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Racing Queensland has advised that maximum field sizes for all 1660m mobile races at Albion Park will be reduced from 12 to 10 from next week. Over the past year, BOTRA raised concerns via RQ’s Harness Racing Advisory Panel with respect to the competitiveness of horses that settle back in the field over the 1660m distance. As a result, RQ and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club agreed to undertake consultation – and data analysis – prior to making a decision on any prospective field reduction. Having consulted with industry stakeholders including the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, TAB and participants, analysis of historical wagering data showed similar per race wagering on 10 and 12 horse races at Albion Park over the 1660m distance. Furthermore, a review of the metropolitan harness racing venues in Victoria and NSW also identified a maximum field size of 10 at both venues for their short-course races over 1720m and 1609m respectively. Accordingly, maximum field sizes for all 1660m mobile races at Albion Park will be reduced to 10 and will come into effect from Tuesday, March 3. A six-month review, including further consultation and wagering analysis, will also be conducted.   Racing Queensland

Racing will resume at Redcliffe Paceway on Wednesday following the completion of a $300,000 track upgrade. Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Attorney-General and Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath inspected the venue after stewards approved the return to racing. Mr Hinchliffe said it was terrific news for the region, as it was the most significant Racing Queensland investment in the venue this decade. “Add to that the fact that new economic data has revealed that harness racing is responsible for generating $21.7 million to the Moreton Bay economy each year,” he said. “More than 18,000 people come to harness racing meetings here, and there are more than 600 participants, including 65 trainers. “Most significantly, however, is that it provides more than 180 full-time jobs right here in Moreton Bay, which is why the Palaszczuk Government supports racing in the Sunshine State.” Mrs D’Ath said that the paceway played an important role across the region and the State. “There’s no doubting that it’s a significant contributor to the Queensland harness racing industry,” Mrs D’Ath. “With more than 100 race meetings each year, it will provide participants with a new and improved racing surface and upgraded training facilities. “I’m really looking forward to seeing it back in action next week.” Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said the unique 800-metre track was expected to be better than new when it reopens next week. “This is the first time the track has been resurfaced in 10 years,” Mr Ring said. “I’ve been down to look at it a couple of time and it looks great. “In time I think we will see faster and perhaps some records broken once the track has settled in.”   Racing Queensland

Narissa McMullen knows that she wouldn’t be both the Australasian Junior and Australian Lady Drivers champion, had it not been for her late grandfather, John McMullen. That is why the 24-year-old said she was enormously proud to be the only member of the McMullen family to line up in the inaugural Group Three $31,000 J.C. McMullen Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night. The race was formerly known as the Premier's Cup. The man known as ‘Hollywood’ McMullen, and was renowned for his familiar red jacket and white-sashed silks, died on September 20 last year aged 81. McMullen Senior was an original ‘Queensland Harness Racing Hall-of-Fame’ inductee, who won multiple metropolitan training and driving premierships at Albion Park. His grand-daughter said he made a huge impact on harness racing in the Sunshine State for more than half a century. As well as being an astute trainer and driver, Mr McMullen was also an active exporter of horses to the United States. “We owe it all to him really. He got Dad (John) involved in the sport and now Dad has four children who all drive. It was really sad to see my grandfather pass away last year. “I remember Dad and I used to go and see him and look at all his amazing photos and listen to all of his racing nostalgia when he lived close to Albion Park. It’s such an honour to drive in this race, even more so lining up the first time it will be run, McMullen (Narissa) said. McMullen, who has three drives on Saturday, has commented about the trio below. She said she got to drive the Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby trained Barrett through Alberton trainer, Stephen Cini. “Stephen and Aaron are good friends and I managed to get on Barrett through Stephen. I’m very grateful for that because he’s a nice horse who has huge speed over 200 metres. “It’s just the second time I will have driven him. I know he went well in New Zealand for Mark Jones, so I’m very fortunate to be able to sit behind him. “Like I said it means a lot to be there for my grandfather in what will be a very special race. I will certainly be thinking of him when I’m out there,” McMullen said. Her grandfather campaigned many good horses over the years including Viking Reign, Alba Wings, and Toliver Bye Bye. All-up he trained 734 winners form 4,952 starters ($2.3m). He also saluted the judge 509 times ($1.5m) as a driver. The ‘J C McMullen’, for the C2 to C5 pacers, which is race seven, will be run over the 2,138m mobile at 7.40pm. Here’s what McMullen had to say about her three drives (with trainer, draw, and opening odds): Race 1: The Narissa McMullen trained and driven TOM ME GUN (12) $5.50 – "He’s going really well after his last win (Albion Park - June 28). I gave him a lil freshener and he trialled real well last week finishing just behind the talented Princess Tiffany, who won in 1:51. I am real happy with the way he is going, but I really wanted a front-row draw. Twelve is not ideal, but some of his best races have been when he’s saved for one last go at them. That’s what I’ll probably have to do. Save him and wait.” Race 6: The Stephen Cini trained AIR TIME (8) $5: "His run last start was unbelievable. He was last at the 800m and then was forced to travel four-wide when they came home in 55 and quicker. He hit the line real strong and another metre or two I think he might have won. He would be the unluckiest horse in Queensland in his last few starts. I hope the one horse holds up, which I think he can, because this horse will go well in the trail. There is speed in the race though. I still definitely think he can win. He would be my best winning chance of the three on Saturday.” Race 7: The Mark Jones & Aaron Goadsby trained BARRETT (3) $14 – "He’s a really nice drive. He’s a lovely sit-and-sprint type horse, who didn’t get a drag into the race last time when they ran a quick time. He has a lethal sprint if saved for the right run. This is just my second time behind him, and I think he will be better for that Redcliffe run. Albion Park suits him better, because he did win first-up on the track last month. If he gets a nice trip he should figure right in the finish."   Racing Queensland

