New Race Series - Kevin & Kay Seymour Aspiration Series
5th January 2018
Racing Queensland will introduce a new series of races titled the ‘Kevin & Kay Seymour Aspiration Series’ aimed at increasing returns to participants at the grassroots level. The races are scheduled to be run at Albion Park on two Saturday nights per month from January 2018.
The Kevin and Kay Seymour Aspiration Series provides the opportunity for trainers who haven’t tasted recent ‘feature race’ success to compete for $15,000 at Albion Park.
The concept is the brainchild of harness racing’s generous benefactor Kevin Seymour AM who will also underwrite by way of significant sponsorship for the three month series.
‘Kay and I look forward to the success of this concept that will financially assist by way of enhanced prizemoney the participants at the grassroots level of the local harness industry’ Mr Seymour stated.
There will be two (2) race categories each month for three months, restricted to trainers who have not:
· Trained or driven the winner of a race worth more than $10,999 in the past two years or;
· Trained or driven the winner of more than three races worth more than $10,999 in the past two years.
13 Jan (C3 to C4)
27 Jan (C1 to C2)
10 Feb (C2 to C3)
24 Feb (C1)
10 Mar (C3 to C4)
24 Mar (C1 to C2)
$50K Guaranteed Trifecta Pool at Albion Park this Saturday Night
4th January 2017
Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for the meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night spearheaded by a $50K guaranteed Trifecta inclusive of a $10K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:40pm EST.
Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 6:07pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3, 4 and 5.
For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting:
The opening event of an action packed eight event card gets under way at 5:40pm EST.
$100K Guaranteed Trifecta Pool at Albion Park this Saturday Night
21 December 2017
Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for the meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night spearheaded by a $100K guaranteed Trifecta inclusive of a $25K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:13pm EST.
Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 5:43pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3, 4 and 5.
For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting:
The opening event on a mammoth value packed 11 event card gets under way at 5:13pm EST.
21 December 2017
Egmont Park Stud based stallion Gotta Go Cullect topped the list of local sires with 8 winners at Albion Park for the current period. Visiting New South Wales mare Come Cullect was the top earner for the sire winning 2 Saturday night races and finishing a close 2nd in the Forever Gold FFA.
Changeover (6 winners) and Cammibest (5 winners) both representing Burwood Stud were next on the list with the Cammibest sired gelding Lucifers Legend winning 3 races at Albion Park for the period.
Summer Carnival News Wrap Up
20 December 2017
Saturday night presented the final night of the 2017 Albion Park Summer Carnival and racing enthusiasts were not disappointed.
The night showcased Queensland’s biggest harness feature this summer, Group Two Egmont Park Stud 2017 Queensland Cup. Robbie Morris drove the KerryAnn Turner trained Aztec Bromac to a 1.6 metre victory over $1.90 favourite, Avonnova. The night saw Queenslander Narissa McMullen take out the Garrards Australasian Young Drivers Championship in a nail biting finish. Later in the night Our Overanova trained and driven by Grant Dixon enjoyed success in the Group Two Egmont Park Stud Darrel Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final.
This topped off a very successful Summer Carnival which began on the 18th of November with the first ever Lady Drivers Night. The night included a six race series, the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation, which was taken out by Brittany Graham.
Other trainers that enjoyed great success during the carnival include Ian Gurney and Shannon Price. Gurney trained talented pacer Our Hi Jinx to victory in both the AQWA Constructions Lord Mayor’s Cup on 25th November and backed up one week later in the Group Three, AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint. The Shannon Price trained Three Of The Best was paired with Steven Doherty to win the AQWA Constructions APHRC Members Cup on November 25th. While on December 2nd the Price stable also proved too good in the AQWA Constructions Forever Gold Mares Pace with Bettorthanspecial driven by Adam Sanderson.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club would like to congratulate all involved in these feature race victories as well as thank our very generous sponsors during the carnival.
For more photos from the carnival head to http://aphrc.com.au/index.php/gallery
Home State Victory for McMullen
20 December 2017
The Garrards Australasian Young Drivers Championship Final staged on Saturday night couldn’t have posed a better finish if it was scripted.
The 10 heat series began on Wednesday at Redcliffe where Queenslander Narissa McMullen jumped to an early lead with a double in the first two heats. The New Zealanders struck back in the following two heats with Dylan Ferguson and Sheree Tomlinson enjoying their first Queensland victories.
On Friday drivers visited the selected Charity for the series, The Ronald McDonald House, prior to heats five and six at Albion Park that night. McMullen stated “It was a pleasure spending time with the kids. All of the drivers are happy to donate their driving fees for the series as it really is such a worthy charity.”
Chris Geary (NSW) moved up the tally board after a victory aboard the Phil Mitchell trained Maretti in heat five, while Jason Lee (VIC) took out heat six with The Muse trained by Cristina Monte.
Early heat winners on Saturday night were driven by Narissa McMullen, Jason Lee and Jayden Brewin (SA). Approaching the final heat McMullen lead by a 2 point margin from New Zealander Dylan Ferguson. Due to the second row draw and early speed, Ferguson driving The Charging Moa, was forced five back on the fence. McMullen pushed forward on Mojo Major to be parked outside the leader. At the 200m mark Mojo Major headed the field while the gaps had only just began to open up for The Charging Moa. Ferguson lunged right on the post but the crowd went wild as McMullen held on to win by a head margin.
The final point score is listed below. For more photos from the night head to http://aphrc.com.au/index.php/gallery
Aztec Aces Rivals In QLD Cup
18 December 2017
The 2017 Racing Queensland summer carnival has come to a close.
And the leading Sydney stable of Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris will head home with fond memories after enjoying tremendous success over the past three weeks.
Open class performer Aztec Bromac claimed back to back features following his triumph in Saturday night's Gr.2 $60,540 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup defeating the Ian Gurney trained duo of Avonnova and Smooth Showgirl in the 2138m feature.
It was the inaugural running of the Queensland Cup, replacing the Gold Coast Cup.
Aztec Bromac ($4) ran down aging warrior Avonnova ($1.90) in an epic home straight battle to score by a 1.5m while Smooth Showgirl ($26.90) was a further 9m away in third.
The mile rate was 1:54.2 – well outside of the track record of 1:52.4 set by Bling It On back in 2015 when successful in the Gold Coast Cup.
Connections of Aztec Bromac were still celebrating the success of the Christmas Cup a week earlier before being overjoyed with their latest triumph.
It was a masterful winning drive from Morris.
“This was the main race of the carnival and we’ve landed it, it’s a very satisfying feeling. We’ve enjoyed great success again in Queensland and the hospitality we’ve received has been absolutely super, a big thanks to Aileen Smith and Greg Franklin in particular.” Morris said.
Aztec Bromac has now won 16 races with earnings just shy of $300,000.
The American Ideal gelding is raced by Brian McFadden and Tanya Harris.
Last year, the Turner/Morris stable enjoyed great success owing to the deeds of now North American based Iam Mr Brightside.
The Gr.2 $40,630 Egmont Park Stud Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final was claimed by star local Our Overanova for trainer/driver Grant Dixon.
Our Overanova ($7.20) started from a handicap of 40m in the 2647m before downing Releven Dream ($25) by a half head margin while Blazing Under Fire ($2.80 fav) was a further 2.5m away in third.
The mile rate was 2:00.3 – a new track record which eclipsed the previous mark of 2:00.8 which was held by Releven Dream.
Our Overanova now holds four Albion Park track records – both 1660m and 2138m mobile starts and the 2138m and 2647m stand starts.
