Marburg top place for a fun punt

LET'S hope it's the promised sunny day. What better warm conditions for a trip to the Marburg trots.

Catch today's action close up on the 700 metre show ground circuit.

It's country trotting at its best, with the "pick the card" jackpot standing at $1150 and lucky gate prize of $100 free bet with Marburg's bookie to cater for those who like a punt.

For the fun lovers who still like a flutter, there is a multi prize raffle, The "Funny Money" bookie and associated auction after the last.

Admission is adults $5, pensioners and students $3 and race books $3.

Under the radar success

PUBLICITY and recognition in harness racing are strange things.

Some avoid it, some court it and others, no matter what they do, never seem to get it.

Sometimes onlookers wonder why this third category exists and ponder the reasons for such a situation.

Meanwhile, a number of highly competent trainers soldier on. Their week in, week out efforts hardly raise a ripple.

Steven Cini, born in 1966 and learning his trade from his late father, the charismatic Lou Cini, was first licenced in the 1984/85 season.

If numbers were all that told the story, his start was impressive, having only three runners in his first two years, all of which were successful.

Time has rolled on since.

His team has slowly and steadily increased in numbers. No acknowledged stars but a succession fit pacers carried the black jacket, white sleeves and red maltese cross to regular cheques.

The lifetime stats some 32 years on are impressive. Starters 11,498, winners 1337, seconds 1371, thirds 1329 with the bank balance at $2,830,273 and the all important "return per starter" sitting at $246.15.

The graph is upward and steep these days with the season drawing to a close, showing figures of 377 runners and income of $336,916.

Every time a Steve Cini horse goes round, from a statistical perspective, $893.67 jumps in.

"All the world loves a winner". It's true enough but I stopped reading a high profile Trots publication years ago on the grounds that anyone reading it as their source of information could be excused for assuming that, Australia wide, there were probably no more than 20 people training and driving light harness horses.

At that time, this country boasted something in the order of 8,000 licencees.

Who the vast majority were, and what they achieved, we were never told.

Steve Cini falls in that category. He kicks goals every week, but the selectors don't want to know.

Redwood celebration

FANS of the traditional, diagonal gaited trotter might want to find a Sky Channel screen from 11.30am tomorrow.

It is the annual celebration of the trotter, "Redwood Day" at Maryborough in Victoria.

There will even be a special events train, carrying 200 fans to the track. This additional crowd boost will further ensure the success of the 32nd staging of the carnival, which started in 1985.

It features the Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors $50,000 Redwood Classic for 2yo's at 2.44pm on Sunday, followed by the $75,000 Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby at 3.54pm.

Neither feature carries a fortune in prize money by today's standards, but the prestige conveyed by a win in either event is "a pearl without price."

Calvert-based Ray Cross will have last start Ballarat winner Honey Please engaged in Race 2. We wish him the best.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Withalotofluck (C. Cini)- Philanderer (M. Neilson)- Village Witch (N. McMullen).

R2: E/w 2: Strawberry Courage (G. Dwyer).

R3: Quinella 2-6: Mafuta Vautin (A. Sanderson) and Polished Rocks (M. Neilson).

R4: E/w 3: Pompidou (G. Dixon).

R5: Box trifecta 2-3-6: Royal Jacquard (N. Dawson)- Ichon Blue (D. Cernovskis)- Drive The Dream (A. Sanderson).

R6: E/w 3: Major Kiwi (T. Moffat).

R7: E/w 1: Drifting Away (S. Graham).

R8: Box trifecta 2-3-4: Majestic Major (G. Dixon)- Ohoka Colorado (S. Graham)-Major Cam (M. Neilson).

R9: Box trifecta in four 1-2-6-8: I'm Not Eyre (J. Rattray)- Four Shares More Beers (G. Dixon)- Justabitnoisy (D. Lee)-Monorail (R. Jenkins).

Marburg picks: R1 - 2-5-3. R2: 4-5-7. R3: 1-3-7. R4: 1-3-5. R5: 5-1-8. R6: 3-2-1.

Honour board

CONSISTENCY is the key word on the board this week with the lower Brisbane Valley to the fore. Darrell Graham (Fernvale) notched six winners for the week, including a Saturday night treble. A stone's throw away at Glamorganvale, Nathan Dawson rang up five winning drives to edge out his cousin Narissa McMullen on four. All three stars posted trebles. Most pleasing was Adam Richardson steering Franco Totem to an easy win on Wednesday night at Redcliffe.

Albion Park, July 28: Illdoitwhenimready (Chantal Turpin); None Bettor (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Tuesdays Fella (Nathan Dawson for Trevor Lambourn); Vande Velde (Nathan Dawson for Jason Mackrill); Wattlebank Flyer (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, July 29: Montana Falcon (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Culley Backy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Broadway Playboy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham).

Albion Park, August 1: Northern Muscle (Denis Smith); Fakerocknroll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Corey ODonohue (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Magnussen (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); Oceans Predator (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins).

Redcliffe, August 2: Gidup Spanish Red (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); Ima Top Tycoon (Nathan Dawson for Ryan Veivers); My Ultimate Falcon (Lachie Manzelmann for Darrell Graham); Franco Totem (Adam Richardson for Darrell Graham).

Redcliffe, August 3: Turbo Tufftalk (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Diamantina Devil (Narissa McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Coast Warning (Narissa McMullen); The Endeavour (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Ruato Bay (Chris Petroff for Ron Sallis).

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