of racing in Queensland. I worked closely with Minister Grace on the development of both a strategic and infrastructure plan and I look forward to outlining the vision for Racing Queensland to the new Minister,” he said. Dr Forbes said Racing Queensland had been invited to brief the incoming Minister on a range of current and emerging issues from the remediation of Eagle Farm to the impact of the possible Tabcorp combination with Tatts Group. “The racing industry generates $1.2 billion in economic activity, sustains more than 9500 full time equivalent jobs and employs or engages around 42,000 individuals in Queensland. More than 47 percent of the economic value is realised in regional parts of the state,” Dr Forbes said. Born in Dalby, Mr Hinchliffe was elected to the seat of Stafford in the 2006 Queensland state election, which he represented until being defeated in the 2012 Queensland state election. Mr Hinchliffe previously served as a cabinet minister in the Bligh Ministry. Mr Hinchliffe returned to parliament in 2015 as the member for Sandgate. He was sworn in as Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier in the Palaszczuk Ministry and was also nominated as Leader of the House - an appointment confirmed when the Legislative Assembly of Queensland met for the first time following the election. In December 2015, he was elevated to Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games. In February 2017, he resigned as the Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games following an ongoing series of railway passenger services being cancelled due to there being an insufficient number of train drivers. By Phillip Bate Reprinted with permission of Queensland Country Life

Today is when all eligible citizens of Queensland get the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to elect a government. If harness racing is an important part of your life, think hard before you cast your vote. At this point in time, racing in both horse codes is in need of a shake out. A return to the separate codes of administration model would be a step in the right direction, while a strong message that the "begging bowl" mentality, which has blighted harness racing at the club level for the last 25 years, is no longer on the table. It should be evident to administrators, at control body and club committee level, that we must build on course attendance. One thousand patrons through the gate at $5 gives a club $500 per race to bolster distributed prize money and $1000 to spend advertising next week's meeting, in the hope that six months down the road the fan base is 1250 people. Harness has two options. Build a better product, or go out backwards. It is crunch time. Marburg AGM THE Marburg Pacing Association has a double serve of responsibility today. The Annual General Meeting will take place after the unofficial trials, at approximately 10am. Driver suspended THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has suspended the license of Mathew Neilson, arguably Brisbane's most talented harness driver, following his arrest for match (race) fixing. The Commission is empowered to immediately suspend any license where a harness code participant is charged with a serious criminal offence. "The Commission has taken this action because it has a duty to ensure the integrity of the racing industry," Commissioner Ross Barnett said. Neilson, 35, is also a harness trainer and his training license has also been suspended. Neilson has 28-days to submit a written request for a show cause hearing to outline why he should be allowed to keep his licenses. If that does not occur, his licenses will continue to be suspended until further notice or until the licenses are cancelled. Neilson's lifetime stats are: Drives - 14,140, wins 2,048, placings 3,696 and the horses driven have earned $9,786,834. If Neilson is found guilty, the control body will no doubt follow the precedent set in Barty Cockburn's case, drawing a line under a stellar career. Special valley AS has been said many times before, there is something special about the lower Brisbane Valley and harness racing. On Saturday night, the end of the rainbow was firmly fixed in Fernvale. Despite early setbacks, rising star Brittany Graham remained patient and produced her winning hand in the final leg to take the inaugural Lady Drivers Invitational at Albion Park on Saturday. The 24-year-old upstaged 11 of the most talented women in Australian racing to clinch the title in the sixth and final heat. Forced to sit on the sidelines in the opening event due to a scratching, Graham kept herself within striking distance of the lead by snaring crucial points on placegetters, the unfancied Corporal Luna ($36.60), Constantly Sideways and Living Grand ($28.70) in the second, fourth and fifth legs. Graham held an ace up her sleeve in the series finale, where she was engaged to drive the Mark Dux-trained Covert Beauty ($1.40 favourite). Despite early pressure, Graham forced her way to the front and never surrendered it, taking the race, the title, and a trip to Hamilton Island thanks to series sponsors, The Seymour Group. The rainbow didn't fade, with Brittainy driving a double later in the program for dad, Darrell. It was some night for the women. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 3-10: Remember Ruby (G Dixon) and War Dan Appollo (L Manzelmann). R2: Box trifecta 2-3-12: Chapter One (G Dixon)-Lancelot Bromac (D McMullen)-Royal Counsel (A Richardson). R3: Quinella 1-5: Lombo Ranmiles (L Manzelmann) and Chal fire(K Dawson). R4: Box trifecta 2-5-10: Psychedelic (J Cremin)- Statement Made (C Petroff)- Lucifers Legend (P Diebert). R5: E/W 1: Jack Hammer (M Elkins ). R6: Box trifecta 3-4-8: Glenferrie Hood (S Graham)- Avonnova (Mark Dux)-Major Cam (G Whitaker). R7: Box trifecta 1-8-9: Smooth Showgirl (S Graham)-Bettabe Perfect (P McMullen)-Leos Best (G Dixon). R8: E/w 1: Rubys Bad Boy (L Manzelmann). R9: Quinella 1-2: Jakes A Joy (G Dixon) and Top Flight Cruize (M Tenardi). R10: E/w 1: Baltic Blue Eyes (A Gorman). Honour board Never mind about the lower Brisbane Valley, the Graham family are using the leader board for a house sign this week. Father Darrell, leading trainer, posted five wins and daughter Brittany was top driver, first home on four occasions. Most pleasing was Maretti for Phil Mitchell, with Rob Gorman in the sulky. Ipswich factor 24/49. Albion Park, November 17: Leoryan (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Maretti (Rob Gorman for Phil Mitchell). Albion Park, November 18: The Charging Moa (Narissa McMullen for Shane Graham); Cheval Zeppenology (Danielle McMullen for Jason Carkeet); Covert Beauty (Brittany Graham for Mark Dux); Montana Falcon (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Rocky Carrington (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham). Marburg, November 18: Shadow Pass (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Skylahain (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Circle Line (Matt Elkins for Ron Wells). Albion Park, November 21: Royal Counsel (Adam Richardson for Darrell Graham); Jackaroo Bromac (Pete McMullen for Shane Graham); Jack Hammer (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Subtle Delight (Nathan Dawson for Terry Hancock). Redcliffe, November 22: Luvu Grazaella (Nathan Dawson for MervHieronymus); My Mojo (Danielle McMullen for Jason Carkeet); Rocky Carrington (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); Santastic Princess (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie). Redcliffe, November 23: Daenerys Stormborn (Shane Graham for Adam Sanderson); Latin Beats (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Long Road To Fame (Shane Graham for Adam Sanderson); Weedons Express (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Come Out and Play (Gary Whitaker for Damian Shaw); The Harlem Hammer (GaryWhitaker for Doug Lee). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

