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The 2018 Albion Park winter carnival came to dramatic finale last night (Saturday). With great fields of racing, solid prizemoney and cash bonuses up for grabs, rival connections were keen to get amongst the action. And it paved the way for a sensational night of harness racing. The Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship was the main event, the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, a classy field of competitors were chasing the riches on offer. Champion trainer Tim Butt claimed the event with rising star Let It Ride who scored easily defeating Atomic Red and Alleluia in the 2680m feature. Aided by a gun drive by star reinsman Dexter Dunn, Let It Ride gained a perfect trail before unleashing a powerful finishing burst to score by a widening margin. The winning mile rate of 1:54.8 established a new track record, slicing .2 seconds of the previous mark of 1:55.0 held by Our Hi Jinx. In the Gr.1 $100,540 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals, First String ran down favourite Regulus in the colts and geldings feature rating 1:56.4. Prepared by Craig Cross, the Roll With Joe colt was handled perfectly by Luke McCarthy. Smart As Camm Be defeated southern raider For All We Know to claim the fillies feature in a thrilling home stretch battle. Trained and driven by Kylie Rasmussen, the Cammibest filly has firmly established herself as the best juvenile in the state with a pair of feature race victories. Victorian horseman Mattie Craven landed the Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby when former New Zealand pacer Master Moonlite nailed local star Colt Thirty One right on the line while filly Fame Assured finished a creditable third in the blue riband classic. Raced by a large team of owners, Master Moonlite rated 1:57.3 for the 2680m event. In winning the event, Craven landed himself a $20,000 trainer’s cash bonus after scoring a victory in the Gr.2 Queensland Trotters Cup a week earlier. The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted and Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship was taken out by race favourite Our Triple Play who led throughout defeating Conviction and Our Uncle Sam in a time of 1:54.5 for the 2138m. Prepared by Brad Hewitt, the Shadow Play gelding gave his astute young mentor his second victory in the event after scoring with Sweet Molly Oshea two years ago. Local trotter Spud proved too classy taking the Gr.3 $20,630 Haras De Trotteurs Marathon when running down Gee Up Neddy and Our Dreamlover. Spud rated 2:04.7 for the 3157m event. Trained by John Edmunds and handled by Nathan Dawson, the Tennotrump gelding recorded his 13th career victory. The APHRC would like to extend their heartiest congratulations to all of the winners during the three week carnival and thank all of the interstate trainers who made their way to the Sunshine State to be part of another successful carnival.   Racing Queensland    

The biggest night of the Albion park harness racing calendar is finally here and the competition looks as fierce as ever. Tomorrow night we will honour the famed pacer Blacks A Fake, who earnt over $4.5mil with 72 wins under his belt. Trained & driven by Natalie Rasmussen, he won the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Inter Dominion Championships - making him the only four-time winner of Australasia's premier harness race. Other achievements include wins in the Queensland Winter Cup (3 times), Victoria Cup, Hunter Cup and three Australian Horse of the Year titles. The $200,000 grand circuit event, the "UBET Blacks A Fake" starts as race 8 on the program at 8.40pm. Race favourite, Atomic Red lines up against last week’s Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint winner, Tact Tate as well as the likes of Let It Ride, My Field Marshall, Cruz Bromac and Glenferrie Hood. Additional group races on the program include the G1 QBred Triad Finals for the two year olds, G2 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby, G3 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4YO Championship and G3 Haras Des Trotteurs Marathon. The program also highlights Australasia’s most talented drivers in the Garrard’s Horse & Hound Drivers Invitation Pace with New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn joining Queensland drivers Nathan Dawson, Grant Dixon, Pete McMullen, Gary Whitaker and Kelli Dawson alongside interstate competitors Luke McCarthy, Chris Geary, Amanda Turnbull, Anthony Butt, Matthew Craven and Rob Morris. For the meetings full form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: http://www.harness.org.au/punting/punters-corner/form-analysis/?keyNum=221470 The race meeting has a number of exquisite betting propositions courtesy of wagering service provider UBET. Headlining these offers is a $25K First 4 jackpot pool on race 1 scheduled for 5:08pm EST. This is complimented by a $5K First 4 jackpot pool on race 8, the UBET Blacks A Fake. Additionally, a $2.5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 5:42pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 6. The first race of an action packed 10 event card begins at 5.08pm EST. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au Racing Queensland

