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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

Having given last season's most successful harness racing drivers an airing two weeks ago, it is fitting that we should tell how local trainers fared at the elite level. Not surprisingly, the four trainers who finished in the state's top 10 are not spread throughout the greater Ipswich footprint. Rather, they are clumped together at the epicentre of "Ipswich Trot", the lower Brisbane Valley. Third placed was Chantal Turpin (Patrick Estate) with stats of 935 starters for 125 winners, 93 seconds, 96 thirds and 93 fourths. In the bank, an impressive $771,892. Fifth overall was Darrell Graham (Fernvale) with 782 runners for 106-96-97-83. Bank: $602,558. Sixth was John McMullen (Glamorganvale). He was sent round 922 times for 68 wins, 89 seconds, 79 thirds and 101 fourths. Bank: $313,247. Eighth was Ron Sallis (Wanora). He presented on 474 occasions, resulting in stats of 52-50-63-57. Bank: $257,400. The total prize earnings for the four stables was a hefty $1,945,097. That's a very impressive performance by all concerned, rendered even more so by my vivid memories of a time when Ipswich regulars thought that a winner at Rocklea was about as good as it was likely to get. Clear explanation needed QUESTION of the week. When is a mile rate not a mile rate? Answer: When it is published as an extrapolation of a gross time recorded over a distance less than a mile. Such times find their way into sales catalogues via the listing of broodmare's progeny. This published statement of performance could perhaps be viewed in law as at best misleading. Harness Racing Australia should attach a clear note of explanation to form lines, or ban the use of the term mile rate, in regards to such performances. Beers to enjoy THE "Octoberfest" theme of the Harriott Memorial trot meeting at Marburg on Sunday, October 22, gained more traction this week with the news that yet another "boutique" brewery has come on board for the big day. Newstead Brewing, based at Newstead and Milton, joins Brews Brothers of Woollongabba and Four Brothers Brewery from Toowoomba. For those who like a cold refreshing beer on a warm/hot spring day, this is a golden opportunity to widen your taste experience. Beers, ales, lagers and varied grain brews are the order of the day. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: E/w 8: Watch Pulp Fiction (C. Turpin). R2: Quinella 1-8: Timmo Time (M. Neilson) and Franco Totem (A. Richardson). R3: Quinella 1-8: Hereiam (S. Graham ) and Lancelot Bromac (H. Barnes). R4: Quinella 1-4: Written In Red (H. Barnes) and Philanderer (M. Neilson). R5: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Make a Statement (T. Dixon)-Pompidou (I Ross)-Macgoogan (M. Neilson). R6: E/w 4: Nolonga Your Choice (T. Lambourn). R7: Quinella 2-4: Ashleys Angel (G. Whitaker) and Onyajans (M. Neilson). R8: Box trifecta 1-7-10: Reds Jet Star (G. Dixon)- Midnight Prowler (M Neilson)-Annika Magic (M. Elkins). R9: Box trifecta 6-7-8: Monorail (R. Jenkins)- Releven Dream (S Graham)- Our Overannova (G. Dixon). Honour board A fresh face on the driver's side of the leader board this week as Brittany Graham shared honours with Pete McMullen on four wins apiece. Darrell Graham stood out as top trainer, also on four wins. Most pleasing was I'm Angus Mattgregor for Mitchell Dawson and Fui Fui for Peter Jones. There is no joy in being "cannon fodder" for the big guys. Albion Park, September 22: With Authority (Pete McMullen for John McMullen); My Ultimate Fella Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Master Montana (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Shareapassion (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, September 23: Threo (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); The Shady One (Trevor Lambourn); Alta Surreal (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Secret Smile (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Releven Dream (Pete McMullen for Shane Graham). Albion Park, September 26: Gangster Boy (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Good Time Stride (Rob Gorman); American Highlights (Trent Dawson). Redcliffe, September 27: Win Or Die (Nathan Dawson for Gary Vernon); Fui Fui (Gary Whitaker for Peter Jones); Circle Line (Anthony Gorman for Ron Wells); Oscars Glory (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Arbit Major (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly); Matt Belford (Rob Gorman for Murray Thomas). Redcliffe, September 28: I'm Angus Mattgregor (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Rocky Carrington (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); I'm Johnny Jet (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Clear the runway, the Cain plane is taking off. Harness racing driver Leonard Cain, 18, is keen to keep building on his stellar rookie season and has set himself key targets for the new season. Last night (Saturday) at Albion Park, Cain landed his first metropolitan winner of the new season (2017/18) when successful aboard Wicked Time in the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Mares Pace in a time of 1:55.9 defeating Katniss by a half head margin. “At first I thought I had been nipped right on the line but wasn’t completely sure so I was relieved when the number was semaphored. It’s a great feeling winning on a Saturday night, she looked well-placed and felt awesome the whole way and she tried all the way to the finish and had her ears pinned back because she wanted to win.” Cain said. Punters were also relieved; Wicked Time was the $2.10 favourite. The victory was his second on the Saturday night circuit following his maiden triumph behind Border Cross last month (August 19). And the dedicated fresh-faced horseman is keen to keep racking up the winners, at all tracks including the Saturday night venue. 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. That’s more than the likes of Grant Dixon, Luke & Todd McCarthy, Shane Graham, Natalie Rasmussen plus Pete & Narissa McMullen among many others. The previous record belonged to Brittany Graham at 40. Cain displayed natural poise and skill during that opening term which resulted in success at all three harness venues in the Sunshine State - Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg. The son of Errol and Debra Cain, a graduate of the mini-trotting ranks, took on a role with the leading stable of Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham around eighteen months ago and remains their today. And he’s grasped the opportunities, both on and off the track. “Both Shane and Vicki have been tremendous, apart from family support; they’ve been the best thing for my career and gave me the best kick-start possible with a host of opportunities, advice and support. “Naturally, I was absolutely thrilled with my results during my first season. I had a dream run to reach 50 winners let alone exceed that, it wasn’t even in my thoughts when I was first granted my licence. “Shane has been a massive influence and is endlessly working to make me better, the amount of advice and experience he has given me over the last year has been fantastic and something I don’t take for granted.” With 3 winners on the board for the current term, Cain is mindful he is well short of the record figure he set himself last season but is determined to improve on that figure again. But he won’t make any bold predictions on what he’s hoping to achieve. “To reach the same figure as last season would be huge but obviously I would like to expand on that number. The main focus will be to showcase improvement. “I’ll be checking in with Shane as always while I like to watch and take in the techniques and tactics from guys like Chris Alford, Luke and Todd McCarthy plus Chris Geary among others.” So, here’s hoping for another productive season. Chris Barsby