It proved to be his maiden success in the state’s biggest trotting event after three previous attempts.
The Monarchy gelding is raced by Greg Mitchell and has now won 44 races and more than $333,000 in stakes.
$50K Guaranteed Trifecta Pool at Albion Park this Saturday Night
7 December 2017
Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting offerings for the meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night headlined by a $50K guaranteed trifecta inclusive of a $10K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:42pm EST.
Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 6:13pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 5.
For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting via the link below:
The night boasts an attractive 10 race card including the Summer Carnival feature race the AQWA Constructions 2017 Christmas Cup, set to get underway at 8.40pm EST.
Staged over 2680 metres the AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup brings together a top field of open class pacers headed by two-time Christmas Cup winner Avonnova, as well as Ultimate Art, Our Hi Jinx and Major Cam.
In Christmas Cup night tradition Santa will arrive with gifts for the kids after race four.
Trotters Time To Shine
7 December 2017
The trotters will get their opportunity to shine in the Egmont Park Stud 2017 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final on December 16.
Last Friday (1st December) saw round one of the heats with Foursharesmorebeers and Iona Grinner winning each and topping the score board (as seen below).
The second and final round of heats will run tomorrow (8th December) and the field will declared for the final.
Graham plays her cards right to win Lady Drivers Invitational
21 November 2017
Article - Alex Nolan
Despite early setbacks, rising star Brittany Graham remained patient and produced her winning hand in the final leg to take the inaugural Lady Drivers Invitational at Albion Park on Saturday.
The 24-year-old upstaged 11 of the most talented women in Australian racing to clinch the title in the sixth and final heat.
Forced to sit on the sidelines in the opening event due to a scratching, Graham kept herself within striking distance of the lead by snaring crucial points on the unfancied Corporal Luna ($36.60) and Living Grand ($28.70) in the second and fifth legs.
Graham held an ace up her sleeve in the series finale, where she was engaged to drive the Mark Dux-trained Covert Beauty ($1.40fav).
Despite early pressure, Graham forced her way to the front and never surrendered it, taking the race, the title, and a trip to Hamilton Island thanks to series sponsors, The Seymour Group.
“The Dux stable filled me with confidence heading into that race and I was just thrilled she (Covert Beauty) did it quite well in the end,” Graham said.
“Things didn’t go to plan at the start … I didn’t want to sit outside the leader so I put the pressure on and was lucky to get the lead. After that she was in cruise control.”
Graham congratulated all sections of the Queensland industry, in particular Queensland’s trainers, for making the inaugural series such a resounding success.
“We were so lucky to have the support of Albion Park, Racing Queensland and the Seymours, as well as the trainers who entered their horses,” Graham said.
“It’s a big ask to put their horses in and let us drive them, because we’ve never driven them before.
“The crowd was fantastic down there and were really getting into it. It’s a different crowd to what we’re used to and a great way to start the carnival – hopefully it’s a sign of things to come over the next couple of weeks.”
Graham said, despite the competitiveness of the series, all drivers had been supportive and encouraging of each other, suggesting a bright future for the series in the coming years.
“All of the girls were really lovely,” she said.
“It’s a competition but it’s also an opportunity to get to know the other drivers from different states.”
Girls To Rule The Track
15 November 2017
This Saturday night Albion Park Harness Racing Club will create history with the very first race meeting scheduled with only female drivers, including the six races that make up the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation Series.
The winner of the Invitational Series will win a trip for two to Hamilton Island including flights and accommodation through the generosity of Kevin and Kay Seymour.
The night is to recognise the great contribution of females to our industry, particularly drivers, as well as remember the women who have achieved huge milestones in harness racing since the very first Australian reinswomen races in the early days.
Prior to, and during the early 1900’s women were only permitted to drive in races against their own sex and were not allowed to own or train a racehorse in most states of Australia.
By mid-1977 the Anti-Discrimination Act became law and state controlling bodies were forced to begin allowing women to compete against men. Jenny Anderson, Leslie Bastin, Lorraine Poole, Aileen Gassman, Ilma Walker, Linda Schoneauer, Anita Zahnow and Doreen May were among the first ladies competing in Queensland.
A breakthrough for women of this time was when Beatrice Farber represented USA in the 1979 World Driving Championship held in New Zealand and Australia, where she finished fourth. The period 1977-1979 saw many milestones by reinswomen all over Australia, including Margaret Frost, Debbie Wicks, Dorothy Crushing, Wendy Dixon, Fran Donohue, Margaret Davies and more.
And the milestones didn’t stop there. Over the years many women have created unbelievable records including some of the ladies participating this Saturday night.
Kerryn Manning leads the pack with the title of most successful horsewomen of all time. Earlier this year, on August 30, Kerryn had win number 3,706 breaking the record for the most winners of any female of any racing code. Just some of the other achievements for Kerryn include first driver to win more than 300 races in one season, only female to win six races at one meeting, first female to be Australia’s leading driver, youngest driver to win a group one in Victoria, and the Australian driving record for the quickest century and double century in one season.
Lola Weidemann holds the record for the first woman to drive a century of wins in Australia when she drove 118 wins in 1996. Lola has now driven over 2,880 winners, driven centuries during 11 different seasons and driven five winners at the same meeting on six previous occasions with tracks including Rockhampton, Townsville, Rocklea and Mackay.
Trista Dixon claims the record of most wins (five) in one meeting at Albion Park. Three female drivers have landed winning quartets at Albion Park previously including Narissa McMullen, Kylie Rasmussen and Natalie Rasmussen.
In total, nine female drivers have driven five winners at a single meeting on one or more occasions. This list includes Kerryn Manning, Amanda Turnbull, Lauren Tritton, Lola Weidemann, Kate Gath, Danielle Hill, Jodi Quinlan, Natalie Rasmussen and Julie Weidemann.
We look forward to welcoming the talented ladies on track this Saturday night. For more information regarding the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Night please visit http://aphrc.com.au/index.php/events3
Kevin & Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award September Nominee - Trent Moffat
6 October 2017
The upcoming awards night will see two very lucky young achievers win a trip of a lifetime sponsored by Kevin & Kay Seymour. The very generous Seymour couple will sponsor the award yet again in the 2017/18 season.
As a result of opening up his 2017/18 season in great form, Trent Moffat was chosen as the first nominee for the 2018 Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award. September saw Trent drive a total of 92 times for 11 winners and 22 placings. The month consisted of doubles on four occasions including a metropolitan double on September 9th aboard the Jack Butler duo, Dollarbill and Zaras Delight. With only the first month of the season completed it is already evident there will be tough competition among the young achievers this year.
Top Drivers To Represent Queensland
6 October 2017
Matthew Neilson will now join Australian WDC representative Shane Graham to represent Queensland in the Australian Drivers Championships in Tasmania.
Neilson finished third on the state drivers’ premiership for 2016/17, landing 140 wins from 853 drives.
Neilson’s selection follows the suspension of Grant Dixon, who will be eligible to return to the sulky on November 3.
“Racing Queensland’s selection policy is to select the top-two drivers from the State Premiership to represent Queensland in such events,” RQ General Manager of Racing Simon Stout said.
“With Grant Dixon unavailable due to suspension, Matthew Neilson was the next highest-ranked driver in the 2016/17 premiership.”
Stallions Who Impressed in September
6 October 2017
Burwood Stud based stallion Changeover registered 5 individual winners of 7 races at Albion Park during September. Leading the charge were the Darrel Graham trained pair in Franco Totem who recorded 2 wins on the 16th & 30th & My Ultimate Fella on the 20th & 29th.