On the subject of the election, no one taking a fair and balanced view of the two horse racing codes in Queensland could say they are comfortable with their future prospects. This includes the bulk of participants, be they punters, owners, trainers or harness racing drivers. Both major parties are trying to buy votes in the country areas with promised injections of funds around the $70 million over four years. Intending voters, and that should be all of us, should think hard about what is on offer. Election promises are easily made, and just as easily broken. What we should be hearing is a commitment to splitting the three codes, if only to ensure that each code's achievements or shortcomings are easily identifiable, and a return to stricter government control. We do not want racing ministers claiming that they have appointed people to run racing and that dissidents should take their complaints back to those people. More Marburg fun HOT on the heels of a successful Summerfest/ Harriott Memorial meeting last Sunday, the merry folk of Marburg have another serve of harness for you today. Seven races are scheduled today and those attending have the chance of taking home the "pick the card” jackpot where $3 can win you $1300. It includes the gate prize of a $100 free bet with bookie Stephen Anthony, plus the "funny money” deal where you bet with no money then use your bogus dollars in the auction after the last race. Marburg race days offer the best burgers, cheap beverages, a great raffle and all for the admission price of $5 adults; members and pensioners $3; with kids under 16 free. Gates open at 10.30am with trials commencing at 11am. Race one starts at noon. Worrying incident THE following press release is about as sad as it gets. Where is racing in Queensland headed when QRIC stewards of whatever code cannot go about their duty without risking assault. There are many in the horse codes who resent the high cost of QRIC, incurred in its bid to provide a clean product in all facets of racing from paddock to track. They will be even more upset when we have to provide police protection to stewards when they enter a licencee's premises. The statement on November 14 read: "Two Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards are recovering after they were allegedly assaulted during a stable inspection at Toowoomba this morning. "The stewards, from the Commission's Integrity Regulation Unit, were conducting an inspection at a Toowoomba property when they were approached by an industry participant. "It is alleged the man, who is known to the stewards, sprayed an unknown liquid into the eyes of both of them. "It's further alleged that he then stole the keys from a Queensland Racing Integrity Commission vehicle and drove off in his own vehicle. "Both stewards were transported by Queensland Ambulance for medical treatment. "Detectives from the Queensland Racing Crime Squad are investigating the incident with the assistance of Toowoomba police. "A 73-year-old Pittsworth man is wanted for questioning”. Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the stewards were acting within their lawful responsibilities when they were subjected to an unprovoked attack. "It's very fortunate that neither of the officers has suffered any long-term damage as a result of what occurred yesterday but having engine degreaser sprayed directly into their face and eyes was a very concerning incident,” Commissioner Barnett said. "I should stress that this is very unusual within the racing industry and most participants treat stewards with respect. "We of course will not condone any assault on any of our staff and when anything like this happens we will ensure that the people responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.'' Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Polished Rocks (L. Weidemann)-Our Hi Jinx (K. Gath)-Lancelot Bromac (Amanda Turnbull). R2: Box trifecta 2-3-9: The Charging Moa (Narissa McMullen)-Wynberg Terror (Kelli Dawson)-Zaras Delight (Kate Gath). R3: Box trifecta 1-4-12: Master Montana (C Turpin)-Jakes A Joy (L Weidemann)-Jango Fett (A Turnbull). R4: Quinella 5-10: Constantly Sideways (B Graham) and I'm Johnny Jet (L Weidemann). R5: Quinella 1-8: Anychance (D Hill) and Gas Monkey (K Manning). R6: E/w 5: The Next Star (K Gath). R7: E/w 7: Overlap (C Turpin). R8: Box 1-5-8-10: Ivanov (K Gath)-Lysenko (L Weide- mann)-Spud (C Turpin)- Melpark Royal Son (D. Hill). R9: Quinella 1-6: Win Or Die ( K Dawson) and Only In Rome (A Turnbull). Marburg picks today: R1 - 6-2-3-4. R2: 3-6-7-2. R3: 3-2-1-4. R4: 1-2-3-4. R5: 1-3-7-5. R6: 4-7-3-2. R7: 1-5-4-7. Honour board NOTHING remarkable on the leader board this week. Darrell Graham was top trainer with five winners. He shared driving honours with Pete McMullen and Nathan Dawson at three apiece. Albion Park, November 10: Geronimo Beau (Trent Dawson); Horace Foxley (Narissa McMullen for Tahn Cammilieri); Timmo Time (Adam Sanderson for Shawn Grimsey). Albion Park, November 11: Moonlight Eyre (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Rubys Bad Boy (Darrell Graham); Charms On A Roll (Pete for Chantal Turpin). Marburg, November 12: Grizzly Montana (Darrell Graham); Shadow Pass (Darrell Graham); Inciter (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Bubbaloobah (Dan Russell); Soldier Of Fortune (Lachie Manzelmann for Karen Schulz); Daenerys Stormborn (Adam Sanderson); Proficient (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn); Riverleigh Jeff (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Playnserious (Gary Litzow). Albion Park, November 14: Spud (Chris Petroff for Jay Edmunds); The Caringbah Kid (Trent Dawson); Trevs No Angel (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Redcliffe, November 15: Black Belt (Madi Dux for Ron Sallis); Flashing Good Time (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Rubys Bad Boy (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); One Last Roll (Taleah McMullen for Narissa McMullen); Somepartysomewhere (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin). Redcliffe, November 16: Beef City Blaze (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Tarin Kowt (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis); The Next Star (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times  