Any weanling that can survive a deadly disease, and then not long after, rebound from almost being drowned in the wake of Cyclone Debbie deserves his place in Saturday’s Group One event at Redcliffe Paceway. Gold Coast trainer Shawn Grimsey said it was a miracle that Storm Gilbert was still alive. After fighting back from the brink of death on three or four occasions, the Roll With Joe gelding will now line up from gate five in the $100,000 Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Two-Year-Old Pace. The 1780m mobile is the first Group One event of 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Harness Carnival. Nathan Dawson will drive Storm Gilbert. Grimsey co-owns and bred the strong-willed bay with his wife, Michelle. He said trainer (himself) and horse were only now just starting to get on, after a tumultuous relationship. “He’s been through so much and shouldn’t be here. I love his fighting spirit and he’s finally developing into a nice pacer. He has been a stroppy buggar though. He took a while to learn how to pace,” he said. “We have never really got on. We did not have much mutual respect for each other early on, but he’s warmed to me a bit more now – and vice versa. “He does get on well with Michelle though. I blame the horse and she blames me. I’ve learnt to keep a bit more calmer with him these days.” Storm Gilbert is the youngest of two foals out of the Grimseys’ seven-win Real Desire mare, Vitesse Heiress. Abut eight weeks after being foaled at the Grimseys’ Littlehaven property in Tamborine (November 8, 2016), Storm Gilbert’s troubles started. Firstly, he suffered from a case of the ‘rattles’. “It took almost a month of treatment and on a couple of occasions he should have died, but instead he showed an amazing will to live,” Grimsey said. “Then when the Queensland floods came through in March 2017 he was barely four months old and we put him in the driest paddock we had. As it got worse he became trapped and had to swim to survive. The water was so deep it was well over our walker. “To survive that was quite amazing especially after what he had been through. We all thought he would have been a weak horse after all his medication, but he has displayed great resilience and a will to live.” Fast forward just over two years and the 46-year-old horseman said he was just pleased to have his     horse fit and ready to line up in a big race, after earlier losing the services of another 2-year-old, the talented Xaviers Hurrikane “He’d won two of his four starts and placed in two others before breaking down in April. That was more bad luck. He will come back a better 3-year-old,” Grimsey said. Storm Gilbert has recorded a fifth, third, and fourth in three stars in May and June. Grimsey reckons he’s now developed enough to run a place. “I can’t see the one outside us (Governor Jujon) getting beaten. He’s a very nice colt. That pacer aside, I don’t think there’s any other horse in the race with any more ability than my fella,” he said. “Surprisingly he’s not a weak horse. I thought his immune system might have suffered a bit, but he’s bounced back well and is as strong as ever. “He’ still leaning though and will also make a better 3-year-old. It’s just a great honour to have a horse that you own, bred and train start in a Group One race, so early in his career.”   Duane Ranger  for Racing Queensland

Harness racing folk have long memories and there are plenty of people around today who would remember the closing years of the track at Ipswich showgrounds. They would also remember a trainer/driver who learnt his craft under the strict eye of the "Queen of Rocklea” Molly Bryant. There could be no better school, and our man was seen to advantage with Chipani, Kinta Lad and the well travelled and consistently successful Phosphor Bronze towards the end of his career. The family duly moved to a property at Amberley flat with a big barn which still stands some 40 years on. From this barn came the breadwinner Battle Brigade and his half brother First Storm, the sisters Southern Splash and Splash Again and, arguably, one of the biggest horses ever to negotiate the tight Ipswich track, the 18 hand monster Moobie Zae. In this era, when show racing was a significant part of the Queensland scene, our man teamed with the Nita Zahnow trained Hammersley to take the "Top horse and Driver” at the EKKA. His career tapered down after a bad fall at Ipswich resulted in severe facial injuries, as our man put family first. His colours were purple with gold Maltese cross and gold striped sleeves, and his name was Lionel Atkinson. Lionel would have been 77 years of age next month, but sadly, he passed recently after a short battle with lung cancer. A lot of us who saw Lionel in action in the sulky remember him as a decent bloke, one of those who held up the base of the pyramid in those times. He raced for the love of the sport, pure and simple. He was one of an army, which is now only a platoon. He will be sorely missed. Dramatic change WHO said there was nothing new under the sun? History was made in our local world of harness when Minden-based trainer/driver Tim Gillespie, and his Q bred filly "Shegotsass” took out the first 2yo trotters handicap ever run in Queensland. While there have been a number of traditional trotters which raced against pacers in the Sunshine State since day dot, including the 30 year hiatus of the 1930's and 40's when "Show” racing was the only form of light harness contest available north of the NSW border, recognition of the diagonal gait as a distinct form of harness racing, occurred only as recently as 1998. A number of representations to previous Racing Queensland harness control bodies, to run low prize money non-betting races for 2yos at TAB meetings were rejected out of hand. There has been a dramatic change in mindset at RQ, and the square trotting folk will no doubt be delighted. The current program, which culminates in a two heat $30,000 Final series, is just the plan of attack. It's likely to trigger an influx of Victorian juveniles which, although trotting soundly, just lack that smidgin of extra speed to be consistent earners at home. If I'm any judge, this first 2yo series will ensure that we are programming 3yo races in their own right in the 2019/20 season to come. For the breeding buffs, or someone looking at a dabble in that direction, Shegotsass is by the Vicbred Downunder Muscles from a daughter of Majestic Son, and can be said to have "it'' on both sides of her pedigree. As a spectacle, the three horse race did our image no harm. Apart from a short gallop on the part of third place- getter First Offence, the runners trotted well. They will go ahead on the back of this experience. Parklands 'scandal' THE following is an excerpt from last Monday's Courier Mail. It is taken from a piece by top sports journo Peter Gleeson and possibly mirrors the prevailing mindset of many current and recently departed participants. It is not what the administration is telling us, as we are continually told that turnover is way up and that good times are just around the corner, when the expected punting bonanza resulting from the switch to a "ratings” programming system, modelled on the gallops, kicks in. What is fact is that harness is trying to peddle a product, which has little or no appeal to the recreational punter. Get over that hurdle and we might make it to the next one. "The code that is wallowing in mediocrity is harness racing and it's no coincidence that its poor performance came off the back of the closure of Parklands in 2013 to make way for the Commonwealth Games. "Since the