The final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit takes place this weekend. And the destination is Brisbane. The Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship will conclude the eight leg series and global superstar Lazarus will be crowned Grand Circuit champion following a shocking injury to Soho Tribeca last weekend. Heading into the final leg, Lazarus held a 99 point lead over Soho Tribeca but victory for the latter would’ve secured a thrilling victory but, unfortunately, a leg fracture sustained in the Sunshine Sprint has wiped out any chance of securing the title. So, with Lazarus guaranteed the title of Grand Circuit champion for the second straight year, the door has been left open for others to improve their position on the leaderboard or even perhaps, get on the leaderboard for the first time this season. The Sunshine State feature named after the greatest champion of all-time is staged over the 2680m and features some very richly talented pacers including last week’s feature race winner Tact Tate. The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven gelding scorched around the Breakfast Creek oval in a time of 1:53.0 taking the sprint feature and now looks to complete the Brisbane feature race double. In recent times, Hectorjayjay (2017) and Im Themightyquinn (2014) have completed the Queensland double and Tact Tate has a terrific chance of joining that exclusive club. Possessing blinding gate speed, Tact Tate will start from gate 6 and looks a great chance of finding the pegs early again. A major threat for Tact Tate could come from within with Atomic Red, prepared by Amanda’s father Steve; the ultra-talented four-year-old produced an eye-catching effort last week behind Tact Tate when fifth after starting from a nasty second-line draw. The rise in distance will suit Atomic Red and the ideal front-line draw (4) is another major plus. With the Turnbull name synonymous in harness racing, the father/daughter combination have filled a top two finish on many occasion but are yet to achieve the feat in a Grand Circuit event. Can they etch their names into the record books this weekend? Champion trainer Tim Butt is no stranger to Grand Circuit glory and is represented by a pair of outstanding chances with My Field Marshal and Let It Ride. My Field Marshal (1:46.9), the fastest pacer in Australasia, is looking to bounce back following a flop performance last week in the Sunshine Sprint when finishing at the rear of the field after racing three-wide throughout. A runner-up in this event last year, My Field Marshal will start from gate 11 with Anthony Butt taking the drive. Let It Ride, a proven Gr.1 winner, will start from gate 3 with Dexter Dunn booked to drive. A winner of his past five starts, Let It Ride makes his debut at the Grand Circuit level but looks ready following his victory at the track last week. Victorian trainer Dean Braun is chasing his maiden Grand Circuit victory with classy mare Carlas Pixel, the Gr.1 Ladyship Mile winner must overcome gate 13 – the outside of the second-line. The regally bred mare will again have the services of star reinsman Luke McCarthy. Cruz Bromac, a winner of the Gr.1 Len Smith Mile two starts ago makes his Albion Park debut and faces a second-line draw after landing gate 10. The Kevin Pizzuto trained gelding disappointed last start at Menangle when finishing 7th. Perennial Albion Park performer Ultimate Art returns to Brisbane and tackles the staying feature following some strong efforts of late at Menangle. Under the care of Queensland born but Sydney based Shane Sanderson while regular trainer Michael Formosa holidays in Malta, Ultimate Art will start from gate 9. Ultimate Art finished third in this race back in 2016 behind Ohoka Punter and Hectorjayjay. Young Cameron Hart takes the drive. Another Sydney trained runner is Celestial Arden for Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris, the talented gelding has drawn poorly in gate 7 – the outside of the front-line. Celestial Arden was a runner-up last week behind Tact Tate in the Sunshine Sprint. Leading trainer Grant Dixon is duly represented by Alleluia (gate 1) and 2016 winner Ohoka Punter (gate 12). Both pacers are racing in excellent form. Proven Albion Park feature race winner Glenferrie Hood starts in his second Blacks A Fake (9th in 2016) and will start from gate 5. Pete McMullen takes the drive for trainer Wayne Graham. Bodhi Tree tackles his biggest challenge to date the injury prone pacer continues to defy the odds and boasts outstanding recent form. Prepared by Peter Greig and Patrice Madden, the Blissfull Hall gelding will start from gate 2. Giant former New Zealand gelding Hughie Green is listed as the emergency (gate 8). In total, the 13 runners have won 265 races while amassing more than $5.48 million in stakes. The UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is scheduled as race 8 and listed to start at 8.40pm local time.   Chris Barsby

