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The good fortune continues for the harness racing Queenslanders in Victoria. Fresh from their success in the Victoria Derby with Colt Thirty One two weeks ago, rookie pacer Scheu Creek proved too classy for his rivals in the $20,000 Swift Signs Premiere Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton last night (Friday). The Premiere Stakes is the first feature for juvenile pacers held in the Garden State. Prepared by master horseman Peter Manning, aka King of the Kids, the Caribbean Blaster gelding led throughout in the 1720m feature easily defeating race favourite Major Exclusive and Soho Thunderstruck in a time of 1:56.8. He recorded sectionals of 29.3, 31.3, 28.9 and 27.8 seconds. Kerryn Manning, the world’s most successful horsewoman of all time, took the winning drive for her father. Scheu Creek is raced by his breeders, Dr Pat and Rhonda Aldons and their partnership with Manning spans close to 20 years. “It’s a very satisfying moment to win a race, let alone a feature event so naturally we’re all pretty excited because we didn’t expect it. We bred this guy and his mother was very slow, she didn’t even make it to the trials but she’s proving to be a handy little broodmare so there’s hope for all those other breeders out there.” Dr Aldons said. Scheu Creek is a half-brother to Miss Rivkah (2 wins – Art Official). It was third time lucky in the Premiere Stakes after finishing third last year with Night Ninja while Miss Rivkah was unplaced two seasons ago. The Brisbane based couple has spent close to 40 years in the racing game spanning both codes, thoroughbred and harness, and still gets great satisfaction every time they win a race wherever that may be. Their team of horses is spread across New Zealand and Australia and with several trainers. Over the years they enjoyed great success through the likes of former Australian Derby winner City Rogue and star New Zealand filly Hot Shoe Shuffle while Town Royal, OK Chevalier, OK Jaque, Christian Miracle, Afro Samurai and BG Royal also proved to be great money spinners. Thoroughbred winners include the likes of Row Boat, Driving Creek, Ring True, Napper Tandy, Take A Shot, Some Joy and Pat Kash among others. In recent years, the couple have scaled back their New Zealand breeding operation and moved many of their mares to Burwood Stud on the Darling Downs of Queensland. “We made a decision to bring many of our mares a little closer to home, Noel and Christine (Denning) do a wonderful job catering for the mares and foals each and every year. We’re still breeding up to a dozen horses each season and we send the pacers to Peter while many of my gallopers stay here in Queensland. “All our foals are born and bred in Queensland but we try to focus mainly on Vicbred stallions nowadays, we’ve got several mares that trace back to the famed Black Watch line and hopefully we’re starting to get the results that we set out to achieve. “We’ve got some nice youngsters on the ground by good sires and the bulk of the mares are in foal again, we’ve used the likes of Captaintreacherous, Western Terror, Well Said, Shadow Play, Pet Rock, Heston Blue Chip and Alta Christiano so fingers crossed. “I like the Vicbred futurity scheme and I think Peter is a wonderful trainer of young stock. Our plan is to race them in Victoria before relocating them back to Brisbane for my son Ben to train.” The Aldons family still race horses in New Zealand with Cambridge horseman Mike Berger while gallopers are in work with Cox Plate winning trainer Moira Murdoch. And the Australian based gallopers are in work with Grafton horseman John Shelton and the Sunshine Coast based John Johnston. As a leading thoracic physician at The Prince Charles Hospital, he finds a perfect balance with his busy work life and his horses. “As a whole, the entire family enjoys the horses so I never miss a trick because I’m reliably updated at all times on their progress. “The big aim is to breed a top liner, we’ve been lucky along the journey but to breed and race a quality horse with the family would be something very special. Who knows, we might be on the way.” The Aldons family currently has three two-years-old’s in work with Manning. Hoofnote; Scheu Creek is the first winner for Caribbean Blaster Hoofnote; Scheu Creek (pronounced ‘Shoe’) is a stream located between South Johnstone and Wangan QLD, named after Heinrich Gottfried Scheu, the first settler in the Innisfail (far north Queensland) area, in 1880. Racing Queensland