Gotta Go Cullect based at Egmont Park followed closely with 3 individual winners of 4 races with mare Sugarmama scoring a double.
Gotta Go Cullect
Franco Totem - By Changeover
My Ultimate Fella - By Changeover
Sugarmama - By Gotta Go Cullect
Change of Venue and Date for 2018 APG Yearling Sale
6 October 2017
There is a change of date and venue for next year’s Queensland APG sales.
Queensland will now kick off the sales series roster on Sunday 28th January with the event being held at the Eagle Farm racecourse.
Commencing with the graduates of the 2018 Sales, APG is thrilled to announce a massive prizemoney boost for its Race Series, which will now see horses compete for over $1.8million in prizemoney.
Under the enhancements, APG will conduct a Group One 2yo Race Series and a separate Group One 3yo Race Series in the April/May timeslot, as well as conducting 6 x $50,000 Group Two 2yo Championship Races and 6 x $51,000 Group Three 3yo Championship Races in mid-to-late July.
Queensland to host 2017 Australasian Young Drivers Championships
13 September 2017
Racing Queensland (RQ), with the support and endorsement of Harness Racing Australia, has secured an exciting addition to its 2017 Summer Racing Carnival, securing hosting rights to the 2017 Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC) in South East Queensland.
The AYDC is a championship series to showcase the skills of the best young drivers aged under-25 from each racing jurisdiction in Australia and New Zealand.
The 10 competitors will comprise the Defending Champion (Todd McCarthy), plus one driver representing each Australian jurisdiction, one representing New Zealand and one from each of the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club and Redcliffe Harness Racing Club will play host to the nine-race series, across three meetings from December 12-16.
RQ’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eliot Forbes said the event would provide Queensland with another unique opportunity to highlight the state’s harness racing to a domestic and international audience.
“Hosting the 2017 Garrard’s AYDC help to promote drivers as heroes of the sport, and I look forward to welcoming the future champions of harness racing upon their arrival,” he said.
Long-time supporters of the Queensland racing industry across all three codes, Garrard’s has come on board as the series’ major sponsor for 2017.
“Garrard’s is excited to partner with Racing Queensland and Harness Racing Australia to present the 2017 AYDC. A key driver for our involvement is the development of junior participants to help sustain participation in the industry for many years to come,” a Garrard’s spokesman said.
The young drivers will be involved in a range of off-track activities to connect with the wider community, to ensure a cultural and developmental experience.
The event will also provide opportunities for the young drivers to build a strong profile through digital and social media channels, while building new contact networks within Queensland.
Drivers will be welcomed on Tuesday, December 12, before heading to the picturesque bayside town of Redcliffe for the first race meet of the series.
Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said the club was thrilled to share in the excitement of the series, and invited the local community to be trackside for the opening clashes.
“This is right up there with one of the most exciting events to be held at Redcliffe since I’ve been involved with the club,” he said.
“It’s another opportunity to put Queensland harness racing in the spotlight across the country, after Queenslander Shane Graham’s excellent display in the World Driving Championships in Canada.
“This event presents as a great opportunity for the Redcliffe community to connect with our sport, and spectators will be lucky enough to witness some of the best young drivers in the world compete.”
The final six races of the series will be held at the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) in Brisbane.
APHRC chairman David Fowler said the club looked forward to showcasing the sport in Queensland.
“The Albion Park Club is delighted to be co-hosting the 2017 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship with Racing Queensland and the Redcliffe Club, that will see the cream of harness racing’s national young talent campaigning in South East Queensland during mid-December 2017,” he said.
The excitement will continue to build through September and October, when the driver’s from each jurisdiction are announced.
Vale Sam Zammit
12 September 2017
The Chairman, committee and staff of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club are saddened to hear of the passing of Sam Zammit last Friday.
A funeral service will take place at Mary Immaculate Church, 31 Edmond Rice Dr, Ashmore, on Friday 15 September at 2PM.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club extends its condolences to Sam's family and friends.
Tide Could Be Turning For Former Kiwi Pacer
4 September 2017
New season, new hope.
That’s the approach connections will adopt for former New Zealand pacer Watch Pulp Fiction following his dominant victory in the UBET Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night.
The Art Major entire recorded a mile rate of 1:55.2 for the 2138m event.
But it was only his third victory from 19 starts on Australian soil following his purchase last season for a hefty price.
It was his second victory at Albion Park while he scored at TABCORP Park, Menangle back in February earlier this year.
There have been glimpses along the way but the frustration continues to build.
“Obviously he hasn’t been easy to sort out and we haven’t seen the best of him since he’s been in our care but we keep working with him and trying different things. He felt great the other night and was suited by a genuine speed; he was really strong through the line.” Trainer/driver Chantal Turpin said.
Upon his arrival in November last year, expectations were there to match his price tag and his campaign started well following his eye-catching effort in the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup when fourth behind Avonnova in a time of 1:53.3 for 2138m.
An easy victory at his next start at Albion Park indicated he would be a great companion for his stablemate Mattgregor who was being readied for a Chariots of Fire campaign in Sydney.
It was anything but.
Watch Pulp Fiction managed one victory from six starts before returning to Brisbane where his inconsistent form continued leading into and during the winter carnival.
“We couldn’t get two good runs out of him and it proved very frustrating, the efforts weren’t bad but we expected more from him. His work at home was good and he looked in terrific order but he just couldn’t get any consistency going.
“Before his start on Saturday, Pete (McMullen – husband) and I went back to square one and changed things around with him and that appears to have worked because he was very genuine, probably the best he’s felt.
“We’ll just keep ticking him over in the coming weeks and then we might look at a Victorian campaign in November when Mattgregor heads south. That’s the plan at this stage but that will depend on his form and performances.”
Meanwhile, Mattgregor is back in work and building towards his next campaign which will take in the Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton on November 11.
Nova Lights Up Albion Park
4 September 2017
There’s still life in those old legs.
Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova returned to the winners circle on Saturday night at Albion Park with an ell-the-way victory in the Seymour Group Open Pace defeating a gallant Ultimate Art while Mach Alert made good late ground to grab third.
The winning time was 1:51.5.
The 11-year-old free-legged pacer recorded sectionals of 28.2, 28.4, 27.3 & 27.5 seconds.
It was his first start following his failure in the Listed $25,540 Mr Feelgood Open on July 1, a race that ultimately derailed his winter carnival campaign.
And to put the time into perspective, it’s the third fastest time ever recorded at the famed Breakfast Creek 1000m oval.
The track record belongs to champion pacer Im Themightyquinn at 1:50.4 (the only pacer to better 1:51 at Albion Park) while Avonnova returned a mile rate of 1:51.3 when successful in the 2015 Sunshine Sprint.
On the night Im Themightyquinn set the track record (July 4, 2014 – Sunshine Sprint), Avonnova finished third after racing without cover.
The mile was covered in splits of 28, 28.3, 26.5 & 27.9 seconds.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with his effort, he was off a freshen-up but his two trials indicated he was ready for a big effort and he delivered so hopefully we’re set for a good campaign. More importantly, I’m really happy with how both he and Mach (Alert) come through the race.” Owner/trainer Ian Gurney said.
While it’s unlikely his days of tackling interstate features are behind him, local fans will still get the opportunity to see plenty of him in the coming months.
Gurney is mindful his star pacer is edging closer to the million dollar mark in prizemoney and will give him every chance of reaching that magical figure.
“I can ask no more of him as far as feature races are concerned, he’s been everywhere and competed in all of the biggest events on the calendar but I will try my best to allow him reach the million dollar club.