Pint-sized pocket rocket Tact Tate is in the box seat. The dual Group One winner landed a knockout punch when he rattled along the Albion Park sprint lane last Saturday night to secure the Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint defeating Celestial Arden and Ohoka Punter in 1:53.0. This weekend, he will take his place in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship and look to complete the big Sunshine State double. And recent history is on his side. Twelve months ago, millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay landed both features while champion pacer Im Themightyquinn also did the double back in 2014. Im Themightyquinn set a track record of 1:50.4 when successful in the Sunshine Sprint, the record still stands. “The Albion Park Harness Racing Club has a proud and rich history; the names on the rolls of honor are a clear indication of the champion qualities required to succeed at this high level. The fact that Tact Tate has the chance to complete the double only adds to the excitement of the night.” APHRC Chairman David Fowler said. The feature this week will be staged over the staying distance of 2680m and Tact Tate boasts strong credentials at the distance range. Prepared by Amanda Turnbull, the McArdle gelding scored a great victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal FFA at TABCORP Park, Menangle over the distance of 2400m while he also scored a victory in the Gr.2 $50,000 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown over the distance of 2540m last year. If successful, connections will pocket an extra $50,000 while a $15,000 bonus will be paid out if he is placed second or third courtesy of Racing Queensland and UBET. Following the barrier draw, Tact Tate will start from gate six and looks the likely early leader again after crossing from the outside gate last week. Gambling giant UBET has installed Tact Tate as a $4.80 chance. The Steve Turnbull trained Atomic Red is listed as the punters elect at $3.20.   Chris Barsby

Group 2 Sunshine Sprint winner Tact Tate has drawn barrier six for Saturday’s $200,000 Group 1 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park. The barriers were drawn at a function hosted by the Albion Park Harness Racing Club tonight in Brisbane, which can be viewed at the UBET, Racing Queensland or Puntersland Facebook pages. UBET installed Atomic Red as the $3.20 favourite after drawing barrier 4, with Tact Tate ($4.80) and Let It Ride ($7.50) holding down the second and third lines of betting. In what is the flagship race meeting of the 2018 UBET Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival, Albion Park will host three Group 1 races among six black-type events on Saturday night. The meeting also acts as a final chance for participants to share in $120,000 in UBET Grand Slam bonuses, with the connections of Tact Tate in line to earn $50,000 if the gelding can complete the Sunshine Sprint/Blacks A Fake double. Racing Queensland Harness Manager David Brick said the bonuses had helped attract some of Australia’s best horses and participants, leading to heightened interest from punters nationwide. “Punters have responded to the quality racing on offer, with Racing Queensland recording wagering growth of close to 20% for the carnival to date,” Mr Brick said. “With enhanced promotions via social and traditional media platforms in the lead-up to this weekend’s $500,000 race night, Racing Queensland will aim for that trend to continue.” Horse Barrier UBET Odds Alleluia 1 $26 Atomic Red 4 $3.20 Bodhi Tree 2 $101 Carlas Pixel 13 $8 Celestial Arden NZ 7 $34 Cruz Bromac NZ 10 $8 Glenferrie Hood NZ 5 $71 Hughie Green NZ (Emergency) 8 $51 Let It Ride NZ 3 $7.50 My Field Marshal NZ 11 $8 Ohoka Punter NZ 12 $12 Tact Tate NZ 6 $4.80 Ultimate Art 9 $12 2018 UBET Blacks A Fake Night – Albion Park – Saturday 21 July 2018   $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake (Group 1)   $100,000 QBRED Triad 2YO Fillies (Group 1)   $100,000 QBRED Triad 2YO Colts + Geldings (Group 1)   $75,000 Queensland Derby (Group 2)   $30,000 Four-year-old Championship (Group 2)   $20,000 Trotters Marathon (Group 3)   $20,000 Drivers Invitation Race   About the $120,000 UBET Grand Slam Bonuses   UBET’s generous sponsorship of the 2018 Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival has allowed Racing Queensland to offer up to $120,000 in bonuses, including:   $50,000 UBET Grand Slam Bonus  - Offered to the connections of any horses that can win both the Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint (July 14) and the UBET Blacks A Fake (July 21).   $15,000 UBET Slam Bonus – Available to the connections of any horse that can place in both the Blacks A Fake and Sunshine Sprint, or, win one and place in the other.   $20,000 Trainers’ Slam Bonus – Available to any trainer who wins two or more of the following feature races:   Queensland Derby UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Oaks Queensland Trotters Cup   Racing Queensland

Three exciting feature races were seen last Saturday night as part of the 2018 Winter Carnival Opening Night at Albion Park. Queensland’s leading trainer Grant Dixon took out all three of the main events. For a recap of the night visit http://aphrc.com.au/index.php/all-stories/93-winter-carnival-opening-night-owned-by-dixon This Saturday night promises to be an action packed night with four group races and in Oaks night traditional a female driver’s invitation pace, sponsored by Pryde’s Easifeed, as well as the listed Egmont Park Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes. Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint stars as race 6 on the program where the open class pacers go head to head in what can be labelled as the fastest race of the carnival. Visiting pacers Soho Tribeca, My Field Marshal and Tact Tate take on the Queensland talent ahead of next week’s Grand Circuit Event the UBET Blacks A Fake. Next up the trotters take on their biggest race of the carnival the Seelite Windows & Doors Queensland Trotters Cup. To conclude the feature races for the night, the Egmont Park Stud South East Derby showcases a number of brilliant three year olds such as Colt Thirty One, Duplicated, The Bus among others. Colt Thirty One enters the race as favourite after an outstanding victory in last week’s Premier’s Cup. For the meetings full form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: http://www.harness.org.au/punting/punters-corner/form-analysis/?keyNum=220763 The race meeting has a number of exquisite betting propositions courtesy of wagering service provider UBET. Headlining these offers is a $25K First 4 jackpot Pool on race 1 scheduled for 5:13pm EST. Additionally, a $2.5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 5:38pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 8. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au

