Whip rule future remains unclear

SADLY for those people who expected a definitive rule on whip use to be in place by September 1, time has beaten Harness Racing Australia in its endeavour to find common ground on which all state administrations and sport/industry bodies can reach agreement.

The current rule will apply in the Sunshine State and will be stringently policed until further decisions are taken.

There seems to be a trend in modern society, possibly related to our fascination with information technology, to take any process and complicate it to the "nth" degree.

The following is a classic.

Leading harness form analyst Darren Clayton has applauded Racing Queensland's recent initiative to provide individual horse sectional times on its website.

Clayton, who writes form previews for Queensland meetings on www.harness. org.au said the data would be a major boost for punters and could help lift betting turnover.

He said punters and participants alike will be the major beneficiaries of enhanced sectional data - including individual 400m and 800m splits - at Queensland (Redcliffe and Albion Park) TAB meetings.

Form students will also see how wide their runner was at key moments, and how many metres that runner gained during the final 800m with easy-to-read graphics.

Clayton said the data would provide punters with the statistical back-up to make better-informed decisions.

"It's a fantastic tool to use when assessing form," he said. "By being able to actually see the figures, it gives you a better idea of how lucky or unlucky a horse may have been in a particular run.

"When you see a horse really rattle home, you're able to look at the sectional times and you might see they're not that flattering. If the times were strong and it's made good ground, you know it's probably racing well and needs a bit of luck."

Aussie success

THANKS to the wonderful benefits of modern technology, afficianados of the light harness sport have been able to follow the progress of the World professional Driving Championship, currently being held in Canada.

Australian representative, Queenslander Shane Graham, finished the first round of heats in fourth. But, as is the case in these competitions, the draw for horse power is all important.

In round three, the negative trend continued until the last of four heats.

Sky Racing's Greg Hayes, "our man in Canada", brings us up to speed.

"Aussie Shane Graham saluted in his final drive at Georgian Downs on Tuesday night.

"Queensland reinsman Shane Graham has breathed life back into his World Driving Championship campaign in the final heat on night three at Georgian Downs. The Canadian track will be one Graham remembers for the rest of his life as Hetties Honey, a seven-year old mare scored narrowly on the 1000 metres circuit in Ontario and shot the Aussie back into fourth spot overall.

"The Georgian Downs meeting was meant to be a successful one for Graham.

"With a strong book of drives and several good draws it looked to be his chance to open up his winning account. However it turned into a nightmare early as he finished 6th, 8th, 10th and 6th in the first four heats of the night.

"In heat five Hetties Honey was down in grade and connections told Graham he could be aggressive in the early stages if he wanted to be.

"They basically left it up to me but said if I wanted to use her up early she would still fight on pretty strongly at the end," Graham said.

"I tried to cross early but was caught outside Marcus (Miller driving Waikiki Hanover) but when Mika (Forss) charged to the chair I got some pretty good cover.

"I got going before the bend and got to the leader on the turn and then held on up the straight.

"The mare was pretty tired but she fought on well."

Overall standings after 14 of the 22 heats: 1st James MacDonald, Canada 144 points; 2nd Mika Forss, Finland 130; 3rd Marcus Miller, USA, 123.5; 4th Shane Graham Australia 97; 5th Dexter Dunn New Zealand 93; 6th Noel Baldacchino, Malta, 90; 7th Eirik Hoitomt, Norway, 89.5; 8th Bjorn Goop, Sweden, 86; 9th Gerhard Mayr, Austria, 83; 10th Mark Purdon, New Zealand, 69; 11th Rik Depuydt, Belgium, 68.

Marburg meeting

MARBURG races again on September 2. The pick the card jackpot hits $1200.

Mark the calendar.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-3-8: Broadway Playboy (A. Sanderson)-Lancelot Bromac (D. McMullen)-Bio Marinus (I. Ross).

R2: Box trifecta 1-11-12: My Ultimate Fella (A. Sanderon)-Chapter One (I Ross)-Pompidou (C Petroff).

R3: Box trifecta 1-3-6: Lenny The Legend (C. Owen)- Strawberry Courage (G. Dwyer)-Bettor Promise (M. Neilson).

R4: Quinella 2-4: Annika Magic (G Whitaker ) and Major Moment (I. Ross).

R5: Box trifecta 1-6-8: Midnight Prowler (N. McMullen)-Drive The Dream (D. Graham)-A Good Chance (G. Whitaker).

R6: Box trifecta in four 1-2-3-4: Remember Ruby (I. Ross)- Real social (L. Manzel- mann)-Catcha Lefty (M. Neilson)-Philanderer (N. McMullen).

R7: E/w 1: Wattlebank Flyer (P. McMullen).

R8: Quinella 2-8: Mister Fantangles (P. Greig) and Glenferrie Baby (T. Dawson).

R9: Quinella 1-4: Major Cam (M. Neilson) and Ultimate Art (A. Sanderson).

R10: Box trifecta 3-5-7: Justabit Noisy (T. Dixon)-Mr Mayfly (G. Whitaker)-Our Overanova (I. Ross).

Honour board

The leader board stays firmly focussed on the lower Brisbane Valley. Fernvale's Darrell Graham led the trainers with five winners and Adam Sanderson dominated the driving ranks, chasing home seven successful steeds. Most pleasing was Rob Gorman's driving double for Trevor Lambourn at Albion Park last Tuesday.

Albion Park, August 11: Franco Totem (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Alpha Styx (Adam Sanderson for Colin Frisby); Broadway Playboy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Comply Or Die (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Cotton Cold Candy (Steven Doherty for Jason Carkeet); Mr Mayfly (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly).

Albion Park, August 12: Mafuta Vautin (Darrell Graham); I'm Johnny Jet (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Ultimate Art (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Fiery Blue Chip (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Private Bronski (Pete McMullen for Tahn Camillieri).

Albion Park, August 15: My Ultimate Fella (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Geronimo Beau (Trent Dawson); Justatic (Pete McMullen for Jason Mackrill); The Shady One (Rob Gorman for Trevor Lambourn); Smiling Armada (Rob Gorman for Trevor Lambourn).

Redcliffe, August 16: Zenmach (Paul Matis); Long Road To Fame (Adam Sanderson); Always A Jewel (Adam Sanderson for Shawn Grimsey).

Redcliffe, August 17: Fon Ideal (Adam Richardson for Donny Smith); Coast Warning (Narissa McMullen); Ashi Jet Sun (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law); Soi Cowboy (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Riverleigh William (Hayden Barnes for Josh Moore).

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