It's a long way from Perth to Brisbane, but ex-Western Australian harness racing trainer/driver Michael Tenardi is probably thinking he has pulled the right rein in coming this way. The stable rep, Top Flight Cruize, has had two starts at Redcliffe on successive Wednesday nights for an eye-catching second followed by an impressive "all the way” victory on Wednesday. The winning margin was a widening 11.7 metres, the mile rate 1-58.7. The five-year-old gelded son of Mr Aviator and Lucinda Lombo boasts stats of 20 starts for three wins, four seconds and three thirds with a bank roll of $18,643. All in all, the trainer/ driver/horse combo looks set for a bright future in south east Queensland. Tenardi must have made a geographical study of the area. He has chosen to settle in the lower Brisbane Valley, the land of winners. It's a great start and we wish him well. One for the diary MODERN folk live a busy life and tend to plan their weekend social activities well in advance. To this end, keep Sunday, October 22 aside for the Graham Harriott Memorial meeting at Marburg. This will be great family fun day, incorporating "Octoberfest” with beer tasting from two boutique breweries, specialty food stalls, craft stalls and a super program of country trotting. Whip debate latest THE much debated whip use issue continues to tread water with a final rule somewhere in hazy future. The following is an update from Harness Racing Australia's Geoff Want. "There is no doubt whip use is now an issue throughout the harness racing world, with administrators in most member countries of the International Trotting Association expressing their concern at the recent World Trotting Conference in Canada. "Apart from Norway, where whips have been banned in racing for many years, most countries concede reform of whip actions is imperative. "In Sweden, there was a huge outcry after the Hambletonian was televised recently, even though the iconic race at the Meadowlands was won by a Swedish horse, Perfect Spirit. "Viewers felt the Swedish driver used the whip too much and staged a protest at their major track, Solvalla, the first such protest in Swedish harness racing in more than a decade. "As a result, Swedish authorities are considering a ban all coverage of United States harness racing in what is a lucrative market for the American product. "Significant voices in the US are now also acknowledging that community expectations are relevant to whip use. "One of the most highly regarded and awarded drivers in North America, the recently retired John Campbell, speaking at the Conference Symposium, explained that while he believes strongly in retaining the whip for safety purposes, it had been his long held view that one handed whipping should not be allowed - nor should raising the whipping arm above the shoulder. "No one country is immune to global community expectations and we must continue to explore means of securing the sustainability of our industry. I'm sure that, with the same foresight and goodwill already shown in Australia, we will continue to grapple with this difficult but vital issue. "As we put the detail to a possible wrist-only rule, we should keep in mind that our decisions are for the sake of our industry, to attract new young entrants, and to stay vibrant and viable.'' My view is we have explored enough. HRA should put in place a rule combining hand, rein and restricted wrist action with severe penalties for abuse of the rule. We have excellent patrol films to identify this abuse. All we need now from our stewards panels is the will to stamp out the practice, now and in the future. An interesting issue on the matter of risk emanating from use of the angled mobile barrier is the need to widen the gap between the number brackets on the arms to compensate for the reduction in width when the barrier is angled across the lines of travel of the barrier vehicle and the horses, which are a series of parallel lines. Check it out. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Karloo Ten Seventy (C. Owen)-Written In Red (Madi Dux)-Likeallofus (L. Cain). R2: E/w 2: The Charging Moa (P. McMullen). R3: E/w3: Majestic Mach (T. Dixon). R4: E/w 1: Lenny The Legend (C.Owen). R5: Quinella 2-3: Sports Chaton (T. Dixon) and Living Grand (H. Barnes). R6: Quinella 1-4: Crowning Glory (M. Elkins) and Surface To Air (G. Elkins). R7: E/w 1: Wicked Time (L. Cain). R8: Quinella 2-3: Secret Smile (D. McMullen) and Midnight Prowler (M. Neilson). R9: Quinella 1-7: The Space Invader (N. McMullen) and Avonnova (P. McMullen). R10: Box trifecta 2-4-6: Giacomo (I. Ross)-Our Overannova (T. Dixon)-Monorail (R. Jenkins). Honour board The leader board shows Darrell Graham to be the top trainer with five winners for the week. Nathan Dawson clawed his way back onto the drivers podium at seven wins, on schedule for another century-topping season. Meanwhile, with 28 of the 40 races run and won this week, the Ipswich footprint had a 70% presence in Victory Lane. Albion Park, September 15: Soi Cowboy (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Culley Backy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Ferdinand (Chantal Turpin); Horace Foxley (Trent Dawson for Tahn Camilleri); Ocean Predator (Nathan Dawson for Greg Elkins). Albion Park, September 16: Watch Pulp Fiction (Chantal Turpin); Franco Totem (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Blue Pointer (Matt Elkins for Mark Dux); Tallyho Bromac (Nathan Dawson for Ian Gurney); Rory Mach (Darrell Graham); Annika Magic (Matt Elkins for Kerry Smith); Riverleigh Jeff (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves). Albion Park, September 19: The Charging Moa (Pete McMullen for Shane Graham); Django Mach (Narissa McMullen); Subtle Delight (Nathan Dawson for Terry Hancock); Glenferrie Boss (Gary Whitaker for Trevor Lambourn); Jack Hammer (Trevor Lambourn). Redcliffe, September 20: Win Or Die (Nathan Dawson for Gary Vernon); Riverleigh William Hayden Barnes for Josh Moore); Little Lizzie Jove (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Top Flight Cruize (Michael Tenardi); Flashing Good Time (Hayden Barnes for John McMullen). Redcliffe, September 21: Got The Moon (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); I'm rolling Stoned (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Drive The Dream (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Vanto Hanover (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Ernie Barrasso (Pete McMullen for Nick Pugliese); Razen Trouble (Adam Richardson for Darrell Graham). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