closure of Parkl-ands, there has been a vacuum in harness racing leadership in the Sunshine State. This lack of vision has manifested itself into a tired, cumbersome industry that has consistently had to fight off integrity and welfare scrutiny. "The lack of foresight and planning has resulted in harness turnover plummeting, prizemoney declining and a breeding industry in free fall. "The closure of Parklands is a scandal. "Parklands was the brainchild of former Bjelke-Petersen Racing Minister Russ Hinze, a dual harness and greyhound facility that was regarded as the best of its type.” Handy tips FOR Albion Park tonight (by Ben Crosby). Race 1: 4 Its Just Kenny. Race 2: 4 Holy Camp Clive. Race 3: 8 Our Memphis Mac. Race 4: 8 Lucky Lyla. Race 5: 1 Spike Bromac. Race 6: 4 Colt Thirty One. Race 7: 3 Vasari. Race 8: 2 Im Rocknroll Magic. Race 9: 9 Elle Yeah. Race 10: 1 Empire Bay. Race 11: 6 Soldier Of Fortune. Honour board As we batten down to face the Winter Carnival assault, it's well-tried faces on the leader board this week. Top driver is Pete McMullen, with a solid six wins. His wife Chantal Turpin headed up the trainers, producing four of the best. Most pleasing was Mitchell Dawson and Banny Gatt-Bouquet combining to land Unassuming Champ on two occasions in the seven day period. Ipswich factor: 24/46. Redcliffe, June 7: Unassuming Champ (Danny Gatt-Bouquet for Mitchell Dawson); Escalera (Darrell Graham). Albion Park, June 8: Clarry (Danielle McMullen for Steve Cini); Getoutnwalk (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Tom Me Gun (Narissa McMullen); Karinya Mully (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Maybe To The Max (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Slippery Jade (Pete McMullen for Bill Crosby). Albion Park, June 11: Shegotsass (Tim Gillespie); Northern Muscle (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith); Greg The Great (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Devouged (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Ima Birubi Boy (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte); Cardles From Heaven). Redcliffe, June 12: Unassuming Champ (Danny Gatt-Bouquet for Mitchell Dawson); My Secret Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Signor Jujon (Adam Sanderson for Grant Dixon); Mach Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Just Joshin (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Trojan Banner (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes). Redcliffe, June 13: Impetuoso (Nathan Dawson for Ken Belford); Torque With Esteem (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Heavens Hurricane (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Invite Only (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Trot Tactics by Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Prolific Queensland owner-breeder, Kevin Seymour, described Colt Thirty One’s gutsy 1:52.9 mile rate victory at Albion Park on Saturday as the best of his 28 wins. It was also a personal best time, and in doing so the reigning Queensland Horse-of-the-Year went past $500,000 in stake money. Then immediately after watching the C6 and faster $13,000 pace with Seymour and his wife Kay, the Brisbane couple announced that the tough son of Mach Three and Charm Personified (by Perfect Art) would stand at Egmont Park Stud when he retires. “He’s only four, but that is the plan when he does eventually end his racing career. That was a phenomenal win, the best I’ve seen from him. Even better than his Victoria Derby win at Melton last year. “I always thought he would make a decent 5-year-old open class pacer, but he’s now doing things at four I never expected him to do. I think he will hold his own against the guns here at the Winter Carnival. “He’s going as good as he ever has and Grant’s got him in the best condition of his life. He’s come back extra this time in so retirement is still a wee way off yet,” Seymour said. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Colt Thirty One had to be good to win on Saturday. Even though he was a hot $1.30 favourite Dixon still had to sit back and bide his time from the widest second row draw over the 1,660m mobile. “To sit near last and then make a move two-wide and then three-wide without cover for most of the last lap was astounding. He did it all on his own. “And over the mile and he was still running on at the end. That’s the toughest performance I have seen from him. He’s really starting to come back to form now. This is his first year in open company and we are so proud of him. We now just have to be careful not to break his heart.” Colt Thirty One had 3.8m to spare over Lincoln Road and Hayden Barnes in Saturday’s Silks Trackside Marquee Pace. He stopped the clock in 1:56.5 with 27.2, 30.5, 28.3, and 27.4 sectionals. The talented bay entire has now won 28 of his 41 starts and placed in eight others for $500,592 in purses. “He’s now doing things as a late 4-year-old that I never expected. He’s the best horse we’ve had with Grant,” Seymour stressed. Seymour said he would race through until next month’s Winter Carnival and then the Seymours and Dixon would get together to discuss the horse’s racing future. “I don’t want to look too far beyond the Winter Carnival, but he’s proved he can win down south and the way he’s going he would be a worthy Queensland representative no matter where he races. “Grant’s a family man and doesn’t like to travel away too much, however I think this horse could persuade him to campaign him outside of Queensland. “Grant told me he was still giving at the line. He was quite ecstatic really – really delighted with the win.” Seymour believed that being a son of Mach Three would help Colt Thirty immensely when it was eventually time for the entire to stand at stud. “He will make a great sire. My objective is to stand a high quality son of Mach Three at stud (him), and a top-line son of Bettor’s Delight. We will announce the latter one later. “Regardless of what’s in store for Colt Thirty One on the racetrack, his progeny will be around for many years to come,” Seymour said. “I think he will put Queensland on the map as a stallion as well,” he added. Meanwhile, it was a night for the McMullen family at ‘The Creek’ on Saturday. Siblings Narissa, Dannielle and Peter drove six winners on the 10-race programme. Narissa won behind the horse she owns, trains and drives in race five – Tom Me Gun. She also saluted behind the Mark Rees trained Karinya Mully and the Ron Sallis trained Maybetothemax in races seven and nine. Younger sister, Dannielle, was successful behind the Stephen Cini trained Clarry in race two, and then half an hour later triumphed behind the 4-year-old mare her partner Ryan Veivers trains – Getoutnwalk. Older brother Peter, aka ‘Leader Peter’ won the last race thanks to a perfect front-running steer behind the Bill Crosby trained Slippery Jade from the two gate.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