Can more history be created at Albion Park this weekend? Fresh from the success of the four McMullen siblings all driving winners at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon, another chapter can be created tomorrow (Saturday) night. The Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks is one of the co-features on a sensational card of racing and the three-year-old fillies are chasing the major riches on offer. But for Isobel Ross, the talented young driver has a chance at etching her name into the record books. Ross will partner Red Charmer, a winner of last week’s Gr.3 South East Oaks, the traditional lead-up event to this week’s feature, and join Shane Graham as the youngest driver to land the Queensland Oaks. Back in 2002, Graham steered a magnificent race when successful with Sparkling Melody, prepared by his father Wayne, to beat some of the best fillies in the southern hemisphere. He was 20 years of age when triumphant. If Ross is successful, she will join Graham as a winner at the age of 20; her 21st birthday comes up later this year (October). But there’s a twist with Ross. The natural lightweight is a quadruplet, sister to Victoria and Stephanie and brother Sam. None of her siblings took up race driving but are all capable on horseback. The Ross family is synonymous in harness racing circles with the family conducting the Clerk of the Course services at all TAB tracks in south-east Queensland. Don Ross snr occupies the role with his son Donny and grandson Donald plus the assistance of Dexter McLean each and every week. Donald is the older brother of Isobel, Victoria, Stephanie and Sam but is currently on annual vacation and sunning himself somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. All five kids are the children of Donny and Lisa Ross. A scan of the record books indicates that no quadruplet has won a Queensland Oaks, let alone a feature harness event in this part of the world. Red Charmer, with Ross driving last week sprung an upset when victorious in the South East Oaks downing stablemate Aqua Miss and race favourite Sociable. Can they do it again? Tomorrow night, Ross and Red Charmer will line up in gate seven, the outside of the front-line, and will again be at big odds as a result but the youngster is confident her filly can feature again. “The draw is far from ideal but she’s got quality and class and just needs some luck going her way, she’s super fit and ready to go again.” Ross said. Red Charmer is prepared by the state’s leading horseman Grant Dixon and Ross has been part of the “Black & White’ army for just over 12 months now working alongside the husband and wife team of Grant and Trista. The Mr Feelgood filly has won 9 of her 23 starts to date and Ross has a near perfect record with the filly. From two drives to date, Ross has claimed the South East Oaks while finishing a narrow second behind Aqua Miss in the Gr.2 $50,540 QBRED Triad Final back on May 12. “She’s a real sweetie to drive and work with; I’ve had some luck from the two drives to date and hopefully its third time lucky this weekend. It wasn’t a shock to me last week because she was luckless in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle in her previous start. “This is a harder field with the likes of Goodtime Heaven, Chevrons Reward, Art Series and Major Occasion all starting but my filly will compete hard again. Goodtime Heaven is the filly that won the Breeders Challenge in Sydney so she’s the class runner. “I think all of Grant’s fillies will race very well, Fame Assured has a good front-line draw while Aqua Miss is nicely placed off the second-line. Hopefully, one of us can take the prize.” Gambling giant UBET has installed Goodtime Heaven as the favourite at $3.20 despite drawing gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Courtney Slater trained filly is having first start in the Sunshine State. Red Charmer is quoted at $21. The trio of Dixon trained fillies is raced by their breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Surprisingly, Dixon has never prepared a Queensland Oaks winner. First staged back in 1972, the list of winners is loaded with talent with names including Jan’s Chance, Amber Lobell, Ashton Lass, Girl Called Destiny, Handibank, Happy Haldon, In A Whisper, Kates First, Tailamade Lombo, Tupelo Rose, Ima Spicey Lombo, Nike Franco and Shartin among others. As it stands, last year’s winner Shartin has now established herself as the best pacing mare in the world with a string of feature victories in North America and Canada this season. Unfortunately, a training mishap has forced the scratching of talented Bathurst filly Callmequeenbee. Miss Hooligan has now gained a start.   Chris Barsby

