'Dangerous imbalance' a concern
THE erosion at the base of the harness pyramid is beginning is becoming more visible.
Last Saturday night at the premier meeting, Albion Park, 99 horses went round.
Some 27 trainers were represented.
Sadly, six trainers provided 60 of the runners, while 21 trainers presented the other 39 starters.
The statisticians employed at Racing Queensland should be reporting this dangerous imbalance at the top of the pyramid and our leaders should be taking immediate steps to broaden the base, by offering realistic racing and earning opportunity to the hobbyist faction of harness.
We are often exhorted to pull together to promote the sport. But since we have been told on more than one occasion that "there is no more for hobbyists'', it is unrealistic to expect much pull from a section of participants who are not being fed.
Cole provides inspiration
THANKS to ace broadcaster and tipster Chris Barsby, you can read why all the breeders in Queensland would like to be Murray Cole this week.
Thirty years ago, the following excerpt would have portrayed a slightly different scenario: Nice, but not strikingly significant.
Fast forward to the present to find that we are entering the era of predictable outcomes. The Classic winners and the big race feature winners come from mares with high grade track performance in their resume. No longer do top horses come regularly from "left field" as they did in the past.
If this filly is as good as it is bred to be, it will be no accident.
Former star race mare Forever Gold is now a proud mum after safely delivering her first foal this week, a filly by star sire and Alabar based Rock N Roll Heaven. The foaling took place at the famed Egmont Park Stud on the Darling Downs of Toowoomba.
"It's very exciting and according to early reports, both mare and foal are doing very well,'' co-owner and breeder Murray Cole said. "Studmaster Peter Bell said the filly is a lovely type with plenty of size about her which sounds positive. I'm looking forward to seeing both mare and foal.''
Forever Gold was retired on the eve of the Queensland Pacing Championship last year owing to an injury to her nearside fetlock.
The mare affectionately known as "Tammy'' was prepared throughout her glittering career by Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks.
Forever Gold retires with 42 victories from 92 starts while amassing more than $700,000 in stakes.
Some of her biggest victories include the Queensland Oaks, Inter Dominion heat, Governors Cup, Robin Dundee Stakes, Make Mine Cullen, 4/5yo Championship, Qld Ladyship Stakes (x 4) and the 2yo & 3yo QBRED Breeders Classic and Triads Finals.
Feature race placings include Nursery Pace Final, Gold Coast Oaks, Ladyship Mile, Teeny Teeny, Ranji Bill, Angelique Club Cup, Northern Breeders Stakes, Queen of Hearts, Redcliffe Gold Cup, Lord Mayors Cup, Christmas Cup, Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake.
Connections are looking at Captaintreacherous 2, 1:49.2; 3, 1:47.1 ($3,148,657), both the richest and fastest son of champion sire Somebeachsomewhere, as the next consort for their Group One winning mare.
Captaintreacherous may have been a $250,000 yearling purchase, but the price turned out to be a bargain as he earned $3.14 million winning 23 races during his sensational race career.
Marburg place to be
MARBURG races today and the weather should be excellent for the six race program.
The pick the first five winners competition is at a healthy $650.
The lucky gate prize for patrons 18 and over is the $100 free bet with bookmaker Terry Picone.
"Con Mann", the funny money bookie, will be operating and a three prize meat tray raffle will be the go.
Between race entertainment is a "gearing up" race where four teams of three show their speed and skill to harness a horse, dress a driver and complete a lap of the track. First home gets $100.
Racing Queensland will have 10 Korean students on site to get a taste of something different from the world of light harness.
Come and join us for a great day of country trotting.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.
R1: Quinella 1-8: Karloo Kix (B. Cockburn) and Armazem (D. McMullen).
R2: Box trifecta in four 1-2-3-8: Big Spending Telf (S. Graham)-Lancelot Bromac (H. Barnes)-Montcalm (C. Turpin)-Iamboogie (A. Sanderson).
R3: Quinella 1-2: Mach Cruiser (D. McMullen) and Tandy Franco (T. Dixon).
R4: Quinella 1-8: Horace Foxley (L. Weidemann) and Remember Them (N. Dawson).
R5: Box trifecta 3-7-9: Bio Marinus (T. Dixon)-Purple Royale (M. Elkins)-Alleluia (G. Dixon).
R6: Quinella 1-8: Only In Rome (P. McMullen) and A Good Chance (C. Petroff).
R7: Box trifecta 1-2-9: Marty Bee (B. Cockburn)- Tighrope (G. Dixon)-Murano (N. McMullen).
R8: Box trifecta 1-8-9: Calcavado (N. McMullen)-Fiery Blue Chip (D. McMullen)-Washingtons Flier (R. Sallis).
R9: Quinella 1-8: Lucia Bromac (N. McMullen) and Barriettas Bliss (A. Richardson).
R10: Box trifecta in four 1-5-6-8: Used Tickets (A. Richardson)-Blue Don (T. Dixon)-Duke Of The Moment (P. McMullen)-Our Overanova (G. Dixon).
Marburg picks today: R1 - 8-4-5. R2: 3-4-6. R3: 2-4-7-8. R4: 7-8-5. R5: 5-2-3. R6: 3-4-5.
A CHANGE on the drivers' side of the leaderboard with Danielle McMullen and Matt Elkins responsible for four winning drives apiece. Meanwhile, ever-reliable Chantal Turpin churned out another four winners to hold the lead in the trainer's section. The most pleasing efforts were Danielle McMullen's treble at Albion Park on September 30, and Matt Elkins, who was up there posting four big wins for the week.
Albion Park, September 30: Threo (Trevor Lambourn for Rachel Scott); Judah Ben Hur (Nathan Dawson for Ken Belford); Ima Morven Lad (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Bells Beach House (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Mister XJ (Trent Dawson); A Good Chance (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith).
Albion Park, October 1: Broadway Playboy (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Purple Royale (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Remember Them (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin); Goodtime Stride (Rob Gorman).
Albion Park, October 4: Illdoitwhenimready (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Django Mach (Narissa McMullen); Mattgregor (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Lancelot Bromac (Hayden Barnes for Stewie Dickson).
Redcliffe, October 5: Beatle Man (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Lynchman (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Sir Rory (Danielle McMullen for Graeme Gavin); Lisas Lawyer (Adam Richardson for Chantal Turpin); Cagney (Shane Graham for Ken Belford).
Redcliffe, October 6: Flashing Good Time (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen; Supaliner (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Its All Go (Matt Elkins); Blissful Infidelity (Matt Elkins for Mal Charlton); Bob Gage (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).