Marburg races.
Marburg races.

Marburg ideal place to enjoy relaxed pre-Christmas outing


Denis Smith

ALL roads lead to Marburg on Sunday.

Take a break from the rush of Christmas preparations to enjoy an afternoon at the Marburg trots.

Nine action packed harness races are on the 700 metre Showground track, where you can pick out your runner as they go down the back straight.

A new TAB facility is open for the first time. Regular bookmaker Steven Anthony will field on the locals and the popular "funny money bookie" for all those who like a flutter but can't afford to lose cold cash.

"Pick The card" is in operation on the last seven races with $2000 (share basis) for any top tipsters.

Great food, ice cream and drink are on offer along with the mini-trotters, free supervised rock climbing wall and waterslide for the kids.

Santa will appear mid afternoon.

The whole day is at battlers prices.

Admission is adults $5, members and pensioners $3, kids under 16 free.

The all-important racebook is $3.

Ease your way into Christmas and have great time while you are doing it.

The Marburg Pacing Association practises COVID safe procedures.

Give your name and contact number at the gate.

The first race is at Gates open 11am.

MPA's changing focus

AS we move into the festive season, the Marburg Pacing Association (MPA) committee and Trot Tactics wish our readers all the joys of Christmas and a prosperous New Year to follow.

Over the life of the MPA, much has changed.

The 10 or so hands-on trotting men who met in Bevan Dance's poolside shelter in the early 1980s had only one thing on their minds.

How could we persuade the Show Society to lease us their track so that we could provide training and trialling facilities for the numerous hobby trainers (95%) in the greater Ipswich footprint.

In those days, the focus of thought was very much "us" as opposed to "me".

With the willing support of successive Show presidents Percy Truloff and Norm Reinke, and the benefits of organised trialling on a maintained training track, the local hobby trainers were soon able to more than hold their own at any venue in Queensland.

Time passes, committees come, committees go, and the focus changes.

Control bodies suffered from the same maladies, some were benevolent, others bordered on the malignant or at best uncaring.

Two decades ago in Queensland there was a mighty swing. Those of us who attended industry meetings were told to forget "us" and concentrate on "me".

The direction of harness racing was no longer that of providing a spectacular, crowd drawing entertainment, which in itself provided a solid betting medium, and thus a reasonable level of income for the TAB.

It was to be a hardnosed business where the shrinking number of hobby trainers were regarded as cannon fodder for the "professionals''. There was absolutely no need for the general public to attend race meetings.

Currently, this policy still applies.

Much has been said about Marburg as an entry point for new trainers and drivers.

That's not quite correct as the "pros" also have Marburg type horses, and quite rightly, they race them there.

Marburg has evolved from a very useful training and trialling facility to a Tier 2 TAB track. We have a permanent and "disabled compliant" TAB betting facility, opening on Sunday, and we chase crowds with considerable fervour, based on the belief that harness racing is a sport with wide appeal to punter and spectator alike.

We also believe that we are in the entertainment business, and our desire to grow that side of the sport is pivotal to many of our policies and decisions.

Currently the MPA is on the balance point.

Our income is hampered by a lack of meetings.

More meetings means more income, which means some paid staff in the areas where volunteers have carried the load for many years.

More meetings also means a better service to participants in the Ipswich footprint where at least 105 trainers currently reside, with more to come in the near future.

The policy of the MPA - "to grow harness/trotting on all fronts", does not get the support it deserves.

Honour board

THERE'S only one decorated tree to check out in our area.

Pete McMullen was again star driver with six wins for the week. His wife Chantal Turpin trained a nice accompaniment of five winners.

Most pleasing was Headwin (Ben Battle) and View By The Rock (Megan Gee).

For all those who seldom feature in our winning lists, may 2021 be your year, a year for you to rebuild your ambitions in harness. Never lose hope.

Albion Park, December 11: Targaryen (Kelli Dawson); Lombo Heaven (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Millwood Tilly (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, December 12: Will The Wizard (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, December 14: The Hervey Bay (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Headwin (Ben Battle); Sugarcane (Justin Elkins for Vic Frost); Wanjiru (Matt Elkins for Dan Russell); My Ultimate Hell (Brendan Barnes for Wayne Davis); Sir Semper Fidelis (Paul Diebert for Paul Matis); Fremarksindi (Matt Crone for Kay Crone).

