Spectators are likely to be welcome at the next Marburg trot meeting on September 6. Picture: Rob Williams
Spectators are likely to be welcome at the next Marburg trot meeting on September 6. Picture: Rob Williams

Marburg set to welcome back racegoers


Denis Smith

AT this point, it is looking good for an open gate situation for the next Marburg Family Race Day on Sunday, September 6.

Current COVID-19 requirements will be met with "social distancing" a must.

The first 100 paying patrons through the gate will get a $5 betting voucher to cash with bookmaker Stephen Anthony.

There will be 100 sample bags for the kids, raffles and the "Funny Money" bookie for those who want the thrill of the flutter without damage to the finances.

Great food and cheap beverage prices add to all the ingredients for a great day's racing.

Admission is adults $5, pensioners and students $3, under 16s free.

Gates open at 11am.

McCarthy legend born in Qld

FOR the last 60 years, Australians and Enzedders have been making the shift the United States to practice their skills in harness racing.

Initially, this was temporarily, to contest the Yonkers International Pacing Series, an event run by track owner Martin Tananbaum over three nights at Yonkers Raceway in New York.

Races were at distances of 1609 metres, 2000 metres and 2400 metres.

The 1960 series was won by the Australian gelding Apmat, trained and driven by the Sydney star Bert Alley, taking the crown two to one from the triple New Zealand Cup winner, False Step.

Other Southern hemisphere pacers to shine in America in the 60's were 1960 Sydney Inter-Dominion winner Caduceus (beat Apmat), and Smoke Cloud NZ which took the International title in 1965.

Since those early days there has been a constant, significant presence in top line pacing in the States.

It is now 2020 and Andy McCarthy's driving victory in the Hambletonian on August 9 puts yet more polish on the McCarthy family's achievements, both training and driving.

The McCarthy legend had its genesis right here in Queensland, after John and Narelle left Eglinton near Bathurst to try their luck in Brisbane.

From modest results in NSW, the family experienced phenomenal success on both four legs and two in the Sunshine State.

Millionaire pacers and feature races became the order of the day.

Andy McCarthy, who may have felt he was living in the shadow of his older brother Luke, left for America a decade or more ago, steadily climbing the totem pole of racetrack stardom, year in and year out.

In his absence, the youngest of the three brothers Todd followed in the family tradition and now boasts an Inter-dominion victory in the sulky behind the Kevin Pizzuto trained Tiger Tara.

Luke has hit the heights in the USA as well, driving the Noel Daley trained Muscle Hill to the winner's circle in the World Trotting Derby, at his first sit behind the horse.

The following is a brief account of Ramona Hill's "Hambo" from Harnesslink website.

Amigo Volo (Dexter Dunn) showed the most early speed from post 10, landing on the lead early and opening up on the field before slowing the tempo down after a 0:26.2 opening panel. Threefiftytwo (Daniel Dube) forged on for the front and got there.

Driver Andy McCarthy was focused on controlling this week's race after having to close from a nearly impossible spot in last week's elimination. Landing briefly into fourth, McCarthy launched Ramona Hill for the front and cleared Threefiftytwo after a 0:54.3 half.

"When I came out early there, I sensed I could find the front," McCarthy said after winning his first Hambletonian. "I went for it, and she knows her job."

Ready For Moni, who like Ramona Hill won a Hambletonian elimination a week ago, applied pressure first over with Back Of The Neck (Scott Zeron) second over. Ramona Hill hit the third quarter in 1:22.2 and turned for home looking strong. Ready For Moni was full out trying to get to the leader's wheel but that effort was in vain as Ramona Hill held on to win by a length in a stakes record-tying and lifetime best 1:50.1. Back Of The Neck was just back of the leaders in third.

The following is a brief rundown on Ramona Hill.

Ramona Hill is a three-year-old filly by Muscle Hill.

The Hambletonian winner is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc, Crawford Farms Racing, and In The Gym Partners.

She is four for five as a sophomore and 10 for 12 in her career.

To make all the above even more breathtaking, Andy McCarthy drove four more feature winners on "Hambo" day, and appeared behind Ramona Hill some nine days later to take out the Zweig Memorial for 3yo Fillies at Vernon Downs.

Honour board

NOTHING new in the epicentre department, all in the bottom of the Brisbane Valley.

Pete McMullen was leading driver with four wins nosing out Hayden Barnes on three.

On the training side, Ron Sallis is out on his own with three nice winners for the week.

Most pleasing was Tascott Terror for Bruce Whyborn and Hello Its Me for Melissa Gillies. Ipswich factor: 17/56.

Albion Park, August 21: Getaloadathisgirl (Matt Elkins for Dan Russell).

Albion Park, August 22: Elms Creek (Pete McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Redcliffe, August 23: Valoroso Hanover (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis); Montana Lad (Brttany Graham for Darrell Graham); Sixpenny Red (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); The Last Starfire (Trent Moffat for Trent Hodges).

Albion Park, August 25: Dead Set Muscle (Hayden Barnes for Mark McNee); Hello Its Me (Paul Diebert for Melissa Gillies).

Redcliffe, August 26: Mach Torque (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Whata Stride (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Montana Express (Hayden Barnes for Brett Cargill); Naughty In Heaven (Pete McMullen for Errol O'Shea); Tascott Terror (Nathan Dawson for Bruce Whyborn).

Redcliffe, August 27: Rolling River (Adam Sanderson for Bill Crosby); Famous Shoes (Shane Graham for Dale Belford); Bara Jayla (Hayden Barnes for Lola Weidemann); Burmach (Justin Elkins for Ron Sallis).

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.

R1: Quinella 1-2: Rubies For Tash (N Dawson) and Rockin Brushgrove (Chloe Butler).

R2: Quinella 1-8: Much Bettor (A Sanderson) and Uncle Jord (I Ross).

R3: E/w 8: Heart Of Cooper S Graham).

R4: E/w 1: Northview Hustler (H Barnes).

R5: E/w 1: Liberal Arden (G Dixon).

R6: E/w 7: Amazing Dream (K Rasmussen.

R7: Quinella 4-5: Chantrey ( D McMullen).

R8: E/w 8: Who Stole My Pigeon (B Battle).

R9: E/w 10: Our Overanova (G Dixon).

R10: E/w 2: Maretti (D McMullen).

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