Sadly, the best laid plans of mice, men and harness racing club committees go astray from time to time. Heavy rain at Marburg Showground last Saturday indicated that the wisest course for the Marburg Pacing Association was to postpone the Octoberfest/ Harriott Memorial, which was scheduled for the next day. Happily, a suitable date was found on Sunday, November 12. The plans are all back in place for then. Fresh nominations will be required but preference will be given to horses which were drawn in the original fields. More joy is that the scheduled meeting for November will follow the next meeting on Saturday, November 18. An added sweetener will be again a "heats at Marburg-Final at Albion Park” event, which gives extra earning opportunity to the Marburg faithful. Rocklea's true value IN the history department, we often hear people talk in glowing terms of "Rocklea” and bemoaning its loss to the sport. What was so special about the Rocklea circuit you might ask. Firstly, it was run in a hobbyist timeslot (Saturday afternoon). It was a standing start only track, which allowed for correct and visible handicapping. Due to its small dimensions, it required drivers to hone and apply their skills at all times and trainers to present with truly "tractable” horses. The "Rock” was a great spectacle for the betting public. It was also a venue which gave good earning opportunity to the hobbyist type horse. I have in front of me as I type, a copy of the 1990/91 Annual Report of the Metropolitan Harness Racing Club (Rocklea). In that seasonal financial year - September 1, 1990 to August 31, 1991 - the club distributed $611,170.00 in prize money. Much credit for the success story must go to the then Secretary John Houlson, who was able through his business expertise and promotions, turn the club around from the pre-85 loss situation, to a club prepared for and able to handle hard times, and a club which was profitable. Don't ask what happened to John. Suffice to say, that there is a school of thought that his blatant display of business acumen was too much for some of his peers and other highly placed folk. Qld duo's Tassie mission QUEENSLANDERS Shane Graham and Mathew Neilson are on a mission to return the Australian title to its 'rightful place'. Graham and Neilson will head to Tasmania today to contest the Australian Drivers' Championship in Hobart tonight. This will mark the fourth edition of the series, with reinsmen from the Sunshine State winning two of three crowns. Peter McMullen secured the inaugural running at Globe Derby in 2014, with Grant Dixon emulating the feat in Launceston the following season. "Mathew and I will be out to bring the title back where it belongs,” Graham said. "It'll come down to a lot of luck, but hopefully that will be on our side so we can return the title to his rightful place.” Graham, who recently represented Australia in the World Drivers' Champion- ship in Canada, has contested the ADC twice, with a third in 2015 his best result. He finished midfield in Adelaide last year. "I don't seem to enjoy much luck in these kinds of series so hopefully it'll be a bit better this time,” Graham said. "A lot of it comes down to luck, getting the right draws and the right horses.” Neilson will make his second appearance in the Championship, ironically as a replacement for a suspend- ed Dixon on both occasions. Neilson's previous attempt saw him finish towards the bottom of the table as McMullen earned the glory. "I've never been to Tassie and I'm looking forward to getting there,” Neilson said. "Not a lot went my way in South Australia two years ago, so hopefully it will be different this time. "It will be great competing against some of the best drivers from around the country.'' Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-3-10: Flaming Hero (M Elkins)- The Shady One (C Petroff)- Polished Rocks (N McMullen). R2: Box trifecta 2-6-11: Chapter One-Top Trio-Bohdi Tree (P Greig). R3: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Reds Jet Star (G Dixon)- Withalotofluck (I Ross)- Deano robyn (T Dixon). R4: Quinella 1-12: Magoogan (T Dixon) and Glenferrie Boss (G. Whitaker). R5: Quinella 1-2: Wattlebank Flyer (P McMullen) and Corporal Luna (G Dixon). R6: Box trifecta 1-3-8-10: Lancelot Bromac (H Barnes)-Rave Moonraker (A Sanderson)-Karloo Ten Seventy (C Owen)-Make A statement (T Dixon). R7: E/w 4: Levi Jade (N McMullen). R8: Box trifecta 1-8-10: Elmaur Joy (T Moffat)- Shardons Sheralee (P Diebert)-Firebby (C Cini). R9: Box trifecta 2-4-5-8: Giacomo (T Dixon)-Melpark Royal Son (J Cremin)- Rostevarren (C Petroff)-Our Overannova (G Dixon). Honour board The leader board this week was dominated by Team Turpin/McMullen Chantal Turpin training five winners and Pete McMullen successful in the sulky on seven occasions. Happy results were Soldier Of Fortune's 27 metre demolition job for Karen Schulz. Kelsey Schulz's improving third with Lisa's Lawyer and Lachie Manzelmann's first driving treble. Ipswich influence: 21 from 40 races run this week. Albion Park, October 20: Ernie Barasso (Pete McMullen for Nick Pugliese); Wheres The Spirit (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Raesawinner (Nikki Chalk for Tess Neaves). Albion Park, October 21: Wee Jimmy (Hayden Barnes for Mark Rees); Kash (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Levi Jade (Pete McMullen for John McMullen); Threo (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin); Bull Market (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, October 24: Ashi Jetsun (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law); With Authority (Pete McMullen for John McMullen); Amajorjo (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Redcliffe, October 25: Top Flight Cruize (Michael Tenardi); Real Knuckey (Hayden Barnes for Peter Jones); Hot Rod Heaven (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie); No Confession (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie). Redcliffe, October 26: Magnussen (Lachie Manzelmann for Adam Richardson); Horace Foxley (Narissa McMullen for Tahn Camilleri); Soldier Of Fortune (Lachie Manzelmann for Karen Schulz); Sir Semper Fidelis (Lachie manzelmann for Paul Matis); Mohegan Sun (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Havetogetawaymore (Al Barnes). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith

In a first for Australian harness racing, Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club have assembled a star cast of Women to take the reins for an entire meeting to kick-start the 2017 Queensland Summer Harness Racing Carnival.   The Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation Series, scheduled for November 18, will see 12 of the best female drivers across the country battle it out across nine races in Brisbane.   Queensland’s leading female drivers Narissa McMullen, Kelli Dawson, Lola Weidemann, Chantal Turpin, Brittany Graham, Dani-elle McMullen, Trista Dixon, will join Amanda Turnbull (NSW), Danielle Hill (SA), Kate Gath (VIC) and the world’s most successful horsewoman, Kerryn Manning.   Manning this year broke the world record for winners ridden or driven by a woman (3705), overtaking American jockey Julie Krone in August.   Manning has won almost every major race on offer in Australia and New Zealand, amassing more than $25 million in stakes throughout her illustrious career.   “This is an historic occasion for harness racing in Queensland, and to secure the services of Kerryn Manning will help ensure the event is watched across the country,” Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said.   “The night will be a key component of the 2017 Queensland Summer Harness Racing Carnival, which this year offers more than $200,000 in feature race prize money across five metropolitan race nights.”   The 12 women set to line up on the night have won a combined stakes in-excess of $70 million, and won races such as the New Zealand Cup, Hunter Cup, Be Good Johnny Sprint, G1 Seymour Nursery and more.   The points score winner at the end of the series will win an all-expenses paid holiday for two to Hamilton Island, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, the Seymour Group.   “The Albion Park Harness Racing Club is delighted to partner with its sponsor the Seymour Group and Racing Queensland to bring this historic series to fruition,” APHRC Chairman David Fowler said.   The announcement comes after Racing Queensland selected female driver Narissa McMullen to represent the state in this year’s 2017 Australasian Young Drivers Championship, which will also be staged in Brisbane (December 12-16).   Dr Forbes said harness racing was a leader in providing equal opportunities for both men and women on the same playing field.   “Female drivers are at the forefront of this sport, and four of the top-10 metropolitan drivers in the 2016/17 Queensland Harness Racing Season were female,” Dr Forbes said.   “The harness code prides itself on providing equal opportunities for men and women on the track, and this meeting will showcase the best female talent Australia has to offer.”   It signals the first of seven action-packed Summer Carnival nights, which will also feature the Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship, the $60,000 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup, the $40,000 Egmont Park Stud Darrell Alexander Memorial Trot and the $30,000 Group 3 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint.   The carnival provides the perfect opportunity for Queensland-based horses to prove themselves against tough competitors from New South Wales and Victoria, with the Summer Carnival often proving popular with southern trainers and drivers. Racing Queensland

