Trot Tactics: Merv makes fine contribution
NOT everyone whose passing is chronicled in Trot Tactics' is necessarily a 100 percent trotting fan.
Today we pay our respects to Merv Kingston, who was a partner in Kingston and Wallace Furniture with Des Wallace, and uncle to Des's sons, Jeff and Wayne.
No one can be as close to so much passion for the harness horses and their race track exploits without some involvement.
There were two pacers that raced in the Merv Kingston team in the mid 70's.
Petites Pride, the multiple winning daughter of high class pacer Red Adios, and the gelding Brass Buttons.
Petites Pride later went to the breeding barn at the Wallace family's "Malonga'', where she produced twin foals which survived, a rarity in itself.
Both got to the training track, but lacked the last notch of ability, which would have taken them to the races.
It is the mark of Merv Kingston that he and Des Wallace were in business partnership from 1952 to 2000 with never a cross word.
"In the company structure, everyone had an area of responsibility and they worked towards a common goal,'' Jeff Wallace said.
The "K" is still there in "K and W" and we remember Merv Kingston's contribution to furniture manufacture in Ipswich.
Kilcoy on the grass
THEY say that the grass is greener at Kilcoy, a lovely country town on the D'Aguilar highway.
The town has long been home to the Kilcoy Race Club, a compact circuit, fondly known as the "Moonee Valley of the north''.
Club president Con Searle, a highly successful plant food and garden products manufacturer and well known bookmaker, is pointing his green finger at another project.
Searle and his committee have plans to bring harness racing to the grass track in a big way.
Having already hosted several dual-code meetings, and with another in the pipeline for December, the club has applied for a standalone trot meeting for October 2.
If successful as predicted, this meeting may be a springboard to a program of 26 grass harness meetings per season.
Searle has done his homework, citing the small track as a plus for harness as the field passes the grandstand twice which caters for the basic visual spectacle of harness.
Searle is also a supporter of standing starts. With a long chute providing a 650 metre run to the winning post, the venue is ideally suited for the stand start format and 14/15 horse fields, providing more racing opportunity.
The club is guaranteed the support of the Queensland Mini-trotting Sporting Association Inc, which has proven a big hit with the family component of Kilcoy's solid fan base.
Meetings on a fortnightly basis and a one mode starting procedure allows punters to establish a reliable form line.
Under these conditions, "Kilcoy On The Grass'' has a better than average chance of success. It deserves careful consideration by Racing Queensland.
Call for more support
AT least once and possibly twice a week trainers are receiving texts which tell them that the deadline for nominations scheduled for that day have been extended by x number of hours due to a lack of horses in all or particular races programmed for that meeting.
Redcliffe on Wednesday night, and Albion Park Saturday night, appear to be immune from this embarrassment.
Redcliffe is aimed to in some measure benefit the hobbyists (lower prizemoney and night time slot, allowing trainers that work a day job to get to a meeting where they may be competitive, and not lose wages to be there).
Top prizemoney at Albion Park Saturday ensures a majority of full fields.
Three trainers have moved south - Stuart Hunter, Shane Sanderson and Narissa McMullen taking approximately 40 horses from the racing pool.
The shortfall of horses existed before that particular migration took place.
The traditional September shortage, blamed on 2-3 and 4yos going for an end of season spell has continued, worsening week by week.
Short fields only attract less turnover than the far from buoyant figures attributed to harness in Queensland.
One can't imagine any of the preceding matters to inspire any confidence in potential owners. It has not inspired the punters.
The current administration does not actually exist, consisting as it does of Justice Muir and RQ's interim CEO John Hall.
That's far short of the seven decision makers promised.
There is a potential entry point for owners, trainers, drivers and horses at the Marburg trials.
To date, we have received little real consideration from the powers that be on the matter of official trials.
The MPA wants to do something which will address the shortfall of horses and participants in a practical fashion.
I call on the racing minister to assist in these matters.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.
R1: E/w 1 - A Passion For Aces (T. Moffat).
R2: Quinella 1-8: Cheval Zeppenology (P. McMullen) and Wandary Splash (N. Dawson).
R3: Quinella 1-8: Long Term Fella (L. Weidemann) and Deano Robyn (G. Dixon).
R4: Quinella 1-8: Regal Point (M. Neilson) and Lachie Maguire (A Sanderson).
R5: Quinella 1-5: Northern line (C Petroff) and Gallymont Sport (T. Dawson).
R6: E/w 2: Franco Nepia (B Barnes).
R7: E/w 2: Monarkmac (G. Dixon).
R8: Box trifecta 2-5-6: Destreos (K. Dawson)-Caesars Folly (M. Neilson)-American Legend (G. Dixon).
R9: Box trifecta 5-9-10: Duke Of The Moment (C. Turpin-McMullen)-Senitas Success (S. Graham)-Our Overannova (G. Dixon).
R10: Quinella 1-2: Temporary Use (S. Graham) and Goldplay (G. Dixon).
The leader board remains firmly fixed in the lower Brisbane Valley. John McMullen heads up the trainers with three winners while Hayden Barnes and Pete McMullen tied the drivers on four wins apiece. The most pleasing efforts for the week were Wayne Davis's double at Marburg of Lots More Grins and Domestic Art, both with Hayden Barnes in the sulky; and Melissa Gillies teaming with Lively Hero, raced by herself and husband Keith, landing the bikkies at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Albion Park, February 13: Lively Hero (Melissa Gillies).
Marburg, February 13: RocknRambo (Hayden Barnes for Drew Turton); Lots More Grins (Hayden Barnes for Wayne Davis); Total Energy (Nathan Dawson for Ron Sallis); Domestic Art (Hayden Barnes for Wayne Davis); Wanteddeadoralive (Adam Richardson for Steve Woodward).
Albion Park, February 16: Daytona Beach (Trevor Lambourn for Rachel Scott); Cheval Zeppenology (Pete for Jason Carkeet); Back Page News (Gary Whitaker for Vic Frost); Lady Royal Sue (Pete for John McMullen); Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).
Redcliffe, February 17: Judah Ben Hur (Ken Belford); Call Me Yours (Pete for Chantal Turpin-McMullen); Andiamo El Ferrari (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen); Icefire (Gary Whitaker for Vic Frost); Boltenin (Adam Richardson for Tess Neaves).
Gold Coast at Redcliffe, February 18: Cee Uin L A (Rob Gorman); In The Frame Lombo (Pete for John McMullen).