Albion Park, December 15: Orlando Jolt (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Whata Optimist (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Boomchuckalucka (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Run Boy Run (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Frost En Ice (Matt Elkins for Vic Frost).

Redcliffe, December 16: View By The Rock (Megan Gee); Majordoit (Tim Gillespie); Hurrikane How (Nathan Dawson for Jason Carkeet).

Redcliffe, December 17: We made history. For the first time since honour board appeared in print, a race meeting has returned no Ipswich presence in the winners list.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.

R1: Box trifecta 2-5-9: Ideal World (N McMullen)-Mister Donald (L Cain)-Chevrons Reward (S Graham).

R2: Box trifecta 5-1-2: Majordoit (P McMullen)-Paravani (M Elkins)-James Dean (G Dixon). R3: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Colt Thirty One (G Dixon)-One Change (S Graham)-Escalera (N Dawson).

R4: Box trifecta 8-9-5: Arnold (L Cain)-Majestic Simon (P McMullen)-Majestic Ess Jay (P Diebert).

R5: Quinella 1-3: One Off (G Dixon) and Megastar (L Manzelmann).

R6: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Bomb Suit (L Cain)-Straddie (S Graham)-Bohannan (C Butler).

R7: Box trifecta 2-3-7: Fond Memories (G Dixon)-Millwood Tilly (P McMullen)-Just Rokin (P Greig).

R8: Quinella 3-4: Colonel Joy (N McMullen) and Smokey Quartz (J Hutchinson).

R9: Quinella 2-4: Franco Hampton (L Cain) and Speedy Dominic (N McMullen).

Marburg guide

TIPS and comment for Marburg Sunday.

First race at Gates open 11am.

Race 1: Tips 1-3-6.

SAVANNAHS BOY: Form good since resuming, stable on fire.

SWEET SCOOT: Runs best races here, and may place.

POPEYE RUSSELL: Gets an easy trail here, chance if gets out.

Race 2: Tips 4-3-7.

LITTLE DEE: Form sound and consistent, top driver, fit.

RAYONG PRINCESS: Recent form a bit erratic, winner Redcliffe 26/11.

GROOVY MISS ANNIE: Goes extra well here, and has a no work trail.

Race 3: Tips 4-7-8.

TEACHERS PET: Will go forward, and can do work.

GLENCOE REIGN: Older gelding in top stable, easy trail, watch market.

FREEMARKSINDI: Win and third last two starts Redcliffe, should get carted around field.

Race 4: Tips 4-5-6.

ROYAL PRINCESS: 12 runs, 7 times in the money and gate speed.

MONTANA FLASH: Sound Albion Park form, top stable.

BIG GEM MONTANA: Winner three from nine starts, but has to find a way out.

Race 5: Tips 1-2-7.

JINGLES BROMAC: Ideal distance, not won for some time, draw helps a lot.

DON'T CALL ME: Form ordinary, but may lead these watch market.

TICK OF THE CLOCK: Gets easy trip, and should run on.

Race 6: Tips 2-6-7.

HEADWIN: Last start winner Redcliffe, and might get trail.

VOODOO FELLA: In great form, but draw is tricky.

ARMA AUGUSTUS: Sixth last start after four post picket fence, gets chance to make amends.

Race 7: Tips 3-4-7.

BUK THE SYSTEM: Goes good here, gate speed, winner at Albion Park in August.

ALL GOOD WALLY: Winner at Redcliffe November in fast time, but needs trail.

MAGGIE: Winner last two Kilcoy and Warwick on grass, gets cheap trip.

Race 8: Tips 7-2-8.

BOOMCHUCKALUCKA: Winner at Albion Park at Australian debut, can only get better.

GOING FOR GOLD: New blood from NZ with poor form, will improve today.

GOSLING IN FLIGHT: Form line tops, and should be in finish.

Race 9: Tips 1-4-8.

ADRENILINE RUSH: Winner here and Albion Park in last month, top driver.

KIAMASROSIE: Has runs on the board, watch market.

CAPTAIN COSMONAUT: Usually best in front, but might get carted into this.

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