Show trotting turns back clock

WHAT'S today's best deal?

How about a day at the Marburg Show taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the modern day district agricultural show.

There was a time when every major country centre in Australia was surrounded by satellite towns. Each and every one hosted an annual show where produce, animals and sporting horses were showcased, along with the pride of local farmers and horse owners, each striving to have their contribution judged to be "best in show''.

On these results rested bragging rights for the next 12 months. In a lot of cases, this created the under- pinning of commercially valuable reputations which ensured robust and enduring prosperity for the exhibitors involved.

It's a bit different today, when we live in the age of "get big or get out" with its elements of mass production, gaudy packaging and mega-buck advertising campaigns.

The once humorous story of the kid who thought that milk had its genesis in super market cartons, is now possibly accepted as fact.

We have found it convenient to leave the contented cow and the farmer out of the equation.

While Marburg has tried to maintain a balance of entertainment in order to cater to a changing audience, you can still get a reality check among the animals which provide our meat, milk and eggs, and a natural history lesson in local grain, vegetables and animal fodder products.

It's a great experience for the kids.

Today, Marburg has turned back the clock a bit.

Taking centre place between 2pm and 3.40pm will be six races, run under standing start conditions.

"Show trotting'' returns to Marburg in a joint venture between the Show Society and the Marburg Pacing Association.

Come along and enjoy the day.

'Real deal' options

EXCITING four-year-old Mattgregor will have his connections thinking across the weekend.

The speedy pacer will start favourite in Sunday's $15,540 Kevin & Kay Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final after drawing gate three. However, there's plenty more at stake than just the prizemoney.

Prepared by husband and wife team of Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Mattgregor will again be handled by concession reinsman Hayden Barnes this weekend. But connections are toying with the idea of heading to Melbourne next weekend to contest the Group 2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton.

A positive result on Sunday could see the son of ill-fated stallion, Rob Roy Mattgregor, on the plane to Melbourne early in the coming week, headed for a crack at the big time.

Mattgregor could be described as "the real deal'' in the up and coming pacers department.

Millionaire status

MORE news for the fans of the straight out trotter, with New Zealand star Monbet looking to become a millionaire.

Currently sitting on earnings of $770,714, the son of top line French sire, Love You, will have only limited racing aimed in the main at feature events as he works towards the magic goal.

It seems very likely that France will provide the bloodlines that will boost the profile of the Australian trotter in the near and long term.

The French horses are big, strong, good gaited and, in the main provide an outcross gene pool. They look like the way to go.

Farewell Ian

SAD news of the week was the death of Bathurst (NSW) based trainer driver Ian Mutton.

Mutton, who was 77 at the time of his passing, had battled cancer for a number of years, but finally succumbed to pneumonia.

He was an expert horseman and a very good driver. As such, he had at least one absolute top liner in his stable, that being King Frost.

King Frost would have arguably been the star of New South Wales pacing in his era but for two factors, Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios, both of which he defeated on occasion.

King Frost and Ian Mutton were forced to live in the shadow of the established megastars.

Man and horse should not be forgotten.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: E/w 1: Our Millwood Maizie (M. Neilson).

R2: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Lancelot Bromac (H. Barnes)-Annika Magic (M. Elkins)-Sparkling Cullect (Mark Dux).

R3: Quinella 1-8: Withalotofluck (N. McMullen) and Vader (R. Gorman).

R4: Box trifecta 5-7-13: Watch Pulp Fiction (P. McMullen)-Hughie Green (J.Cremin)-Majestic Major (M. Neilson).

R5: Quinella 1-8: Clintal Do (S. Graham) and Maretti (Rob Gorman).

R6: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Charlyse (M. Neilson)- Phantom Rockstar (G. Whitaker)-Karloo Mac (H. Barnes).

R7: Quinella 3-6: Splash Of Gold (G. Dixon) and Jossie Jones (S. Graham).

R8: E/w 4: Its Bettor Me (M. Neilson).

R9: Box trifecta 2-4-6: Leos Best (G. Dixon)- Corporal Jujon- Frankie Rocks.

R10: E/w 2: Tap It In (G. Dixon).

Honour board

No change on the trainers' side of the leader board this week with Chantal Turpin churning out a solid four winners for the term. Things were different in the drivers' department. Hayden Barnes, with four wins, took the flag from Narissa McMullen and Adam Sanderson on three apiece. Most pleasing was the Redcliffe win of Enriques Me Dad for owner Colin Knox and trainer Clint Wilson. Nathan Dawson took the honours in the cart.

Albion Park, May 5: Riene Des Gitans (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Karloo Mac (Hayden Barnes for Josh Moore); Wattlebank Flyer (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, May 6: Starzzz Of Icon (Trent Dawson for Mellissa Gillies); My Mastercraftsman (Adam Sanderson); Corey ODonohue (Hayden Barnes for Ron Sallis); Tijuana Bromac (Narissa McMullen); Ideal Scott (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Miss Irish Rose (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney).

Albion Park, May 9: Matt Gregor (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); The Next Star (Brittany Graham); Lysenko (Darrell Graham); Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Ken Rattray); Corey ODonohue (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).

Redcliffe, May 10: Camivista (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Ruhtrebo (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Our Mattgregor (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).

Redcliffe, May 11: Enriques Me Dad (Nathan Dawson for Clint Wilson); Chattanooga Choo Choo (Brittany Graham).



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