On behalf of the racing industry in Queensland, RQ extends its condolences to the family and friends of Sam Zammit, a much respected participant in the Queensland industry.    Sam's career in harness racing began in Sydney as a 16 year old before moving north to set up camp in Queensland where his career highlights included winning the first harness race every run under lights at Albion Park on 7 September 1968.  Sam continued training trotters in the Redcliffe region up until 1989 when he sold his training property where today the land including Zammit Oval is used for little athletics. Sam's funeral service will be held at Mary Immaculate Church, 31 Edmund Rice Dr, Ashmore on Friday the 15th at 2pm.   RQ Media

The club that calls Albion Park racetrack home has lodged an application to have it heritage listed, in a move that could force the State Government to declare its stance on the track’s possible sale. It is understood the application centres around not only the racing history at the track but its Aboriginal history. The site is home to one of the first indigenous camps in Brisbane. Albion Park Harness Racing Club chairman David Fowler said the track played an important role in the history of all codes of racing in Queensland. “It’s got a lot of history to it, and I think it should be acknowledged in Brisbane’s history for the role it has played in the three codes of racing,” he said. “It was probably more iconic as a galloping circuit because they raced there during the war and from the late 1800s. “It was a real venue to not only watch the races but also to socialise because it went hand-in-hand with the Breakfast Creek Hotel.” The harness club application follows a similar one it lodged with the local council. It is the latest salvo in the battle between the club and Racing Queensland, which has expressed its desire to seek alternative venues for harness racing. Mr Fowler said it was time the State Government and Racing Queensland told the industry what their plans were for the prized piece of land. “All we keep getting is mixed messages — are they going to sell it or aren’t they?” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I want racing to stay at Albion Park. I’m not silly enough to realise that trotting can go by itself, it needs other sports, like what we have proposed with the AFL, to embrace the community but also give us income streams outside racing.” The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is accepting submissions into the proposed heritage listing until September 11. By Trenton Akers Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail

Is the standoff over the future of Albion Park causing the delay in other infrastructure project allocations and announcements? Racing Queensland chief executive Eliot Forbes was quoted in February saying advice to government on infrastructure plans would be given “towards the end of March” but as we sit here in mid-August, the only major announcement has been funding for Ipswich. Gold Coast continues to wait in the wings on what its allocation, if any, will be from the available funds. The club has been waiting since 2011, when it was allocated infrastructure funding under former RQ chairman Bob Bentley. RQ has $53 million at its disposal for infrastructure as part of the 2014 UBET deal, but is clearly hoping to swell that pot. Albion Park and the Tabcorp merger with Tatts are the two immediate possibilities of achieving that. RQ’s initial plans to sell Albion Park were scuttled by council. The Albion Park Harness Racing Club countered with a Kevin Seymour-inspired proposal that would keep the track and provide for a big capital injection. However, it assumed all profits would go to harness racing and provocatively offered RQ “rental space” at the refurbished premises. RQ is in no doubt it is the legal owner of Albion Park, a point acknowledged by APHRC chairman David Fowler in a recent Radio TAB interview with Forbes. The proposal put forward by Seymour is a good one — if the two parties can agree on how the spoils are shared. A joint venture would seem the logical way forward, but right now, it’s a stalemate — to the detriment of other urgently needed projects. ****** No doubt the Eagle Farm debacle hasn’t helped infrastructure announcements, given money will be taken from that pot to fund the rebuild. A “project control group”, including RQ and the BRC, has been established and will meet ON Monday to discuss the final elements of the scope of the project and finalise “critical timelines”. Specifications are being finalised so that a tender can go out over the next month. Racing Queensland is in the process of investigating options for sand and turf supplies. “Talks are underway with several quarries for the sand required. Testing of sand samples is continuing to find the right material for the job,” RQ said in a statement. “Initial discussions have also been held with turf suppliers to ensure the right turf can be supplied in the quality and quantity required.” By Nathan Exelby, The Sunday Mail (Qld) Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

It is quite a long time since arrests were made in South East Queensland harness racing, related to alleged "race fixing" practices. As is normal, the unusual event was followed by a flood of rumour, innuendo, and perhaps invention. At this point, with little information released by QRIC, the whole episode appears bogged down in the legal process, as certain statutory requirements must be met to ensure, among other things, that the principles of "natural justice" are satisfied. It seems that both harness racing and QRIC would benefit by a modification of the Rules Of Harness Racing (Qld) to include time limits for matters to be dealt with. The presumption of innocence, and the granting of continuing "stays of proceedings'', do nothing for the trainer or driver who applies their skills in strict accordance with the rules. He or she is compelled to compete against participants who may or may not have an advantage of one type or another. Those honest people deserve at least the same level of protection, as is afforded under the "presumption of innocence" to those whom the Integrity suspects may not be so. If you would