Parklands complex to cease to exist as a trotting venue

BY the time you read this over your cornflakes, the Parklands complex will have ceased to exist as a trotting venue.

The last race will have been run, and any hopes of a bright future for the light harness sport on the greater Gold Coast will be gone with the wind.

I make no apology for the use of "bright future'' as Parklands, home of the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club from 1988 until now, represents about the hardest act to follow that one could imagine.

The last track emanating from the Russ Hinze era, Parklands was the ultimate design from the drawing board of civil engineer Bede Ireland.

Constructed in the pre-privatisation life of the Queensland TAB (now Unitab/Tatts Bet), and funded in the main part by the Race Course Development Fund (unpaid fractions from dividends), the 1000 metre track and facilities produced fast, competitive racing. It earned a wet weather rating second to none.

Many licencees have said "the more it rains'' the quicker they go.

It is fashionable today to demonise Russ Hinze and the Government of which he was a big part.

Funnily, you can just about date to a decade, the birth of the problems which beset trotting in Queensland today. They came from the loss of a Racing Minister who was exactly that and the privatisation of the Queensland TAB, a body which had included in its mission statement a recognition of hardship within the three codes of racing and the benevolence to address that hardship in a positive fashion.

A continuation of the family approach practised by Sir Llew Edwards when the TAB was controlled by Treasury is gone.

We now are funded, and by extension controlled, by a public company, which puts the shareholders first as a matter of course.

Any attempts by individual codes or clubs within a code to improve their earning capacity are further subject to control by another commercial entity called Sky Channel.

No family here, just corporate reality.

The Gold Coast Harness Racing Club committee can only wait in hope of a positive announcement from Racing Minister Steve Dickson.

Currently it's running a bit late.


Strategic meeting

THE meeting which will concern itself with a Strategic Plan for the Marburg Pacing Association will be held on the second Sunday in October (October 13), not the date previously advised. Apologies for that.

The meeting should commence at about 10.30am and local Member Sean Choat will put the broad government position, followed by Racing Queensland and Botra.

After these addresses, the meeting will be thrown open to general discussion.

If we get the numbers that we should attract, and after serious debate, the MPA should have a clearer picture of the purpose we should serve in the sport, and the directions in which we should be heading.


Marburg feast

THERE is now a large and tasty incentive to drop by the Sunday trials on a regular basis.

Jump in the car and head on out for a $5 breakfast, consisting of a Marburger with the lot, tea, coffee or a cold soft drink.

Watch the trials, blackbook a coming winner and have a relaxing morning.

The breakfast is a first serve of the morning deal. Seconds are at normal rates.

Trials are tomorrow morning. Nominations are at 7.15am. The first education session is at 8am.


Key date

DON'T forget the Black Snake Creek Festival, on Friday night and Saturday, October 11/12.

See the Marburg Community come alive. It's something for everybody. The Marburg Pacing Association will be there.


Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - Quinella 1-6: Bettor Draw (C. Petroff) and Honky Tonk Hanover (G. Whitaker).

R2: E/w 2: Chloe Maguire (M. Neilson).

R3: Quinella 2-8: Cullens Impact (P. McMullen) and Saucy Vision (K. Rasmussen).

R4: E/w 1: Western Flare (G. Dixon).

R5: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Andyourgoodtogo (D. Belford)-Ace Light (DG Weekes)-Navajo Rocky (G. Dixon).

R6: Quinella 1-3: Midnight Khan (K. Rasmussen) and Noelhamric (N. McMullen).

R7: Quinella 3-5: Valiant Sue (B. Cockburn) and Woodlyn Girl (P. McMullen).

R8: Box trifecta 4-6-7: Goulburn Guy (K. Rasmussen)-Vegas Bound (M. Neilson)-Devil Dodger (G. Dixon).

R9: Box trifecta 3-4-5: Torque Lively (K. Rasmussen)-Its All Aces (G. Bond)-King Grin (N. McMullen).


Honour board

UP on the board this week is Pete McMullen with four winning efforts in the driving department. The training honours went to John McMullen and Darrel Graham at three apiece.

Gold Coast, September 20: In No Mans Land (Chris Petroff for Trevor Lambourn); Exceptional Mach (Pete for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, September 21: Yeah Right (Pete for Shane Sanderson); Woodlyn Girl (Pete for Shaun Gillespie).

Albion Park, September 23: Mystery Montana (Darrel Graham); Shes The Real Diva (Darrel Graham); All Dreams Aside (Kelli for Geoff Dawson); Tinted Pearl (Greg Elkins).

Redcliffe, September 25: Melton Macmax (Narissa for John McMullen); Praze An Beeble (Darrel Graham).

Gold Coast, September 26: Mimesis (Pete for Phil Mitchell); Melton Mighty Max (Danielle for John McMullen); My Shadow Strike (Narissa for John McMullen).

Topics:  denis smith opinion trot tactics trotting

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