Denis Smith
Denis Smith

Marburg's leading achievers

IT'S time to disclose the top performers at Marburg in the 2015/16 season.

The leading driver was Nathan Dawson who went around the 700 metre circuit on 49 occasions for 14 wins, 12 seconds and six thirds and a bank of $18,411.

Runner up was Hayden Barnes with five wins from 15 starts and $5075.

As you can see, Barnes' strike rate was a staggering one win in three drives with Dawson close on one in 3.5.

Both were top performances.

We only had to look across the breakfast table to find Marburg's number one trainer, Mitchell Dawson with stats of 29 runners returning seven wins, six seconds and four thirds, banking $9224 in the process.

Second home was Wayne Davis with stats of 15 for 6-2-0 and $8771.

Note the win strike rate here was an incredible one in 2.5.

The first three home in the horse of the year standings were dead-heaters Domestic Art (Wayne Davis) and Tiki Topaz (Michell Dawson) on 13 points apiece with Wecanonlyhope (Warren Hinze) at their girth on 11 points.

Tiki Topaz was also Mare of the Year.

Leading owner went to Stacey Manzelmann of Wanora, whose runners earned $4714 for the season.

The dollar figures appear paltry and they are. But to people who race light harness because they love the sport, some of the Marburg wins gave immense satisfaction.

Winning races with our horses is, after all, the prime objective. For some reason, this appears to provide greater satisfaction than the cheque.

It is, however, incumbent on our administrators to provide realistic prize money and opportunity for the hobbyist.

Best dollar season

MORE on the local stars and their performance last season.

Barty Cockburn, based at Peak Crossing, sent out 328 horses to do battle for the purse and led in 39 winners and 90 placegetters, which earned $269,000 for the racing year.

Much busier in the sulky, Barty returned figures from 688 drives of 104 wins and 166 placings for a result of $883,000.

This has been Cockburn's best "dollar" season to date and his third highest number of winning drives.

Gary Whitaker topped the thousand drives for the third year in succession saluting on 98 occasions and placing 230 times. The bank roll was $560,862, his third best season to date behind the 14/15 and 11/12 terms.

Top family day out

MARBURG trots are on this afternoon, providing just the place for a family outing.

It remains the best "value for money" racing venue in South East Queensland.

For patrons over 18, your lucky gate ticket puts you in a draw for a $100 free bet on the local trots with bookie Stephen Anthony.

Buy a racebook for $3 and get an entry coupon for the "pick the card" competition worth $600 and a $500 "funny money" voucher for the folks who would like to have a bet but can't afford to lose.

Adult entry is $5, with pensioners and students $3. Kids under 16 enter free.

Gates open at 10am with trials from 11am and the first race from 12.30pm.

Country racing vital

THERE is a move afoot in the halls of power to remove all non-TAB racing on the grounds that it produces no income for the sport.

Taken in isolation, that statement is fairly accurate. However, what country racing such as Marburg provides is the glue that holds the base of the pyramid together.

In Queensland, with turnover far from healthy, it's time a cut was taken at the top.

The great experiment of "creating an elite sport" has turned out not to be the city of pure gold for all but a handful of participants. It can be fixed, but if we continue to ignore the basic needs of the punters and potential participants, the "exciting future' that we have heard about so many times in the last 20 odd years will be the moth-eaten past.

Run your mind round this one.

Race four at Marburg this afternoon is the standard 8 horse field. Between the eight, they have raced on 1018 occasions, resulting in 140 wins and 246 placings, and amassed $781,042. in prize money.

The calculator, like the camera does not lie.

Taken as a single entity, these pacers have earned $767,23 every time they went round.

Who said there was no money in trotting. If this exercise does nothing else, it proves the correlation between "damned lies" and "statistics".

See, you can do anything with a set of figures and a bit of imagination.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Monarkmac (T. Dixon)-Gallymont Sport (T. Dawson)-Shareapassion (P. McMullen).

R2: Quinella 3-8: Fioki (G. Dixon) and Karloo Kix (B. Cockburn).

R3: Quinella 2-5: Our Pacquaio (G. Dixon) and Murano (N. McMullen).

R4: E/w 2: Munroe (P. McMullen).

R5: E/w 1: The Fascinator (N. McMullen).

R6: Box trifecta 1-3-9: Major Strike (G. Dixon)-Majors Blue Jean (J. Ponsonby)-Only In Rome (P. McMullen).

R7: Quinella 1-9: Spare The Price (S. Graham) and Mandy Kriden (B. Cockburn).

R8: Box trifecta 1-2-7: Any Left (A. Richardson)-Last flight In (C. Petroff)-Purple Royale.

R9: E/w 1: Washingtons Flier (N. McMullen).

R10: Box trifecta 3-5-6: Monorail (R. Jenkins)-Blue Don (G. Dixon)-Supper Waltz Wilson (B. Cockburn).

Marburg tips today: Race 1 - 2-1-4. R2: 4-2-1. R3: 1-6-8. R4: 2-4- 7. R5: 1-2-8.

Honour board

This week's leaderboard heads back to the lower Brisbane Valley with Chantal Turpin leading in five winners to be top trainer. Husband Pete McMullen was again the star driver on four winners. The most pleasing effort was Trent Dawson racking up a Saturday night treble in the sulky at Albion Park.

Albion Park, September 9: Donny Jones (Barty Cockburn for R A Wells); I'm Johnny Jet (Brittany Graham); Mandy Kriden (Barty Cockburn for Mick Butler); Shareapassion (Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, September 10: Beaver (Trent Dawson for Melissa Gillies); Western Blaze (Amy Rees for Mick Butler); Nureyev (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Gallymont Sport (Trent Dawson for Geoff Dawson); Monumental (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Newmerrella Fella (Trent Dawson for Max Towns).

Albion Park, September 13: Unici Crown (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Bettabe Perfect (Pete for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, September 14: Murano (Narissa McMullen); Washingtons Flier (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis); Beatle Man (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); The Falcon Legend (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Redcliffe, September 15: Benny Maguire (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Cheers Kathy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Sir Rory (Nathan Dawson for Graeme Gavin).

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