Super Sunday of harness racing
DON'T go too far from the Sky Channel screen tomorrow as Menangle turns out yet another "Super Sunday'' of harness racing.
The centre piece is the $750,000 Miracle Mile.
This year, the tipsters' top choices have all drawn to be in the firing line early, suggesting that there maybe more speed than tactics on the 1400metre circuit.
There are no less than five Group One races with the NSW Derby at $200,000, The NSW Oaks, $200,000 the Ladyship Mile,$200,000 and the Bohemia Crystal Free For All at $100,000.
With another $206,000 in support races, the NSW Harness Racing Club is serving up a total of $1,656,000 in prize money.
Up here, we have just seen the nomination deadline for Tuesday's Albion Park (our top money career penalty meeting at $7000 per race) extended twice, from 10am Thursday to 1pm Thursday to 10am Friday.
Nobody above the level of a hobbyist owner, trainer or driver (who are all guilty of the crime of loving the sport), appears to be in the least concerned, admini- strators and professional or elite participants alike.
Once again I call on the minister to start talking to people who are willing to shoulder the burden of working their way through any debt situation back to viability and growth.
Start chopping the top line of prize money and spreading it out at a lower level on races so programmed that everyone has a chance of earning something and in a format that is attractive to punters. That would provide a reason for hobbyists to return to the game.
Equine centre benefits
IF you are wondering where the Rosewood Equestrian Group (REG) is at in its quest to create a multi-discipline horse complex in the Rosewood footprint, read on.
Over the previous two years, the REG committee has been quietly working with the Ipswich City Council, Regional Development Australia Ipswich and West Moreton, local landholders and equestrian clubs in South East Queensland to assess the viability of creating a multi-discipline equestrian complex in the Rosewood area.
The initial feasibility study and strategic planning documents have been completed and indicate that this complex is desperately needed to cater for the expanding horse and people population in this area.
The horse community is one of the big drivers of the semi-rural sector of the economy in our area.
Meetings have been held with state and federal government representatives as well as Equestrian Queensland and local landholders. They have all given verbal support, but cannot give additional financial support until the business case has been completed.
Only then can we apply for grants and funding help from them.
The local landholders will assess the business case when completed and their board of directors can then confirm that the project meets their criteria for support for allocation of land.
Factors include the centre being not for profit, community based and self sustaining.
The Mad Hatters Ball and a major raffle for a Kara Kar Float (valued at over $10,000), are being held as the main fundraising activities in the first half of 2016 to raise the remainder of the funds to finish the business case (by June 30).
We believe this equestrian centre will bring many benefits to our local area by building a strong equine community that fosters co-operation and economic stability in Rosewood and West Moreton.
Given the massive sport, pleasure and performance horse population in this and surrounding areas, any concentration of facilities and unity of participants guarantees the future of the horse as an entertainer on an ever-expanding rock solid base.
Build this facility and all roads will lead to Rosewood.
Easter fun day
EASTER Sunday Fun Day is almost upon us.
March 27 is the day. The rare treat of a fully sponsored seven race card with a monster six prize raffle.
There will be two bookmakers in attendance, a "pick the card'' competition, and a $150 free bet draw (get your number at the gate) with each of the bookies.
A "funny money'' bookmaker will have numerous items for auction to the lucky punters after the last race.
There will be infield displays by re-homing groups craft stalls, food stalls, ice cream van, and, above all, exciting racing on the close up Marburg circuit.
More details next week.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.
R1: Box trifecta 1-8-9: Fearless Leader (B. Barnes)-Lifesofine (T. Lambourn)-Chattanoogachoochoo (A. Sanderson).
R2: quinella 2-3: Always Prompt (B. Cockburn) and Deano Robyn (T. Moffat).
R3: E/w 1: Regal Point (M. Neilson).
R4: Quinella 1-8: Major Deed (L. Weidemann) and Karloo Kix (B. Cockburn).
R5: Box trifecta 1-2-3: Magic Oats (S. Graham)-Long Term Fella (L. Weidemann)-Bennys Ace (M. Neilson).
R6: E/w 1: Lachie Maguire (A. Sanderson).
R7: Quinella 1-4: My Crazy Ex (P. McMullen).
R8: No 4: Caesars Folly (M. Neilson).
R9: Box trifecta 2-3-5-9: Drunken Maniac (B. Cockburn)-Astral Traveller (L. Weidemann)-Blue Don (T. Moffat)-Cyclone Jake (N. Dawson).
Pete McMullen remains leading driver on seven wins and John McMullen leading trainer with four successes. The most pleasing efforts were Jacob Wallace on Girl With Fire for Peter Greig, and, Ironbark Lady for Francis Weston with Graeme Harris in the sulky.
Gold Coast at Albion Park, February 19: No Bones About It (Pete for Lisa Bahr); Cougar Oreily (Gary Whitaker for Rachel Scott); Girl With Fire (Jacob Wallace for Peter Greig).
Albion Park, February 20: Zac Mac (Hayden Barnes for Darren Hooper); Chattanoogachoochoo (Darrell Graham); Funny Boy (Hayden Barnes for Ken Rattray); Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Ken Rattray).
Albion Park, February 23: Ironbark Lady (Graeme Harris for Francis Weston); Oliver Winkle (Rob Gorman for Errol Cain); Needa Margarita (Pete for John McMullen); Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby).
Redcliffe, February 24: Lady Royal Sue (Trent Dawson for John McMullen); Only One Slim (Pete for John McMullen); My Shadow Strike (Pete for John McMullen); My Mojo (Pete for Jason Carkeet); Dylan Dantz (Gary Whitaker for Rod Hinze).
Gold Coast at Redcliffe, February 25: Total Energy (Pete for Ron Sallis); Lucky Grin (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Zedaguy (Pete for Chantal Turpin-McMullen).