Dedicated Darryl will be sadly missed
AGAIN we mourn. This time it is to mark the passing of former long-serving Albion Park committeeman Darryl Brennan.
A man with his heart and his love of the light harness sport fixed firmly in the right place, Darryl was known for his efforts to promote “amateur” driving, as a pathway to bring new and enthusiastic blood into the base of the harness pyramid.
For a period of time he organised two and sometimes three amateur events to be run between races on a Saturday night, with the drivers racing for saddlery and supplement vouchers.
Darryl was a thorough gentleman, dapper of dress with an optimistic outlook on life.
We will never know if Darryl was on the right track as his initiatives were derailed. But he must be remembered as a giver not a taker, and remembered with a great sense of loss.
Matt’s Qld reward
FROM the heart of the Greater Ipswich footprint is the good news story that gun reinsman Matt Elkins will represent Queensland at the 2019 Australasian Young Drivers Championship in New Zealand from December 7-13.
The Calvert-based 23-year-old was selected because of his personal best 110 wins last season. He was the state’s top junior reinsman in 2018-2019 and will now compete against nine of Australasia’s best juniors. They are: Cameron Hart (NSW), Zac Phillips (VIC), Conor Crook (TAS), Brodie Webster (SA), Corey Peterson (WA), Sarah O’Reilly (NZ) Benjamin Butcher (North Island, NZ), John Morrison (South Island, NZ), and defending champion Sheree Tomlinson (NZ).
Elkins was rapt to be flying the maroon colours across the Tasman.
“It’s an honour. I’m very proud to be representing Queensland,’’ Elkins said.
“I will certainly be giving it my best shot and won’t be going there to run second.’’
He said he would like to emulate the feat of his partner Narissa McMullen, who won the Australasian Junior Driving Title in 2017 in Brisbane.
“And being selected to represent Queensland in harness racing is extra special. It is a very nice reward and caps off a lot of hard work.’’
Elkins was looking forward to his first visit to New Zealand, especially getting the chance to drive on three left-handed tracks and the unique right-handed (clockwise) Alexandra Park 1,000m circuit in Auckland, on the final night.
The races will be run at Addington Raceway (Saturday, December 7); Methven (December 8); Manawatu (December 10 and 12); and Alexandra Park (Friday, December 13).
We wish Matt luck in his draw for horses. He will drive them well but a consistent lack of horsepower can destroy his chances.
LET’S hope that the hot and unpleasant weather takes a day off on Monday.
The Marburg Pacing Association has a solid program set down in the afternoon time slot.
The UTAB van will be on course, the barbecue and the bar will be in operation.
Exciting racing on the 700 metre circuit where you can see all the back straight action with the naked eye. Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3 and the all important race book $3.
Gates open at 11am.
Albion Park’s future
WORD has it that a legal decision this week has opened the path for Racing Queensland to sell Albion Park.
Whatever is realised on any sale, and it should be the absolute top of the market, harness should not start partying just yet.
The make-up of the Racing Queensland Board is such that the silks and sulkies set will possibly get some crumbs.
The first alarm bells were heard when it was revealed that harness would not be included in the Yamanto project for the dogs.
A site in a high growth area with exceptional highway access and a large horse population is not on, it seems.
If I was a betting man, my money would be on a controversial site at Yatala.
Should that prove to be the case, the sale of one and the purchase of the other, could provide the ingredients of a best seller.
BACK to the ongoing saga of Townsville.
Last week I promised you the full contents of a letter from LNP Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald to Stirling Hinchcliffe Minister for Racing.
Due to intervening events and space constraints, I bring you the book ends of the communique.
Dear Stirling, I write in support of the re-establishment of harness racing in Townsville, and I am asking that you extend all and any assistance to those trying to facilitate it.
I would add that the North Queensland Harness Racing Club Inc has 500 members, so what’s really needed now, is some encouragement from the governing body and the Minister to complement the hard work being done by hopeful participants.
Senator Susan McDonald, October 29, 2019
A SHIFT on the driver’s side of the leader board with high scoring Taleah McMullen scoring on six occasions, eclipsing brother Pete on half that number. Just to keep it in the family, John McMullen was leading trainer with three winners to his credit.
Most pleasing was a welcome dead heat. Jacob Wallace with Royal Lincoln at headquarters, and Bruce (long time between drinks) Wyborn preparing Tascott Lady to score at Recliffe on Wednesday night.
Redcliffe, November 15: Mach Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Beejays Delight, (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).
Albion Park, November 16: Royal Lincoln (Jacob Wallace); Captain Cosmonaut (Trent Dawson); Dollarbill (Adam Richardson for Kaye Crone); Our Hi Jinx (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Ima Top Tycoon (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Gee Up Neddy (Hayden Barnes).
Redcliffe, November 17: Notorious (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Iam The Joker (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Ale Ale Kai (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Molly Montana (Ricky Gordon for Lacey Hinze).
Albion Park, November 18: My Mastercraftsman (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Sir Julian (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).
Redcliffe, November 20: Tascott Lady (Narissa McMullen for Bruce Wyborn); Whata Stride (Pete McMullen for John McMullen); Rosehill Magic (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith).
Redcliffe, November 21: Voodoo Fella (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell); Iam The Joker (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Speechcraft (Matt Elkns for Greg Elkins); Kaanapali (Talrah McMullen for John McMullen); Takitimu Express (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).
Selections for Albion Park tonight.
R1: Quinella 1-8: Living Again (B Barnes) and Lurah (A Sanderson).
R2: E/w 1: CC Jones (N Dawson).
R3: E/w 1: Soulwriter (T McMullen).
R4: Quinella 1-4: Rory Mach (A Sanderson) and Our Bondi Beach (N Dawson).
R5: E/w 4: Trent From Punchy (A Sanderson).
R6: Quinella 3-11: Always In Command (N Dawson) and Mattgregor (P McMullen).
R7: E/w 3: Getarattleon (N McMullen).
R8: E/w 10: Ale Ale Kai (N McMullen).
R9: Quinella 8-10: Im The Commando (G Dixon) and Justabitnoisy (C Geary).
R10: E/w 2: Watch Pulp Fiction (C Turpin).