IT sounds strange to be a tad disappointed when you run second in a Group 1 race, but that’s how Tim Butt felt after My Field Marshal’s Len Smith run last start. But he’s promising fans will see the best of his Miracle Mile-winning star in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Sunshine Sprint (1660m) at Albion Park. “I thought he should’ve won or at least got a lot closer to Cruz Bromac in the Len Smith given the run he had, even though they did really fly home that last 200m,” Butt said. “Ants (driver Anthony Butt) said he felt a bit flat, that he didn’t his usual zip. He tried hard, but couldn’t ping when he needed him to.” Butt said although My Field Marshal seemed well going into the Len Smith, he may still have been slightly impacted by a “bug” he contracted a couple weeks before the feature. “We thought he was right, but he just have been a fraction off his best,” he said. So Butt made the decision to take My Field Marshal and emerging stablemate Let It Ride to Queensland as early as possible, just a couple of days after the Len Smith. “We’ve been here a week-and-a-half and I’m glad we have. The warmer weather has seen both of them thrive, especially My Field Marshal, who loves it,” he said. “With My Field Marshal’s history of breathing issues, he’s better in the warmer weather. “I just can’t fault him up here. Everything says he’s going into this race better than the Len Smith and very, very close to his absolute top.” So does that mean he can upset Soho Tribeca, the $1.65 Aussie TAB favourite? “I don’t think there’s anything between them, especially with them both drawn the back row,” Butt said. “Maybe Soho Tribeca’s draw is a bit better because he’s two-out and could trail through well, but we’re right next to him. “Luck in the run and how the race is run will play a huge part in the result, but I can only have my horse as well as possible going into it and I’m confident I have.” My Field Marshal holds a 2-0 record against Soho Tribeca. The first clash was the Miracle Mile back on February 24 when Soho Tribeca sat outside the leader and produced one of the runs the season for a close third in that record-breaking 1min46.9sec mile. My Field Marshal came off a cold sit to win the race. Then, in the Len Smith last time, My Field Marshal ran second, but Soho Tribeca galloped at the start and was tailed-out. Soho Tribeca’s trainer-driver Mick Stanley said his stable had also thrived in Queensland. “He’s right where I want him and I think I’ve got the better of the barriers over My Field Marshal this week,” he said. “I should settle in front of him, then I’m launching early … going looking for the lead or at least to control the race from outside the leader. I’ve got a horse tough enough to do that.” Adam Hamilton

The big boppers are in town! Grand Circuit stars My Field Marshal and Soho Tribeca have settled into their new Brisbane surroundings in preparation for the open class features at Albion Park over the next fortnight. The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint takes place this Saturday night at Albion Park followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship the following week. The Blacks A Fake, is the jewel in the crown on the Queensland harness racing calendar, it also doubles as the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. And Soho Tribeca has a chance to be crowned Grand Circuit champion if successful. But the focus this week is the Sunshine Sprint, the signature speed test in the Sunshine State. “We’re here and we’re ready to go, we’re looking forward to the challenge that is in front of us.” Trainer/driver Michael Stanley said. Soho Tribeca took no competitive part in his most recent start when finishing a distant last in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on July 1. It was established he got his head under the arm of the starting gate which caused an unexpected gate break. The striking American Ideal entire is yet to race at Albion Park. But bookmakers are taking no chances and have listed him as the horse to beat in both Queensland features with their fixed odds markets. “It was just one of those freak things that happened last start, fortunately, he’s taken no harm from the incident and he remains in great shape. “Obviously both races will be difficult because the opposition will be strong, Tim (Butt – Trainer) has a great record in big races and deserves plenty of respect and I won’t be selling him short in either event. “The sprint race this weekend will be hard and fast and then the challenge the following week will be equally tough because Kevin (Pizzuto – trainer) has both Cruz Bromac and Tiger Tara heading up. But the mission is to win both races and I believe he can achieve it.” Tim Butt, now based in Sydney, arrived last week with both My Field Marshal and Let It Ride and is happy with the way both horses are coming along. Let It Ride is a last start winner of the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4yo Final in 1:49.4 – the fastest time of the day on the Len Smith Mile program. But he won’t start in the Sunshine Sprint. “The trip north is all about the experience, he will start in a support event while My Field Marshal starts in the Sunshine Sprint,” Butt explained. “The main target for Let It Ride is the 4yo Championship the following week, while he’s good enough to start in both open features I don’t think he needs that right now, he’ll get his chance in time to come. “My Field Marshal will start in both open races just like he did last year, he had a setback before the Len Smith Mile but he’s loving it here in Brisbane. He’s ready to show his best.” The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship takes place on July 21, the same night as the Blacks A Fake.   Chris Barsby