She might not have reached champion status on the track just yet, but Long Legs Lou has become a champion for those doing it tough off it. The filly is part owned by ‘The Footy Show’ star Erin Molan and harness racing benefactors Kevin and Kay Seymour, with all prize money collected by the three-year-old filly donated to Bowel Cancer Australia. In 10 starts, the filly has raised more than $5500 for the charity. Long Legs Lou is named after Molan’s sister, Sarah Sutton, who faced her own battle with bowel cancer. The filly will line up for start number 11 in the Garrards Here On Track 3YO Pace from gate three at Albion Park on Friday (1.17pm) with trainer Grant Dixon in the sulky. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In a career spanning 36 years, more than 3200 starters and 411 winners, there was one thing trainer Ron Sallis hadn’t been able to do … until Tuesday. New stable acquisition Maybetothemax was Sallis’ first starter in a trotting race, and his first winner. Formerly prepared by the Graham Lyon stable in Victoria, the Yankee Paco gelding then joined the powerful McCarthy yard in Sydney, which used to race his mother (Maybe Hall) in Queensland. And the McCarthy polish continued to shine in the seven-year-old’s first Queensland start, when Maybetothemax shot to the lead in the back straight and was never headed, holding off Quietly Spoken by 5.8m. It continued an impressive run over the past week for Sallis, who also prepared Saturday’s King of the Claimers winner, Our Mels Dream NZ at Albion Park.  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Richard March continued his stunning comeback to training at Albion Park on Tuesday, picking up a winning double and the biggest race win of his career. His first winner on Tuesday came when 2017 QBRED Triad winner Clintal Do ($8.70) saluted in the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace (C3 to C4). In winning, Clintal Do became the latest Queensland pacer to benefit from the QBRED Cash Scheme, introduced in line with annualized prize money increases of $900,000 for the harness code. The Vic Frost-trained Fire And Ice also collected a QBRED Cash Bonus after taking the Hurrikane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace in Race 1. March’s double was complete when Our Major Day ($13.60) held off favourites, Somewhereovarainbow and Red Charmer to claim the Kevin and Kay Seymour Pot of Gold C0 Final – his biggest race success to-date. The double follows March’s winning treble at the Warwick meeting on December 9, when he saluted with Clintal Do, Ultimate Ad and Our Major Day. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Shannon Price-trained mare Bettorthanspecial has been scratched from Friday night’s Group 3 Cordina Family Sibella Stakes at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. The twice Group 1-placed mare was in search of her first win after claiming the Forever Gold Mares at Albion Park in December. The now seven-year-old mare has collected more than $340,000 in prize money across 27 career wins for Price’s Raboki Pty Ltd.  By Alex Nolan Racing Queensland

With a strong clearance rate coupled with spirited bidding, today’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Sale has been referred to as a positive sign to Queensland harness racing. Following some late withdrawals, 41 lots passed through the ring for a clearance of 70.73 per cent – up from 58.33 per cent last year. Colts were the most popular among bidders, with a rise in sales average and clearance, which was 80 per cent compared to 66.67 per cent in 2017. The clearance among the fillies was 60 per cent, an increase from 51.28 last year. “We are really pleased with the attendance at the sale, including interstate bidders, and the good vibe throughout the day,” APG’s General Manager David Boydell said. “It’s a great result given the integrity issues Queensland have faced and