“I claimed him $20,000 from a race at Goulburn just so I could race a horse each and every Saturday night, obviously he’s exceeded all my expectations and now I would like to give him every opportunity. It’s something he deserves in my opinion.”
Avonnova will continue to race in the coming weeks and months and the Brisbane summer carnival starting in December looks a distinct possibility but opposition will be tough with a number of talented types currently racing.
Key rivals will include Ultimate Art, Mach Alert and Major Cam while former Victorian pacer Mister Mundaka will also add plenty of spice.
So, it could be possible another name could join Im Themightyquinn in the sub 1:51 club at Albion Park.
Manzelmann Cruises To Maiden AP Victory
4 September 2017
The first metropolitan meeting of the new season also ushered in the first Saturday night triumph for promising young reinsman Lachie Manzelmann.
The seventeen-year-old steered the Shane Parrish Cruisin Carl to success in the Pryde’s Easifeed Pace defeating Rory Mach by a nose margin in a time of 2:00.1 for the 2138m event.
It was the first training success for Parrish in seven years while it was the first time that Cruisin Carl was back in the winner’s enclosure since May 22, 2015.
Shorty Noonan was the last winner for Parrish while his last Saturday night success came via Speed Gypsie back in 2001.
Parrish claimed Cruisin Carl from an event at Redcliffe back on July 15, 2015 when the Western Terror gelding was prepared by Grant Dixon.
Cruisin Carl is one of only two horses in work for Parrish at his Plainland property, lightly raced rookie Angelofspeed being the other.
Starting from the inside gate, Manzelmann allowed Cruisin Carl to settle comfortably behind the leader The Muse and therefore gaining a perfect trail.
In the straight, Cruisin Carl finished strongly via the passing lane while Rory Mach charged hard deeper off the track.
“My initial reaction was victory and then I seemed to think maybe I got beat, I knew Darrel (Graham – Rory Mach) had all the momentum and he finished very quickly. Luckily, my number went into the frame and I was quite relieved and quite excited too.” Manzelmann said.
With his first full season of race driving now complete and a Saturday night victory against his name, Manzelmann now sits with 28 lifetime winners.
Last season, he landed 23 winners and 62 minor placings from 277 drives.
In his maiden season (2015/16), he partnered 4 winners from 51 drives.
The young horseman is the son of leading central Queensland thoroughbred trainer John Manzelmann and Stace Sallis, wife of respected Wanora trainer Ron Sallis.
Manzelmann started his career with the Chantal Turpin/Pete McMullen operation before switching to the Fernvale stables of Darrel Graham.
“I’ve always been around horses all my life and I enjoy working with them and obviously I got my grounding from Mum and Dad. When I moved down to Brisbane, I wasn’t that keen but then I started working more with the Standardbreds and then it just snowballed.
“It was a good experience with Pete and Chantal and I got my start with them and some good opportunities, I got to drive Munroe which was really good. I’ve kept learning since being with Darrel and I’m really enjoying it.
“My goal this year is to drive as many winners as possible but I’d like to out drive my claim (40 winners) and I’m on the board with one so that’s a good start.”
It could be the first of many visits to the winners circle for Manzelmann on a Saturday night this season, but he won’t forget his first.
Guaranteed $50,000 Trifecta Pool At Albion Park
31 August 2017
Once again, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a strong ten race program this Saturday night.
Spring is in the air and it’s the first metropolitan meeting of the new racing season!
The opening race has attracted an even field of 12 pacers with several in-form runners set to contest the UBET Pace over the distance of 2138m.
Gambling giant UBET is offering several jackpots throughout the program including a guaranteed $50,000 Trifecta pool on the opening race plus a $10,000 jackpot.
Included amongst the field is a pair of last start winners – Countdown and Only The Brave who both scored impressively at their most recent starts.
The ideally drawn Village Witch is worth strong consideration following her impressive victory here four starts ago in solid time, had little luck in a very strong field at her latest start.
Prepared by Stephen Cini, the Village Jasper mare is a dual winner at this track.
Others to consider include Countdown, Watch Pulp Fiction, Bettor Than Best, Guys Bettor Bet, Lenny The Legend, Written In Red, Im Johnny Jet and Only The Brave among others.
The Seymour Group Open Pace features triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova who will start from the coveted inside gate in the 1660m event and opposition is strong including Ultimate Art, Major Cam and Joys A Babe among others.
The $15,540 Kevin & Kay Seymour Rising Stars Championship also looks an extremely open affair following the barrier draw.
Heat winners on Tuesday were Karloo Ten Seventy and Real Social while others to be considered include Machin Out, Pompidou, Chapter One, The Charging Moa, Magnussen and Mandy Kriden among others.
The Rising Stars Finals is listed as race 2 on the card – the opening leg of the UBET Quadrella.
A Quadrella jackpot of $5000 is also slated; the quaddie will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5.
And a treble jackpot of $2500 is programmed; the treble will be staged on races 3, 4 & 5.
UBET have also slated $2000 jackpot trifecta pools on races 3 through to 10.
Check out Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton’s thoughts on the meeting http://www.harness.org.au/punters-corner-details.cfm?keyNum=182873
The first of 10 races is scheduled to start at 5.44pm.
Harness Racing in Queensland about to get Faster - A Whole Lot Faster
31 August 2017
In an effort to meet the needs of the modern racing fan and engage the next generation of punter, Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) will trial a new 1119m – one lap – race at Tuesday meetings from September.
The exciting new format will be known as the Triple-One-Nine Torpedo presented by Kevin and Kay Seymour, with eight speedy types to tear around the track in little more than one minute.
For participants, the races will carry an additional $1000 in stakes thanks to the generous support of long-time harness racing backers, Kevin and Kay Seymour.
“Kay and I are delighted to sponsor this initiative in an endeavour to attract the younger generation of wagering enthusiasts by way of this up tempo mode of racing in an effort to enhance the industry's market-share of the available discretionary dollar,” harness racing benefactor Kevin Seymour AM stated.
RQ General Manager of Racing Simon Stout said the races, featuring a minor change to the starting position of the sole horse off the second line would add an additional element of excitement to sprints.
“A maximum of eight horses will start in each race,” he said.
“Seven horses will begin from the front row, with one horse effectively floating on the back row. That horse will be able to follow any runner it likes from the beginning, however will need to notify stewards prior to the race which horse that will be.”
The races aim to offer more variety to distance ranges in the harness code, which currently races over 1660m, 2138m, 2647m, 2680m and 3157m at Albion Park. The races will be trialled over a three-month period, beginning on Tuesday, 5 September 2017.
“RQ will work closely with our broadcast partner, Sky Racing, to maximise the effectiveness of these races,” Mr Stout said.
The trial comes after RQ recently announced it would publish individual horse sectional times data on its website, following every Albion Park and Redcliffe TAB meeting.
“This data has already been welcomed by form students and will be a vital tool for finding a winner in the new sprint races,” Mr Stout said.
Nova Returns To Action
31 August 2017
Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova returns to racing this weekend.
The highly decorated pacer has not raced since failing in the Listed $25,540 Mr Feelgood Open Pace on July 1 at Albion Park, the performance left trainer Ian Gurney shocked and looking for answers.
Ultimately, the free-legged pacer missed the entire Brisbane winter carnival owing to the virus he contracted.
But now he’s back and ready for another campaign.
The Art Major gelding has performed nicely in two recent public trials at Albion Park, the latest last Sunday where he defeated stablemate Mach Alert in a time of 1:56.1.
