Day At The Track
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Who is the ‘Minister of Speed’ in Queensland? The answer to that question may well have been resolved yesterday at Albion Park when Brigadier Bronski staged an outstanding performance to defeat reigning Queensland pacer of the year in Majestic Mach and Caesar Augustus in a thrilling contest. Brigadier Bronski sat last in the 2138m event while Caesar Augustus and Majestic Mach raced together at the front of the field, as expected, all the power was in the back half of the race and that’s where the Stuart Hunter trained pacer made people sit up and take notice. Unleashing a devastating sprint from the 800m mark, Brigadier Bronski raced up three-wide without cover to join Caesar Augustus and Majestic Mach before sustaining the sprint over the final 400m to race clear and win with dominant authority. The final half was officially clocked in 27.6 and 27.9 seconds. Brigadier Bronski has been privately clocked to run his final half in 54.4 seconds. “That was sensational; I haven’t driven a horse like that with that type of speed for some time, he was so strong by the quarter and he felt just as good at the line.” Winning driver Shane Graham stated. Graham is no stranger to quality horseflesh either having sat behind the likes of dual Miracle Mile champion Be Good Johnny, Washakie, Torque In Motion, Sparkling Melody and Cobbity Classic among others. The talented reinsman has an excellent record with Brigadier Bronski, yesterday was his fifth victory from seven drives and he’s keen to stick with the in-form pacer. “If Stu wants me to drive in Sydney, I’ll be there for sure because I’m sure he will acquit himself well down there on that big track which will suit him down to the ground. “Each time I’ve sat behind him this campaign I have felt him become stronger but his sheer speed is sensational. He’s fast and he can hold that pace for quite some time as he proved with that win. “I wasn’t sure if he could keep going after racing wide outside Majestic Mach and Caesar Augustus but he did and he felt awesome, I could’ve dropped onto the back of Majestic Mach by the quarter but I didn’t want to alter his momentum. He’s right in the zone.” The victory of Brigadier Bronski over Majestic Mach was his first and also the first time that Majestic Mach has been beaten in Queensland. The talented trio will head to Sydney next month chasing an invitation for the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle. But the winning effort by Brigadier Bronski silenced many doubters. The Art Major entire has been brilliant this season winning seven of his twelve starts but yesterday’s victory has certainly elevated his claims for the March 2 feature. The $50,000 qualifiers at Menangle are scheduled for February 15 and 22, the Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Sprints. No longer is Brigadier Bronski lurking in the background. Video attached. by Chris Barsby

Grand Circuit warrior Washakie won’t be ready for the opening leg of the new season. The Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship at Albion Park kicks off the new season on October 26 for the eight leg series but the defending champion won’t be ready to defend his title. The millionaire pacer injured his pastern not long after winning the Renshaw Cup at Penrith back in April. “He’s back doing light duties but there’s no chance he’ll be ready for the Queensland carnival.” Trainer/driver John McCarthy said. The Queensland Spring Carnival during the month of October at Albion Park consists of the $30,000 Be Good Johnny Sprint on October 12 followed by the $75,000 Gold Coast Cup the following week while the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship completes the carnival. Washakie dominated the spring features last year winning both the Gold Coast Cup and the Queensland Pacing Championship defeating his stable mate Terrorway on both occasions. “It’s a shame he won’t be ready for those features again; he’s coming along nicely but he won’t be rushed back, we’re taking our time with him as he goes through plenty of swimming to build up his core fitness. The race that I’m keen to have him ready for is the Treuer Memorial on December 7 at Bankstown because he’s owned that race winning the last four editions. It would be pretty amazing if he could come back and win it for a fifth time. He just thrives racing at that tight track and being an old Bankstown boy myself it would be very special for all involved to win that race again.” Meanwhile, stablemate and Grand Circuit star in the making Terrorway is also back in work for McCarthy and is rated an outside chance of being ready for the Queensland features. The giant gelding was placed in all three events last season but like Washakie, McCarthy will bide his time with the proven Group One winner. “He’s coming along really well but I won’t rush him back; he’s done plenty of swimming and his fitness levels are quite good so we’ll just keep building on that at the moment. The Miracle Mile is an obvious target for a horse like him while the Inter Dominion next year is the long term goal. He’s a very classy horse that should return bigger and better after his break away from the track.” Terrorway was forced to the spelling paddock after suffering an injury after competing in the Hunter Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton earlier this year. by Chris Barsby