A $10.5 million funding package will be delivered to Racing Queensland’s three codes from next week. Late last year, the Queensland Government announced it would fund a $26 million prize money increase for the thoroughbred code to be delivered in two stages. They were: - An immediate $18 million increase effective November 1, 2018; and - A further $8 million in six months following the implementation of reform measures. At the same time, the Government and RQ agreed to co-fund a $5.5 million increase for the greyhound and harness codes in 2018, with RQ providing an additional $2.5 million in 2019 following the implementation of similar reform measures. Across the three codes, $34 million will be delivered to address industry viability and long-term sustainability with the latest funding increase to commence from June 17. “Racing Queensland remains extremely grateful to the Queensland Government for their funding support,” RQ Chairman Steve Wilson said. “As an industry, we were committed to delivering reform measures and enhancing our viability, long-term sustainability and competitiveness with other racing jurisdictions. “Over the past six months, significant progress has been achieved, and while more work still needs to take place, I look forward to further progress as we deliver on our strategic and commercial priorities.” As part of the additional $8 million in thoroughbred funding, RQ will abolish starters’ fees to significantly reduce the cost to race in Queensland. “The removal of starters’ fees will benefit all thoroughbred representatives,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said. “We’ve also made a concerted effort to elevate mid-week metropolitan prizemoney, while our SEQ participants indicated that a weekly feature race would be warmly received.” Late last year, the greyhound code received a $3.5 million increase and a further $1.5 million will now commence, while the harness code earlier received a $2 million increase and will now realise an additional $1 million. “By allocating funds in such a broad manner across all three codes, RQ aims to drive improved field sizes which benefits wagering revenues which underpin our industry,” Mr Parnell said. Thoroughbred highlights include: - Removal of starters fee: $2.5m benefit to owners across all Queensland race meetings; - Metropolitan Saturday restricted races increased from $45k to $50k (+10%); - Metropolitan mid-week prizemoney raised from $30k to $35k (+17%); - Mid-week metropolitan maidens raised to $27.5k (+10%); - A feature $30k race to be programmed at SEQ Provincial meetings on a weekly basis (GCTC, ITC and SCTC); and - Northern Provincial midweek increased to $17,000 and Saturday Provincial 2 meetings to $15,000. Racing Queensland

Racing Queensland will launch the inaugural $30,000 Stallions Australasia Springboard Series for 2YO trotters at Albion Park this month. Following a number of recent initiatives to support breeding and racing opportunities, the introduction of the Springboard Series – complemented by a new $10,000 2YO QBRED feature on August 16 – has been strategically developed to enhance the trotting gait in the Sunshine State. In addition to three $5000 heats at Albion Park on June 25, July 9 and July 23, a $15,000 final will be staged on August 2. Stallions Australasia will also provide a complimentary service to one of their leading sires, Wishing Stone, to the winning connections of the Springboard Series final. The sponsorship follows RQ’s announcement to expand the definition of a QBRED trotting stallion to include those registered within Queensland for whom only frozen semen is available in Australia. In addition to Wishing Stone, Stallions Australasia’s other stallions who will fall under QBRED for the 2019/20 breeding season include Trixton, Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank and Royalty For Life. “The Springboard Series forms part of RQ’s strategy to grow the trotting gait in Queensland,” RQ COO Adam Wallish said. “We’re grateful for Stallions Australasia’s support and for their willingness to stimulate breeding and racing opportunities in the Sunshine State “Following the success of QBRED for life – the nation’s premier state-based incentive scheme – there’s never been a better time to race trotters in Queensland.” While there are no eligibility restrictions other than age for the Springboard Series, a minimum of three starters are required for each heat, with those qualifying for the final required to have contested at least two heats. The 2YO series will be complemented by a 3YO series in 2020 to provide further development and racing opportunities for juvenile trotters. In recent years, RQ has launched a number of new initiatives for trotters including: A $2000 first-win bonus (paid upon any trotters first win in Queensland, providing the horse is trained by a Qld trainer); Removing the age restrictions under the ‘QBRED for life’ bonus structure that provides a $10,000 first win bonus and $7500 second win bonus for any QBRED trotters that win a race with a stake value higher than $4500; The introduction of a monthly Trotters Cup thanks to Ultimate Tools; and The ‘Breed-a-trotter’ promotion in conjunction with Haras De Trotteurs at the 2018 Winter Racing Carnival.    Click here to see further information on the RQ’s QBRED for life initiative.   RQ Media

When tough Brisbane Broncos hooker, Jake Turpin, needs to draw on some inspiration and success, he looks no further than top Queensland horsewoman, his sister, Chantal McMullen. “Chantal works so hard training her team of horses and she’s the best Mum ever to my beautiful neices, Olivia and Rylee. I can see why she is successful, because she is the hardest worker I know,” Jake says “She is also married to one of the best drivers going around (Peter McMullen). Chantal is my inspiration to succeed. My motto has always been ‘give it a crack!’ Don’t do anything half-hearted – and they certainly don’t do that." The 22-year-old spoke to Racing Queensland not long after returning from a gritty 8-2 away win against the NZ Warriors in Auckland on Saturday (May 25). Since making the Queensland Under 15 team while attending St Edmunds College Ipswich in 2011, the humble ‘country boy’ from rural Queensland has escalated into one of the toughest and most fearless hookers in the NRL.“ I’ve never been big, or even fast for that matter, but Dad (Tony) always told me ‘the bigger they are the harder they fell’. If you go in half-hearted that’s when you get injured,” Jake said. “Growing up Dad always did the horses with Chantal and Mum Karen would take me to all my footy games. Mum and Dad have always taught us that if we are going to do anything then give it 101 per cent. “I was always the little kid who really tore into his tackling. I gave it my all, no matter how big or small they were. That still very much applies.” Turpin said harness racing was without a doubt his second favourite sport. “When I’m not playing league I always like to flick the Tv on and watch my family race. I’ve grown up around the horses and I’m slowly trying to convince my team-mates to get involved,” he said. “Some of them now look for the Turpin and McMullen name when the trots are on. I’d actually like a few of us to get a ‘Broncos horse’, perhaps a Kiwi import. “I Know ‘Birdy’ (Jack Bird) could be keen and I’ll try and get some of the others along to the track when and if I can. I know quite a few of them seem interested anyway.” Schedule and time allowing Turpin said he would more than likely be attending Queensland’s Winter Carnival at Albion Park in July. “I’d like to be there, especially if my horses are running at the time – and I think they will be. I think Watch Pulp Fiction is being targeted for the Carnival and Mattgregor is just on the way back, perhaps trialling this week,” he said. Turpin said he was never