Leading reinsman and regular driver Shane Graham, is fresh back from Canada where he represented Australia in the 2017 World Drivers Championship took the drive in the workout.
“It was a nice hit-out but he’s become a cunning old bugger and clearly knows the difference between raceday and trials. The difference is very obvious to me over the past twelve to eighteen months and he doesn’t tax himself as much as he once did.” Graham said.
On Saturday night, Avonnova resumes in the Seymour Group Open Pace over 1660m but will face stiff competition including his old sparring partner Ultimate Art, a winner of his past two starts at the track.
Avonnova has drawn the coveted inside gate while Ultimate Art has drawn alongside him in gate two meaning they could easily control the sprint event.
Giant pacer and last start winner Major Cam will require luck after landing gate six while classy mare Joys A Babe resumes following her winter carnival campaign.
“It’s look a good race on paper and it certainly boasts depth but coming up with the inside gate is a massive bonus, we all know his gate speed and he should prove hard to beat.
“I’ve looked at the replays of Ultimate Art since I’ve been home and he’s been very strong but he won’t be getting an easy lead like he did last start. I’m sure that connections of Ultimate Art will make me earn victory because they clearly have the fitness edge.
“These two horses have been great performers for a long period now and I’m sure there will be some great battles in the coming weeks and months.”
With over $900,000 in stakes, connections of Avonnova are hopeful he can break into the million dollar bracket before his racing days are over.
Two other key drives for Graham this weekend include classy performer Catcha Lefty and the speedy trotter Releven Dream.
Catcha Lefty, a former Queensland Derby winner starts in the Garrard’s Horse & Hound Pace over 2138m where he has drawn gate seven and chases a hat-trick of victories.
Releven Dream, the track record holder for the 2138m under mobile conditions resumes in the UBET Cash-Out Trotters Discretionary Handicap where he faces a 20m handicap.
“Both are high quality performers and should acquit themselves well in their respective events. I was happy with Catcha Lefty last week because the early burn from the wide draw took some sting out of him before holding them up the straight.
“Releven Dream is a very fast trotter and if he’s on his best behavior, he’ll make his presence felt in any race he contests. In saying that, it’s a tidy field and he’ll have some traffic issues at some point.”
Graham has driven 180 winners this current season.
New Casual Track Rate Offered
Starting from the 1/9/2017 Albion Park now offer a $6 per horse casual rate for morning track work.
A permanent flat rate of $25- per horse per month is still available.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Notice - Use of Social Media
QRIC reminds all harness racing participants to adhere to the Australian Harness Racing Rules as they relate to the use of social media.
Communication via social media such as Facebook, twitter, blogs and forums and so on is an ever increasing way for society to communicate by creating and sharing content of a common interest.
These guidelines outline the expectations when industry participants use social media when referring to the harness racing industry, its participants and any other harness racing related individuals, clubs or organisations.
The guidelines aim to remind participants of the relevant Rules which serve to protect the interests of the wider industry including but not limited to: licensed persons, its employees, officials and licensed harness racing participants.
The QRIC does not discourage people from accessing social media but rather ensures that they are clear of their respective rights and responsibilities when using social media that relates to the harness racing industry.
This guideline applies to all Queensland participants, including licensed trainers, drivers, stablehands and registered owners.
What is Social Media?
- Social media avenues include, but not limited to:
- Social network websites such as Facebook, Bebo, Friendster
- Photo and video sharing websites such as Flickr, Youtube, Snapchat
- Blogging applications such as Twitter
- Discussion boards, blogs and chat forums
- Online newspapers allowing for comments
- Instant or SMS type messaging
- Websites that allow the use of publishing tools
Use of Social Media
Social Media should not be used for any of the following:
- To publish or make comments that are detrimental to the harness racing industry or any of its members
- To direct abuse or inappropriate comments about other individuals or organisations that participate in the harness racing industry
- To breach any of the Australian Harness Racing Rules
- To assume or use the identity of another licensed person or official;
- To publish any information that is related to the harness racing industry that is confidential in nature or is part of any ongoing inquiry or investigation;
- To make any comment or post that is or could be considered to be offensive, abusive, racist, threatening, discriminatory, bullying, defamatory or disrespectful to another person or body in the harness racing industry, employees, officials or participants that comprise of the harness racing Industry.
QRIC reminds the industry that a complaint about conduct deemed to be in contravention of the Rules will be investigated and if required appropriate penalties may be imposed.
Relevant Australian Harness Racing Rules;
Rule 231 (1): A person shall not threaten, harass, intimidate, abuse, assault or otherwise interfere improperly with anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it.
Rule 231 (2): A person shall not misconduct himself in any way.
Rule 243: A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry.
Rule 248: A person shall not say, publish or write or cause to be said, published or written anything malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper about the Controlling Body, its members and employees or the Stewards or anyone else associated with the harness racing industry.
Stars Shine On Final Night Of Brisbane Winter Carnival
July 17, 2017
The 2017 Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park finished with a bang on Saturday night. During the month of July, the metropolitan venue has played host to number of special events featuring some of the best stables in the southern hemisphere and that culminated with the running of the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship plus the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals. Millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay made a clean sweep of the open class features, fresh from his triumph last week in the Garrards Sunshine Sprint when leading throughout, the David and Josh Aiken pacer sailed down the outside to complete his unique double by winning the Blacks A Fake on a rain soaked track. Hectorjayjay proved too good defeating the New Zealand trained My Field Marshal and race favourite Tiger Tara in a thrilling finish in the 2680m feature rating 1:56.1. During the past decade, only Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn had completed the Sunshine State open class double. Last year, Hectorjayjay was the beaten favourite in the Blacks A Fake behind Ohoka Punter. In the Triad Final for colts and geldings, local ace Colt Thirty One stamped himself as the best rookie pacer in the state with a thumping victory in the $100,000 feature defeating Only One Promise and Ark Patrol. The Mach Three colt rated 1:53.9 for the 1660m event and remains unbeaten on local soil, his only two defeats coming earlier this season at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Prepared by leading horseman Grant Dixon, Colt Thirty One has won 6 of his 8 starts to date and is eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown in Melbourne next month. Inter Dominion winning horseman James Rattray claimed the fillies feature when race favourite Arts Treasure led throughout defeating Fame Assured and Well Disguised in a time of 1:56.0. It’s the second juvenile Gr.1 feature victory for Rattray this season following his success last month with Ignatius in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle in an Australian record time of 1:51.3. Interestingly, both Arts Treasure and Ignatius are progeny of emerging sire Roll With Joe. The victory of Arts Treasure also provided Rattray with his maiden feature race triumph in Queensland. The Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby was taken out by New Zealand colt The More The Better who proved too strong for game fillies Shartin and My Casino Belle in a driving finish. Prepared by master horseman Mark Purdon, the Bettors Delight colt made a clean sweep of his three start Brisbane campaign winning the Premiers Cup, Provincial Derby and last night’s blue riband classic. It was the second Queensland Derby triumph for Purdon after preparing Best Deal Yet back in 2012. Albion Park Club Chairman David Fowler was naturally delighted with the night’s racing. “This is our premier meeting of the year and it delivered on all levels, the racing was fantastic while the public interest was also at a very high level which is very pleasing. The club and staff have done a wonderful job.” Fowler stated. Racing continues tomorrow afternoon.