Talk about a good week. Harness racing's rising Queensland star Leonard Cain has had a week to remember, both on and off the race track. It started last Sunday night at the Racing Queensland Awards function in Brisbane at Moda Portside when he was crowned the co-winner of the Young Achiever of the Year. The award is sponsored by generous harness racing benefactors Kevin and Kay Seymour and the prize is a trip to North America to spend time working and learning under the watchful eye of outstanding horseman and former Australian Ross Croghan in New Jersey. And then the good fortune continued throughout the week at the track. Cain was successful at every TAB meeting staged in the south east of the state culminating with his victory in the $15,540 Rising Stars Championship Final at Albion Park last night (Saturday). Tuesday – Albion Park – Bodhi Tree ($3.70) Wednesday – Redcliffe – Modern Thought ($3.90) Thursday – Redcliffe – Chang Mai ($75.70) Friday – Albion Park – Likeallofus ($5) Saturday – Albion Park – Bodhi Tree ($2.10) In total, Cain took 16 drives for 5 victories and one minor placing. “It’s been an incredible week and it’s something I’m very proud of, I can’t thank the owners and trainers who supported me.” Cain said. The 18-year-old was also booked for a number of drives at the non-TAB Marburg meeting today (Sunday) before the abandonment owing to the inclement weather. His tally for the 2017/18 season now sits at 14 wins which has him 8th in the state drivers premiership while he also ranks 4th in the concession drivers premiership. The victory behind the Peter Greig trained Bodhi Tree elevated him to 5th in the metropolitan drivers’ standings. In his opening season (2016/17), Cain landed 55 winners from 535 drives and therefore created a new record by a Queensland driver for most wins in a maiden term. The previous record belonged to Brittany Graham at 40. Hoofnote – Narissa McMullen was the co-winner of the Young Achiever of the Year award. Chris Barsby

Multiple Group winner Leos Best was crowned the UBET 2017 Queensland Harness Racing Horse of the Year in Brisbane on Sunday night, with three-time winner Avonnova dethroned for the first time since 2014.   The win capped off a memorable night for Leos Best’s trainer-driver Grant Dixon, who went home with six individual awards including a sixth-straight Queensland Trainer of the Year title, and the Harness Racing Australia Trainer of the Year Award. It was also a memorable night for owners Kevin and Kay Seymour, who took home multiple awards. Mr Seymour said he got a thrill out of taking Leos Best south to win a Group 2 at Menangle in February.  "He won well there agaisnt the very top horses down south," he said.  "I think that's what leads (trainer) Grant (Dixon) to thinking he can go down and take on the major feature events as a five-year-old."   Leos Best finished ahead of stablemate Colt Thirty One, Bettorthanspecial and Avonnova to claim the coveted title, after earlier claiming the Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year Award.   The 2016/17 season was one to savour for the connections of Leos Best, which started 20 times for 13 wins and three minor placings, including three wins in Group company.   Melpark Royal Son was crowned Queensland Trotter of the Year, in a season which included eight of the horse’s nine career wins, with the highlight being the $40,000 Group 2 DJ Alexander Championship Final at Albion Park in December.   Bettorthanspecial was crowned Queensland Filly or Mare of the Year, with Colt Thirty One (2YO Pacer), Clintal Do (3YO Pacer) and Bronski Gorgeous (Broodmare) among other equine winners on the night.   Australian World Drivers Championship representative Shane Graham was recognised as Queensland Driver of the Year for a third-straight year, after guiding home 185 winners en route to winning the Queensland Drivers’ Premiership.  "I was one told the first premiership is the easiest and every one after that is hard," Graham said. "Once you win that first one you have to keep bettering yourself." Nathan Dawson was crowned Queensland Concession Driver of the Year, and received an award for winning the Redcliffe Drivers’ Premiership.   The Owner of the Year title went to Shannon Price (Raboki Pty Ltd), while Kevin and Kay Seymour’s Solid Earth Pty Ltd was recognised as Queensland Breeder of the Year. ‘Freak of the Creek’ Destreos was inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside trainer/driver Graeme Bowyer, breeder Mark Lichtwark and associate Gary Keep.   Each of the three harness clubs also presented awards to the leading participants and horses at their respective tracks in 2016/17. All winners on the night are listed below. 2017 UBET Queensland Harness Horse of the Year Leos Best   Seelite Windows and Doors Trotter of the Year Melpark Royal Son   Trainer of the Year Grant Dixon   Driver of the Year Shane Graham   The Courier-Mail Filly/Mare of the Year Bettorthanspecial   International Animal Health Products Aged Pacer of the Year Leos Best   3YO Pacer of the Year Clintal Do   Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Pacer of the Year Colt Thirty One   QRIC Broodmare of the Year Bronski Gorgeous QRIC Breeder of the Year Solid Earth Pty Ltd (Kevin and Kay Seymour)   James Boag’s Premium Owner of the Year Raboki Pty Ltd (Shannon Price)   Radio TAB Concession Driver of the Year Nathan Dawson   Sky Racing Hall of Fame Associate Inductee Gary Keep   Sky Racing Hall of Fame Breeder Mark Lichtwark   Sky Racing Hall of Fame Horse Destreos   Sky Racing Hall of Fame Trainer/Driver Graeme Bowyer Harness Racing Australia Trainer of the Year Grant Dixon   Lin and Laurie Feehly Redcliffe Pegasus Award Chris Garrard   Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Awards Leonard Cain and Narissa McMullen   BOTRA and Yatala Harness Racing Club Rising Stars Lachie Manzelmann and Taleah McMullen   BOTRA and Yatala Harness Racing Club Centurion Medal (Drivers) Shane Graham, Grant Dixon, Mathew Neilson, Pete McMullen, Nathan Dawson, Gary Whitaker and Narissa McMullen   BOTRA and Yatala Harness Racing Club Centurion Medal (Trainers) Grant Dixon, Vicki Rasmussen, Chantal Turpin, Jack Butler, Darrel Graham.   Marburg Harness Racing Club Awards – sponsored by Garrard’s  Horse of the Year: Domestic Art Drivers’ Premiership: Gary Whitaker Trainer of the Year: Tess Neaves   Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Awards – sponsored by Garrard’s  Horse of the Year: Royal Taz Drivers’ Premiership: Nathan Dawson Trainers’ Premiership: Grant Dixon Concession Driver of the Year: Nathan Dawson Mare of the Year: Flashing Good Time (NZ) and Rockstar Rikki (NZ)   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Awards – Sponsored by Garrard’s Horse of the Year: Joys A Babe Drivers Premiership: Shane Graham Trainers Premiership: Grant Dixon Owner of the Year: Solid Earth Pty Ltd (Kevin and Kay Seymour) Mare of the Year: Joys A Babe Racing Queensland