Brilliant mare Carlas Pixel is the latest addition to the Brisbane winter carnival. The Gr.1 Ladyship Mile winner is heading north following her brave effort in Saturday night’s Vicbred Super Series Final when third behind Tell Me Tales and Flying Moth at TABCORP Park, Melton. Tell Me Tales rated a stunning 1:55.0 for the 2240m feature event and it was her 11th straight victory. But Carlas Pixel lost no admirers with her gutsy effort. And connections are now focused on the Sunshine State features. “There’s a month of nothing here in Victoria before we reload for the Breeders Crown in late August, so the Brisbane campaign looks a good option.” Trainer Dean Braun said. Carlas Pixel emerged as one of the finest mares in the country following her breathtaking come from behind victory in the Gr.1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle back in February. The Courage Under Fire mare rated a blistering 1:49.5. The first target is the Listed $25,540 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes this Saturday night before connections decide what option they take the following week. “We’re definitely starting in the mares feature this weekend and then we’ll reassess the situation depending on performance. We can either start in the Blacks A Fake or the 4yo Championship; she’ll be competitive in both features. “There will be some good mares starting this weekend and my mare is travelling but I think she has the class edge while the following week won’t be confirmed until after this weekend. Her speed will carry her long way in the Blacks A Fake and the 4yo feature. “It’s been a good season for her and I thought she was super on the weekend, the winner was unbelievable so the form should stack up pretty well. I think we’ve got some good options in Brisbane and if we can grab a feature that only adds to her value as a broodmare.” Another possible option could be the Listed $25,540 4 & 5yo Chris Garrard’s Patrons Purse at Redcliffe on July 27. Possessing a Blue Blood pedigree, Carlas Pixel ranks as a half-sister to Soho Tribeca (21 wins - $1.1 million), Perfect Mach (14 wins - $125k), Birdy Mach (24 wins - $222k) and Soho Nolita (3 wins - $169k). Carlas Pixel is raced by Mark Denyer and Shannon Nixon.   Chris Barsby

The opening night of the 2018 Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park has been dominated by the leading local stable of Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman landed three features including the Gr.3 $30,540 Badcock Group of Companies Premiers Cup with Colt Thirty One, the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Stud South East Oaks with Red Charmer and the Listed $25,540 Egmont Park Stud – Mr Feelgood Open with Alleluia. Dixon, the country’s leading trainer, took the winning drive himself behind Colt Thirty One while his wife Trista partnered Alleluia with young Isobel Ross landing her biggest success to date with a polished display behind Red Charmer. While the trio of winners was impressive in their own right, the effort of Colt Thirty One was clearly the standout performance of the night. The Victoria Derby winner torched his rivals with a brilliant come from behind triumph which clearly stamped him as the horse to beat for the Queensland Derby feature on July 21. Colt Thirty One scored running away from the South Australian trained Ideal World and Subtle Delight in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m event. The Mach Three colt remains unbeaten in his home state with 15 victories – 14 have come via Albion Park. Race favourite Thatswhatisaid finished 6th after leading. Next week, Colt Thirty One will start in the Gr.3 $30,540 South East Derby. In the Oaks feature, Dixon almost landed the trifecta with Red Charmer defeating stablemate Aqua Miss and race favourite Sociable. Fame Assured finished a close-up fourth. Fresh back from Sydney and a Breeders Challenge campaign, Ross brought Red Charmer with a perfectly timed finish down the outside to land the 2138m feature in a time of 1:57.6. Next week, the Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks will be staged and Dixon will have all three of his fillies starting again. Like Colt Thirty One, Red Charmer is raced by her breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Grand performer Alleluia stamped his ticket for the upcoming open class features following his come from behind victory in the Mr Feelgood, the Art Major gelding stormed to victory defeating Bodhi Tree and Hughie Green. Alleluia rated 1:55.5 for the 2138m feature. The winner of the Mr Feelgood is exempt from ballot for the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship on July 21. Next week, Alleluia will start in the Gr.2 $50,540 Sunshine Sprint. Another highlight was the winning effort of the richly talented Tough Monarch in the $14,999 Haras Des Trotteurs FFA rating 1:58.6 for the 2138m mobile start event. Trained and driven by Rickie Alchin, Tough Monarch looked ultra-impressive in his Albion Park debut and will back-up in next week’s Gr.2 $30,630 Queensland Trotters Cup, a standing start feature. Star reinsman Luke McCarthy was the leading driver for the night after landing a winning treble behind Lockton Luck, Hashtag and Effronte. Next week, features include the AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks, Garrards Sunshine Sprint, Egmont Park Stud South East Derby, Seelite Windows & Doors Queensland Trotters Cup, Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes and a Female Drivers Invitation.   RQ Web News

