Join trek to Marburg Showgrounds

WITH no Ipswich Cup meeting to distract people, a solid roll-up is expected at the Marburg trots today.

There's nothing better than a clear winter day for a country trot meeting. Hop in the car and head for the Marburg Showgrounds, just a half hour leisurely drive up the Warrego Highway from Ipswich.

Trials start at 11am and the first race at approximately 12.30pm.

On offer is top food, modest bar prices and delicious desserts.

Sky Channel screens and a bookie that comes to bet.

Local trots and main gallops meetings are covered.

Catch the excitement of the spectacle on the 700 metre circuit.


Welcome asset

A NEW arrival from the deep south, Menangle, is trainer Mark Zohn.

Zohn has been involved in both codes of horse racing. He started out with the gallopers, including stints with Les Bridge in Sydney and Danny Bougoure Snr in Brisbane.

Zohn switched codes in 1984 and named Bucklerburn Boy as perhaps one of his better performers in the early years.

Currently he works a mixed team of six pacers and three trotters, with Red Rocker, recently beaten narrowly in 1-52.0 at Menangle, Big Bazz and Lets Press On as the best of the hoppled contingent.

The trotters are Heart Throb Hest, Jarsovfaks and Sambalada which has been campaigning here in recent months for Haigslea-based Ricky Gordon.

Zohn prefers the trotters to the pacers, a policy which will endear him to a lot of local trainers who find the room and the patience for the diagonal gaited horse.

Whatever side of the fence you are on, in a time when smaller operations are being wound up on a regular basis, Zohn stands out as an asset in the Ipswich footprint.

Make him very welcome.


Fast reputation intact

IM Themightyquinn lived up to his reputation as the fastest horse in Australia by posting a new track record in last Saturday night's Garrards Sunshine Sprint.

The rising 10 year old scorched around Albion Park in 1-50.4 to knock a massive 1.4 seconds off the previous mark.

Very few horses get where "Quinny'' is without a dedicated and competent trainer. Gary Hall snr is no exception.

Hall's first contact with horses of any sort was with the milk and bakers cart working animals.

The then 13 year old would make contact with the gentle giants and in due course would go with the delivery men to complete their rounds.

As a natural progression, the lad was allowed to handle the reins.

Soon, spare pocket money was spent at the local riding school, hiring a pony or hack at the weekends.

As time went by, Hallbegan to put in time at Gloucester Park mixed with a bit of punting.

The idea soon formed that "I could do that'' and young Hall was off to the reinsman's school.

By age 16, he was a hobbyist on a one horse basis.

His first winning drive, for another trainer was Russvic, and Tovaree, trained and driven, followed in due course.

It has been an upward progression since going full-time in 1983, from which point onwards he has been in the top five trainers.

Hall claims it took 30 years to get to the top after deciding that was where he wanted to be.

He is now well and truly there, topping the national stake earning figures for the last six or seven seasons and leading metropolitan trainer in Western Australia for the past seven years.

Hall gave away the sulky on race night 16 years ago. He had notched up some 600 winners but was not rated as a driver, being considered "too aggressive''.

He says that he trains the same way and facts seem to support the value of that approach.


Value of promotion

HERE'S a heart-warming positive accompanied by an astounding negative.

On the upside, trainer/driver/ farrier Mark McNee spent two days last weekend at the annual Zone 1 pony Club Camp, held at Beaudesert Showgrounds.

Mark was asked by Hendra Pony Club to bring along a couple of mini-trotters to introduce the kids to harness.

He gave eight demo sessions over the two days assisted by his children who are keen competitors in the world of mini racing.

All was well received, with every youngster having a drive, and a number of adults present who claimed no knowledge of harness racing in Queensland had the hands on experience as well.

The downside of this is the lack of recognition for harness racing/trotting in the community at large.

For many years now, successive administrations have failed to put the harness message out there.

Any promotion that may have been done was through the sport's publications and Sky Channel.

Mark McNee's experience was further franked when one couple not only bought a pony for their child, but then approached him indicating strong interest in buying a full size pacer or trotter and going off to the races.

For sometime now racing administration in Queensland has talked about thinking outside the square.

Just holding up a sign, so that the people outside our square could see it, would be a good place to start.


Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - E/w 3: Screaman Seaman (L. McCarthy).

R2: Quinella 5-9: Beetson (B. Cowen) and Major Moment (K. Rasmussen).

R3: E/w 3: Rathmore Lady (L. Panella).

R4: Box trifecta in four 2-4-11-12: Majestic Mach (G. Dixon)-Five Card Draw (D. Graham)-Chilli Palmer (L. McCarthy)-Majestic Major (K. Rasmussen).

R5: E/w 9: Nike Franco (L. McCarthy).

R6: Quinella 1-8: Missing Letters (D. Graham) and Gliding Rose (L. Panella).

R7: No 7: Im ThemightyQuinn (P. McMullen).

R8: Box trifecta 3-5-7: Diamond Ace (J. Newberry)-Bling It On (L McCarthy)-Im Jay Tee (Brad Hewitt).

R9: E/w 2: Red Luck (D.Graham).

Marburg picks today: R1 - 2-1-8. R2: 5-3-2. R3: 1-2-7. R4: 1-4-5. R5: 1-4-5.


Honour board

It's Darrel Graham all the way with four of each.

Albion Park, July 4: Lanercost (Darrel Graham); Seaspray Notch (Gary Whitaker for James Harriott).

Albion Park, July 5: Franco Bulgari (Narissa McMullen); Missing Letters (Darrel Graham).

Albion Park, July 7: Goodwill Lad (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen); Paris To Berlin (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).

Albion Park, July 8: Red Luck (Darrel Graham).

Redcliffe, July 9: Jilliby Mac (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Rubys Bad Boy (Darrel Graham).

Redcliffe, July 10: Opals Delight (Pete for Ron Sallis); Therecomesatime (Pete for Ron Sallis).

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