Marburg providing racing feast

TODAY'S the day. Off to Marburg for the final heats of the Ipswich West Young Drivers Invitation Series and the big Racing/Fun Day in partnership with the Walloon State School.

This will be in the same league as the Easter Fun Day Sunday with all the extra trimmings of ice cream, espresso coffee, craft stalls, kids sports, mini-trotters and a monster raffle.

Add this to a good race card preceded by qualifying trials, and it makes for a great day out.

Bookies will field on the local trots and major gallops meetings with Sky Channel coverage.

Current standings in the Young Drivers Invitation series are: Justin Storie (15), Brendan Barnes (13), Lauren Jones (11), Nathan Dawson (10), Amy Rees (9), Joe Taafe (8), Hayden Barnes (6), and Mitchell Dawson (4).

With two heats to go today, this is still anybody's race.

As usual, barrier draws and horse flesh will play a big part in determining the overall winner.

Whoever comes out on top, it will be keen racing.


Winter carnival

THE Winter Carnival moves on with the accent on the fair sex at Albion Park tonight.

Mares and fillies features include the Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes, a Group 3 event carrying a $30,000 purse and the Gurney Group Queensland Oaks at Group 1 level for $75,000.

The girls in the colours also take the stage in the Transformations Female Drivers Invitation.

The Gurney Group also sponsor the Four year Old Championship, Group 3 status and $45,000.

Horse numbers were down a bit in the 4yo and the Oaks, but the high quality of the runners makes up for this.


Prizemoney list

RACING Queensland (Harness) has announced the prizemoney schedule for the coming season - 2013/14.

As the Monday races which commenced this season were not in the previous season's budget, their inclusion for the coming term has caused a reduction in advertised prizemoney for the mid-week events.

Given that most meetings run on a 51 day per year schedule, and, allowing for a projected eight Sunday TAB meetings plus 12 non-TAB fixtures, approximately $11,825,000 will be distributed.

It sounds good if you say it quick.

However, any reduction in the owner's cheque is a backward step.

The current administration has opted for the strategy of "the more races run, the greater the opportunity to bet equals more turnover".

They would, however, get a great deal more if a punter friendly racing format was put in place, one which was easily understood by people who do not have the time or expertise of the professional punter to do the complicated form assessment currently required.

If we were to adopt such a policy, we might even be able to grow the punter base and the sport at the same time.


Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - E/w 8: Ima Sea Storm (N. Day).

R2: Quinella 1-8: Rumsron (K. Rasmussen) and Special Art (B. Towns).

R3: E/w 3: Destreos (K. Dawson).

R4: E/w 4: Davey J (N. Day).

R5: Quinella 1-8: In No Mans Land (C. Petroff) and Wild Oates (K. Rasmussen).

R6: E/w 9: Forever Gold (K. Rasmussen).

R7: Quinella 5-8: Alberto Contador (J. Cremin) and Magical Telf (S. Graham).

R8: E/w 3: Our Splendour (T. McFarlane).

R9: E/w 1: Navajo Rocky (G. Dixon).

Marburg picks today: R 1: E/w 4: Melton Bonny Mabel (N. McMullen).

R2: E/w 1: Ideal Guy (Hayden Barnes).

R3: Extreme Makeover (J. Storie).

R4: E/w 3: Take Seven (T. Dawson).

R5: E/w 1: Gods Win (G. Litzow).


Top efforts for the week

Best trainer was Darrel Graham, with four on the board. The driver's honour went to Narissa McMullen with four winning scores in the sulky.

Albion Park, June 21: Highstead (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Melton Mighty Max (Narissa for John McMullen); Heez Perfect (Narissa for John McMullen); Kates Maori (Gavin Crone).

Marburg, June 22: Extreme Makeover (Lauren Jones for Barry Williams).

Marburg, June 23: Melton Miss Logie (Narissa for John McMullen); Sea You Harry (Narissa McMullen); Certainly James (Steven Doherty for Geoff Stanfield).

Albion Park, June 24: Midnight Montana (Hayden Barnes for Darrel Graham); Cant See A Thing (Kelli Dawson for Melissa Gillies); Baileys Spirit (Hayden Barnes for Darrel Graham).

Albion Park, June 25: My Mon Star (Chris Petroff for Francis Weston); Sign To Inverell (Darrel Graham); Betonthebay (Lola Weidemann for Greg Minns); The Falcon Ute (Darrel Graham).

Redcliffe, June 26: Slipaslygrin (Rob Gorman for Bill Crosby).

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