like a balanced view of the above proceedings you could read ace race caller David Fowler's blog at www. horseracingonly.com.au Fowler's points are well made. Omen bet ON the odd occasion we will hear of a winner described as "an omen bet", followed by "we should have been on that". One such opportunity may have gone begging in the last race on day one of the Redwood Carnival recently at Maryborough in Victoria. Maybe no planets were aligned at the time but here is the list of related factors. The race name was Olympus Feeds Australasia Trot. The runner in question was FATouche. The dam of FATouche was UR WHATU EAT. A $14.60 winner went begging because us mugs did not do our form in sufficient depth. Overseas challenge AUSTRALIAN representative Shane Graham is headed across the inter- national date line to Canada. He will be going round in the first leg of the 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC) at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. All legs of the WDC will be televised live on Sky Racing, starting tomorrow morning Australian time. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the first of five legs. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position. The top point- earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000. The defending champion, New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Ric Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. The Century Downs leg consists of five races, with the WDC races slated for races 4-8. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta in four 4-5-7-9: Frankie Rocks (G. Dixon)-Outlaw Fella (G. Dixon)-Drive The Dream- Catcha Lefty. R2: Box trifecta 1-2-7: Strawberry Courage (G. Dwyer)-Written In Red (P. Diebert)-Bettor Promise (M. Neilson). R3: E/w 5: Polished Rocks (M. Neilson). R4: Quinella 2-4: Onedin Highlander (M. Falkner) and Pompidou (G. Dixon). R5: E/w 11: Only The Brave (G. Dixon). R6: Quinella 3-4: Ark Patrol (G. Dixon ) and Arts Treasure (J. Rattray). R7: Quinella 2-6: Lenny The Legend (C. Owen) and Philanderer M. Neilson). R8: Box trifecta 1-7-8: Lancelot Bromac (N Dawson)-Ultimate Art (A. Sanderson)-Alleluia (G. Dixon). R9: Quinella 2-3: Karloo Mac (H. Barnes), Ruato Bay (C. Petroff). R10: Quinella 2-8: Heavens Hint (N. Dawson) and Rockin Riches (G. Dixon). Honour board Nathan Dawson reigned supreme as driver on the leader board with seven wins, including trebles at Albion Park Tuesday and Recliffe Thursday. Training laurels were spread thin with Darrell Graham and John McMullen dead heating on just two winners apiece. Most pleasing was Adam Richardson, re-inventing himself after a stint back home in Wagga NSW with three winning drives. Albion Park, August 4: With Authority (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Alpha Styx (Adam Sanderson for Colin Frisby); Blazing VC (Rob Gorman for Ray Jenkins); Franco Totem (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Charms On A Roll (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, August 5: Royal Jacquard (Nathan Dawson for Greg Elkins). Marburg, August 5: Ole Sun (Nathan Dawson for Mal Charlton); Zenmach (Paul Matis); Machbino (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); It's All Go (Nathan Dawson for Matt Elkins); Domestic Art Hayden Barnes for Wayne Davis). Albion Park, August 8: Lavros Segil (Narissa McMullen for Brad Connelly); Glenferrie Baby (Trent Dawson); Culley Backy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Redcliffe, August 9: Royal Taz (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Tarin Kowt (Nathan Dawson for Ron Sallis); The Restauranteur (Adam Richardson); The Harlem Hammer (Gary Whitaker for Doug Lee); Living Grand (Hayden Barnes for Steven Furey); Digby Diva (Mathew Neilson for Jason Carkeet). Redcliffe, August 10: Vanto Hanover (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Fon Ideal (Adam Richardson for Donny Smith); Handy Bonus (Nathan Dawson for Terry Hancock); Merrylands Miss (Rob Gorman for Neil Coy); No Confession (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie); Smiling Armada (Anthony Gorman for Trevour Lambourn); Ketut (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); The Shady One (Rob Gorman for Trevor Lambourn). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

The days of Destreos racing at Albion Park are limited. Very limited. Destreos, aka King of the Creek, is the most winningest horse at the famed Breakfast Creek racetrack with 72 victories, is set to finish his wonderful career in Tasmania. Prepared by Ken Rattray and raced by his partner Sally Stingel, Destreos is set to leave the Sunshine State for the Apple Isle on Monday week (July 24th) following the sale of their Jimboomba property. Destreos starts at Albion Park tomorrow (Saturday) night, the final night of the 2017 Brisbane winter carnival before backing up again next Tuesday afternoon. The 13-year-old marvel has 95 career wins and could easily improve on that in the coming days. Cheer on Dex – an absolute star of Queensland harness racing! ***** Catcha Lefty, a winner of the Queensland Derby last season, resumes tomorrow night (Saturday). The four-year-old pacer starts in the Ranvet Pace and will run from the coveted inside gate where he will start a commanding favourite following an impressive trial earlier this week. Prepared by Cristina Monte and Charlie Cini, the Village Jasper gelding scored in the 1660m trial rating 1:53.9 – sectionals of 28.4, 30, 27.9 and 27.7 seconds. Catcha Lefty hasn’t raced since finishing at the rear of the field at TABCORP Park, Menangle on February 11. ***** Giant pacer Major Cam is looking to bounce back tomorrow (Saturday) night at Albion Park. The Art Major gelding missed a start in last week’s feature, the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint owing to an elevated temperature. Prepared by Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks, Major Cam starts in the UBET – Multi Builder Pace over the 1660mand will be handled by Mat Neilson.  