Hector the Collector Arrives In Blacks A Fake
July 17, 2017
Brilliant Victorian pacer Hectorjayjay etched his name into the record books. Prepared by David Aiken and driven by his son Josh, Hectorjayjay produced an electric finish to land the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship defeating My Field Marshal and Tiger Tara at Albion Park on Saturday night. The come from behind victory matched his all the way success seven days earlier in the Sunshine Sprint, therefore claiming the two open class Sunshine State winter carnival features. The last horse to achieve the feat was Im Themightyquinn back in 2014. Under a rain soaked Brisbane skyline, the Blacks A Fake promised to be a fascinating contest and it didn’t disappoint. Race favourite Tiger Tara pushed forward from his favourable draw soon after the start before taking the lead from Major Crocker who initially led the 2680m feature. Shortly after handing the lead over, Major Crocker was eased out of the contest owing to his sulky being contacted. Tiger Tara posted a lead time of 79.7 seconds. With Tiger Tara controlling the speed, star pacer Lennytheshark was left racing on his outside after working off the inside while My Field Marshal landed a perfect trail behind Lennytheshark. The first quarter of the final mile was covered in 29.5 seconds, but the extreme pressure was still to come. With a lap remaining, Tiger Tara was turned loose on the lead and forced the pressure with the middle half covered in 27.7 and 27.4 seconds. Heading past the 400m marker, Tiger Tara led the way from a game Lennytheshark who continued to match him while My Field Marshal, Mr Mojito and Hectorjayjay staged sweeping moves from back in the pack. At the top of the straight, Tiger Tara led the way but closers were coming thick and fast. Hectorjayjay was the widest runner in the straight but he powered down the outside to beat My Field Marshal by a long neck with the same margin separating Tiger Tara in third. The final quarter was timed in 29.1 seconds. The mile rate was 1:56.1 – the same time recorded by Im Themightyquinn when successful three years earlier. “This is a massive thrill and that was a great race because the pressure was on from start to finish, I knew I would come into at some point and thankfully when arrived in time.” Winning driver Josh Aiken said. Twelve months earlier, Hectorjayjay was a runner-up in this event behind Ohoka Punter. Hectorjayjay is raced by Matt McLellan, Earl Sakareassen, Mick Harvey, Jane Hughes, Luke & Paul Stokie and Gareth Hall. The 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is now complete and New Zealand superstar Lazarus is the champion after amassing 240 points throughout the term. Lazarus finished well clear of his stablemate Smolda (185), Hectorjayjay (175) and Bling It On (165).
Can Hector Join The Greats?
July 13, 2017
Millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay is facing many major hurdles this weekend. Fresh from his success last weekend, he now aiming to join an elite group of pacers that have claimed the Sunshine Sprint/Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship double. Only two horses have achieved the feat in the past decade. I repeat, two (2), and it just so happens that those two pacers are the greatest of the modern era – Blacks A Fake (2007) and Im Themightyquinn (2014). So, the pressure is on, and a second-line draw has only dampened the mood of landing the big double. But co-owner Matt McLellan is still upbeat. “He’s no one trick pony, yes he led last week but some of best victories have come when driven with cover. The Len Smith Mile and Sunshine Sprint last year quickly spring to mind, his speed always gives him a chance.” McLellan said. The barrier draw was a total bust earlier this week for Team Aiken after both of their star pacers landed second-line draws, Lennytheshark was slammed with gate 8 (the inside of the second-line) while Hectorjayjay was left with gate 12. In fact, at the public draw, McLellan only had two options when his time was called; it was either 12 or 13. Last year, Hectorjayjay was the beaten favourite in the Blacks A Fake when Ohoka Punter proved too classy in the 2680m feature, and McLellan is hoping he can go one better this time around. “I think he’s a more rounded horse this year compared to twelve months ago, given that he’s been on the Grand Circuit trail over the past twelve months has made a big difference. He’s tougher and stronger while he’s still super-fast. “It’s a great field, really strong with great depth. Obviously Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara and My Field Marshal have my respect because they’re proven performers while there are plenty of other very talented runners engaged. “If we get the right horse to follow then we’ll be right in the fight, Josh (Aiken – driver) is driving with good confidence and I know he was really happy with last week and he’s trained on well this week. It’s great to be here and involved in this super race.” Hectorjayjay sits on the second line of betting with UBET at $4.50, Tiger Tara is quoted at $2.30. McLellan shares ownership with Earl Sakareassen, Mick Harvey, Jane Hughes, Luke & Paul Stokie and Gareth Hall.
Sugars Returns To Sunshine State
July 13, 2017
Leading reinsman Greg Sugars has fond memories of Albion Park, and with good reason. The last time the Victorian based driver headed to the famed Breakfast Creek racetrack, he walked away with the state’s biggest event. Sugars answered an ‘SOS’ call from trainer Ian Gurney and took the winning drive behind Our Hi Jinx in the 2015 Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship. The race was discontinued following that edition. But now Sugars returns to the Sunshine State chasing the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship, the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. He will partner star pacer Major Crocker in the 2680m feature. “I’m looking forward to heading back to Brisbane this weekend and I think we’ve got an excellent chance, his draw is ideal and his form is very good so hopefully we can land the prize.” Sugars said. Major Crocker has drawn gate three but will start from two if the emergency doesn’t secure a start. The Art Major gelding hasn’t started since finishing a close-up 7th behind My Field Marshal in the Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on June 25. Sugars, a winner of 34 Group One races believes the Vince Vallelonga trainee is ready to land his biggest prize yet. And he set to play an intriguing role given his early speed; will he hold the lead or take the trail behind race favourite Tiger Tara? “We’ve got options and I’ll discuss it with Vince before the race. He didn’t have much room last start in Sydney and the gap between runs won’t bother him, I know Vince believes spacing his runs as he gets a little older is best for him now. “Some of his best efforts have been when he’s fresh up, we should end up in a good position from the draw and the distance will suit him. He ran very well in this event last year. “Tiger Tara looks hardest to best from his draw while the Aiken runners (Lennytheshark & Hectorjayjay) will be tough to beat plus My Field Marshal, he’s the form horse of the Australian winter and he looked very good last week.” Earlier this season, Major Crocker finished second behind New Zealand star Lazarus in the Victoria Cup at Melton. Major Crocker is rated as a $16 chance with UBET. Hoofnote; Only Gavin Lang, Chris Alford, Luke McCarthy, Gary Hall Jnr and Mark Purdon have driven more Group One winners in Australia than Sugars.
Brisbane Targets For Butterworths
July 13, 2017
Leading owners Merv and Meg Butterworth are no strangers to winning big races. The heroics of Arden Rooney in the 2015 New Zealand Cup with record breaking trainer/driver Kerryn Manning have been well documented, and rightly so.