one to rush and muck the boxes or do feed-ups when he was young. “I’ve been around them all of my life. I still love them, but I was never too excited about doing it for a full-time job. I’m not sure what would have happened if I never got that Melbourne Storm (five-year) contract when I was 15,” he said. “Footy has always been my number one sport. Harness two. Our parents gave Chantal and I a great country life and the best possible platform to do what we wanted in life. “Chantal and I have always tried to do our best by our family and make them proud. We will never forget the hard yards they put in when we were growing up.” Turpin said he would like to pass similar guidance through sport to young league players, especially promising young hookers. “I remember when I was young and a Broncos fan, so now I’d do anything for the kids. They are the future of our game. If I can sign an autograph and makes someone’s day, then it puts a smile on my face too,” Turpin said. *Racing Queensland wishes to thank the Brisbane Broncos for their assistance with this article. Jake Turpin’s player bio can be found here:   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Anyone who changed their mind about going to harness racing at Marburg last Sunday certainly pulled the wrong rein. Happily, the weather was on side and approximately 800 folk ventured to the showground. The Marburg Pacing Association was able to demonstrate that, contrary to some opinions, it is possible to promote harness racing and do so in a profitable fashion. Yes, it took a lot of hard work, required a large advertising budget and needed good weather but isn't that the same for any outdoor sports venture? The MPA, on this occasion, managed to cover all the bases. With a few new faces to assist the regular corps of over-worked volounteers, and added attractions such as the Bremer Ford Suzuki Swift raffle and the "WINX" memorabilia, the fans went home happy. We will be back again on Monday, May 6 (Labour Day), to do it all again. Don't miss out. It's a value for money day watching a great sport. It's "the trots in a country setting" with feature races sponsored by well known Rosewood identities John and Chrissie Turner and Queensland Taxi Bowls Club. Interstate concerns IN Queensland, those of us with genuine concerns for the future of our sport often think that we are hard done by. Maybe we are but stop for a moment and consider the immediate future of licencees and owners in South Australia. The following is taken from the Harness Racing South Australia website and is crystal clear in its intent. "The HRSA Board wishes to reaffirm that it remains resolute in its drive to seek the resignations of the SAHRC committee. "Unfortunately, over time, the board has lost confidence in the ability of the SAHRC committee to properly oversee and administer the affairs of the club and harness racing at the state's premier track. "The HRSA Board reiterates its determination that for harness racing to prosper in South Australia the principal club must be vibrant, however the SAHRC committee has failed to demonstrate that it has any viable or feasible plans to arrest the escalating financial losses being incurred. "The realities being that club's fortunes under the current committee have continued to decline and its financial performance significantly deteriorate.'' Furthermore, HRSA states the following: "The HRSA Board is committed to ensuring Globe Derby Park remains the principal harness racing venue in South Australia and at no stage does HRSA want racing to cease on a permanent basis. "The HRSA Board believes that Globe Derby Park is an important facility for Adelaide's northern area and that it must be maintained for its intended purpose - harness racing. "The HRSA Board is not supportive of decisions made by the SAHRC to enter into conditional contracts to sell the majority of club property to a developer for the purposes of establishing mid-high-density residential housing. "The HRSA Board believes that as a consequence of the SAHRC committee's performance, the club's health and on-going viability has been put at serious risk. "In summary, the HRSA Board believes that unless the current issues being faced by the industry are satisfactorily resolved, this being the removal of the SAHRC committee, then harness racing in the state cannot progress but rather it will continue to struggle to remain relevant". From my perspective, it seems that HRSA is behaving responsibly. It begs the question here in Queensland, where the rumour mill spits out the same message every week, that the sale of Albion Park is crucial to any forward progress in the matter of infrastructure and in any other facet of Racing Queensland's operation. One rumour is that former Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is headed for a seat on the three-man thoroughbred component on the over-arching Board of Racing Queensland. Is former Lord Mayor Quirk being proposed on the basis of his expertise in gallops decision making, or is it for any expertise he may have in the processing of rezoning applications for high value properties? Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1:  First four 1-3-10-11: Jumping Jolt (J Elkins)-Tom Me Gun (N McMullen)-A Good Chance (P McMullen)-Mark Dennis (K Dawson). R2: Box trifecta 2-5-6: Only In Rome (T Dawson)-Gottago Jazzy Jet (C Hart)-Skyfella Cam (C Geary). R3: E/w 1: Riverleigh Rocket (Mark Dux). R4: Quinella 1-8: Lincoln Road (H Barnes) and Casino Grin (C Geary). R5: Quinella 1-2: Just Rokin (P Greig) and Opononis Bliss (C Turpin). R6: E/w 2: Oceans Predator (N McMullen). R7: First four 6-7-8-11: Spud (A Sanderson)-Maybe To The Max (H Barnes)-Justabitnoisy (Doug Lee)-Needle (D Graham). R8: Box trifecta 1-2-5: Watch Pulp fiction (C Turpin)-Alleluia (G Dixon)-Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen). R9: Box trifecta 1-4-9: Broken Ark (C Hart)-Albion Ark (A Sanderson)-Guy Looks Good (P McMullen). R10: No 2: Colt Thirty One (G Dixon). Honour board A bit of shuffling on the leader board this week as newcomers make their presence felt. In drivers' results, Adam Richardson was up there level-pegging with Pete McMullen on five wins and rates of 250 apiece. On the trainers' side, regular Chantal Turpin was forced to make room for Jay Edmunds. Both trainers prepared three winners for the term. Most pleasing was Mitchell Dawson beginning to post higher numbers in the training department. Ipswich factor: 27/46. Albion Park, April 20: Twitter Bromac (Adam Richardson for Jay Edmunds); Our Chittybangbang (Trent Dawson); Newmerella Sharkie (Trent Dawson for Max Towns); Good Time Stride (Rob Gorman); Spud (Adam Sanderson for Jay Edmunds); Glenferrie Hood (Pete McMullen for Wayne Graham). Marburg, April 21: Bambole Nere (Adam Richardson for David Rodger Jnr); Northern Muscle (Denis Smith); Under The Kilt (Matt Elkins for Warren Hinze); Mach Torque (Chantal Turpin); Itsadanceoff (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Argyle Beach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Escalera (Darrell Graham); My Wingman (Paul Diebert for Ricky Gordon). Albion Park, April 23: Mister Ribbely (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte); Majestic Simon (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Trojan Banner (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Patsdelight (Adam Sanderson for Jay Edmunds); The Shady One (Justin Elkins for Trevor Lambourn). Redcliffe, April 24: No Confession (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie); Burning Ambition (Narissa McMullen for Mitchell Dawson); Karloo Mac (Adam Sanderson for Brett Cargill); Riverleigh William (Danny Gatt- Bouquet for Charlie Chiang). Redcliffe, April 25: Unassuming Champ (Adam Richardson for Mitchell Dawson); On That Day (Pete McMullen for Donny Smith); Cotothemoon (Pete McMullen for Donny Smith); Itsadanceoff (Justin Elkins for Trevor Lambourn). by Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