hopefully the confidence of buyers is an indication the tide is turning in Queensland and people are beginning to see a brighter future.” As predicted, Lot 30 topped the sale, being sold for $60,000. From Group One winning mare English Elegance, the colt is by outstanding stallion Mach Three. Successful in the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, English Elegance has matched her racing feats in the breeding barn, producing seven winners from eight starters. Her progeny include Elegant Christian and Major Moment, which have both captured Group Two events. Lot 3 – a daughter of A Rocknroll Dance and Rich Heritage - was the highest priced filly, bring a bid of $26,000. Rich Heritage has a perfect record from four starters, including Remember Ruby, which was successful at Albion Park recently and Heritage Beach, which has won two of its last three starts. Other notable sales include Lot 12, which is the first Australian yearling by He’s Watching to enter the ring. The colt, from The Oval Office, fetched $32,000. APG’s photographer Ashlea Brennan put her camera down long enough to purchase Lot 40, which is a son of A Rocknroll Dance. Brisbane Results Lot Sire Dam Sex Status Buyer Sales Price Reserve 1 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Our Guggenheim NZ Colt Sold Grant Dixon $14,000   2 Cammibest USA Perfect Sunset Filly Sold Lawrence Feehely $4,000   3 A Rocknroll Dance USA Rich Heritage Filly Sold Dennis Picker $26,000   4 Auckland Reactor NZ Shechoseus Filly Passed In     $13,000 5 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Spirit Of Fun Colt Sold Anthony Turpin $6,000   6 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Shesgotemgood Colt Passed In     $30,000 7 Art Major USA Tatachilla Gelding Passed In     $50,000 8 Mr Feelgood USA Strip Sir Colt Sold Michael Charles Sparkes $11,000   9 Art Major USA Talorem Colt Sold Shane Grice $28,000   10 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Talented Tess Colt Sold John Mammino $20,000   11 A Rocknroll Dance USA Tout Le Monde NZ Colt Sold James Rattray $30,000   12 Hes Watching USA The Oval Office NZ Colt Sold Kriden Investments Pty Ltd $32,000   13 Betterthancheddar USA Voodoo Tempo Filly Sold Bernie Hewitt $8,500   14 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Truly Famous Filly Sold John Mammino $11,000   15 A Rocknroll Dance USA Venetian Art NZ Filly Passed In   $14,000 $15,000 16 Mr Feelgood USA Venus Lindenny NZ Colt Sold Adam Sanderson $4,000   17 Heston Blue Chip USA Walking On Air Colt Sold Veivers Purchases Pty Ltd $18,000   18 Mr Feelgood USA Catwalk Beauty Filly Withdrawn       19 Betterthancheddar USA Ark Danielle Colt Sold Lawrence Feehely $4,000   20 Mr Feelgood USA Chance The Walk Filly Sold William Crosby $15,000   21 Mach Three CA Arks Crystal Colt Sold GM Racing Syndicate $30,000   22 Mr Feelgood USA Channelling Gold Colt Passed In     $20,000 23 Mach Three CA Bronski Gorgeous Filly Withdrawn       24 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Art Start Colt Sold Rodney Dale $27,000   25 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Forever Gold Filly Passed In     $50,000 26 Art Major USA Dont Break My Ark Colt Sold Michael Rafter $25,000   27 Mr Feelgood USA Girl In A Million Colt Passed In     $15,000 28 Big Jim USA Empty Promises Filly Passed In     $40,000 29 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Grace With Pace Colt Withdrawn       30 Mach Three CA English Elegance NZ Colt Sold R Reid $60,000   31 Roll With Joe USA Exclusif Colt Sold James Rattray $32,000   32 Art Major USA Find Fake Cash NZ Colt Passed In     $30,000 33 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Joyous Times Filly Sold Julian Norrish $9,000   34 Pet Rock USA Keep No Secrets Filly Sold Rob Essex $6,000   35 Mr Feelgood USA Layback Cullen Colt Passed In     $10,000 36 Betterthancheddar USA Gina Gina Filly Passed In     $10,000 37 Mr Feelgood USA Magic In Motion Colt Withdrawn       38 Roll With Joe USA Kotare Cameo NZ Colt Sold Ray Davis $20,000   39 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Misty Forever Colt Sold APG As Agent $12,000   40 A Rocknroll Dance USA Lucy Kate Shannon Colt Sold Mike Brennan $4,000   