In fact, there isn’t many national or state borders that haven’t been crossed in search of a feature winner for the Victorian based couple. Success has come via the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Ross Olivieri in Perth has also provided plenty of triumphs while Manning herself continues to build on her impressive list. The state of Queensland isn’t foreign to the Butterworth’s either as they continue to build on their impressive trophy cabinet. Victories in the Sunshine Sprint (Motu Crusader), Queensland Derby and Premiers Cup (Best Deal Yet) have come their way previously, and now they return, searching for more glory. On Saturday night, they will be represented by a pair of quality performers in two of the feature events, the final night of the 2017 Albion Park winter carnival. Motu Meteor lines up from the ace draw in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby while four-year-old Mr Mojito starts from the second-line in the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship. Both races will be staged over 2680m. “I think both horses are very classy and have great natural talent so they can’t be taken lightly. We only confirmed plans earlier this week although we hatched this idea a few weeks ago.” Merv Butterworth said. Motu Meteor resumed with a solid performance at Ballarat last Thursday, rating 1:57.1 for the 1710m. The Bettors Delight gelding boasts a solid grounding for the blue riband classic after finishing second behind Our Little General in the Victoria Derby and then third behind Vincent and Ultimate Machete in the New South Wales Derby. In both series, he managed to win his qualifying heats comfortably. Formerly prepared by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Motu Meteor now looms as the biggest threat to race favourite The More The Better which is prepared by Purdon and Rasmussen. The two pacers have clashed on two previous occasions, both times The More The Better finished in front of Motu Meteor. “Both of those races were staged in the North Island of New Zealand and he had excuses in the Auckland feature while he was too good for us in the Cambridge Guineas. “Barrier draws are a major part of racing and we’ve landed the best draw while The More The Better faces a second-line draw and that will make a difference this week. “I’m thrilled with the draw and I expect a really good effort this weekend, I’ve watched the Brisbane events over the past couple of weeks and I’m certain we’ll be right in the mix.” While Butterworth is thrilled with the Derby draw, he wasn’t so excited about the draw of Mr Mojito in the Blacks A Fake. The Real Desire gelding will start from gate 11, four off the second-line. In two starts for Manning, Mr Mojito finished a solid third behind My Field Marshal and Mattgregor in the 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton before a brave second behind potential superstar Heaven Rocks at Ashburton on Jewels day (June 3). “He’s a very good horse and he will need to be in this race and from this draw but I’m very confident in his ability. He’s in good order and just requires some luck. “If we manage to find the right cover, he’ll be thereabouts.” His biggest success came earlier this season at Gloucester Park when triumphant in the Gr.2 $50,000 4yo Championship.
Can Shartin Beat The Boys?
July 13, 2017
Star filly Shartin is chasing history. The dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby at Albion Park this Saturday night. Fresh from her dominant front-running display in last week’s Queensland Oaks, trainer Dean Braun has elected to tackle the boys in the blue riband classic. Historically, the girls just don’t seem to beat the boys. New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass (2002) is the only member of the fairer sex to win the Queensland Derby, a race first staged back in 1969. Amazingly, Oaxaca Lass didn’t win the Oaks feature prior to her Derby triumph; she played the runners-up role when second behind local filly Sparkling Melody while the vanquished also included the likes of Elect To Live and Sassy Sarah. So, Shartin is looking at becoming the first Queensland Oaks/Derby heroine. “I was very happy with her performance last week, while the lead time was steady it was the last mile that really pleased me and she was completely dominant at the line and Luke (McCarthy – driver) confirmed that immediately after the race.” Braun said. The Tintin In America filly will start from gate two in the 2680m feature while race favourite The More The Better starts off the second-line. And Braun is confident about the extra distance this week. “I’m not concerned about the distance, I think the longer the better for her and she proved that when successful in the Tasmanian Oaks earlier this season. While she has a very high cruising speed, she can stick a bit too given she’s out of a Live Or Die mare. “With a good draw, we should be fairly handy again and that gives Luke plenty of options. Obviously, The More The Better is the horse to beat and he looked sharp again last week but hopefully we can be right there matching it with him. “Since returning from a break, she’s proven she can compete with the very best fillies and she’s still on the way up. I’ve trained some nice fillies and mares like Nike Franco, Pacific Playgirl and Itz Nosurprisesthere among others and I’m not certain they could do what this filly is doing right now.” Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown next month in Melbourne and therefore, the Queensland Derby start is likely to be her final race this term. While Braun is yet to train a Queensland Derby winner, driver McCarthy is chasing his fifth success. His winners include Slipnslide (2004), Tip Your Hat (2006), For A Reason (2010) and Bling It On (2014). Goulburn filly My Casino Belle, a runner-up behind Shartin last week in the Queensland Oaks is also backing up but has drawn poorly. Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, My Casino Belle will start from gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Queensland Derby is listed as Race 4 on the program.
Shartin Shines In Queensland Oaks
July 11, 2017
The second night of the 2017 Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park belonged to the Victorians. Brilliant filly Shartin dominated the Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks when leading all the way for trainer Dean Braun and driver Luke McCarthy defeating My Casino Belle and race favourite Partyon in the 2138m feature. Shartin led comfortably from her inside draw and ambled through the lead time in 38.9 seconds with My Casino Belle tucking into the trail position while Partyon pushed forward to race outside the leader and then presenting Delightful Memphis in the one out one back trail. Over the final mile, McCarthy allowed Shartin to roll and posted sectionals of 29.8, 29.9, 27.9 and 26.4 seconds. Shartin rated 2:32.9, a mile rate of 1:55.1. Facing the starter for only the ninth time in her career, the Tintin In America filly has now won six times which also includes her triumph in the Tasmania Oaks earlier this season The Queensland Oaks has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Braun who has enjoyed success previously with Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014). Speed machine Hectorjayjay claimed back to back victories in the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint defeating My Field Marshal and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:54.1. The time is one of the slowest in recent years; in fact, it’s the slowest time since the incomparable Blacks A Fake scored in 2011 in a time of 1:54.5. Leading easily, Hectorjayjay and driver Josh Aiken strolled through the opening half in 29.4 and 30.8 seconds which instantly nullified the winning chances of his rivals. My Field Marshal worked around the field quickly and raced outside Hectorjayjay while Lennytheshark sat behind his stablemate.
Racing down the back straight, Hectorjayjay was full of racing and the third split was timed in a leisurely 29.2 seconds. In the straight, the sprint went into overdrive and Hectorjayjay was able to hold My Field Marshal by a neck margin with Lennytheshark a further 6m away in third. The last quarter was clocked in 25.7 seconds. Hectorjayjay is prepared by David Aiken and was handled by his son Josh. The victory pushed his earnings past the $1 million mark. It was his 41st victory from 78 starts. Hectorjayjay becomes the first pacer since Cobbity Classic (2005/06) to claim back to back victories in the sprint feature. Next week, the open class feature is the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake over the staying distance of 2680m. The More The Better, nominal favourite for next week’s Queensland Derby capped his campaign with another stylish display in the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Provincial Derby defeating Pretty Hot and Cowboys N Aliens. Fresh from his success last week in the Premiers Cup, The More The Better and driver Natalie Rasmussen sat back in the field while the leaders set a hot speed up front. In the end, the Bettors Delight colt proved too classy winning by 6m in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m distance. The $20,540 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes was taken out by talented local mare Cherish The Moment who beat race favourite Bettorthanspecial and Joys A Babe in a time of 1:53.9.
Cherish The Moment is trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon. The Mach Three mare has now won 13 of her 40 starts with earnings in excess of $120,000. This Saturday night’s features include the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.2 $75,000 Queensland Derby.
