Licence changes on agenda

A NUMBER of interesting items surfaced at last Monday's "industry/sport" meeting held at Albion Park.

From the area of Integrity, Commissioner Ross Barnett indicated that licencing terms will be increased, hopefully to a five year period similar to the road licence.

Draft penalties for drug infringements have caused considerable angst. A further round of consul- tation and submissions was scheduled to end yesterday.

A second draft will be prepared and resubmitted to licensees and owner's organisations for consideration.

There will be provision for stewards to suspend penalties should they see fit.

Somewhat disturbing is the end result of a successful appeal to QCAT.

If a six year disqualifi cation for drug offences etc is overturned by QCAT, and replaced with a $5000 fine, then that fine becomes the benchmark or standard for that particular offence.

As has been said before, we do not race under "rules". We race under "laws", which are subject to "precedent" and common practice.

One can only appeal to the Minister to provide legislation specific to racing "rules", otherwise QRIC will be very limited in its endeavours to provide "squeaky clean" racing.

Programming issues

NOW that Government has become involved in animal welfare issues across the nation, racing animals are to be under regulation from birth to death.

This covers animals which are purpose bred and were under the supervision of state and national control bodies while in the racing and breeding phases of their lives.

Harness Racing Australia's CEO Andrew Kelly, while bemoaning the decline in foal numbers on an annual basis across the country, provided stats from the racing activities.

Of the 10,000 pacers and trotters, which race each year, just 51% percent of them win at least one race from an average of 11.5 starts (the same percentage applies to the foal crop as well, bearing in mind that that figure has been compiled across the total racing lives of the foals from 2yo to 14yo).

The foal figure highlights the need to get more foals from each crop to the races.

The surest way to do this is cater for the less talented horse by providing suitable racing opportunity.

HRA's message is that programming must be addressed to provide this opportunity.

It is refreshing to see that the national body has realized that the great dream of the "elite sport, with champion horses and champion drivers" is seriously flawed and is proposing change to rectify the situation.

Yatala proposal

CHAIRMAN elect of the Yatala Harness Racing Club, Greg Mitchell was adamant that the complex, which is bordered by 40 hectares of development land on a separate title with an attractive zoning, would most definitely be built.

Sadly the racing circuit plan does not include lighting.

Given that in our battle for increased turnover and a growing realisation that we must rely heavily on the recreational punter, we might also recognize two facts.

(1) Harness racing/trotting is historically at its best in a night time slot as it is the only slot where there is any hope of getting on course attendance.

(2) It is of no use to pitch our product at people with little or no disposable income. At this point, we must rely on the lounge room or the "pubs and clubs"of an evening as our punters are at their jobs in the daylight hours earning the cash to wager on our product.

The final address was by the newly appointed Dr Eliot Forbes who comes to RQ as CEO from a successful six year stint with TasRacing.

Dr Forbes has an extensive resume in both equine veterinary practice and racing management.

He is a plausible speaker and appears likely to do quite a bit of re-organizing at RQ.

Unlike some modern day administrators, Dr Forbes is ready to confront and deal with issues rather than wait for them to wither away.

He is of an age group where the desire to succeed is probably still strong.

Marburg meeting

IT'S just seven days to the next Marburg race meeting.

If you want to relax and enjoy an afternoon of country trotting in a family atmosphere, join us next Saturday.

Gates open at 10am, with the trials segment starting at 11am and the racing from 12.30pm.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Simply Gorgeous (B. Cockburn)-Shareapassion (P. McMullen)- Jester Oh Jester (I. Ross).

R2: Box trifecta 1-2-8: The Pacman (T. Dixon)- Broad- way Playboy (B. Graham)- Tandy Franco (G. Dixon).

R3: Box trifecta in four 1-5-8-11: Compton Street (C.Turpin )-Nureyev (P. McMullen)-Markey Oh Markey (I. Ross)-Purple Royale (M. Elkin).

R4: Quinella 1-8: Ideal Scott (A. Sanderson) and Avonnova (S. Graham).

R5: Quinella 4-8: Majors Blue Jean (J. Ponsonby) and Only In Rome (P. McMullen).

R6: Quinella 2-8: Another Broadway (D. Graham) and Torque Lively (P. McMullen).

R7: E/w 1: Supaliner D. Graham).

R8: Box trifecta 2-4-10: True Desire (Mark Dux)- Crowning Glory (M. Elkins)-Bettabeeasy (P. McMullen).

R9: Quinella 4-5: Washingtons Flier (N. McMullen) and Gloveman Gilly (M. Elkins).

R10: E/w 4: Mandy Kriden (B. Cockburn).

Honour board

ANY change on the leader board seems likely to be on the driver's side at the moment. Narissa McMullen was besting her brother Pete in the sulky by five wins to four. Chantal Turpin ground out a solid four winners to remain on top in the training division. The most pleasing effort was No Confession. Tayla Gillespie continues to build a strong strike rate with her charges. Adam Richardson had the suky sitting duties.

Albion Park, September 23: Surface To Air (Narissa McMullen for Greg Elkins); Beaudiene Bill (Nathan Dawson for Graeme Gavin); I'm A Morven Lad (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Rakarebel (Nathan Dawson).

Albion Park, September 24: Betterbe Perfect (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Buy Chevron Direct (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Murano (Narissa McMullen); Forever Texas (Amy Rees for Mick Butler); Karloo Kix (Barty Cockburn); Lucia Bromac (Nartissa McMullen).

Albion Park, September 27: Chiara Delight (Barty Cockburn for Mick Butler); Major Command (Trevor Lambourn for Rachel Scott); No Confession (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie).

Redcliffe, September 28: Bluecolla Moon (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Pandoras Diamond (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Sneaky Catch (Trent Dawson).

Redcliffe, September 29: Bob Gage (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Benny Maguire (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Only One Slim (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Blue Eyed Creation (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Kytherian Flyer (Amy Rees for Mick Butler).

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