It was a moment that New Jersey horseman, John McDermott, had been longing for from the moment his champion pacer and stallion, Hurrikane Kingcole, left him in the USA three years ago. Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owner and former trainer was in the Toowoomba region on Monday (April 1), and specifically came to Queensland to visit his beloved mate who is standing at Egmont Park Stud in Biddeston. He also attended the Albion Park Trots and the Redcliffe Sales on Saturday and Sunday. “Of course I shed a tear. I’m almost shedding a tear now - a day just later - just thinking about it," McDermott said. “It was a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. You know I couldn’t sleep some nights thinking about my best friend. I was so worried about how he would look now. Everyone who knows me will tell you I love my animals. “I didn’t have to worry about a thing though did I?. What beautiful, healthy condition he is in! All my fears were allayed. Peter and Leann (Bell) have done a wonderful job with him. He’s exactly how I hoped he would look. I can’t thank them enough. “And you know what? He knew me. It was like old friends meeting up after such a long time. Forever mates reunited. It’s truly a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” McDermott said from the Sunshine Coast. Hurrikane Kingcole was a $10,000 yearling sales purchase. The son of Cam's Card Shark and Blazing Yankee then went on to win 14 of his 49 starts and earned $582,807 in an injury-plagued career.. His lifetime mark was 1:47.3. His crop of 2-year-olds are just starting to hit the ground running now in Australia, but McDermott loved the horse from the moment he saw him at the sales. “If you thought I loved him at first sight, try now. I remember the moment the hammer went down and we got him for a bargain $10,000. Then the phone rang at home and I was told (my dog) ‘King Cole’ had just died," he said. “’King Cole’ was my best friend back then. My 16-year-old Great Dane. From that moment on I believe the dog’s spirit moved into that yearling. That’s why he’s called Hurrikane King Cole and that’s why this horse has long been my best friend." He also explained that the term ‘Hurrikane’ came from his mother and his son. “Kane is my son. He’s 22 now. He was named after my mother’s maiden name which is Kane. Kane’s sister nicknamed him Hurrikane one day and it stuck," he said. McDermott said when he bought Hurrikane Kingcole the colt was a bit fat. “He was like a tubby little school kid and then within months he blossomed into the wonderful racehorse and now the striking stallion he is today. It’s just a shame he was injured and sick throughout his career," he said. “If he had been raised in Queensland he could have been anything. Your fresh air would have been amazing for him, but instead he was always cooped up back home recovering in boxes. “Sadly we only got to see glimpses of him at his very best because of his immune system issues, as well as his breathing difficulties." Apart from reuniting with his old mate again for the first time in three years, McDermott said one of the other highlights ‘Down Under’ was visiting Albion Park with Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owners and lifetime friends, Scott Mangini and Carl Garafalo (pictured). “Yes I am an emotional kinda guy, but it completely blew me away to see Hurrikane Kingcole’s name in large letters along the back-straight," he said. “That was touching. What a great place to visit. It was so good to see so many young ones in their twenties having a great night out at the races. We could learn a thing or two from you guys back home." The day after the trots McDermott and his mates were under-bidders on Lot 35 at the  Redcliffe Yearling Sale - a Hurrikane Kingcole - Too Smart For You colt. “We really liked him too but had to let him go at $47,000. That was also a great day out. It was so heartening to know that he produced the top lot and there were eight others by him at the Sale," he said. “When he raced his gait was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. His front leg stood so far out beyond his nose when he was in full gear, it was ridiculous. “He was the reason I got up every day to go to the barn. l loved his personality. He was such a pleasure to be around. He liked us. He was just a happy-go-lucky horse – just awesome. It was so good to see him again." And that wasn’t owners bias either. One of North America’s best reinsmen also agreed Hurrikane Kingcole was something special. “He is the fastest and most powerful horse I’ve ever driven. His gait was effortless and sitting behind him was awe inspiring,” said Yannick Gingras. Now Hurrikane Kingcole is starting to make his mark as a sire in both hemispheres. His son and daughter Hurrikane Emperor and Hurrikane Empress are really making a name for themselves against the best company in North America. Hurrikane Emperor is the current New Jersey Horse-of-the-Year. They are both trained by McDermott. “I live in both New Jersey and Florida depending on the season, but have to be back in New Jersey on April 7 for our Stakes season. Believe me these two pacers are something special. They have competed and won against the best and you will hear a lot more about them this season. They have a lot of their father’s traits. “Also down here Vic Frost speaks highly of his Hurrikane Kingcole 2-year-old, Frost en Ice. That is a huge compliment. “I tell you Hurrikane Kingcole is the greatest bargain going, both back home, and Down Under. I just know his offspring will do well. “But I’ve leased him to Kevin Seymour, and he knows I want my old buddy back. I think it’s a 10-year lease, but Kevin is a great guy and he told me 'HKC' would be coming home to me one day. “That news made my day. I hated saying goodbye to him again,” McDermott said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Seventy-six lots will be up for grabs at Sunday’s Garrard’s sponsored Redcliffe Yearling Sale, but the annual sale will be much more subdued than the previous 11 sales at Redcliffe Paceway. The mid-day auction will be staged just seven days after an incident which saw horseman Gary Whitaker and his two children injured at the track. Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said there would be an opportunity for attendees to keep the Whitaker family in their thoughts. “We did think about postponing it but after a lot of consultation we have decided to go ahead,” Mr Ring said. "Gary and his family are part of our harness racing family. Gary has bought at the sales previously and is a quality horseman. "They will be on our minds not only on Sunday, but everyday, and we wish Gary and his two children a speedy recovered.” He said his thoughts were also with Gary's wife Joedy, who had been brave throughout the ordeal. He wanted others to display that same braveness by seeking help. "It's been tough for a lot of people, especially those who witnessed the accident. Some members are struggling with this and have sought counselling,” Mr Ring said. "I strongly recommend that everyone takes up the counseling on offer. It needs to be addressed so the thought of it all doesn't come back to haunt people in years to come.” As a result he said there would be no racing at Redcliffe this week – but possibly next week. Ring termed Sunday’s auction as one which was lower on numbers than last year, but higher in quality. "It’s one of the best catalogues we have had. We are expecting buyers from other States. We have a half-brother to Queensland's best juvenile filly of last season, Smart As Camm Be. He is by Hurrikane Kingcole and is Lot 35,” he said. "He's just one stand-out. There are many more - and unlike the APG Sales, all out bidding starts at $1.” He also liked the look of Lot 50 – a colt out of a Down The Catwalk mare named Catwalk Beauty (2004 brown P B Bullville mare). He is by Mr Feelgood. Ring was proud that a strong selection of stallions would be represented, such as represented in the catalogue such as Bettor’s Delight, Somebeachsomewhere, Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter, Roll With Joe, Well Said, Mr Feelgood, Grinfromeartoear, Changeover and Cammibest and the emerging sires Sweet Lou, Hurrikane Kingcole, Heston Blue Chip, Pet Rock, A Rocknroll Dance, Warrawee Needy, Sunshine Beach, He’s Watching and Follow The Stars. The sale also features half-brothers or half-sisters to a host of classic winners including Pub Blitz, Cha Ching Chaching, Smart As Camm Be, Bonnie Jujon, Wicked Style, Jack Malone, Celtic Cruza and Mathilda Diventa and progeny of the top race mares Too Smart For You, Catwalk Beauty, Cullen’s Jewel, Montana Tess, Bangkok Dancer and Riverboat Royce. "The big incentive about this Sale is that yearlings are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series with a minimum $100,000 prize money for two-year-olds in 2020 and the 3YO Sale Classic in 2021,” Mr Ring said. “They are also eligible for Q-Bred, Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge.” The Sale will be run in conjunction with Darren Ebert and Co. Auctioneers and Agents.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

The best pacer that Anna Woodmansey has trained needs to be taught to slow down. That’s the opinion of the Chambers Flat horsewoman going into Saturday night’s feature event at Albion Park – the $21,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud 2yo Classic (Race 7). The 56-year-old said Pelosi had so much speed she needed to be taught to use it in a race. “She’s such a lovely gaited animal, who needs to be taught to race. She can go like a bat out of hell at times and just needs to slow down and use her speed appropriately,” Woodmansey said. The very well bred American Ideal - For Dear Life (Life Sign) filly is the only starter on the second line in Saturday's eight-strong 1660m mobile. She will be driven by John Cremin. Pelosi goes into the race with a first-up 1.3m victory when a $2.80 second favourite at Albion Park on February 26. The gifted bay then followed that up with an easy 4.3m trial win at the same venue on Wednesday (March 13). "I gave her that trial because last week's 2-year-old race was put off until this week because of the Australia Ladies Driving Champs," Woodmansey said. “She’s had two preps with Kylie Rasmussen and she really liked her. She’s a smart, sensible filly. She comes from a nice family, many of which have won Group races. However they can tend to be a bit loopy unless you keep them in work,” Woodmansey said. “But I must admit it’s been hard trying to treat this good girl equal to the others. She’s much better though, and makes the job worth getting up for,” she added. Pelosi paced a 1:56 mile rate (1:59.6 - 1660m) when winning from gate three on debut. She sat three-deep on the markers that day and then loomed up three wide at the 400m. In the straight she had too much sprint for the favourite Will The Wizard. On Wednesday she came from well back in the field to sit parked at the bell and then at the 700m took control of the race. From that point the battle was for second. Cremin had a big handful as his filly cruised to the line in 2:03.9 (mile rate 2:00.1). Pelosi hails from a quality family, and the daughter of American Ideal is well named. Her human namesake - Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician who has been the speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. "Wayne named her. He reckons Pelosi gives (Donald) Trump heaps. Her mother was also a very nice racehorse. In fact a lot of the family have done well," Woodmansey said. Wayne is Wayne Honan, Woodmansey’s partner and the owner/breeder of both Pelosi and her dam - For Dear Life (2005 Life Sign mare). Honan's Hall-of-Fame father, the late Jack bred the grand-dam, the 1992 Stature mare, Express Post. Between them, For Dear Life and Express Post won 25 races and just on $400,000. For Dear Life won 14 of her 28 starts ($322,331) and three Group One events, including the $125,000 Breeders 2yo Challenge in 2008; the $100,000 NSW Wales Oaks in 2009; and the $100,000 APG 3yo Fillies Final in 2009. The first two Group Ones were achieved at Harold Park and the latter at Albion Park. Woodmansey said Express Post won 11 of her 18 starts and $89,483. "I think that might be where Pelosi gets her speed from because Jack said Express Post was an exceptionally fast mare," said Woodmansey. Pelosi arrived at Woodmansey’s barn in November and she is one of three currently in work. The trainer said she would slowly build her up to the APG 2yo heats at Albion Park the end of next month. Toughest for Pelosi to defeat will be the also unbeaten Toanui Spirit (5) and Xaviers Hurrikane (7). Trained by KerryAnn Turner and Shawn Grimsey respectively, both 2-year-olds were impressive winners on debut. New South Wales Visitor Toanui Spirit comes into the race with a 2:01.6 winning mile rate at Newcastle on February 23, while  Xaviers Hurrikane, who has copped the outside front-row draw, made a statement when winning at Albion Park on February 12 by 5.3m with a quick 1:56.1 mile rate. Robert Morris and Nathan Dawson will drive Toanui Spirit and Xaviers Hurrikane respectively. Pelosi's impressive win at the Albion Park trials on Tuesday:   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Racing Queensland’s TAB Grand Slam bonuses have been increased to $165,000, with the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club’s stand-alone Group 1 meeting moved to a Saturday night timeslot in two major enhancements for the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival. The TAB Grand Slam bonuses, introduced in 2018, brought with them record interstate participation and record wagering for the G2 Sunshine Sprint and G1 Blacks A Fake meetings. The Group 1 Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series Final meeting will be moved to a Saturday night time-slot (June 22) to capitalize on a record wagering result in 2018, kick-starting the TAB Grand Slam Bonus legs, which include:    $50,000 Blacks A Fake Bonus – Payable to any horse which completes the TAB Sunshine Sprint/Blacks A Fake winning double $15,000 Derby Bonus – Payable to any horse that wins the Redcliffe and TAB QLD Derbies $15,000 Oaks Bonus – Payable to horse that wins the Redcliffe and TAB QLD Oaks’ $15,000 Trotters Bonus – Payable to horse that wins the Redcliffe and QLD Trotters Cups $20,000 Trainers’ Bonus – Payable to any trainer that can win two of the following TAB Queensland Derby TAB Queensland Oaks Queensland Trotters Cup and; TAB Blacks A Fake. $10,000 TAB Blacks A Fake Grand Final tickets – Payable to any horse who wins one of the 2018/19 Grand Circuit Races and starts in the 2019 TAB Blacks A Fake. Following the running of the Miracle Mile the ticket holders are: Tiger Tara Thefixer Turn It Up Rocknroll Lincoln Spankem The enhanced bonuses complement recent prize money increases to the 2019 TAB Queensland Derby and Oaks, which will this year be run for $100,000 and Group 1 status. Queensland driver and Sky Racing presenter Brittany Graham announced the enhancements on television program ‘In The Gig’ on Tuesday evening.  