Night-time horse racing will be introduced on the Gold Coast, and two greyhound tracks opened, in a $200 million plan to stimulate the industry. An infrastructure plan, to be released by Racing Queensland today, sets out how the biggest cash injection for the sport in the state’s history will be spent. Priority projects for the next two years include a top-class lighting system for the Gold Coast Turf Club that will enable night-time events, seen as a big drawcard for locals and tourists. Racing Queensland said it was close to selecting two sites to drive the growth of greyhounds in the southeast: a purpose-built replacement home for Ipswich and a new venue for the Brisbane club. The Sunday Mail understands locations being considered include Rocklea and Bundamba. The Eagle Farm track will be improved and Townsville’s greyhound facility refurbished. Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said the plan would lay the foundation for the industry’s success and growth of all three codes for future generations. “Our vision to connect people through the thrill of racing can only become reality if we deliver on the wide range of infrastructure needs and grow racing and non-racing revenue.’’ The long-term vision for trotting is to build two key locations. One will be a “state-of-the-art harness racing facility that will serve as the code’s peak metropolitan venue” with high-quality dining and bars, and cutting-edge broadcast technology, including the use of drones and go-pro cameras on each horse and driver. The other will be “a landmark secondary racing and training venue’’. The document is vague on details of the future of Albion Park. The industry’s governing body and the local Harness Club are at odds over whether it should be retained and revamped as a racetrack or redeveloped as a commercial centre to raise funds. But the infrastructure plan does say: “There would be higher potential uptake and engagement with both greyhound and harness in locations other than Albion Park.’’ Research by Roy Morgan found Albion Park was underused, with a low percentage of locals potentially interested in harness or greyhound racing. The key growth areas for patronage have been identified as the western and southern corridors between Brisbane and Ipswich and Logan/Gold Coast. The plan has identified $198 million of projects. The Racing Infrastructure Fund, held by Queensland Treasury, has $120 million available; $63 million now and the rest between 2020 and 2023. Racing Queensland aims to meet the $78 million shortfall between the RIF and the infrastructure spending target through increased betting, commercial agreements and developing assets. An example is a subdivision of the Ipswich Turf Club site to build a commercial and retail centre, including a supermarket, a service station, fast food outlets and a possible motel and/or childcare centre. “The focus is on fulfilling the infrastructure needs of industry and generating commercial income from industry assets,” Dr Forbes said. The three codes of racing contribute more than $1 billion a year to the state’s economy. But nearly 40 per cent of events in Queensland are so-called “picnic races’’ in regions, which are non-TAB events. Daryl Passmore, The Courier-Mail Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

Racing Queensland (RQ), with the support and endorsement of Harness Racing Australia, has secured an exciting addition to its 2017 Summer Racing Carnival, securing hosting rights to the 2017 Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC) in South East Queensland. The AYDC is a championship series to showcase the skills of the best young drivers aged under-25 from each racing jurisdiction in Australia and New Zealand. The 10 competitors will comprise the Defending Champion (Todd McCarthy), plus one driver representing each Australian jurisdiction, one representing New Zealand and one from each of the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The Albion Park Harness Racing Club and Redcliffe Harness Racing Club will play host to the nine-race series, across three meetings from December 12-16. RQ’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eliot Forbes said the event would provide Queensland with another unique opportunity to highlight the state’s harness racing to a domestic and international audience. “Hosting the 2017 Garrard’s AYDC help to promote drivers as heroes of the sport, and I look forward to welcoming the future champions of harness racing upon their arrival,” he said. Long-time supporters of the Queensland racing industry across all three codes, Garrard’s has come on board as the series’ major sponsor for 2017. “Garrard’s is excited to partner with Racing Queensland and Harness Racing Australia to present the 2017 AYDC.  A key driver for our involvement is the development of junior participants to help sustain participation in the industry for many years to come,” a Garrard’s spokesman said. The young drivers will be involved in a range of off-track activities to connect with the wider community, to ensure a cultural and developmental experience. The event will also provide opportunities for the young drivers to build a strong profile through digital and social media channels, while building new contact networks within Queensland. Drivers will be welcomed on Tuesday, December 12, before heading to the picturesque bayside town of Redcliffe for the first race meet of the series. Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said the club was thrilled to share in the excitement of the series, and invited the local community to be trackside for the opening clashes. “This is right up there with one of the most exciting events to be held at Redcliffe since I’ve been involved with the club,” he said. “It’s another opportunity to put Queensland harness racing in the spotlight across the country, after Queenslander Shane Graham’s excellent display in the World Driving Championships in Canada. “This event presents as a great opportunity for the Redcliffe community to connect with our sport, and spectators will be lucky enough to witness some of the best young drivers in the world compete.” The final six races of the series will be held at the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) in Brisbane. APHRC chairman David Fowler said the club looked forward to showcasing the sport in Queensland. “The Albion Park Club is delighted to be co-hosting the 2017 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship with Racing Queensland and the Redcliffe Club, that will see the cream of harness racing’s national young talent campaigning in South East Queensland during mid-December 2017,” he said.  The excitement will continue to build through September and October, when the driver’s from each jurisdiction are announced.  by Racing Queensland