Mid-decade superstar Be Good Johnny proved that there was still zest in his 11 year old legs when he was victorious in last night's (Saturday January 1) Albion Park Free For All. Facing the starter for the 100th time, the Fake Left Millionaire settled at the tail of the field from his wide draw while his rivals cut out some quick sectionals up front.

The uncertain future of harness racing in Queensland and the imminent sale of Sydney's Harold Park Raceway are the two major reasons why the McCarthy family wants to establish a stable in New South Wales.

All roads lead to Yulestar Street, Albion this Saturday night (October 30) for the running of the first leg of the Barastoc harness racing grand circuit, the $200,000 Group 1 Garrard's Queensland Pacing Championship.

The Queensland Spring harness racing carnival commences this Saturday night with the inaugural running of the Listed $25,000 Rapidvite Be Good Johnny Sprint. The field assembled is absolutely top shelf with the majority of the best pacers in the land engaged.

Such is the depth of local harness racing talent on display in Queensland at present that even without Inter Dominion Champions Blacks A Fake and Mr Feelgood engaged this week, Saturday night's program still features the final tune up for two time Barastoc Grand Circuit winner Washakie and two time Miracle Mile winner Be Good Johnny over the 2138m journey.

Victorian harness racing star Smoken Up was the big winner at this afternoon's barrier draw for Friday night's $400,000 Group 1 SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup. The Lance Justice-trained-and-driven front-runner landed the coveted inside barrier for Victoria's premier Grand Circuit mobile event, which for the first time will be run at Melton's Tabcorp Park.

A triple Inter Dominion champion, last year's winner, the tearaway Barastoc Grand Circuit leader, Australia's fastest harness racing pacer and a Little Brown Jug hero headline entries for what shapes as a vintage SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup.

Michael Guerin from the New Zealand Herald reports in todays paper (Saturday the 7th of November) off a horror flight into Christchurch for the harness racing Cup horses Smoking Up, Washakie and Be Good Johnny that could have derailed thier chances off racing in the $1,000,000 New Zealand Cup next Tuesday.

At 6.30am this morning (Wednesday) the three remaining Australian challengers arrived for the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup, bright eyed, at Christchurch International Airport. At first glance the three harness racing stars travelled better than their respective trainers who had suffered at the hands of long flights and transits.

The New Zealand Metropolitan Troting Club has finalised its New Zealand Cup field for next Tuesday (November 10) to be run at Addington Raceway in Christchurch. Harness Racing New Zealand's showpiece event will be worth $1 million and run from the 3200m stand. The field is:

The biggest Australian assault on the New Zealand Trotting Cup in modern times was confirmed Sunday afternoon with the news that the Queensland trained Washakie and Be Good Johnny would be making the trip to Christchurch for the $1 million Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington Raceway on Tuesday 10 November.

Next Monday's (November 2) $60,000 Kaikoura Cup will be the 'last chance saloon' for several budding New Zealand Cup aspirants. The winner of the Group Two, 2400m standing start harness racing event should get an automatic entry into the Cup field. . . but for those that don't perform - the dream of a start in the $1m Cup at Addington Raceway on November 10 could be over.

With the shock withdrawals of freakesh pacer Auckland Reactor and defending champion Be Good Johnny, four invitations are now up for grabs in next weeks $500,000 SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile.

Two time defending champion, Be Good Johnny, was today scratched from next weeks $500,000 SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile. Trainer -driver John McCarthy rang NSW Harness Racing Chief Executive John Dumesny to tell him of the agonising decision.

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