Everyone loses in Albion Park battle

THE battle lines are being drawn up between the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and racing control body Racing Queensland.

Like most wars, it is a dispute over territory - that territory being the Albion Park harness and dog racing complex.

Like all such disputes, there will be artillery in the form of barristers and solicitors, the ammunition will be words both, verbal and written, and there will be several referees.

The time frame at this point is anybody's guess.

The ultimate cost, like all wars, will be staggering.

The end bearers of that cost will be the harness racing participants in general and the hobbyists in particular.

The greyhounds will also experience negatives from a financial aspect.

Albion Park has fired the first shot with a full page advertisement in last Saturday's Courier Mail and the Brisbane City Council has made that shot more effective by rejecting RQ's current development application which does not include a racing facility.

From the Sunday Mail (July 16): "In rejecting the application on Friday 14/07, BCC planning Chairman, Julian Simmonds said: 'The entire Queensland racing fraternity needs to speak as one voice on the future of Albion Park.''

The only way that racing participants will come up with a majority decision will be if the practice of full disclosure applies.

At this point, "Joe Average” harness participant does not know who owns Albion Park, much less the benefits which might accrue from this current power struggle.

We wait for the Minister and the Premier to supply this information.

Whip rules proposal

ON a different but apparently equally taboo subject of whips, another gathering was held last week in NSW under the auspices of HRNSW.

The following is taken from an interview with John Dumesny, CEO of that body. He believes that the road forward is tightening the way the whip is used, rather than an overall ban.

"We have to be aware of the public and community standards about the whip and its use,” Dumesny said. "The whip itself is not cruel, it is the way it is used that can be seen to be cruel.

"The drivers see it as a safety and integrity issue for the sport, and it is important to wagering and punters' confidence. We need to modify the rules to move with community expectations, but at the same time maintain safety and integrity concerns.''

A whip convention last week, with drivers, trainers and administrators from every state attending, worked towards a set of rules acceptable to all.

Dumesny said consistency was the most important factor in whip rules, so they could be applied across every meeting in Australia.

"We have told HRA that the whip will be continued . . . in NSW, but we don't want to get to the stage where there are different rules in different states,'' he said.

"What we are looking towards is what is called a wrist-only method of using the whip. We held the convention last week, where there was a consensus that we need to work on the whip rules. It was a very good discussion from everyone involved from around the country. In the afternoon session the drivers got in a gig and showed their whip action as it is now, and how they would see it under changes to the rules.

"We feel we have the support of the other states and continue to work with them, and there will be another meeting this week to get the right outcomes.

"The main thing we want to work towards is something that is easily understandable and enforced by stewards.”

The sad part is that for all the positive vibes coming from this move by NSW, none of the more vociferous supporters of cruelty free racing in the Sunshine State would have been aware of this particular convention, much less be invited to contribute to the discussion.

Well managed

THE late Tony Price was often the source of accurate comment.

At a Botra meeting some years back, the "Big Fella” stated that Queensland was the easiest state for a horse to win $100,000.

A quick check of stats for Darrell Graham's cash cow, Montana Falcon, indicate that lifetime earnings from 163 starts, stand at $209,995.

The super impressive factor is that Montanta Falcon is still assessed at M0. That's well managed.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Quinella 4-12: Only The Brave (T. Dixon) and Montana Falcon (D. Graham).

R2: Box trifecta 2-5-10: Any chance (D. Weeks)-Timmo Time (A.Sanderson)-Bettor Be Lucky (M. Neilson).

R3: Box trifecta 1-8-10: Munroe (NA)-Written In Red (P. Diebert)-Lancelot Bromac (N. Dawson).

R4: E/w 2: Philanderer (M. Neilson).

R5: Quinella 1-3: Bettor Promise (M. Neilson) and Always Prompt (T. Dixon).

R6: Quinella 4-6: Jerrys Jet (R. Thurlow) and Verdot (D. Cernovskis).

R7: Box trifecta 1-4-7-9: Shardons Sheralee (J. Rattray)-Counterfeit Cash (G.Dixon)-Wicked Time (S. Graham)-Spare The Price (A. Frisby).

R8: Box trifecta 3-1-6: Comply Or Die (N. Dawson)-Lombo Ranmiles (G. Whitaker)-Threo (C. Turpin).

R9: Box trifecta 4-5-6: Majestic Major (G Dixon)-Majestic Mach (I Ross)-Alleluia (T Dixon).

Honour board

Tess Neaves, Chantal Turpin, and Trevor Lambourn led the way with two winners apiece. Nathan Dawson and Gary Whitaker shared driving honours posting thee winners each. Most pleasing was Tess Neaves' double at Albion Park on Thursday.

Albion Park, July 14: Threo (Chantal Turpin); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Lighting Colony (Gary Whitaker for Donny Smith); Nolonga Your Choice (Trevor Lambourn); Ashton K (Gary Whitaker for Trevor Lambourn); Village Cruiser (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell).

Albion Park, July 18: Tygar (Adam Sanderson for Joe Taafe); Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Kenny Rattray); I'm The Golden Child (Dean Cernovskis for Megan Cockburn); Montana Falcon (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham).

Redcliffe, July 19: Weedons Express (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Cheers Kathy (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Slippery Jade (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Mach Torque (Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, July 20: Princess Jessica (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Hammerhoff (Nathan Dawson for Narissa McMullen); Riverleigh Jeff (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Call Me Yours (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Gallymont Sport (Trent Dawson); Surface To Air (Greg Elkins).

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