In an effort to meet the needs of the modern racing fan and engage the next generation of punter, Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) will trial a new 1119m – one lap – race at Tuesday meetings from September. The exciting new format will be known as the Triple-One-Nine Torpedo presented by Kevin and Kay Seymour, with eight speedy types to tear around the track in little more than one minute. For participants, the races will carry an additional $1000 in stakes thanks to the generous support of long-time harness racing backers, Kevin and Kay Seymour. “Kay and I are delighted to sponsor this initiative in an endeavour to attract the younger generation of wagering enthusiasts by way of this up tempo mode of racing in an effort to enhance the industry's market-share of the available discretionary dollar,” harness racing benefactor Kevin Seymour AM stated. RQ General Manager of Racing Simon Stout said the races, featuring a minor rule tweak, would add an additional element of excitement to sprints. “A maximum of eight horses will start in each race,” he said. “Seven horses will begin from the front row, with one horse effectively floating in the back row. That horse will be able to follow any runner it likes from the beginning.” The races aim to offer more variety to distance ranges in the harness code, which currently races over 1660m, 2138m, 2647m, 2680m and 3157m at Albion Park. The races will be trialled over a three-month period, beginning on Tuesday, 5 September 2017. “RQ will work closely with our broadcast partner, Sky Racing, to maximise the effectiveness of these races,” Mr Stout said. The trial comes after RQ recently announced it would publish individual horse sectional times data on its website, following every Albion Park and Redcliffe TAB meeting. “This data has already been welcomed by form students and will be a vital tool for finding a winner in the new sprint races,” Mr Stout said. Race programme for Albion Park, Tuesday 05 September 2017

Stewards opened an inquiry into the tactics adopted by harness racing driver Scott Rains on Illawong Lively in Race 5 at Albion Park on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. After taking evidence from Mr Rains, viewing the official race footage and giving regard to their own observations, stewards issued a charge under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 149(2) which reads: “A person shall not drive in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards is unacceptable.” Particulars of the charge being, that as the driver of Illawong Lively in Race 5 at Albion Park on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 Mr Rains drove in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards was unacceptable in that between approximately the 1700 metres and 1300 metres he issued a sustained challenge for the lead when that position was clearly unavailable and again challenged for the lead from near the 900 metres resulting in the gelding giving ground from approximately the 450 metres to be beaten in excess of 26 metres. Mr Rains pleaded guilty to the charge as issued. After considering submissions regarding penalty stewards suspended Mr Rains’ licence to drive in races for a period of four weeks to commence midnight, 23 August 2017. Stewards advised Mr Rains of his right to an internal review. Stewards Report Scott Rains Date:  21 August 2017 Panel:  S Shinn (Chair), K Wolsey, K Daly ............................................................................................................................   Stewards Report Darrel Graham Stewards today concluded an inquiry adjourned from Tuesday, 15 August 2017 into the driving tactics adopted by Darrel Graham, driver of Corrinyah Conman in Race 3 at Albion Park on that day. After taking evidence from Mr Graham, viewing the official race footage and giving regard to their own observations, stewards issued a charge under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 149(2) which reads: “A person shall not drive in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards is unacceptable.” Particulars of the charge being, that as the driver of Corrinyah Conman in Race 3 at Albion Park on Tuesday, 15 August 2017, Mr Graham drove in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards was unacceptable in that shortly after the start he restrained that gelding from a favourable one out one back trailing position to a less favourable position three back on the marker peg line to finish in sixth place beaten 8.8 metres. Mr Graham pleaded not guilty. Stewards considered Mr Graham’s submissions in support of his plea, however were of the view that the charge could be sustained and formally found him guilty of the charge as issued.  Under the circumstances Stewards deemed the appropriate penalty be a suspension of Mr Graham’s licence to drive in races for a period of 4 weeks commencing midnight, 22 August 2017. Mr Graham was advised of his rights to an internal review. Date:  21 August 2017 Panel:  S Shinn (Chair), K Wolsey, K Daly

Saturday's Australian Pacing Gold (APG) Brisbane Graduates Final for the first time has been granted harness racing Group 1 status featuring stakes of $100,000. The APG initiative, supported by Racing Queensland, was introduced to incentivise purchases at the Brisbane Sale.  The decision has been a winner providing buyers with an achievable target in their own state in addition to the main APG finals for $350,000 and breeders with increased sales prices.  In 2014, prior to the introduction of the race, the sales average was $11,147, in 2017 this grew by 68% to just under $19,000. To-date the Fillies have had the wood on the colts with Georgia Grace victorious in 2015, and Jossie James in 2016. The early market from UBET suggests this trend could well continue, with the James Rattray-trained Arts Treasure the $1.90 favourite.  Form analysist Darren Clayton concurs with the market placing Arts Treasure on top following her recent win in the QBRED Fillies final with the Mark Dux trained Pinup Boy his second elect. FULL PREVIEW OF THE ALBION PARK MEETING HERE The field for this year’s final including purchase price is outlined below;   Horse Sire Dam Purchase Price ($) Pinup Boy  Sportswriter Victree Bette $30,000 Gone Bust Grinfromeartoear The Third Category $13,000 Ark Patrol Grinfromeartoear Ark De Jeanne $28,000 (Reserve - Passed in) Arts Treasure Roll With Joe Art Start $21,000 Sister Feelgood Mr Feelgood Likeness $13,000 Mickee Cullen Christian Cullen English Elegance $60,000 Zindel Mr Feelgood Girl Of The Moment $15,000 Miss Costalot Lanercost Manhattan Montana $24,500 Kathleen Grace Mr Feelgood Magic In Motion $15,000 Digby Diva Shadow Play Evelyn Dee $8,000 (Reserve - Passed In) Naughtynheaven Rock N Roll Heaven My King Of Girl $22,000   The APG Brisbane Graduate Final is race 6 (8.10pm) of a strong 10-race card which commences at 5.43pm. Racing Queensland Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 12 August 2017 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 12 August 2017 Race programme for Albion Park, Saturday 12 August 2017