Graham, who will also host live coverage of Saturday’s Australian Female Drivers Championship at Albion Park, said the bonuses had reinvigorated the Queensland Winter Carnival. “As a proud Queenslander it has been great to see TAB getting behind our Winter Carnival through increased prize money and bonuses, which we hope will bring some of these top-line horses to the Sunshine State this year,” Graham said. Racing Queensland Harness Development and Strategy Manager David Brick said it was important to continue to find innovative ways to increase returns to participants, while boosting breeding stocks and wagering on Queensland races. “The highly successful Breed A Trotter program, enhancements to the QBRED Scheme which will see horses eligible to win cash bonuses throughout their entire racing career in Queensland, the introduction of TAB meetings at Marburg and race series for grass roots horses and participants and, significant boosts to prize money, are just some examples of RQ’s commitment to ensure the sport prospers in the years to come.”     Racing Queensland

Leading Queensland reinswomen Narissa McMullen and Kelli Dawson will swap teal for maroon in Saturday’s Australian Female Drivers Championship (AFDC) at Albion Park in Brisbane, where competitors from each state will go head-to-head in one exciting night of harness racing. Among the headline acts are World Champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning (VIC), KerryAnn Turner (NSW) and Madeline Young (WA). The night will double as a close to the 2019 Team Teal campaign, which aims to raise funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation in its fight against Ovarian Cancer and other Gynecological diseases. In addition to battling out for the prestigious title, the winner will also receive a trip for two to Hamilton Island thanks to the kind support of long-time industry supporters Kevin and Kaye Seymour. A sensational night of entertainment is planned with guest appearances from Brisbane Heat cricket star Jemma Barsby and legendary jockey Pam O’Neill. World record-holding reinswoman Kerryn Manning will also speak on the night in between her driving commitments. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said he looked forward to welcoming Australia’s best drivers to Brisbane for a great night of racing. “This will be a tremendous celebration of women in harness racing,” Mr Brick said. “Harness racing is a unique sport in that men and women compete on a level playing field, with women providing some of the sport’s biggest stars.” The field for the 2019 AFDC is as follows: Hannah Vandongen (TAS) Samantha Gangell (TAS) KerryAnn Turner (NSW) Ellen Rixon (NSW) Narissa McMullen (QLD) Kelli Dawson (QLD) Madeline Young (WA) Emily Suvaljko (WA) Lisa Ryan (SA) Kaela Hryhorec (SA) Kima Frenning (VIC) Kerryn Manning (VIC) Kelli Dawson, who came to notoriety in Queensland through her association with ‘Freak of the Creek’ Destreos, comes into the Queensland line-up for the suspended Kylie Rasmussen, who alongside McMullen, has been flying the flag for the 2019 Team Teal campaign in the Sunshine State. McMullen has been leading the charge for Queensland in the 2019 Team Teal campaign, which aims to raise funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. McMullen leads the national tally to-date, with 19 winners since February 1, helping the Queensland campaign raise just short of $10,000.   Racing Queensland

First-year American stallion, Hurrikane Kingcole, was always destined to sire his first Queensland winner at Albion Park on Tuesday (February 12). The son of Cam's Card Shark was represented by all four starters in the appropriately named $7,750 Hurrikane Kingcole At Egmont Park Stud Pace. It was Queensland’s first 2-year-old race in 2018-2019. The Shawn Grimsey trained and Nathan Dawson driven Xavier's Hurrikane won the 1660m mobile by 5.3 metres with a swift 1:56.1 mile rate. Equal $2 favourite, the Vic Frost trained Frost En Ice (Kylie Rasmussen) was second. Although Grimsey admitted the time was good, he believed Xavier's Hurrikane’s real gauge wouldn’t be known until after the brown gelding competed in the $50,000 Sapling 2yo Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Miracle Mile night - Saturday March 2. "That was a nice win but we will wait and see how he goes against the Art Majors and Bettors Delights in Sydney. The Hurrikane Kingcoles seem to be kind animals and this fella has a bit of talent, but how much, only time and development will tell. I think he’s definitely worthy of a trip south. I will know a lot more after March 2,” Grimsey said. He said he had two Hurrikane Kingcoles at his Tamborine Mountain stable. “They broke in okay and this fella is much more forward in his preparation than his sister. He’s also more talented. She (Madetoplay) took three goes to qualify,” Grimsey said. The Gold Coast horseman said he had campaigned horses with moderate success in New South Wales previously. He said both he and owner/breeder, Mike Adamson, also of Tamborine Mountain, believed Xavier's Hurrikane was good enough to take on the best early-season 2-year-olds. “It’s only early days yet but he’s done all he can do and at this minute I couldn’t be happier. He’s out of a Mach Three New Zealand mare (Dougie's Envy), so hopefully that side of the breeding will kick on too,” 46-year-old Grimsey said. “I've got seven in work and he’s by far the best of them. The horse that ran second behind him (Frost En Ice) also went well, so the stallion might have a bright future,” he added. Hurrikane Kingcole sired his first Australian winner at Geelong on January 16 when the Damien Burns trained and Michael Belman driven Youaremy Sunshine got the chocolates by two-and-a-half metres. Hurrikane Kingcole has now sired 136 live foals in Australia and has had six starters to the races. As a racehorse he won 14 of his 49 starts and placed in 10 others for $580,102 in stakes. In 2012 the talented bay paced a 1:48.1 mile at Mohegan Sun Pocono to equal the then-world record for a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track Then the slick pacer, who was bought for $10,000 at the yearling sales, went on to set a lifetime mark of 1:47.3. Hurrikane Kingcole suffered from a myriad of health issues during his career, including throat problems and a broken splint bone in his left front leg. The latter ensured his premature retirement in March 2015.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

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