The Turnbull clan is headed back to the Sunshine State. And the Brisbane winter carnival riches beckon. The famous Bathurst family made annual pilgrimages during the 1970’s and 80’s spearheaded by the legendary A.D (Tony) and knocked up winning races on a consistent level at all tracks in the south-east corner plus Tweed Heads. While the trips north haven’t been so frequent in recent times, the Turnbull name is still a constant. The three night carnival at Albion Park officially starts this Saturday night and continues over the next fortnight and the Turnbull’s will play a role on the final two nights. Both Steve and daughter Amanda are eyeing feature targets. “I’m bringing Tact Tate and dad (Steve) is bringing up Atomic Red, Conviction and Art Series at this stage.” Amanda said. Tact Tate, a dual Group One winner finished a close-up sixth behind Cruz Bromac in last week’s Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle in a time of 1:50.1. The Albion Park track and style of racing could prove beneficial for the speedy performer and the Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship are within reach given luck. Both Atomic Red and Conviction come out of the same race at their most recent start, in last Sunday’s Gr.1 $100,000 Breeders Challenge 4yo Final. Conviction finished as the runner-up behind Let It Ride while Atomic Red finished a courageous fifth after engaging in a frantic early speed battle. The winning mile rate was 1:49.4. Both four-year-olds boast very strong overall records. The Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks next weekend is the target for Art Series, a regally bred filly. Back in March, Art Series won the Gr.2 Bathurst Gold Bracelet Final defeating smart Victorian filly Soho Burning Love. So, the very familiar blue and red livery returns to Brisbane and looks set to play a strong hand. Chris Barsby 

Tim Butt is very serious about his Queensland Winter Carnival raid. So serious in fact, he’s already arrived in Brisbane with stable stars My Field Marshal and Let It Ride. And it seems a lack of suitable racing options will mean the pair will lock horns in the Group 2 Sunshine Sprint on Saturday week at Albion Park. “I arrived today (Wednesday) with My Field Marshal and Let It Ride,” Butt said. “Let It Ride’s target is a 4YO race on July 21, but I want him to run on the 14th as well. Looking through the options, it seems it will have to be in the Sunshine Sprint.” Let It Ride scored his most significant and dominant win when, suited by the frantic pace set by the leaders, he blew away the field in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge final at Menangle last Sunday. For more than a year Butt has touting Let It Ride as his next stable star. My Field Marshal will challenge for favouritism in the Sunshine Sprint after his second to Cruz Bromac in the Group 1 Len Smith Mile last Sunday. Cruz Bromac’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto said the pacer would bypass the Sunshine Sprint and head north for just the Blacks A Fake. The other major player will be Soho Tribeca, who took no part in the Len Smith after contacting the starting gate, galloping and losing all chance. Queensland officials are still clinging to the hope comeback star Hectorjayjay will defend his Blacks A Fake title, but it seems highly unlikely. Hectorjayjay returned from almost a year out with a Kilmore win last Saturday and should win again at Melton this Saturday night, Adam Hamilton

Saturday's Group 3 Badcock Group of Companies Premier's Cup headlines a stellar night of racing at Albion Park, as the UBET Queensland Winter Harness Racing continues to gather momentum.  Racing Queensland Harness Manager David Brick said all 10-races on the program, which gets under way at 5.03pm, looked enticing to punters. "The Badcock Group Premier's Cup, Egmont Park South East Oaks and Haras des Trotteurs Free For All, look to be particularly strong races, with some very good local and interstate horses set to go around," he said.  "This should provide plenty of value for punters looking to back one of their favourite horses throughout the meeting."   The Premier's Cup will feature interstate visitors Ideal World, Thatswhatisaid, Duplicated and Tygar. Queensland's star three-year-old, Colt Thirty One, looks set to test himself in Open company, alongside the in-form Redcliffe-trained Slice Of Heaven.  Redcliffe Oaks winner Sociable steps out in the South East Oaks from barrier 2, with Mark Jones' kiwi visitor Tres Vite set to trail her up from barrier 9.  The Haras des Trotteurs Free For All (Mobile Start) will have implications for the Queensland Trotters Cup at Albion Park on July 14.  Brad Connelly's smart mare Needle will start from barrier 2, with Rickie Alchin-trained visitor Tough Monarch to start from barrier 6.    Racing Queensland

