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

Enjoyable day in store at Marburg

WONDERING what to do tomorrow?

Take the positive action and head off to Marburg for an afternoon of country trotting.

It features seven races, a $100 lucky gate bet, pick the last six winners to share or take all of $1900, and the Funny Money is in action for those who want a flutter but can't afford to lose.

There's also top food and beverage plus Mini-trotters, "pat a pony", SAQ in centre field and a top raffle.

Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3.

Race books $3 and the gates are open at 11am with the first race at 12.30pm. Trials will be run before.

Sad loss Arnie

YET another of the old brigade, Arnie Zahnow, has left us. He was in his 80th year.

Arnie was raised on his father Butch's dairy farm at Warrill View.

In the first half of the last century, trotting was the passion of many Fassifern family farmers.

Young Arnie and his brothers Ron and Colin grew up surrounded by his fathers pacers and accompanied Butch to all the shows in the Fassifern and Lockyer valleys.

It was at these shows that they campaigned Lord Louis and Poinsettia.

Once the three boys were riding and driving they registered colours. Arnie's was a red jacket, green sleeves and white cap, which he retained for his entire harness career.

Arnie had his first ride at Boonah Show in 1952. It was Kedron, owned and trained by legend Archie Sugden.

Most of Arnie's harness career was in the era before the computer records kept today, which date from 1981/82.

But family recollections, borrowed from the magical books written by Raymond Lowndes, indicate that when Boonah had registered racing in 1959 AZ's team included Warrill King, Warrills Choice, Belmonts Choice, Rons Pick and Talmois Choice.

Arnie and his wife Nita, herself a talented driver, did the show circuit as far as Cairns in the early 60's on a number of occasions.

Show trotting folk were like the trade caravans of Asia, they followed the same traditional path, year in and year out.

In recorded history, Arnie did not drive, but he started 144 horses for 12 wins, 34 placings and $10,729.

These included Applejack Creek, Brella Fella, Hanover Pace which might be rated the best of this period, with his seven wins comprising three at Rocklea and four at Gold Coast.

The best from the pre-record era was certainly Hammersley, which hailed from the Goulburn area of NSW.

Hammersley's tally over a two-year stint for Arnie Zahnow was was a very healthy 25 wins and 25 placings.

As the old timers leave the stage, so the history of Queensland trotting goes with it.

Rising dynasty

WHAT is a dynasty?

In rough terms it could be described as a "family tree" but, invariably, it concerns success, wealth, political power, or a ruling caste, and generally resembles a pyramid in our imagination, with the current star at its apex.

We have a rising dynasty in the Ipswich harness footprint, which is based on the descendants of the late John Dawson and the current Matriarch, Beryl Dawson.

For the sake of space, we are bypassing Beryl's sons Geoff and Glenn, both very successful in their own right.

The shining light at this time is Nathan Dawson, Queensland's premier driver for the season past.

Two milestones were passed in this term, with a double century of wins which eventually totalled 214, and prizemoney earned from 1226 drives was a staggering $1,044,555.

At this point, nine of Beryl Dawson's 10 grandchildren, have found their way into the sulky on race day over a span of 17 years. They are Danielle McMullen, Melissa Gillies, Kelli Dawson, Narissa McMullen, Taleah McMullen, Trent Dawson, Pete McMullen, Mitchell Dawson, and Nathan Dawson.

The nine have "been round" on a total of 33,161 occasions and have saluted the judge some 4061 times.

The prizemoney earned for owners from these Herculean labours, was, as trainers, a respectable $1,723,558, but as drivers the earnings are a massive $20,941,044.

As the New Zealand star of the 70's, Charlie Hunter said: "They only remember drivers in this business".

No wonder. However, we must remember that Nathan is the Emperor this time, and we must congratulate him on a job well done.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: E/w 3: Bells Beach House (P McMullen).

R2: Quinella 1-8: Glenferrie Baby (K Dawson) and Grinvil (P McMullen).

R3: Quinella 1-8: Uncle Peter (A Frisby) and Gottashopearly (P McMullen).

R4: E/w 5: Thundermac (D Graham).

R5: Quinella 1-11: Caesars Astrum (P McMullen) and Our Major Day (D March).

R6: Box trifecta 1-2-4: Mafuta Vautin (D Graham)-Chal Fire (K Dawson)-Invincible Loxton (D Weeks).

R7: Quinella 2-4: Watch Pulp Fiction (H Barnes) and Ohoka Punter (G Dixon).

R8: E/w 3: Our Hi Jinx (A Sanderson).

R9: Quinella 6-8: Maybe To The Max (C Petroff) and Mister Gunsen (G Dixon).

R10: E/w 2: Arcachon (A Frisby).

Honour board

Pete McMullen bounced back to the top of the leader board this week, posting a rate of 300 with six victories to kick off the new season. His other half, Chantal Turpin took training honours, leading in four of the best. Most pleasing was Spring Campaign, trained and reined by Jacob Wallace at Albion Park on Tuesday. Ipswich factor: 24/44.

Albion Park, August 31: Wheres Tascott (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen); Pats Delight (Nathan Dawson for Jay Edmunds); Thank Heaven For Girls (Pete McMullen for Dale Belford); Argyle Beach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Laughing Emoji (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Stirling William (Nathan Dawson for Shawn Grimsey); Heavens Hurricane Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, September 1: Secret Jack (Adam Richardson for Christina Monte); Officianado (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Lockton Luck (Pete McMullen for Jack Butler); Bring On Lefty (Adam Richardson for Christina Monte).

Albion Park, September 4: Spring Campaign (Jacob Wallace); Ole Sun (Hayden Barnes for Mal Charlton); Betting Baron (Pete McMullen for Josh Moore); Bring On Lefty (Adam Richardson for Christina Monte); Our Chittybangbang (Trent Dawson for Chris Frisby).

Redcliffe, September 5: Sammys Luck (Adam Richardson); The Next Star (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Feel The Reign (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin); Bettor Watch Him (Adam Richardson for Murray Thomas); Circle Line (Matt Elkins for Ron Wells); Pats Delight (Pete McMullen for Jay Edmunds).

Redcliffe, September 6: Heres My Number (Adam Sanderson for Mark Lichtwark); Ketut (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith).

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