John Davis: Let's remember a top bloke
IN a sad way to start today's column, John Davis passed away as a result of severe illness.
Davis was a quiet and reserved man, a house painter by trade. He worked a medium sized team of pacers with his wife Pam and son Wayne at Hattonvale.
The Davis stable was always in the firing line, with a number of their well performed Saturday night stock sourced from the Paul Fitzpatrick stables in Sydney.
In recent years, the line-up included Davey J, Dougs Place and Hez Hellbound, the last winning the entires and geldings division of the 4YO Triad Championship in 2010.
Davis did not drive in later years, with Tim Gillespie, Pete McMullen and Gary Whitaker sporting the blue and light blue halves on the racetrack.
An early life and serious venture in the hack and pony show ring paved the way to establish the Davis trademark.
A Davis horse went to the races with a coat like satin and wearing immaculate harness.
In this age where for most the hose is the main grooming tool, the Davis horses went on the track, fit, well, and ready to run for their lives.
He did not start many horses at the Sunday morning trials, preferring to turn up with Pam and watch the action while enjoying the "yack session'' under the canteen awning.
Age, illness and death are realities of life.
Friends are taken from us and we can do nothing but mourn our loss.
We must remember John Davis as he was. An ornament to the light harness sport in Queensland, and a top bloke.
NEVER losing sight of that magical 1000 winners target, Pete McMullen showed his talent extended beyond the speedy accumulation of winners in Queensland.
McMullen took out the inaugural Sky Racing Australian Drivers Championship held at Globe Derby Park on October 18.
Six races were set aside for the Championship, and McMullen topped the scores with four more points than Western Australia's Gary Hall jnr.
Tasmanian representative Gareth Rattray took third place on a countback from Chris Alford (Victoria) and David Harding (South Australia), all three finishing on 52 points.
When a group of top flight drivers such as the 12that contested this event come together, the luck of the draw in barriers and horseflesh has much influence on the result.
Run a re-mix of horses, barriers and drivers, and the final standings could well be the reverse of the actual result.
The main talent required is to sort out the horse's attitude and characteristics in the preliminary and go from there.
That talent is, in itself, a gift that the bulk of drivers do not have.
THE Marburg Pacing Association's Annual General meeting saw only minimal changes in the executive and committee ranks.
Steve Towns was returned as president, supported by Peter Steele and me.
Greg Cumberland is secretary and Chris McGuire retains the treasurer's post.
The committee is Trevor Perrin, Graydon McCoombes, Maxine Ellison, Karen Schulz, Ann-Marie Harriott and Debbie Summerhayes.
The MPA acknowledges the mighty contribution made by retiring members Barry Hoare and Wayne Chalk.
We hope that, like good racehorses, both have only gone to the paddock for a short spell.
The Marburg aim for the next year is to do as much as we can to provide a volume of race fit horses and drivers into the light harness pool and improve and expand our racing segment.
On the broader front, Racing Queensland's experiment with shifting the race day "official'' trials to the "after the last'' time slot has been deemed a failure.
It will revert to their between races format on November 1.
Increased cost to race clubs and inconvenience to trainers were the factors which torpedoed the initiative.
The "no more than 28 field selection points'' criteria, which has somewhat blighted lower grade races at the Redcliffe Thursday meetings, will disappear at the same time.
The leader board took a strong swing to Team Graham at Fernvale this week with Darrel training a massive seven winners for the week. Stable foreman Adam Sanderson posted four wins as a driver. Daughter Brittany and Darrel managed two wins apiece in the sulky. Across the district, it was 18 winners in total.
Albion Park, October 17: Coralie Joy (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham); Paris to Berlin (Matt for Greg Elkins); Donegal Under Fire (Hayden Barnes).
Albion Park, October 18: Rummiking (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham); Uncle Lile (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).
Albion Park, October 21: Bronze Ecstasy (Amy Rees for Mark Rees); The Revend Black (Darrel Graham); Ida Tiger (Hayden Barnes for Ali Khouiss); Montana Falcon (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham); Major Sam (Darrel Graham).
Redcliffe, October 22: Vain Spirit (Narissa for John McMullen); Riverboat Diamond (Amy for Mark Rees); Shootforthestarzzz (Brittany Graham for Shaun Gillespie).
Redcliffe, October 23: Colada Rainbow (Nathan Dawson for Allan Treadwell); Rubys Bad Boy (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham); The Artison (Amy Rees for Glenn Bridges); My Arthur Bee (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham); Well To Do Lombo (Narissa McMullen).