THIS Queensland Winter Carnival just got a whole lot more interesting. And the biggest and most exciting twist could be yet to come. Cruz Bromac’s upset Group 1 Len Smith win at Menangle yesterday threw his name into the Queensland mix, but did little to answer the question as to who Australia’s best pacer is right now. That’s largely because top seed and $1.40 Len Smith favourite Soho Tribeca broke at the start and effectively took no part in the race. It appeared Soho Tribeca, who was dipping his head in the score-up, got his head under the arm of the mobile briefly and caused himself to gallop. He was subsequent found to have pulled-up with a minor issue and stood down for seven days and pending a vet test. Many argued the mobile gate was going too slow for a major race and potentially contributed to Soho Tribeca’s issue. Whatever the exact reasons, punters copped it big time and Soho Tribeca took no part. Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal began well from the pole, but was no match for the early brilliance of a new-look Cruz Bromac – having just his second run for Kevin Pizzuto – and grabbed the trail on the leader throughout. My Field Marshal saw plenty of room at the right time in the home straight, but was unable to make any real impact on Cruz Bromac, who zipped home in 26.5sec at the end of a 1min50.1sec mile and won by 4.6m. “The win certainly didn’t surprise me,” Pizzuto said. “I tipped him on (Sydney) radio and told everyone we’d backed him fixed odds. “I got really keen on his chances after we worked him around the half mile track at Bankstown early in the week and he flew. I knew he was ready and I told Danny (Zavitsanos) he was spot-on.” Pizzuto and Zavitsanos run deep and sharing a Group 1 win was special. “I was gutted when Danny sold Majordan and he came out and went so well for me. I thought he might have a sold a Group 1 winner and still think he might have,” Pizzuto said. “So it was great when the chance to buy Cruz Bromac came along and Danny took 75 per cent of him with me to train, I thought ‘ok, let’s get this guy to win a Group 1 for us both’.” It was only a few weeks back at Cambridge when Zavitsanos and his wife, Joanne, won their first Group 1 race with the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Enhance Your Calm. Pizzuto said the next 24-48 hours would decide whether Cruz Bromac headed to Queensland for Saturday week’s Group 2 Sunshine Sprint and/or the Group 1 Blacks A Fake a week later. “He’s not the soundest horse, that’s well known, so we just need to see how he comes through this win,” Pizzuto said. Majordan, who parked outside the leader and weakened late for seventh, is headed for a spell. While Pizzuto’s other open-class star Tiger Tara is about to start fast work with a view to a racetrack return in late August. But back to Queensland and while Cruz Bromac’s plans will be known very soon, fans will have to wait until next week for the verdict with defending Blacks A Fake champion Hectorjayjay. Despite his sparkling comeback win at Kilmore last Friday, where he paced a 54.8sec last half outside the leader, new trainer-driver Gavin Lang still only seems lukewarm on heading north. “He’s racing again next weekend and Gavin will make his final decision then,” part-owner Mick Harvey said. Adam Hamilton

With the winter carnival features just around the corner, everything is in readiness. That’s the case for established trotting star Our Overanova who solidified his claims following his near track record breaking victory at Albion Park last night (Saturday). Starting from a 50m handicap, the Grant Dixon trained and driven multiple feature race winner proved too classy defeating Justabitnoisy and Master Hugh in the Haras Des Trotteurs Handicap. The Monarchy gelding rated 2:00.9 – originally the time was posted at 2:00.1. Our Overanova holds the Albion Park 2647m standing start track record at 2:00.3. “Either way, it was a great effort and I’m very happy with his current form, he’s a great horse and always performs at a very high level every time he steps onto a track. He’s right where I want him going into the carnival features in the coming weeks.” Dixon said. The Albion Park winter carnival takes place on July 7, 14 and 21. And Racing Queensland has reshaped the program which now features several trotting features including the $14,999 Haras Des Trotteurs FFA (July 7), the Gr.2 $30,630 Seelite Windows & Doors Queensland Trotters Cup (July 14) and the Gr.3 $20,630 Haras Des Trotteurs Trotters Marathon (July 21). The distance range begins at 2138m (mobile start) before going to 2647m and then 3157m, the last two features under stand start conditions. Our Overanova is going to be a threat in each of the features while that sets up a potential clash with the rising local star, former New Zealand mare Needle. “We’re definitely aiming at all of the features and I’m confident he will prove very competitive in each and every race he contests. Obviously the handicap events will prove a little difficult because he’s likely to be giving away a big start as per usual. “He was really sharp and felt strong through the line while the time backs it up; he’s in really good shape at the moment. “I’m not sure what may be coming up from down south but I’m sure the talent will be there. Given how the carnival is structured, it will grab the attention of a few southerners while Needle looks really promising and richly talented.” Our Overanova is raced by GSM Racing, Greg and Sharon Mitchell and the couple have enjoyed tremendous success this season. In particular, their success with the trotters has been obvious with the likes of Our Overanova, Mister Gunsen, Foursharesmorebeers, Southern Alps and Astral Ruler.   Chris Barsby  

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