Major Cam has won 3 of his 4 starts this campaign while winning 12 from 22 overall. ***** Following the retirement news of classy mare Purple Royale recently, Team Elkins suffered another blow. Handy performers Flaming Hero and Royal Jacquard were involved in a track work incident and have sent for an immediate break. Flaming Hero has created a good impression since arriving in Queensland by winning 4 of his 8 starts at Albion Park, the Courage Under Fire gelding finished 6th behind Spare Me Days at his most recent start in the Listed $25,000 Mr Feelgood Open on July 1. Royal Jacquard has also won 4 races at Albion Park. ***** Talented trotter Twice As Much is almost ready to start his Brisbane campaign. Now under the care of Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham, the Sam Bourbon five-year-old gelding scored in an Albion Park trial on Tuesday. Twice As Much was previously prepared by his co-owner, leading Victorian based mentor Anton Golino who shares ownership with leading French horseman Jean-Pierre Dubois. Leading driver Anthony Butt will be hoping to add another feature race tomorrow (Saturday) night at Albion Park before serving a suspension incurred from Melton’s feature meeting last weekend. Butt heads to Brisbane to partner in-form pacer My Field Marshal in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship for trainer and Brother Tim. The brothers combined to win the Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final at Albion Park with Take A Moment back in 2001. The suspension starts after the weekend. ***** Great to see so many of the best drivers in the country competing at Albion Park tomorrow (Saturday) night. Interstate drivers in action include Mark Purdon, Chris Alford, Luke McCarthy, Kerryn Manning, James Rattray, Anthony Butt and Greg Sugars among many others. Leading Perth based drivers Michael Grantham and Stuart McDonald are also competing at the card. Gary Hall Jnr. is also making the trip east – the Hall stable won the 2014 Blacks A Fake with champion pacer Im Themightyquinn. And the Purdon clan will also be in attendance. Making the trip with Mark is his sons Nathan and Michael while legendary horseman Roy will also be trackside to cheer on his pacer The More The Better, the clear favourite in the Queensland Derby. Nathan Purdon won the Blacks A Fake last year with Ohoka Punter.Qld Winter Carnival News Briefs Chris Barsby

The second night of the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival at Albion Park belonged to the Victorians. Brilliant filly Shartin dominated the Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks when leading all the way for trainer Dean Braun and driver Luke McCarthy defeating My Casino Belle and race favourite Partyon in the 2138m feature. Shartin led comfortably from her inside draw and ambled through the lead time in 38.9 seconds with My Casino Belle tucking into the trail position while Partyon pushed forward to race outside the leader and then presenting Delightful Memphis in the one out one back trail. Over the final mile, McCarthy allowed Shartin to roll and posted sectionals of 29.8, 29.9, 27.9 and 26.4 seconds. Shartin rated 2:32.9, a mile rate of 1:55.1. Facing the starter for only the ninth time in her career, the Tintin In America filly has now won six times which also includes her triumph in the Tasmania Oaks earlier this season. The Queensland Oaks has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Braun who has enjoyed success previously with Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014). It is expected that both Shartin and My Casino Belle will back-up next week and tackle the boys in the Queensland Derby. Speed machine Hectorjayjay claimed back to back victories in the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint defeating My Field Marshal and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:54.1. The time is one of the slowest in recent years; in fact, it’s the slowest time since the incomparable Blacks A Fake scored in 2011 in a time of 1:54.5. Leading easily, Hectorjayjay and driver Josh Aiken strolled through the opening half in 29.4 and 30.8 seconds which instantly nullified the winning chances of his rivals. My Field Marshal worked around the field quickly and raced outside Hectorjayjay while Lennytheshark sat behind his stablemate. Racing down the back straight, Hectorjayjay was full of racing and the third split was timed in a leisurely 29.2 seconds. In the straight, the sprint went into overdrive and Hectorjayjay was able to hold My Field Marshal by a neck margin with Lennytheshark a further 6m away in third. The last quarter was clocked in 25.7 seconds. Hectorjayjay is prepared by David Aiken and was handled by his son Josh. The victory pushed his earnings past the $1 million mark. It was his 41st victory from 78 starts. Hectorjayjay becomes the first pacer since Cobbity Classic (2005/06) to claim back to back victories in the sprint feature. Next week, the open class feature is the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake over the staying distance of 2680m. The More The Better, nominal favourite for next week’s Queensland Derby capped his campaign with another stylish display in the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Provincial Derby defeating Pretty Hot and Cowboys N Aliens. Fresh from his success last week in the Premiers Cup, The More The Better and driver Natalie Rasmussen sat back in the field while the leaders set a hot speed up front. In the end, the Bettors Delight colt proved too classy winning by 6m in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m distance. The $20,540 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes was taken out by talented local mare Cherish The Moment who beat race favourite Bettorthanspecial and Joys A Babe in a time of 1:53.9. Cherish The Moment is trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon. The Mach Three mare has now won 13 of her 40 starts with earnings in excess of $120,000. Next week, the features include the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.2 $75,000 Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby

High profile New Zealand harness racing trainer / driver Mark Jones' Winter Carnival aspirations suffered a blow when high class mare Rocker Band went to join millionaire pacer Bling It On as a patient at Gatton University. Trot enthusiast Chris Barsby explains what happened. "After arriving last week and joining her stablemates Delightful Memphis and Kowhai Monarch, the Mark Jones trained mare was struck down by acute case of travel sickness and was rushed to Gatton for further treatment,'' Barsby said. "She was very crook when she arrived and Scott Miller (host trainer) was rather concerned. After his vet checked her over, he recommended we send her to Gatton.'' "Since being there she has stabilised but we may have found another issue with an abscess in her back region and it may require an operation,'' Mark Jones said. Rocker Band was being considered for a number of features in the coming weeks, open class events plus the $20,000 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes on July 8. The Rocknroll Hanover mare, a daughter of New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, finished a luckless third in the Group 3 $31,800 Frith Stakes at TABCORP Park, Menangle on June 17. The proven Group One winner is raced by Gold Coast businessman Greg Brodie, of Courage Under Fire fame and has enjoyed little luck on Australian soil this campaign. "It's disappointing but her health is the most important thing because she is so valuable as a broodmare, she's a great race mare while her pedigree is as good as anything in this part of the world. "I was looking at a number of features with her in Brisbane but the focus is getting