Let's hope it's the promised sunny day. What better warm conditions for a trip to the Marburg trots. Catch today's harness racing action close up on the 700 metre show ground circuit. It's country trotting at its best, with the "pick the card" jackpot standing at $1150 and lucky gate prize of $100 free bet with Marburg's bookie to cater for those who like a punt. For the fun lovers who still like a flutter, there is a multi prize raffle, The "Funny Money" bookie and associated auction after the last. Admission is adults $5, pensioners and students $3 and race books $3. Under the radar success Publicity and recognition in harness racing are strange things. Some avoid it, some court it and others, no matter what they do, never seem to get it. Sometimes onlookers wonder why this third category exists and ponder the reasons for such a situation. Meanwhile, a number of highly competent trainers soldier on. Their week in, week out efforts hardly raise a ripple. Steven Cini, born in 1966 and learning his trade from his late father, the charismatic Lou Cini, was first licenced in the 1984/85 season. If numbers were all that told the story, his start was impressive, having only three runners in his first two years, all of which were successful. Time has rolled on since. His team has slowly and steadily increased in numbers. No acknowledged stars but a succession fit pacers carried the black jacket, white sleeves and red maltese cross to regular cheques. The lifetime stats some 32 years on are impressive. Starters 11,498, winners 1337, seconds 1371, thirds 1329 with the bank balance at $2,830,273 and the all important "return per starter" sitting at $246.15. The graph is upward and steep these days with the season drawing to a close, showing figures of 377 runners and income of $336,916. Every time a Steve Cini horse goes round, from a statistical perspective, $893.67 jumps in. "All the world loves a winner". It's true enough but I stopped reading a high profile Trots publication years ago on the grounds that anyone reading it as their source of information could be excused for assuming that, Australia wide, there were probably no more than 20 people training and driving light harness horses. At that time, this country boasted something in the order of 8,000 licencees. Who the vast majority were, and what they achieved, we were never told. Steve Cini falls in that category. He kicks goals every week, but the selectors don't want to know. Redwood celebration FANS of the traditional, diagonal gaited trotter might want to find a Sky Channel screen from 11.30am tomorrow. It is the annual celebration of the trotter, "Redwood Day" at Maryborough in Victoria. There will even be a special events train, carrying 200 fans to the track. This additional crowd boost will further ensure the success of the 32nd staging of the carnival, which started in 1985. It features the Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors $50,000 Redwood Classic for 2yo's at 2.44pm on Sunday, followed by the $75,000 Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby at 3.54pm. Neither feature carries a fortune in prize money by today's standards, but the prestige conveyed by a win in either event is "a pearl without price." Calvert-based Ray Cross will have last start Ballarat winner Honey Please engaged in Race 2. We wish him the best. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Withalotofluck (C. Cini)- Philanderer (M. Neilson)- Village Witch (N. McMullen). R2: E/w 2: Strawberry Courage (G. Dwyer). R3: Quinella 2-6: Mafuta Vautin (A. Sanderson) and Polished Rocks (M. Neilson). R4: E/w 3: Pompidou (G. Dixon). R5: Box trifecta 2-3-6: Royal Jacquard (N. Dawson)- Ichon Blue (D. Cernovskis)- Drive The Dream (A. Sanderson). R6: E/w 3: Major Kiwi (T. Moffat). R7: E/w 1: Drifting Away (S. Graham). R8: Box trifecta 2-3-4: Majestic Major (G. Dixon)- Ohoka Colorado (S. Graham)-Major Cam (M. Neilson). R9: Box trifecta in four 1-2-6-8: I'm Not Eyre (J. Rattray)- Four Shares More Beers (G. Dixon)- Justabitnoisy (D. Lee)-Monorail (R. Jenkins). Marburg picks: R1 - 2-5-3. R2: 4-5-7. R3: 1-3-7. R4: 1-3-5. R5: 5-1-8. R6: 3-2-1. Honour board CONSISTENCY is the key word on the board this week with the lower Brisbane Valley to the fore. Darrell Graham (Fernvale) notched six winners for the week, including a Saturday night treble. A stone's throw away at Glamorganvale, Nathan Dawson rang up five winning drives to edge out his cousin Narissa McMullen on four. All three stars posted trebles. Most pleasing was Adam Richardson steering Franco Totem to an easy win on Wednesday night at Redcliffe. Albion Park, July 28: Illdoitwhenimready (Chantal Turpin); None Bettor (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Tuesdays Fella (Nathan Dawson for Trevor Lambourn); Vande Velde (Nathan Dawson for Jason Mackrill); Wattlebank Flyer (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, July 29: Montana Falcon (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Culley Backy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Broadway Playboy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Albion Park, August 1: Northern Muscle (Denis Smith); Fakerocknroll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Corey ODonohue (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Magnussen (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); Oceans Predator (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins). Redcliffe, August 2: Gidup Spanish Red (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Ima Top Tycoon (Nathan Dawson for Ryan Veivers); My Ultimate Falcon (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); Franco Totem (Adam Richardson for Darrell Graham). Redcliffe, August 3: Turbo Tufftalk (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Diamantina Devil (Narissa McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Coast Warning (Narissa McMullen); The Endeavour (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Ruato Bay (Chris Petroff for Ron Sallis). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith   Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

