Marburg ideal place to enjoy bet

MOST immediate item to consider this morning is the Marburg trots this afternoon.

That's where you should be heading, to enjoy the close up small track action, the hot and tasty country cooking and drinks.

Bookmakers will field on local trots and main gallops meets with Sky Channel screens in the betting area.

Trials commence at 11am with the first of five races in the starter's hands at 12.45pm.

For a $5 entry, it's a great entertainment package.

Pensioners and students are on a $3 deal. Kids under 16 no charge.


Prize money changes

RACING Queensland has released the new prize money structure, derived from the first year's distribution figures.

Gallops, which were on 75% of the overall figure under the original agreement, now will receive 73.38%.

Trots, which were on 14.5%, are at 13.74% and dogs up from 10.5% to 12.87%.

In cold dollar terms, all codes will receive more money as the distribution pie is somewhat bigger than in the current season.

The Monday harness meeting has gone with the races being added to other meetings.

The new prize figures are as follows: Saturday night up by 19%, with the claiming class getting the biggest lift, 50% taking them to $12,000. The trot did not fare quite so well, rising by 33% to $8,000.

Given that the trotting race has an identifiable form line for punters, and is experiencing unprecedented growth in Victoria, it seems strange that it should not attract the same level of money as races in which the runners are for sale, and graded on price by the trainers and could be considered as having attraction only for the professional punter.

Changes to other venues include Albion Park Tuesday up by 27.5%, Friday at Albion Park up 39%, Redcliffe Wednesday up by 52%.

The only meeting to fall was Redcliffe on Thursday down by $250.

Marburg remains static at $1501.

Like most shiny objects, there can be a rough side.

Annual performance reviews will be held, based on turnover figures only.

The message to the Queensland Harness Racing Board is crystal clear. If turnover on our code does not rise significantly in the next 12 months, and the other two codes do well, then the axe will be applied to our percentage, with disastrous results.

This is not a negative statement, merely a fact.


Pleasing decision

BREEDERS or buyers of trotters to race in Queensland as 2yos will be pleased with chief steward David Farqharson's decision to remove the time component from the qualifying requirements for 2yo trotters.

The youngsters will be required to trot solidly throughout any trial, and display reliable manners.

This is a good move, allowing trainers to introduce their charges to racing in a minimal pressure environment.

The next round of non-TAB education races should shift from a "let's hope we get the horses'' scenario to a valuable feeder into the Queensland horse pool.


Day out for dad

"FATHER'S day at the Trots''.

Circle Sunday, September 7 for a family outing on the Darling Downs.

It's harness on the grass at Allman Park, Warwick.

Make it a family deal as the Darling Downs Harness Racing Club have included a heap of amusement for the kids along with exciting racing.

Gates open at noon and the first race goes at 1pm.

An hour to refresh yourself with excellent local cooking after a lovely country drive to get there.

Horse racing against a natural backdrop.

Admission is adults $10, pensioners $6 and under 18s free.


EKKA boost

IT'S back to the future with the roar of the crowds as trotting returns to the EKKA.

An excerpt from the QHRB website says what it really means.

Chris Garrard, a major sponsor and primary instigator of trotting's return to the main ring, was delighted with the end result.

"The cheapest promotion for the sport that money can buy,'' he claimed.

After a 14-year absence, the rebirth of EKKA trotting was treated cautiously but whatever angle you marked it on, 2015 promises to be a bigger and better event.

This writer recalls interviewing top driver Des Weeks after he piloted Scientific to victory for trainer John Stariha in a heat of the Inter-dominion.

I stated that "this must surely be your greatest thrill''.

"No way,'' he replied, "any race at the Ekka with 20,000 people screaming their heads off and close enough to touch, is far above the Inter win''.

Just think, 14 years back, somebody bought all that to an end.


Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - Quinella 1-11: Intrepid Traveller (P. McMullen) and My Elusive Dream (M. Neilson).

R2: E/w 6: Timeseel (S. Graham).

R3: Quinella 2-5: Lord Jowers (P. McMullen) and Our Burning Desire (K. Rasmussen).

R4: E/w 2: Nonno Stride (M. Neilson).

R5: E/w 1: Priceless Gem (T. Moffat).

R6: Quinella 1-5: Platinum Art (N. McMullen) and Export Gold (K. Rasmussen).

R7: E/w 2: Leading Lavros (A Sanderson).

R8: E/w 1: Long Road To Fame (A. Sanderson).

R9: Quinella 1-2: Luke Hobbs (B. Graham) and Max Richter (P. Greig).

R10: Quinella 1-4: Sunnivue Ted (M. Neilson) and Lady Boomschukaluka (G. Whitaker).

Marburg picks today: R1 - 3-2-1. R2: 3-7-1.

R3: 2-7-8. R4: 1-4-7.

R5: 1-2-8.


Honour board

LEADER board much the same as last week. Chantal Turpin and Darrel Graham trained three winners each. Pete McMullen managed five in the sulky.

Albion Park, August 15: Better Than Money (Darrel Graham); Gallymont Cohort (Trent Dawson); My Ayaye (Pete for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, August 16: Montana Falcon (Brittany Graham for Darrel Graham); Supabet (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Lord Jowers (Pete for Ron Sallis); LeBron (Pete for Brian McCall); Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).

Albion Park, August 18: Eye Spy Lombo (Nathan Dawson for Neville Doyle); Vain Spirit (Narissa for John McMullen); Paris To Berlin (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).

Albion Park, August 19: My Man Dan (Pete for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, August 20: Lifesa Ranger (Gary Whitaker for Tommy Sanderson); My Arthur Bee (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham); Rib And Roll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).

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