41 Art Major USA Luna Royce NZ Filly Passed In     $20,000 42 Mr Feelgood USA Moonlight Spirit NZ Filly Sold New Beginning Syndicate $10,000   43 Mr Feelgood USA Megseyrun Colt Sold Robert Cox $7,000   44 Mr Feelgood USA My Kind Of Girl Filly Passed In     $10,000 45 Hurrikane Kingcole USA My Names Molly Colt Sold Adam Rotstein $10,000                                           2018 Sales Average $17,190           2018 Clearance Rate 70.73%           2018 Gross Turnover $498,500                           2018 Colts Average $19,700           2018 Colts Clearance Rate 80.00%                           2018 Fillies Average $11,611           2018 Fillies Clearance Rate 60.00%                           2017 Sales Average $17,390           2017 Clearance Rate 58.33%           2017 Gross Turnover $730,400                           2017 Colts Average $19,359           2017 Colts Clearance Rate 66.67%                           2017 Fillies Average $15,225           2017 Fillies Clearance Rate 51.28%     APG Media

Strong interest is expected for this Sunday’s APG Sales event following Racing Queensland’s announcement of a 7.5% annualised increase to the harness racing code. Included in the increase is an additional $400,000 annually for harness racing, which comes on top of the $505,000 increase introduced just over six months ago. The primary focus of the stakes increase is to assist the code’s commercial performance, including additional races to help improve overall profitability and grow participation opportunities, particularly at the grass roots level. Following a recent industry stakeholder forum Racing Queensland will also introduce QBRED cash, a bonus scheme to further support the breeding and racing of QBRED eligible horses.  The QBRED cash initiative from February 1, will offer $1000 bonuses to the winners of selected races if they are QBRED eligible. The selected races will initially include classes from C0 and T0 and above with plans to extend to restricted class events during 2018/19. Nine races each week will offer the bonus. To be eligible, the horse must be paid-up as a QBRED foal and at least one QBRED age sustaining payment must have been made. These bonuses will be in addition to the lucrative opportunities already available to QBRED registered horses, including the 2yo ($7.5k), 3yo ($7.5k) and 4yo ($2.5k) first win bonuses and the Triad race series for QBRED’s which include $100k finals for 2yo. The QBRED Cash initiative will initially be implemented from 1 February – 30 June 2018, with a review in May to determine its effectiveness. Other highlights of the stakes increase include initiatives aimed at driving sustainability of the code through supporting grass-roots participation and Queensland breeders. These include: The conduct of additional restricted and career class races Conversion of Non-TAB races to TAB events where possible during 2018/19 The introduction of a new trotters feature as part of the 2018 Winter Carnival The introduction of a QBRED feature for 2yo trotters In a further boost to this year’s APG Sales Queensland will play host to the 2018/19 APG 2yo finals set to be worth $350,000, meaning Queensland two year olds will have ‘home ground’ advantage for the series. The APG sales season starts on 27 January 2018 at Eagle Farm. Horses purchased at the sale will also be eligible for the $100k APG Brisbane Sale Graduate series. The Racing Queensland initiatives come as recent wagering figures from the Summer Carnival period point to solid interest in harness racing. The 2017 Summer Carnival saw feature racing highlighted by the Group 2 Queensland Cup supported for the first time by events such as the Australasian Young Drivers Championships and the inaugural Lady Drivers Invitational. The result saw wagering growth in November and December up over 10% and average race turnover up over 16% during the summer carnival period, when compared to 2016.  