Action at Marburg Trots last year.
Action at Marburg Trots last year.

Mark Aus Day at Marburg

As promised, the full list of attractions on offer at the Marburg Trots on Australia Day, Monday, January 27.

Gates open at 11am. First 100 paying patrons receive $5 UBET betting voucher. free kids rock climbing wall. Free water slide. (all rides supervised) free face painting. funny money. “pick the last 6 “. mini-trots. 8 race full TAB harness program. On track UBET van. Raffles to raise money for local rural fire brigade. Team Teal - ovarian cancer support and lady drivers race promotions. Watermelon throwing contest.

Adults $5 entry, pensioners $3, kids free. Race books $3. country style canteen and old fashioned bar prices. Just the best family day at the races, and all at budget conscious prices.--Don’t miss it!!

How it was in April 1995. Excerpts from “Harness Racing”, which was the name of this column a quarter of a century ago.We appeared to be in a down cycle at that point, and persons interested in reversing the negative trend were attempting to “right the wrongs”!

HARNESS RACING PROMOTION HEADS TOWARD 2000

A group of Brisbane trotting enthusiasts, headed by Redcliffe Club members, Chris Garrard and Pat Ritter,have sought incorporation under the Associations Incorporation act with the purpose of raising the profile of harness racing in the Sunshine State. The group will be known as “Harness Racing Queensland Towards 2000”, and will undertake specific projects in consultation with the QHRB general manager.. Two initiatives already in the embryo stage, are the provision of playground facilities at Albion Park and assistance with the organisation of the annual awards night.

To assist these projects, HR 2000 is organising a hefty raffle. In its infancy, the raffle already boasts prizes in the order of a double horse float, two nicely bred yearlings, overseas travel, colour TV, video and sound equipment. The tickets should just about sell themselves!

While HR 2000 are putting the icing on the cake, the 200 plus members of the breeders, Owners and Reinspersons Association are grinding away at the heart of the business, which is prize money. With what should be correctly titled “The Wallis /Taudevin Report”, giving its ordered and dispassionate review of the costs incurred by Queensland trotting owners as compared to what is available in prize money, is currently on the Racing Minister’s desk.

While racing is obviously a high risk enterprise, it is the wholesale intervention of governments, via the TAB, which has cast the mantle of “industry” over what was once a very healthy sport. It therefore behoves government to address the frightening imbalance which exists when $42 million is outlaid against a prospective income, limited by legislation to $6.7 million. The “Wallis/Taudevin Report” is a powerful document which commands respect on its factual economic content. It can, if correctly implemented, be the key to the revitalisation of Queensland trotting!

None of the options put up 25 years ago were adopted,and the results of that inaction and others are plain to see today. The 2018/19 financial report shows a $6M shortfall,a massive drop in trainer and horse numbers over the time, and at least 90% of the prize money going to just 38 trainers, while the remaining 130 fight over the scraps. A reversal of thinking at the top end of Racing Queensland, is needed to redirect more of the prizemoney into the base of the pyramid before more of the 130 call it a day, with the inevitable result! Evidence of the current state of decay was highlighted last Saturday night at Albion Park, when there was found to be insufficient emergency generator capacity to light the venue after a loss of supply. The resultant loss of much of the meet is inexcusable! Jump outs Marburg next Saturday 25/01.. Noms 7.00 am..Start 8.00 am. 0408 352 478.. A pair of dead heats balanced the leaderboard this week. Narissa McMullen and Hayden Barnes outdrove oppositions, recording three wins apiece, while trainers Kay Crone and John McMullen presented their stock in winning mode on two occasions. Most pleasing, Whataboyz, yet another tonic for trainer Alistair Barnes, on his road to a full recovery. Ipswich Factor 19/40..

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