her back to full health. "I can't thank Scott enough for the effort he went to last week, he went above and beyond and basically saved her. I'm forever thankful to him for that." Jones said. Female talent rises EQUALITY of the sexes was hammered home last Saturday night with three female drivers taking out half of the 10 race program. Doubles were enjoyed by Madi Dux and Trista Dixon with Isobel Ross scoring in the opening event. What was an exclusively male world half a century ago has become the land of opportunity for the girls. We have come a long way from suffragette Emily Davison throwing herself to her death under the King's horse Anmer in the English Derby of 1913 in the quest for women's votes. Welcome boost ONE for the good news basket was the announcement that Racing Queensland (RQ) will enhance returns to racing industry participants in 2017/18 by increasing prize money. RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said commercial decisions made by the new RQ Board have led to better than forecast financial results allowing for the budget increase next year. 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. From a harness racing perspective, with a $505,000 slice of the pie, Redcliffe's Wednesday and Thursday programs will be increased with the eight race programs to consist of five races at $4450 and three races at $3450. Additionally, an extra 2YO QBRED Breeders Series has been added, which will culminate with two $25,000 finals, one for colts and geldings and one for fillies and the QBRED win bonus scheme will be enhanced with 4YO's now eligible for a $2500 bonus for their first 4YO win (this is in addition to the existing $7500 on offer for eligible horses first 2YO win and 3YO win). With the July program already published, there will be some additional money for that month, with the schedule above, kicking in from August 1. Marburg reminder DON'T forget that Marburg races next Saturday. The Pick the card comp has jackpotted to $1100, there's a monster raffle, $100 gate entry betting voucher and a valuable piece of locally crafted jewellery will head the Funny Money auction after the last race. Admission is $5 for adults, pensioners and students $3 and racebooks are $3. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 1-4: Our Hi Jinx (A. Sanderson) and Major Cam (M Neilson). R2: Quinella 1-12: Bettabe Perfect (P. McMullen) and Written In Red (P. Diebert). R3: Quinella 2-4: A Good Chance (G. Whitaker) and Our Leonardo (K. Dawson). R4: Box trifecta in four 3-4-11-12: Miss Irish Rose (B Graham)-Summertime Lizzie (A. Sanderson)- Bettor Than Special (M Neilson)-Joys A Babe (G. Dixon). R5: Box trifecta in four 1-10-11-12: Hughie Green (J. Cremin)-Avonnova (A. Sanderson)-Spare Me Days (B. Hewitt)-Watch Pulp Fiction (C. Turpin). R6: Quinella 8-15: The More The Better (M. Purdon) and Nui Noc Tien (L. McCarthy). R7: Quinella 3-6: Leos Best (G Dixon) and Mattgregor (P. McMullen). R8: Box trifecta2-5-6: Delightful Memphis (L McCarthy)-My Casino Belle (B Hewitt)-Takara Truffle (M Neilson). R9: Quinella 11-12: Get In The Groove (G. Dixon) and Bacchus Raucous (T Moffat). R10: Box trifecta in four 1-3-4-7: Senitas Success (A. Sanderson)-Kowhai Monarch (M. Jones)-Riene Des Gitans (P. McMullen)-Melpark Royal Son (J Cremin). Honour board From an overall training and driving perspective, some weeks are a feast and some weeks a famine across the greater Ipswich footprint. It looked like the latter last week with local trainers and drivers having input to one or both disciplines for no less than 25 winners spread across six meetings. The leader board, while containing no unfamiliar names, produced a change with Nathan Dawson logging six wins in the sulky with Pete McMullen close up on five. Chantal Turpin made sure that the Patrick Estate stable maintained its current form, leading in five winners for the week. Most pleasing were Steve Bunz with Change The Nation, and Rob Gorman for Trevor Lambourn scoring with Just Leave. Albion Park, June 23: One Last Roll (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Wicked Time (Adam Sanderson for Vicki Rasmussen); Shareapassion (Pete McMullenfor Chantal Turpin); Bull Market (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, June 24: Annika Magic (Matt Elkins for Kerry Smith); Rory Mach (Darrell Graham); Miss Irish Rose (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Mattgregor (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Redcliffe, June 26: Magnussen (Lachie Manzelmann for Brittany Graham); Ima Sea Storm (Nathan Dawson for Graeme White); Change the Nation (Nathan Dawson for Steve Bunz); My Change Of Heart (Nathan Dawson for Ricky Gordon); Just Leave (Rob Gorman for Trevor Lambourn). Albion Park, June 27: Northern Muscle (Denis Smith); Bettabe Perfect Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); How We Roll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); I'm Born To Rule (Gary Whitaker for Kenny Rattray). Redcliffe, June 28: Kalinda (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); My Wingman (Nathan Dawson for Ricky Gordon); Corey William (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig). Redcliffe, June 29: Slippery Jade (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Doolittle Dandy (Leonard Cain for Ricky Hart); Bob Gage (Gary Whitaker for Ron Sallis); I'm Johnny Jet (Darrell Graham). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

The All Stars harness racing stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have arrived in Brisbane. Originally, three pacers were set for the three-year-old features but an injury to star filly Spanish Armada reduced the team back to two. More The Better and Partyon will fly the flag for the leading New Zealand stable next month at Albion Park. The pair of highly regarded pacers is based with Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen at their Stanmore property, north of Brisbane. More The Better will tackle the Derby classics while Partyon will start in the Oaks features. ********** Former Grand Circuit winner Our Hi Jinx is close to a return. A winner of the 2015 Queensland Pacing Championship, the Christian Cullen gelding is now prepared by Ian Gurney and has shaped nicely in a number of recent public trials. In his latest effort yesterday (Tuesday), Our Hi Jinx finished stoutly to run down stablemate Smooth Showgirl and Amajorjo in a time of 1:53.4 for the 1660m. Our Hi Jinx hasn’t raced since failing at Melton back in October last year when prepared by David Aiken. ********** Impressive New Zealand three-year-old Mongolian Storm won’t make the trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby next month. Trainer Paul Court has been deliberating for some time about an assault on the Queensland winter carnival and despite a hugely impressive winning performance last Friday night at Addington, the Courage Under Fire colt will remain on Kiwi