Racing Queensland will continue to improve its offering for harness punters in the coming months with Darren Clayton’s meeting form analysis to be enhanced through the addition of speed maps for all races and drivers to follow, best bets and suggested quaddies for all meetings. Brisbane Sale Lot Sire Dam Sex 1 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Our Guggenheim NZ Colt 2 Cammibest USA Perfect Sunset Filly 3 A Rocknroll Dance USA Rich Heritage Filly 4 Auckland Reactor NZ Shechoseus Filly 5 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Spirit Of Fun Colt 6 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Shesgotemgood Colt 7 Art Major USA Tatachilla Gelding 8 Mr Feelgood USA Strip Sir Colt 9 Art Major USA Talorem Colt 10 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Talented Tess Colt 11 A Rocknroll Dance USA Tout Le Monde NZ Colt 12 Hes Watching USA The Oval Office NZ Colt 13 Betterthancheddar USA Voodoo Tempo Filly 14 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Truly Famous Filly 15 A Rocknroll Dance USA Venetian Art NZ Filly 16 Mr Feelgood USA Venus Lindenny NZ Colt 17 Heston Blue Chip USA Walking On Air Colt 18 Mr Feelgood USA Catwalk Beauty Filly 19 Betterthancheddar USA Ark Danielle Colt 20 Mr Feelgood USA Chance The Walk Filly 21 Mach Three CA Arks Crystal Colt 22 Mr Feelgood USA Channelling Gold Colt 23 Mach Three CA Bronski Gorgeous Filly 24 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Art Start Colt 25 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Forever Gold Filly 26 Art Major USA Dont Break My Ark Colt 27 Mr Feelgood USA Girl In A Million Colt 28 Big Jim USA Empty Promises Filly 29 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Grace With Pace Colt 30 Mach Three CA English Elegance NZ Colt 31 Roll With Joe USA Exclusif Colt 32 Art Major USA Find Fake Cash NZ Colt 33 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Joyous Times Filly 34 Pet Rock USA Keep No Secrets Filly 35 Mr Feelgood USA Layback Cullen Colt 36 Betterthancheddar USA Gina Gina Filly 37 Mr Feelgood USA Magic In Motion Colt 38 Roll With Joe USA Kotare Cameo NZ Colt 39 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Misty Forever Colt 40 A Rocknroll Dance USA Lucy Kate Shannon Colt 41 Art Major USA Luna Royce NZ Filly 42 Mr Feelgood USA Moonlight Spirit NZ Filly 43 Mr Feelgood USA Megseyrun Colt 44 Mr Feelgood USA My Kind Of Girl Filly 45 Hurrikane Kingcole USA My Names Molly Colt   Racing Queensland

Queensland racing has been given a boost with the announcement of new prizemoney levels. Off the back of the Labor Government’s pledge to fund country racing in the state, backdated to the start of this financial year, Racing Queensland is in a position to make changes to the existing prizemoney schedule. Prize money for metropolitan races in Queensland will rise by $10,000 to $70,000 in most Saturday-class races under a new scheme announced by the state government. It is part of a $12 million a year injection of prize money across the three codes with thoroughbred racing to get $8.6 million, greyhounds $3 million and harness racing $400,000. The prize money upgrades, which will start on February 1, mean seven races currently worth $60,000 at Saturday metropolitan meetings will be worth $70,000. There will be two $40,000 restricted class races on each day. Racing Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said the additional prize money was a massive win for Queensland racing industry participants across all three codes. “Racing Queensland’s extended prize money package is exactly what the racing industry has been crying out for,” Hinchcliffe said. “It means an extra $12 million will be pumped directly into the industry each year across the thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing codes.” Provincial races at the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich would also receive increases. “Regional provincial clubs will have standard stakes boosted by $2,000 per race and northern feature carnivals will be increased by a total of $527,000 to be spread across carnivals from Rockhampton to Cairns,” Hinchcliffe said. “Overall the additional money represents a 16.6 per cent increase to metropolitan premier stake races while regional TAB races will see a 16 to 20 per cent increase from their current stakes.” Nathan Exelby Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail  

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

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