Denis Smith.
Denis Smith. David Nielsen

Qld riches set to head south


INVASION is a common enough word in our language and appears in our history, regularly through the ages.

It is certainly common and regular in Queensland harness, occurring as it does, at the same time each year.

I refer to the massive influx of interstate and New Zealand participants who descend like the Mongol Horde on Brisbane for the Winter Carnival. Their intent is not only on pillaging the rich purses which are on offer at the carnival, but every other stray bit of prize money that they can vacuum up on the way.

For only a very few locals is there any hope of a place at the banquet table, or any chance of the major dollars being spent in the Sunshine State.

For the rest, it is a black hole of some eight weeks duration, and may result in further erosion of our owner and trainer base.

It defies all economic sense.

In a fragile market place begging for "protection”, we are practising "free trade”.

The theories of Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations 1700 ), may have been suitable 300 years ago. Not now.

Ratings issue

MORE on last week's spot on comments by Peter Gleeson, on the actual health of harness racing in Queensland.

In tandem with Gleeson's less than encouraging summary, it was mentioned that a new handicapping system, based on the thoroughbred model and guaranteed to shower the sport with a bonanza in turnover was about to be adopted.

Participants in Queensland were aware that this was the case but had adopted a "wait and see” policy at the the travelling roadshow presentation by Harness Racing Australia.

Some 60 participants present at the meeting sent HRA delegates and our own administrators away with clear instruction that we would adopt a hybrid system, until such time as the promised "city of pure gold”, could be clearly identified.

Apparently the carrier pigeons got lost and the monster is at our gates.

For the protection of the punters whose investments are the true providers of any cash which might underpin the sport, the following should be read closely, then followed by an in depth visit to the Australian Harness Racing website to peruse the "industry news” segment.

"From July 1 the Ratings Based Handicapping commences nationwide at which point each state begin programming races in accordance with the Ratings template and all references to the former class based Handicapping system will be removed.

"Each horses rating will fluctuate based on horse performance and the value of the race it contests.

"The general rules of the Ratings Based Handicapping are:

No points are allocated to a horse that fails to finish, declared a non-runner or is disqualified from a race after the all clear is signaled;

Minimum rating is 30 points;

Maximum rating is 120 points;

A 2YO commences racing with a Rating of 40;

A 2YO with a rating under 50 upon turning three will reset to 50 for the start of the 3YO season;

A 2YO with a rating over 50 upon turning three shall have half the number of points that its rating exceeds 50 with half points rounded up to a whole number. Example horse with 2YO Rating of 59 would commence racing as a 3YO with a Rating of 55;

A 3YO or older commences racing with a rating of 50;

A trotter entered for a pacing race receives a 20 point rating concession (in QLD only).

Concessions: Mares Concession (5 Ratings points). Driver Concessions: 5 Rating Points (0-100 career wins); 3 Rating Points (101-250 career wins). Claim single Band class in selected races (Qld only).

Terms of Drivers Concession from July 1 include: All wins count as a win regardless of whether a concession was claimed; Concession outdriven after 250 lifetime wins; Concession terms - six years from date of attaining B-Grade Drivers License (QLD only); Metropolitan claim outdriven after 50 wins at a Metropolitan meeting; No yearly concession limits.

Programming: We are currently developing programs with races based on Rating, some with conditions to support the Rating and other races that will be programmed with no reference to Rating that just have a condition.

"We are committed to providing a similar pathway to work through the grades as the class system previously provided and ensure opportunities outside of the Ratings exist for horses that may need to find a race that they can be more competitive in.''

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Redcliffe tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 2-8-10: Springfield Spirit (N McMullen)-Little Change (R Alchin)-Unassuming Champ (D Gatt-Bouquet).

R2: E/w 4: Makoa (G Dixon).

R3: E/w 5: Thunder Mac (N Dawson).

R4: E/w 2: Eternal Promise (A Sanderson).

R5: Quinella 1-2: We Salute You (G Dixon) and Regulus (R Alchin).

R6: E/w 11: Lilac Flash (K Rasmussen).

R7: Amaya Becomes (P McMullen).

R8: E/w 3: Lavros Texas (A Sanderson).

R9: E/w 3: RocknRoll Emma (T Lethaby).

Honour board

No actual change on the leader board this week with Pete McMullen on top again with six big ones but nearly dive bombed by Adam Sanderson scoring on five occasions.

Chantal Turpin still leads the trainers, bringing home three winners for the week. Darrell Graham and Ron Sallis secured two.

Most pleasing was Fui Fui at Redcliffe for Pete and Jodie Jones, with Nathan Dawson in the bike. It was a long wait but worth it. Shegotsass (Tim Gillespie) franked last week's effort and improved her mile rate by a staggering 10 seconds. Ipswich factor: 23/52.

Albion Park, June 14: Will The Wizard (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Caesars Astrum (Adam Richardson for Richard Hutchinson); Casino Tommy (Pete McMullen for Jack Butler); Greg The Great (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Flying Wingard (Matt Elkins for Narissa McMullen).

Albion Park, June 15: Clarkey (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Riverleigh William (Hayden Barnes for Charlie Chiang); My Ultimate Hell (Brendan Barnes for Wayne Davis).

Redcliffe, June 16: Fui Fui (Nathan Dawson for Peter Jones).

Albion Park, June 18: Shegotsass (Tim Gillespie); Northern Muscle (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith); Torque One Two Three (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Thats How We Roll (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney).

Redcliffe, June 19: Springfield Spirit (Taleah McMullen for Ron Sallis); Bill Haley (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Our Delight (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); My Precious Yankee (Pete McMullen for Lisa Bahr); Cobalt Blues (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham).

Redcliffe, June 20: High On Montana (Ricky Gordon for Lacey Hinze); Lovelaine (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Cobbler Lane (Adam Richardson for Warren Hinze); Elms Creek (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

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