JUST eight sleeps to Oktoberfest/Harriott Memorial race day at Marburg next Sunday.
It's shaping up to be even bigger than the Easter Sunday Fun Day with a "combo” of family fun, exciting racing, boutique beers, craft stalls, monster raffle, lucky gate prizes and the $1250 "pick the card” jackpot operating on the last six races.
The great program also offers a close up for those interested in the nuts and bolts side of harness racing.
There will be a gearing up demonstration with an opportunity for kids and adults to "pat a pacer”, and the introduction of the "Costin Shoe”, a new development in the world of plastic "shock lessening” horse shoes.
Gates open at 11am.
Christmas present for NSW
A PRESS release similar to this from HRNSW is probably what the struggling participants of Queensland harness would like for a Christmas present.
"In a positive move for harness racing in the Riverina, the first sod was turned at the site of the new Wagga track at Cartwrights Hill today.
"The New South Wales Minister for Racing Paul Toole was in attendance alongside Harness Racing NSW chairman Chris Edwards and his fellow Board Members for the significant milestone.
"The journey has been a lengthy one from when we first called for expressions of interest in a Riverina Super Centre back in 2006,” Edwards said.
"But now that we are finally at this stage, it is pleasing to know that in a year's time we will have completed a strategy to install 1000m tracks in all the region's Hunter, Western and Southern.''
"What is really positive for Wagga is that what we have learned from the other projects has been enhanced, corrected or improved with this last instalment.
"The long-awaited project will see a 1070m race track constructed with a width of 20m to accommodate 10 horses starting off the front row, if required”.
The track upgrade will feature a camber of 10 degrees on the 110m radius turns to assist with equine welfare, driver safety and to enhance the speed performance of the horses as well as a sprint lane to provide all horses a competitive opportunity.
Alongside the track, public facilities similar to those at Bathurst will be constructed as well as race stalls that can accommodate for 140 horses, including a designated area for mini trot participants.
Harness Racing NSW's long-term vision for the property is to also include a training centre.
WHILE we up here realise that our financial position is nothing like that of NSW, there is little incentive for anyone other than 15 or so trainers and drivers to renew or take out a licence in Queensland.
The grand design of an "elite sport”, touted so often in the first decade of this millennium has failed dismally and it is time for a complete "shakeout” and a rebuild of the foundations of the sport.
Nothing less is likely to save us.
In the good news department, Racing Queensland's Annual Report indicates a financial turnaround of $19.6 million on the previous year's $21.8 million loss. This has contained losses for the 2016/17 financial year to a manageable $2.2 million.
When we cross the line from red to black, perhaps harness will get the rebuild mentioned above.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.
R1: Box trifecta 1-6-8: The Duke Downunder (S. Doherty)-Ruato Bay (C. Petroff)-Pompidou (T. Dixon).
R2: Box trifecta 1-5-6: Polished Rocks (I. Ross)- Lancelot Bromac (L. Manzelmann)-Feel The Courage (H. Barnes).
R3: E/w 4: Culley Backy (N. Dawson).
R4: Quinella 2-6: Franco Salisbury (N. McMullen) and My ultimate Fella (D. Graham).
R5: E/w 1: Major Kiwi (P. Diebert).
R6: E/w 1: Heavans Hint (N. Dawson).
R7: Quinella 2-7: Overlap (P. McMullen) and Watch Pulp Fiction (Chantal).
R8: Quinella 3-5: Clarkey (Mark Dux) and Mattgregor (P. McMullen).
R9: Box trifecta 2-5-7-8: Giacomo (M. Neilson)- Lysenko ( Tim Gillespie)- Rostevarren (C. Petroff)-Our Overannova (T. Dixon).
A new look to the leader board with a hard fought contest among the trainers. Trevor Lambourn rose to the top with a trio of successes with four other mentors hot on his heels at two apiece. Rising star reinsman Nathan Dawson dominated in the sulky, saluting on six occasions. Most pleasing was Peter Jones's training double at Redcliffe. Shades of his Rockhampton days. The last two weeks have seen the greater Ipswich footprint still at better than 50% success rate - 57% and 53% of the week's winners.
Albion Park, October 6: Tuesdays Fella (Nathan Dawson for Trevor Lambourn); Gangster Boy (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Fon Ideal Adam Richardson for Donny Smith); Culley Backy (Nathan Dawson for Darrell Graham); Bull Market (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).
Albion Park, October 7: The Shady One (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Polished Rocks (Danielle McMullen for Steve Cini).
Albion Park, October 10: Jack Hammer (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Feel The Courage (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin); Newmerrella Fella (Brett Towns for MaxTowns); Subtle Delight (Nathan Dawson for Terry Hancock).
Redcliffe, October 11: Fui Fui (Gary Whitaker for Peter Jones); Ruato Bay (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis); Zenmach (Paul Matis); Swaffham Water (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Countdown (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin); Vanto Hanover (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Real Knuckey (Hayden Barnes for Peter Jones); Leoryan (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen).
Redcliffe, October 12: Theresachance (Nathan Dawson for Graham White); Master Montana (Darrell Graham); Sams a Champ (Hayden Barnes for Jack Butler); Mister Elegant (Gary Whitaker for Scott Williams).