soil. Mongolian Storm scored easily by over two lengths while rating 1:54.7 for the 1950m event. A winner of 5 races from 26 starts, the colt is raced by the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry syndicate. Court was the co-trainer of three times New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love. ********** Recent Redcliffe Derby winner Paternity Suit is now being set for the Gr.3 $30,630 Premiers Cup at Albion Park on July 1, the opening night of the Albion Park winter carnival. The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding qualified safely from the standing start yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park. Prepared by husband and wife team of Grant and Trista Dixon, Paternity Suit starts on Friday at Albion Park in the final of the $10,500 Seymour Pot of Gold Final. ********** Bathurst trainer Steve Turnbull is considering a tilt at the Queensland Derby on July 15 with his talented pacer Joes Star Of Mia. The Roll With Joe colt starts on Sunday at TABCORP Park, Menangle in the Gr.1 $153,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Final for three-year-old colts and geldings where he has drawn gate three. Joes Star Of Mia is bred and raced by John Starr. ********** Connections of former New Zealand filly Kotare Yarra are showing considerable interest in the Queensland Oaks. The $75,000 feature is scheduled for July 8 at Albion Park. Prepared by Phillip Walters, the Bettors Delight filly starts this Friday night at Ballarat where she has drawn gate five. A runner-up at her past two starts, Kotare Yarra has won three races on Victorian soil following her purchase from the Christchurch stables of Robert Dunn. ********** Gotta Go Ya Hu remains on track for the Queensland Derby. The Big Jim gelding scored an effortless victory at Newcastle last Saturday night for the Shane and Lauren Tritton and driver Ben Woodsford. Gotta Go Ya Hu scored easily in a time of 1:55.3 for the 1609m. He has now two of his three starts since arriving from New Zealand. The $75,000 Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 15. ********** The regally bred Our Dainty Lady set a track record with her victory at Albion Park last Saturday night. Starting from a back mark of 30m, the Pegasus Spur mare recorded a time of 2:00.5 for the 2647m discretionary handicap. The previous mark was held by Releven Dream at 2:00.8. Our Dainty Lady is a daughter of former champion trotting mare Pride Of Petite, a winner of 35 races and close to a million dollars in prizemoney. ********** The Darrel Graham stable has been bolstered with the purchase of New Zealand three-year-old Franco Totem. The Changeover gelding has been placed in both starts to date at the recent Nelson meetings. He was previously prepared by Steve McRae. Franco Totem has been purchased by Dean Shannon. ********** Proven Gr.1 winner Rocker Band is headed to Brisbane. The classy mare was desperately unlucky when third in last week’s Gr.3 $31,800 Frith Stakes behind Onlykidding and Killara Ninja at TABCORP Park, Menangle in a time of 1:51.7. Trainer Mark Jones has several options for the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover – Mainland Banner marked out in the coming weeks. ********** Former New Zealand pacer Ashton K looks set to make his local debut. Following a number of trials, the Grinfromeartoear – Spicey gelding won his most recent effort at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday) in a time of 1:56.6. Ashton K has won 4 of his 6 starts to date but hasn’t raced since winning at Addington during Cup week of 2015. Raced in partnership by Garth Ritchie and Stonewall Stud, the talented pacer is now prepared by Trevor Lambourn. Chris Barsby

A harness racing driver has been slapped with a ham-fisted three-month suspension because of a fundraising pig whose name “boar” similarities to that of a racing official. Dannielle McMullen was suspended for three months for “misconduct” after her prank at the recent BOTRA Charity race day in a penalty that left harness racing participants with disbelief. McMullen did not drive at the meeting, preferring to help raise funds for the charity, being a full-time employee of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club. One of the fundraisers on the day was a pig race, where participants could “buy” a pig. McMullen took up an offer to race one of the contestants, before deciding to give it a name that had a striking resemblance to deputy chief harness steward Kwan Wolsey. The pig, officially named Qualm, won the race and McMullen even took the winning ribbon to show Wolsey. Nothing further was said on the day. The “incident” took a turn for the worse two days later when McMullen was issued with a misconduct charge by stewards. Harness racing driver Dannielle McMullen. Picture: Dan Costello At a subsequent inquiry presided over by Joseph Elliott, Kerry Lathopolous and Robyn McCrae from the QRIC Integrity Regulatory Unit, McMullen was suspended and fined $500. The driver estimates the suspension could cost as much as $10,000. As she’s also a trainer, she has already relinquished horses in her care to other stables. Albion Park Harness Racing Club chairman David Fowler said the penalty was “over the top”. “Maybe Dannielle should have been more mindful, but the penalty is way out of kilter for a somewhat innocent mistake,” he said. “In her employ at Albion Park, I have never once had reason to question her respect or manners.” Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett vigorously defended the sentence on Friday and said he expected QRIC staff to be “treated with a high level of respect”. “This action was inappropriate and showed a lack of respect and disregard for common decency in relation to a QRIC staff member. Ms Wolsey felt disrespected by this regrettable incident,” Barnett said. McMullen is now awaiting the result of an internal review of the penalty before deciding if she will appeal the verdict to QCAT. 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

