Young drivers in Marburg spotlight

IT'S the day that the "young drivers'' at Marburg have been waiting for.

When the sun sets on today's race meeting one talented and lucky driver will be carrying home the trophy that proclaims their skill in the sulky.

Currently, three reins persons are sitting equal on 13 points. They are Kelsey Schulz, Trent Moffat and Lachie Manzelmann.

As always, numerous factors will influence the final result.

Firstly, the quality of the horse drawn by each of the contestants.

Secondly, the barrier position (again decided by lot).

Thirdly, most important of all, are the relative skills of the drivers.

Just think, a horse of modest ability, unfavourably drawn, will require a gem of a drive to win or perhaps earn good points.

That is why these challenges regularly throw up good drivers with a serious future.

Let's hope it happens today.

Added to today's superstars in the making are Taleah McMullen, who made her debut at Albion Park last Tuesday night, and the experienced and skilful Isobel Ross. They replace suspended drivers, Danielle McMullen and Matt Elkins.

It will be another good value family day at the Marburg Showground.

The pick the card jackpot has hit $1000. The entry coupon is in the $3 race book along with a $500 funny money voucher to build a bank for the auction after the last.

Admission is adults $5, pensioners, members and students 16 and over $3.

Gates open at 10am, with trials at 11am and the first race at noon.

Infrastructure losses

ONE of concerning matters that won't go away is infrastructure - or the lack of it.

The following is from Dean Baring's "fact conscious'' website

"It is now just over three and a half years since the Parklands complex at Southport was destroyed to make way for a high rise housing estate to be used for just three weeks of the Commonwealth Games in April 2018, believed to be the most expensive Athletes Village in the Games history.

"At the time many promises were made by politicians to both greyhound racing and harness racing, none of which has materialised.

"These promises included as recently as August 2016, the Hon Grace Grace advising the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club that $10.2 million had been allocated to replace the Parklands track along with a similar amount for greyhounds.

"At the time of closure, Racing Queensland posted a great tribute to the club titled 'Thanks for the memories'. The short article outlined 25 years of history from the early races to the most successful Inter Dominion in 2009, the first time in the events history that it was staged outside a metropolitan venue.''

The following is a comment posted on Twitter by a NSW-based participant, in reply to the preceding extract.

"Yes it's the same Australia wide. Losing tracks all the time and with the loss of tracks comes loss of participants. It was told to me by a very reliable source that with the the closure of Fairfield looming very soon that the people in charge of the sport in NSW have openly said that, 'oh well the slower horses will have to travel to Newcastle or Tamworth'. This is a joke, as firstly the so-called slow horses are the majority in our sport. So to expect owners to cop the travel costs of a trainer to these meetings is ludicrous. So what will happen is the little owners will just say ok no more horses for me as it is not viable.

"You only have to see how many times nominations are extended to see the sport is dwindling. I have been in this game for over 30 years and have seen the decline and it scares me. When nominating a few years ago you would have a concern that you might get balloted out, now your concern is will the race stand up.

"I have never seen a successful business thrive by only wanting to pander to minority. Surely your aim would be to have your industry reaching out to a majority?

"The state of harness racing in Australia needs addressing very urgently before there is no industry left. Allan Cassar, 25/04/2017.

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 2-3-8: Monarkmac (B. Graham)- Lancelot Bromac (H Barnes)-Major Deed (L. Weidemann).

R2: Quinella 1-8: Levi Jade (N. McMullen) and Im The Smoocha (B Barnes).

R3: Quinella 2-3: Proby One (E. Bailey) and Rarin To Go (T. Dixon).

R4: Box trifecta 2-4-6: Bring On Lefty (L. Weidemann)-Frankie Rocks (Mark Dux)-Leos Best (T. Dixon).

R5: E/w 2: Feel The Faith (T. Dixon).

R6: Quinella 1-8: The Space Invader (N. McMullen) and Munroe (P. McMullen).

R7: Box trifecta 2-4-7: the expressionist (B. Barnes)-Hughie Green (J. Cremin)-Avonnova (S. Graham).

R8: E/w 1: Franco Revel (B. Barnes).

R9: E/w 3: Fountain Lakes (Mark Dux).

R10: Box trifecta 1-5-8: Dr Hook (G. Dwyer)-Melpark Royal son (J. Cremin)-Our Dainty Lady (D. Graham).

Marburg picks today: Race 1: 4-5-3. Race 2: 4-10-3. Race 3: 8-1-6. Race 4: 2-1-8. Race 5: 4-7-5. Race 6: 2-6-1.

Honour board

The lower Brisbane Valley influence continues to get stronger with trainers Chantal Turpin, Ron Sallis and Darrell Graham sharing the honours with two winners apiece. In the sulky, Pete McMullen nosed out his sister Narissa, four wins to three. All five participants live near Fernvale.

Albion Park, April 21: Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Maretti (Danielle McMullen for Phil Mitchell); Corey ODonohue (Narissa Mcmullen for Ron Sallis).

Albion Park, April 22: Illawong Dreamtime (Brittany Graham for Doug Lee); Croft Bay (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Barrietas Bliss (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).

Kilcoy, April 22: Storm On Bye (Brittany Graham for Trent Knack); Drunk Artist (Chantal Turpin for Jason Carkeet); Im Jack Black (Gary Litzow for Tess Neaves).

Albion Park, April 25: Miss Irish Rose (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Queen Zenobia (Darrell Graham).

Redcliffe, April 26: Vande Velde (Pete McMullen for Jason Mackrill); Annas Best (Narissa Mcmullen for John McMullen); Walter Mattgregor (Leonard Cain for Steve Bunz); Groovy Miss Annie (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).

Redcliffe, April 27: Calvert Hot Shot (Scott Rains for Ray Cross); Tarin Kowt (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Cheers Kathy (Darrell Graham).

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