The battle lines are being drawn up between the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and racing control body Racing Queensland. Like most wars, it is a dispute over territory - that territory being the Albion Park harness and dog racing complex. Like all such disputes, there will be artillery in the form of barristers and solicitors, the ammunition will be words both, verbal and written, and there will be several referees. The time frame at this point is anybody's guess. The ultimate cost, like all wars, will be staggering. The end bearers of that cost will be the harness racing participants in general and the hobbyists in particular. The greyhounds will also experience negatives from a financial aspect. Albion Park has fired the first shot with a full page advertisement in last Saturday's Courier Mail and the Brisbane City Council has made that shot more effective by rejecting RQ's current development application which does not include a racing facility. From the Sunday Mail (July 16): "In rejecting the application on Friday 14/07, BCC planning Chairman, Julian Simmonds said: 'The entire Queensland racing fraternity needs to speak as one voice on the future of Albion Park.'' The only way that racing participants will come up with a majority decision will be if the practice of full disclosure applies. At this point, "Joe Average” harness participant does not know who owns Albion Park, much less the benefits which might accrue from this current power struggle. We wait for the Minister and the Premier to supply this information. ............................................... Whip rules proposal ON a different but apparently equally taboo subject of whips, another gathering was held last week in NSW under the auspices of HRNSW. The following is taken from an interview with John Dumesny, CEO of that body. He believes that the road forward is tightening the way the whip is used, rather than an overall ban. "We have to be aware of the public and community standards about the whip and its use,” Dumesny said. "The whip itself is not cruel, it is the way it is used that can be seen to be cruel. "The drivers see it as a safety and integrity issue for the sport, and it is important to wagering and punters' confidence. We need to modify the rules to move with community expectations, but at the same time maintain safety and integrity concerns.'' A whip convention last week, with drivers, trainers and administrators from every state attending, worked towards a set of rules acceptable to all. Dumesny said consistency was the most important factor in whip rules, so they could be applied across every meeting in Australia. "We have told HRA that the whip will be continued . . . in NSW, but we don't want to get to the stage where there are different rules in different states,'' he said. "What we are looking towards is what is called a wrist-only method of using the whip. We held the convention last week, where there was a consensus that we need to work on the whip rules. It was a very good discussion from everyone involved from around the country. In the afternoon session the drivers got in a gig and showed their whip action as it is now, and how they would see it under changes to the rules. "We feel we have the support of the other states and continue to work with them, and there will be another meeting this week to get the right outcomes. "The main thing we want to work towards is something that is easily understandable and enforced by stewards.” The sad part is that for all the positive vibes coming from this move by NSW, none of the more vociferous supporters of cruelty free racing in the Sunshine State would have been aware of this particular convention, much less be invited to contribute to the discussion. Well managed THE late Tony Price was often the source of accurate comment. At a Botra meeting some years back, the "Big Fella” stated that Queensland was the easiest state for a horse to win $100,000. A quick check of stats for Darrell Graham's cash cow, Montana Falcon, indicate that lifetime earnings from 163 starts, stand at $209,995. The super impressive factor is that Montanta Falcon is still assessed at M0. That's well managed. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 4-12: Only The Brave (T. Dixon) and Montana Falcon (D. Graham). R2: Box trifecta 2-5-10: Any chance (D. Weeks)-Timmo Time (A.Sanderson)-Bettor Be Lucky (M. Neilson). R3: Box trifecta 1-8-10: Munroe (NA)-Written In Red (P. Diebert)-Lancelot Bromac (N. Dawson). R4: E/w 2: Philanderer (M. Neilson). R5: Quinella 1-3: Bettor Promise (M. Neilson) and Always Prompt (T. Dixon). R6: Quinella 4-6: Jerrys Jet (R. Thurlow) and Verdot (D. Cernovskis). R7: Box trifecta 1-4-7-9: Shardons Sheralee (J. Rattray)-Counterfeit Cash (G.Dixon)-Wicked Time (S. Graham)-Spare The Price (A. Frisby). R8: Box trifecta 3-1-6: Comply Or Die (N. Dawson)-Lombo Ranmiles (G. Whitaker)-Threo (C. Turpin). R9: Box trifecta 4-5-6: Majestic Major (G Dixon)-Majestic Mach (I Ross)-Alleluia (T Dixon). Honour board Tess Neaves, Chantal Turpin, and Trevor Lambourn led the way with two winners apiece. Nathan Dawson and Gary Whitaker shared driving honours posting thee winners each. Most pleasing was Tess Neaves' double at Albion Park on Thursday. Albion Park, July 14: Threo (Chantal Turpin); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Lighting Colony (Gary Whitaker for Donny Smith); Nolonga Your Choice (Trevor Lambourn); Ashton K (Gary Whitaker for Trevor Lambourn); Village Cruiser (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell). Albion Park, July 18: Tygar (Adam Sanderson for Joe Taafe); Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Kenny Rattray); I'm The Golden Child (Dean Cernovskis for Megan Cockburn); Montana Falcon (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Redcliffe, July 19: Weedons Express (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Cheers Kathy (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Slippery Jade (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Mach Torque (Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, July 20: Princess Jessica (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Hammerhoff (Nathan Dawson for Narissa McMullen); Riverleigh Jeff (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Call Me Yours (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Gallymont Sport (Trent Dawson); Surface To Air (Greg Elkins). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Racing Queensland has announced prizemoney increases of $3.2 million for next financial year across the three codes of racing. RQ chief executive Eliot Forbes said the injection was a result of better-than-forecast returns from wagering. He said that while the control body will still post a financial loss this year, the board was mindful of “enhancing participants’ returns.” It is the first increase in prizemoney for Queensland racing since the Tracking to Sustainability reforms made cuts across the board last year. The thoroughbred code has been allocated $2.28 million of the boost, with a ninth race, valued at $30,000, set to be added to all Saturday metropolitan programs and provincial prizemoney at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich boosted to $16,000 (excluding maidens). Harness racing will receive an additional $505,000, with an allocation boosting Redcliffe’s Wednesday and Thursday programs to have five races at $4450 and three at $3450. Greyhound racing will receive $415,000 in extra money, with increases of $40-$80 to all short course non-metropolitan class TAB meetings. “Improved wagering turnover and changes to the Race Information Fee (RIF) framework have enhanced revenue and a continued focus on costs will lead to a much-improved financial result for 2016/17,” Forbes said. “RQ has a strategic goal over the next three years to boost prize money in a sustainable manner and to continue to invest in significant infrastructure projects across all three codes, while working with clubs to improve attendance and commercial returns.” By Nathan Exelby Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail  

Boom pacer San Carlo is on trial for the Queensland harness racing winter carnival. The outstanding Victorian gelding, fresh from his success last weekend at Bendigo, is being considered for the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season – the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15. It’s the biggest event staged in Queensland, the 2680m mobile start feature takes place at Albion Park. And co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley are very interested in dipping their toe in the water with their rising star. A winner of 14 races from 16 starts, the Mach Three six-year-old gelding made a massive statement when he demoralised his rivals last Saturday night at Lords Paceway after sitting wide throughout before racing clear over the concluding stages. San Carlo scored easily by 5m while rating 1:55.4 for the 2150m. “That was a big step forward into making Brisbane a reality, he performed in such a great manner and Steve thinks the Blacks A Fake is a good target for him but he’s got to prove himself once more before any decision is made.” Bartley said. And that next assignment comes up next Thursday (June 22). San Carlo will start in the Leo Crameri at Maryborough, a race that has historically produced plenty of high quality performers. The event will be staged over 2190m. “That’s his next target and it’s likely he will meet plenty of classy rivals but it will also tell us if Brisbane is one or off. A victory will go a long way in making the northern trip a reality, Brisbane will be tough but it looks a good opportunity for him. “I don’t think he shocked us in anyway last week because we’ve known for some time how good he really is but to do it in the manner in which he did was the best part. He was really strong. “And that’s his best asset; he’s a very strong horse.” O’Donoghue, the boss of Morley Park (of Classic Garry fame), believes San Carlo is the best horse he has worked with and rates him higher than Barclay Court (23 wins – $99k) and Triple Vance (20 wins - $182k). San Carlo is raced by John Eichhorn. Chris Barsby

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