The McCarthy name is synonymous in Queensland harness racing circles. A decade of dominance in the Sunshine State will leave an effect. It must. And it has. From John being the leading trainer and producing plenty of star performers following moving his young family from Bathurst, his three boys all commenced their race driving careers in Queensland and the rest is history. And now the youngest member of the famous clan will return and looks set to play a leading hand in the state’s biggest event, the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. Fresh from success with outstanding pacer Tiger Tara in the Gr.3 $31,800 Garrards Golden Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle last Saturday, Todd McCarthy and trainer Kevin Pizzuto are eyeing the Brisbane riches. “He was absolutely super on Saturday night and felt like the old Tiger Tara, I was thrilled with the way he performed and now Brisbane is on the radar. I know Kev has mentioned it previously and following that performance, it must be seriously considered because he’s right in the mix.” McCarthy said. Starting from a second-line draw, Tiger Tara nosed out Mach Doro while race favourite Lennytheshark weakened to third after leading in a time of 1:52.6. It was first start since finishing 7th in the Bulli Cup at Menangle behind Lennytheshark in 1:49.6 back on April 29. Prior to that start, the Bettors Delight six-year-old won his previous five starts. “He was really sharp the other night and gave me a great feel in the warm-up and I thought he raced super, Mach Doro is a much underrated type while Lenny is a champion so that underlines the effort. “He’s got the Len Smith Mile before Brisbane and that should be another great race too because there’s plenty of nice types chasing that race but I wouldn’t be swapping right now. I would say he’s one of the best horses I’ve driven in my time, that’s for sure. “I think the main race will suit him up there and I’m looking forward to driving at Albion Park again, it’s a great track with special memories.” Tiger Tara has now won 20 of his 65 starts while banking more than $880,000. With Tiger Tara a ‘likely’ Queensland winter carnival contender; it will see Todd pitted against his older brother Luke once again who has a commitment to millionaire pacer Bling It On who is already based in Brisbane. And just like they’ve done numerous times prior, they could end up with a one/two result. Just like in the Golden Mile. Chris Barsby

IF you are given the opportunity to disburse $53 million in varying amounts to Queensland racing clubs for capital investment in long-term infrastructure, you must be very confident of your abilities in this area, or you seek advice. The decision-makers at Racing Queensland, mindful of the need to "get it right", have played the "advice card" and engaged the services of Deloitte Brisbane in a consultative and advisory capacity. The following impressive statement is taken from the Deloitte Brisbane website. It indicates a reassuring level of self confidence in the company's ability to meet RQ's requirements. "With a well-connected and professional team of more than 480 people and over 50 partners, we are leading providers of assurance, advisory, taxation and consulting services. Ours is a high performance culture that thrives on the strength and success of its people. It's a culture that sets us apart from the rest. Represented by the Deloitte Seven Signals, we take pride in the 'way we do business,' and it shows." Feedback from a teleconference last Monday between members of the Marburg Pacing Association executive and the Deloitte team appears to support a belief that the "wizards" want all the facts, before formulating any opinions or offering any advice. Mattgregor worth watching INTEREST is at Menangle tonight when the up and coming Mattgregor, from the McMullen-Turpin team, goes around against older horses in the $100,000 Bohemia Crystal Free For All. Among the field are last year's Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me, Tiger Tara, Major Crocker and Tac Tate. With eight wins from 14 outings and a loose assessment of C5-M0, Mattgregor has shown exceptional ability from the start of his career. Connections feel that he will acquit himself well in top company. After tonight, the gelded son of Rob Roy Mattgregor will head home to Patrick Estate for a break before being set for the Winter Carnival at Albion Park. Lodge for sale AFTER a career in harness racing covering 64 of his 79 years, Bernie Wilson has put Runnymede Lodge on the market. Wilson, who in his younger days in Sydney put the polish on NSW Oaks winner and later good producing broodmare Negro Dancer, cites the depressed state of harness racing in Queensland at the present time. The veteran further believes that there is little light evident at the end of the current tunnel. Runnymede Lodge is on 50 acres with an irrigation licence on Warrill Creek and has accommodation for a minimum of 40 horses plus a huge list of harness and associated horse equipment. Ring Bernie on 5464 3349 for a yarn about better days. Some earn big dollars I KNOW times are tough, but not for all of us. Having spent considerable time in the belief that Thursday at Redcliffe, with its current prize money set at just short of $3000, was a meeting set aside for the moderate horse and the hobbyist trainer, I was amazed to see an Albion Park Saturday night field go round this Thursday in a lowly R4 and better event. The winner, Forever Texas, stopped the clock at 1-57.4. The seven runners have career earnings of $942,697 at an average of $134,671. Only one runner had earnings less than $100,000. It is debacles such as this which lead to the exodus of the battlers. When will enough be enough for the top 10%? Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-3-5: Forty Seven Flash (M.Elkins)- Monarkmac (T. Dixon)- Always Prompt (G. Dixon). R2: Quinella 1-8: Supaliner and Itsallaboutlu (S. Graham). R3: Quinella 1-8: Stawbs Ideal Act and Days End (Madi Dux). R4: Quinella 1-8: The Duke Downunder (S. Doherty) and Sams Cam (S. Graham). R5: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Fours Enuf Tas (L.Weidemann)-Sports Chaton (G. Dixon)-Real Social (N. Dawson). R6: Box trifecta 1-7-8: Alleluia (G. Dixon)-The Space Invader (Madi Dux)-Polished Rocks (M. Neilson). R7: Quinella 1-2: Ivegotalife and Joys A Babe (T. Dixon). R8: E/w 5: Im Jack Black (G. Whitaker). R9: E/w 5: Shezabonnygem (G. Dixon). Honour board A new face on the trainer's side of the leader board this week with Purga-based Steve Bunz taking the honours with three winners. They included a Sunday outing to Tamworth, NSW. King of the drivers was Nathan Dawson who landed four for the term, three of which were for Steve Bunz. The most pleasing was five drivers on two winners apiece. Albion Park, February 17: Real Social (Nathan Dawson for Steve Bunz); Sicilian Slumber (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, February 18: Zac Mac (Danielle McMullen for Darren Hooper); Reservation Road (Narissa McMullen); Sweet As Candy (Matt Elkins for Vic Frost). Tamworth, February 19: Change the Nation (Nathan Dawson for Steve Bunz); Emargee (Ricky Gordon). Albion Park, February 21: Rock With Sam (Barty Cockburn for Mick Butler); Abitgoingonhere (Barty Cockburn for Mick Butler); Real Social (Nathan Dawson for Steve Bunz). Redcliffe, February 22: Projectile (Matt Elkins for Kerry Smith); Ima Sea Storm (Nathan Dawson for Graham White); Royal Taz (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Trentleigh (Hayden Barnes for D.R. Pollock). Redcliffe, February 23: Our Champion (Gary Whitaker for Mal Charlton); Soi Cowboy (Gary Whitaker for Ken Belford). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

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