QT trot columnist and harness racer Denis Smith.
QT trot columnist and harness racer Denis Smith. David Nielsen

Derby adds to Marburg magic



THE Barastoc-Marburg three-year-old country classic day is beginning to take shape.

Feed giant Barastoc, through its Queensland representative John Daley, has decided to put some classic action into the Marburg program for Sunday, August 4.

Barastoc are putting on a Derby for the colts and geldings, and an Oaks for the fillies.

These, and other age related events, are steeped in horse racing tradition.

The "Derby'' originated in the English thoroughbred scene in the late 1700s and was named after Lord Derby who introduced the concept.

The Derby was used as a yardstick of racing excellence and to identify first-class breeding stock for the next generation of race track stars.

The test was a hard one with the colts required to gallop a mile and a half (2413 metres) under a weight of nine stone (57.2kg).

The English course is Epsom and the track includes left and right handed running, a downhill section into the home straight, which is then uphill all the way to the post.

The theory of breed improvement appears to be well based, with many English Derby winners retiring almost immediately and going on to be leading sires.

The fillies get only one concession, a weight reduction of 3.2kg.

In this day and age in harness, there is a shift in importance to racing excellence and money, hence the regular inclusion of geldings in the classic fields.

It is noticeable, however, that in the United States - from where we import the bulk of our stallion stock - winners of 3yo features such as the "Little Brown Jug" are sent smartly to the breeding barn.

The rule of "putting the best to the best and hoping for the best" appears to mirror the English experience.

The country classics planned by Barastoc and Marburg Pacig Association are focussed on the aspect of prestige.

They will carry a healthy $7500 per race.

In all other aspects, the two events are Derby and Oaks with appropriate trophies and a massive injection of Barastoc product on the day.

Hopefully they will become an annual event and, like their namesakes, become more important with the passage of time.

The Marburg meeting is aimed at the family.

With the EKKA just days away and young families struggling with the mortgage and whatever, Marburg stands out as a low cost alternative.

For the kids we have the animal farm/petting zoo and the 23 metre long Nuclear Obstacle Course, which is supervised from 11am to 5pm.

Add a face painter, mini-trotter races and "pat a pony" and the parents have some breathing space.

Six divisions of Fashions On The Field, Ladies and Gents, Colts and Fillies, and the very young group. Local fashion houses and hair salons provide the judges.

More next week on this as we run up to the big day.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: First four 1-2-6-8 - Royal Story (B Hewitt )-Write About Lexy (K Rasmussen)-Our Bondi Beach (N Dawson)-Thatswhatisaid (B Barnes).

R2: Quinella 2-13: Tom Me Gun (C Geary) and Just Seduce Me (Blake Fitzpatrick).

R3: Box trifecta 2-7-10: Beaver (T Dawson)-Leos Best (G Dixon)-Mattgregor (P Mcmullen).

R4: Box trifecta 1-5-13: Preston Pans (A Butt)-Fame Assured (G Dixon)-Aqua Miss (P Diebert).

R5: Quinella 4-6: Vantori Hanover (J Douglass) and Jiggle And Jive (N Dawso).

R6: Box trifecta 1-11-12: Justabitnoisy (D Lee)-Majestic Courtney (A Butt)-Tough Monarch (R Alchin).

R7: First four in five 1-2-4-6-10: Make Way (A Butt)-Jesse Duke (L Mccarthy)-Self Assured (M Purdon)-Lochinvar Art (D Moran)-Our Princess Tiffany (K Rasmussen).

R8: Box trifecta 4-11-12: Watch Pulp Fiction (P McMullen)-Colt Thirty One (G Dixon)-Tiger Tara (T McCarthy).

R9: Box trifecta 1-4-6: Signor Jujon (J Cremin)-Expensive Ego (J Douglass)-Governor Jujon (G Dixon).

R10: Quinella 1-6: Bohdi Tree (P Greig) and Maretti (N Dawson).

Honour board

More shifting on the leader board this week with Hayden Barnes and Adam Richardson bobbing to the surface on four wins apiece. Mitchell Dawson posted a personal best as top trainer, the only Ipswich multiple training result in a very skinny week.

Most pleasing was The Last Dragon for Greg and Janet Cumberland. Dawson trained, Adam Richardson drove. Ipswich factor: 23/53.

Albion Park, July 12: Just Seduce Me (Narissa McMullen); Slippery Jade (Pete McMullen for Bill Crosby).

Albion Park, July 13: Annika Magic (Taleah McMullen for Kerry Smith); Saloon Passage (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte).

Redcliffe, July 14: Coast Warning (Hayden Barnes for Simon Jay); Indys Approval (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Give Me Fifty (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell); Malibu Dream (Darrell Graham for Peter Donohoe); Call Me Trish (Hayden Barnes for Michael Nutley); Lifes Black (Hayden Barnes for Mark McNee).

Albion Park, July 17: Brighton Prince (Adam Sanderson for Grant Dixon); Mafuta Vautin (Darrell Graham); Secret Agent Tycoon (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Withalotofluck (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini).

Redcliffe, July 18: Lets Dig It (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Moonlight Jack (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Sheesfeelinprecious (Grant Dixon for Jason Carkeet); The Last Dragon (Adam Richardson for Mitchell Dawson); Specialandiknowit (Adam Sanderson for Grant Dixon)

Redcliffe, July 19: Montana Express (Hayden Barnes for Brett Cargill); Famous Shoes (Taleah McMullen for Dale Belford); Zac Mac (Adam Richardson for Kay Crone).

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