Denis Smith.
Denis Smith. David Nielsen

Positive progress at Marburg


THINGS continue to go forward in positive fashion at Marburg Showground, where work commenced this week on replacing the fence surrounding the stabling area.

The child proof enclosure (on race days) will not only add to the all-important factor of child safety, but will bring race day security into line with QRIC requirements.

Further more, it is an attractive and valuable asset for the Showground.

This is one of many short and long term projects on the Marburg Pacing Association radar, designed to showcase quality harness racing in the best of "people friendly” locations.

It's a place which grows our on-course attendance by offering good reasons for the fans to keep coming back.

The outlook is very optimistic on the race day front as well with the okay given for a massive upgrade in the public address system.

Gone for good will be the squawks, crackles and fluctuating volumes which have plagued the Marburg meetings in the past.

On-course broadcasting will be stepping into the 21st century.

On the track, look for new features for 3yo's, as feed giant Barastoc moves to expand its sponsorship of country harness through the "Barastoc-Marburg Oaks” for the fillies and the "Barastoc-Marburg Derby” for the colts and geldings.

Nearly all owners and trainers dream about owning and or training a classic winner.

Barastoc and the MPA intend to turn those dreams into reality for lucky participants on an annual basis.

We could be creating a new "Redwood” here.

Sunday, August 4, is the target date.

A reminder jumpouts are tomorrow morning. Nominate from 7am.

Adam's milestone

HAIGSLEA-based reinsman Adam Richardson stole the limelight at Albion Park on Saturday night.

The 30-year-old equalled a personal milestone, when nailing three winners at the meeting.

The previous day he also won twice at 'The Creek'.

"It was a good night,'' Richardson said.

"I've driven three winners a couple of times before but never four.

"I've been driving for 10 years now and still love it immensely. You can never get enough winners.''

Richardson's hat-trick came via the Cristina Monte trained Tulhurst Ace in race one; the Graham White trained Oyster Stride in the third event; and the Denis Smith trained Northern Muscle in race eight.

On Friday, he won behind the Denis Smith trained Norahs Fling and the Bianca Hopper trained Wattlebank Flyer in races three and nine.

"I especially enjoyed the win behind the trotter (Northern Muscle),'' Richardson said of the 15-race winner.

"Denis had him spot on and he felt a treat. He was travelling really well throughout.''

But it was the impressive Monte trained Tulhurst Ace, that set the tone for the evening.

Starting from the widest second row draw, Tulhurst Ace patiently sat back before Richardson made his move at the 600m.

"He kept on giving right to the line,'' Richardson said.

"The race played into our hands and the quick 28 first quarter set us up for the win. He was still going quite strongly right to the end.

"The horse has found his grade now and hopefully will keep improving as he goes through the classes. He's a very nice horse.''

Richardson, who is a Wagga Wagga native, works a team of four.

When he left school he worked for the late Ken Jerrick in his home town before setting out on a driving career in 2009.

"I used to work a bigger team, but cut back to concentrate on my freelance driving. Nights like Saturday make it worthwhile,'' he said.

"You can't beat that winning feeling.

Richardson has turned the corner in the past 12 months.

It's that line in the sand where a driver goes from chasing drives, to having a choice, as trainers are now chasing you.

Happy days.

Track record

THE recent track surface upgrade has settled down, and has resulted in the track record now being to the credit of Alpha Styx.

The super quick effort was just the tonic mentor Mal Charlton needed a couple of months after undergoing surgery on his back.

The 55-year-old Pimpama horseman trained Alpha Styx to a 1:57.9 mile rate victory at Marburg on May 23.

It was 0.3 of a second quicker than Playnserious's previous 1850m mobile record, which that gelding set on November 12, 2017.

Currie case

THE latest update in the ongoing Ben Currie saga was published by QRIC this week.

"Toowoomba thoroughbred trainer Ben Currie has been found guilty of five prohibited substance charges,'' the report read.

"The analyst's findings were confirmed by Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) stewards yesterday at a Brisbane inquiry.

"Mr Currie as the trainer is guilty of bringing five thoroughbred horses to race with prohibited substances in their systems.”

Handy tips

ALBION Park selections by Ben Crosby.

Race 1: 1 Ruthless Armbro.

Race 2: 1 Hez All Courage.

Race 3: 9 Vintage Dream.

Race 4: 5 Studleigh Kristen.

Race 5: 9 Mandy Kriden.

Race 6: 12 Colt Thirty One.

Race 7: 9 Tennyson Bromac.

Race 8: 2 Glenferrie Hood.

Race 9: 10 Maybetothemax.

Race 10: 6 Just Tommy.

Honour board

Gender equity was the call on the sulky-sitting side of the leader board this week, with Narissa McMullen and Adam Richardson going hard to the line on six wins apiece. Darrell Graham was out on his own as leading trainer, the stable producing four winners. Most pleasing was Cavalryman for Clint Petroff with Reece Maguire in the bike.

Albion Park, May 31: Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith); Star of Montana (Darrell Graham); Lincolns Girl (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Tearaway Diamond (Narissa McMullen for Greg Elkins); Wattlebank Flyer (Adam Richardson for Bianca Hooper).

Albion Park, June 1: Tulhurst Ace (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte); Oyster Stride (Adam Richardson for Graham White); Feelinforamiracle (Kelli Dawson for Geoff Dawson); Innocent Crocker (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Northern Muscle (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith).

Marburg, June 2: Cobalt Blues (Darrell Graham); Maywyn No Regrets (Kelli Dawson); Call Me Yours (Justin Elkins for Tess Neaves); Just Tommy (Darrell Graham).

Albion Park, June 4: Northview Hustler (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Mummys Boy (Chris Geary for Jay Edmunds); Garland Greene (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Havana Moon (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Sweet As (Paul Diebert for Darrell Graham); Tom Me Gun (Narissa McMullen).

Redcliffe, June 5: Coast Warning (Narissa McMullen for Simon Jay); Feelinforarainbow (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell).

Albion Park, June 6: Ares (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Cavalryman (Reece Maguire for Clint Petroff); Taxi Meter (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith).

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