Marburg trotting.
Marburg trotting.

Tragic loss reminds racegoers of risks involved


Denis Smith

NO death is easy to accept, whether it is a family matter, or as in this case, a loss to the broader harness community.

Whether training or race driving, harness racing is a sport/occupation which can switch from its normal medium risk to high risk in a fraction of a second. In its progression, it can become tragic.

Such a tragedy occurred last Friday when trainer driver Russell Kajewski was killed in a training track accident at his Emu Creek in the Toowoomba-Blackbutt area property.

He was apparently dislodged from the sulky and suffered a broken neck in the fall.

Russell came into the harness game, perhaps a decade back.

Like most participants living in areas isolated from harness communities and working long hours as a truck driver, he found the accumulation of training knowledge relative to standardbreds, difficult to acquire.

When we look at Russell's career training statistics, they will surprise a few of his peers.

Over the timeframe Russell sent 453 pacers to the races, racking up 20 wins, 28 seconds and 32 thirds for a bank of $86,375.

Seven-time winner My Lucky Life was his most prolific performer, earning $29,036.

Long Dirt Road and Gypsy Island were his next best with three wins apiece.

Im Isabella and Extraordinary Lombo each scored on one occasion.

This current season was proving Russell's best to date with It Might Be You producing five wins, three seconds, and one third, while adding $19,011 to the kitty.

It seemed that Russell Kajewski had found his feet as a trainer at last after years of struggle. In life, you need luck.

Had Russell been able to sell his property, he would not have been killed.

Russell and Doris Kajewski had decided to migrate to Doris's home country, Switzerland, on a permanent basis.

Doris had left shortly before COVID-19 struck and is working back in the saddlery where she had learnt her trade.

Life can be tinged by sadness, but you wonder why it has to be as sad as the road walked by Russell and Doris Kajewski.

Russell is gone, but the battlers will not forget him.

Marburg feature attraction

WE are back to Marburg on Sunday for the start of the annual Garrards-Marburg Young Drivers Series, four heats with the top driver decided on points score.

Two rounds are running on Sunday with the final two decided at Oktoberfest on Sunday, October 25, in addition to the feature, The Graham Harriott Memorial Trotters Handicap. Extension of nominations by Racing Queensland and an extra race added to the program has produced an attractive day of country harness.

All the Marburg features, great food, homemade country desserts, hot drinks and a great line up of cheap cold beverage at any sporting fixture.

The first 100 paying patrons through the gate will receive a $5 betting voucher to cash with Stephen Anthony, our bookmaker.

There is a free "pick the card" entry form in the race book. Select the last seven winners to win $1850 (on a share basis).

The book also includes a voucher for $500 "funny money" which allows you to bet with the "FM" bookmaker all day, win heaps and take the stash to the auction of fancy goods and knick knacks, held after the last race.

Bet all day and lose nothing.

Gates open at 11am. COVID restrictions apply.

Admission is adults $5, pensioners $3 and the all important race book $3.

Honour board

THERE can be no doubt about having the right genes for success in the sulky.

On the top of the drivers totem pole this week is Narissa McMullen, responsible for six big winners, removing older brother, Pete in the process. Not by a great deal however, as Pete managed to greet the Judge no less than five times.

A welcome change on the trainers side. Peak Crossing-based Mark Rees got the laurels with an impressive double at the Marburg meeting.

Impressive as the Ipswich driving performances are, the overall success factor is still lagging at 19/52. No doubt time will right this imbalance as the newly established stables, and the several others who may or are headed here will give the footprint the required firepower.

Redcliffe, October 2: Double Or Nothing (Pete McMullen for Brett Cargill); Ima Top Tycoon (Danielle McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Wheres Tascott (Shane Graham for Steve Towns); Kookaburra Princess (Narissa McMullen for Neil Coy).

Albion Park, October 3: Itz My Generation (Shane Graham for Darrell Graham); Cautivar (Narissa McMullen); Northern Muscle (Paul Diebert for Denis Smith).

Marburg, October 5: Jay Elle (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig); Gosling In Flight (Narissa McMullen for Taleah McMullen); Jewel Of Peak (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Adreniline Rush (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Ale Ale Kai (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees).

Albion Park, October 6: Greg The Great for Graham Dwyer); Just Rokin (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).

Redcliffe, October 7: Pin Code (Matt Elkins for Damo Shaw); Tildalyn (Narissa McMullen for Steve Coombs); Rowdys Ace (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Manoflisa (Trent Moffat for Trent Hodges).

Redcliffe, October 8: October Racketeer (Angus Garrard for Peter Donohoe).

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.

R1: Box trifecta 5-11-12 - Ideal World (N McMullen)-The Hummer (A Donohoe)-Amillion Promises).

R2: E/w 1: Sam Is Perfection (P McMullen).

R3: Quinella 1-7: Dapper (H Barnes) and Colt Thirty One (G Dixon).

R4: Quinella 1-10: Somewhereovarainbow (A Sanderson) and Hurrikane Roy (C Butler).

R5: E/w 1: Jovial Julie (G Dixon).

R6: E/w 8: Holy Camp Clive (N Dawson).

R7: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Hunza Valley (N Dawson)-Lorimer Lady (S Graham)-Special Reserve (A Sanderson).

R8: Box trifecta 2-4-9: Gosling In Flight (N McMullen)-Fast Is Bettor (S Graham)-One Last Roll (N Dawson).

R9: Quinella 6-8: Millwood Tilly (P McMullen) and Amaya Becomes (C Turpin).

R10: Box trifecta 1-2-6: Riverleigh Rocket (P Diebert)-Nuburgring (N McMullen)-Having The Faith (Z Chappenden ).

R11: Quinella 4-8: Northern Muscle (P Diebert) and Our Overanova (G Dixon).

Marburg tips and comment for Sunday's meeting

Race 1: Tips. 2-3-5.

SOH TWISTED: Good beginner going over short course.

MALABAR SPUR: Going well, but may have problems getting off fence.

DAY TOURER: Star driver, and will be put into race.

Race 2: Tips 3-6-8.

ELLE JAY: Big winner here last Monday, go well again.

LITTLE DEE: Resuming, in form stable and has to secure clear run late.

GROOVY MISS ANNIE: Last start second, strong stable, top driver.

Race 3: Tips 2-1-7.

COUNTRY RUN: Sound form, knocking on door.

MAGHERA MAGGIE: Form fair draw excellent.

PAGO PAGO: All around the big money, go well.

Race 4: Tips 5-7-8.

MISTER ROCKTOBER: Going very well at jump outs, draw a problem.

SHEZALUCKYLADY: Sound form, draw gives handy trail.

BAMBOLE NERE: Stable change, profile driver, runs home.

Race 5: Tips 2-4-8.

CANNAN: Horse in form, driver in form, draw good, yes.

SHES FEELING PRECIOUS: Form sound, star driver, should get handy trail.

BONNIES CAM: Might be class drop here, should get easy trail.

Race 6:

ADRENILINE RUSH: Top win here last Monday, repeat likely.

BURMACH: Form good, should go forward.

ALE ALE KAI: Winner here last Monday, draw not as good,but every chance again.

Race 7: Tips 1-2-3.

SPRINGFIELD SPIRIT: Top driver, ace draw says best chance.

KOTIRO: Nothing in four runs from spell, watch market.

KARLOO MAC: Stable is flying,draw passable, fingers crossed.

Race 8: Tips 3-1-4.

JEWEL OF PEAK: Winner last Monday, every chance again.

MAFFIOSO GIRL: On the improve, and has draw to make it happen.

NEWMERELLA LADY KAY: Form OK, fit and has good driver.

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