Qld Winter Carnival News Briefs
July 6, 2017
Time has been called on bonny racemare Purple Royale. The reigning Albion Park Mare of the Year has been retired and will now enter the next phase of her career, returning to her original home in South Australia in preparation for the upcoming breeding season. Under the guidance of Greg Elkins, the Royal Mattjesty mare proved to be a ‘rocket’ at Albion Park winning 9 races. In total, from 40 starts in the Sunshine State, Purple Royale won 10 races with her other success coming via Marburg. Last season, Purple Royale finished second in the Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes behind the now North American based mare Barynya in a time of 1:53.9. Just recently, the mare took a career best time of 1:53.1 when successful at Albion Park. Matt Elkins won 7 races with the mare while Greg took 3 winning drives. Purple Royale is raced by her breeders, Peter and Lesley Medhurst. The report from the Gatton University is positive regarding millionaire pacer Bling It On. Following his race fall at Albion Park on June 17 which resulted in nasty injuries to both of his knees, the American Ideal entire is recovering well. Bling It On will be based there for at least another week or two. The possibility of standing stud this upcoming season is now being considered. Speaking of the Gatton University, another patient this week is giant pacer Hughie Green. The former New Zealand pacer cracked his offside front pedal bone last Thursday and underwent an operation yesterday (Wednesday) to rectify the issue, and indications are very positive on a complete recovery. Hughie Green is raced by John Green and his family while prepared by John Cremin. Star pacer Catcha Lefty is expected to be back in action next weekend. Prepared by husband and wife team of Cristina Monte and Charlie Cini, the Queensland Derby winner will either trial tomorrow (Friday) or next Tuesday at Albion Park before lining up next Saturday night, the final night of the 2017 Brisbane winter carnival. The Village Jasper gelding last raced at TABCORP Park, Menangle on February 11. Catcha Lefty has won 15 of his 32 starts to date while banking just under $200,000 in stakes. Can lightning strike twice? Connections of exciting four-year-old Mattgregor are certainly hoping so after purchasing talented but unraced two-year-old gelding Morroch Bay from the Christchurch stables of Mark Jones. Mattgregor was purchased from Jones as an unraced three-year-old. Morroch Bay is a son of Sir Lincoln and finished second in a Rangiora workout yesterday (Wednesday) behind Cullenburn. Mattgregor starts in Saturday night’s Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint against the likes of Lennytheshark, Hectorjayjay and My Field Marshal among others. Tough old performer Stormfortheboys returns to racing at Albion Park this Saturday night. After a successful stint in Victoria with leading trainer Dean Braun, owner Vicki Rasmussen has decided to bring her gelding home for another stint of racing in the Sunshine State. During his 13 start Victorian campaign, Stormfortheboys won 2 races including the Gr.3 $30,000 Echuca Cup while being placed on a further 4 occasions. The Famous Forever eight-year-old starts in the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace over 2138m where he drawn the ace. Stormfortheboys is the winner 10 races at Albion Park. The race is on to secure a start in next week’s Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Finals for two-year-old pacers. And a number of youngsters sit right on the cusp as they strive to make the top ten for the respective divisions. Australasian Breeders Crown heats are scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) night’s meeting at Albion Park while a high quality event takes place on Saturday night. The Grant Dixon prepared Colt Thirty One stamped himself as the horse to beat in the colts and geldings division while the Sydney trained Arts Treasure looms as a serious threat in the fillies division for trainer/driver James Rattray. Fields for both features will be released next Tuesday. There will be plenty of interest in a number of interstate events this weekend building into the final night of the carnival next week. In Sydney at TABCORP Park, Menangle, open class stars Tiger Tara and Ultimate Art clash in the Gr.3 $30,000 Christmas in July at Club Menangle Pace over the flying mile. Both pacers are expected to start next week in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake. Also at Menangle, the CLUBMENANGLE.COM.AU Pace features several talented three-year-olds, many of which are on trial for next week’s Queensland Derby. Connections of Bettor Vision, Redbank Blaze, Joes Star Of Mia and Gotta Go Ya Hu have all flagged interest in the blue riband classic. In Melbourne at Melton, all eyes will be on Soho Tribeca in the Vicbred Super Series Final for Four-year-old entires and geldings. Owner Robert Watson and trainer/driver Kim Prentice are strongly considering a start in next week’s Blacks A Fake, the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit series. Outstanding Victorian pacer Major Crocker has arrived in Brisbane in preparation for next week’s Blacks A Fake. Trainer Vince Vallelonga bypassed this week’s Sunshine Sprint preferring to concentrate solely on next week’s 2680m feature. Major Crocker finished 7th behind My Field Marshal in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile last start. The Art Major gelding finished 4th behind Ohoka Punter in last year’s Blacks A Fake.
Virus Strikes Gurney Stable
05 July 2017
Out; Local hero Avonnova will miss next week's Gr.1 $200k UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park owing to a virus.The Brisbane winter carnival has claimed another high profile victim.The stable of Ian Gurney is the latest to be ruled out. This means his runners have all been scratched this Saturday night, the second night of the carnival, while triple Queensland Horse of the Year and evergreen pacer Avonnova will not start next week in the feature event, the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake - the jewel in the crown for the Sunshine State. A raft of blood tests have been carried out following some sub-standard efforts from his racing team last weekend confirmed a virus is currently sweeping through his Chambers Flat property."It's disappointing and the timing couldn't be worse but there is no point going on with them, I had Nova (Avonnova) checked immediately after his race last week because it was too bad to be true and his white cell count was all out of whack while several others were showing the same signs." Gurney said. The frustration is obvious for Gurney with his five runners this Saturday night looming as good chances after landing favourable draws in their respective events. Clarkey, Ideal Scott, Our Hi Jinx, Miss Irish Rose and Mach Alert have all been officially withdrawn."While some of my team performed well last week, the bulk of them were well below their best which had me concerned. They're all eating and drinking with no issues but the white cell count is nowhere near where it should be so I won't push them any further. "Nova will miss next week, there's no point taking on the quality like Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay when you're off your game so I'll get him back to his normal self before starting him again. "I've been really happy with his form since coming back from retirement but last week was a real shock to the system, he was under extreme pressure a long way from home and that's not his go. "The leading local contender for next week's feature is classy mare Joys A Babe following her victory in the Listed $25,540 Wondais Mate two weeks ago which guaranteed her a start in the rich event. The long and deep list of interstate talent appears to have a stranglehold on the Blacks A Fake, a race to be run over the distance of 2680m. Millionaire pacer Bling It On, Rocker Band and Hughie Green are other high profile casualties of the carnival to date.
Aiken Takes The Drive Behind Champion Pacer
July 6, 2017
The decision has been made. Victorian based trainer David Aiken will take the reins behind his champion pacer Lennytheshark in Saturday night’s Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park, the second night of the Queensland winter carnival. Unfortunately, a clash of feature race dates has prevented regular driver Chris Alford being in Brisbane to partner the $2.6 million earner. Alford is heavily committed to a large book of drives in several finals of the Vicbred Super Series at TABCORP Park, Melton across the weekend. It becomes the first time since June 28, 2013 that Alford hasn’t driven Lennytheshark under race conditions. But co-owner Martin Riseley is confident that Aiken can get the job done this week before Alford reunites next weekend in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake. “David is aboard this weekend, he knows Lenny better than anyone and while he doesn’t drive as much as he once did, he’s still a very good driver and a proven feature race winner at Albion Park.” Riseley said. Debate has raged over the past week on who would land the drive behind the Inter Dominion/Miracle Mile winner with a number a names thrown about but following the draw, the decision was made quite easily. Lennytheshark will start from the coveted inside draw in the 1660m sprint feature, his first start in the Sunshine State. The Four Starzzz Shark entire hasn’t started since finishing third behind My Field Marshal and Mach Doro in a time of 1:50.2 when breezing in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle two weeks ago. Miss Inter Dominion Natalie Rasmussen was the other driver given serious consideration of replacing Alford before Riseley and his father Kevin made the final call. “It came down to two drivers in the end and after consultation with David, we’re happy to say he will take the drive this weekend. We have close ties with Natalie through the All Stars stable in New Zealand along with Mark Purdon. “Natalie was considered because she is driving at the meeting and her deeds as a big race driver are well known plus she knows Albion Park really well. “The decision has been made and we’re really looking forward to the race, it’s a strong line-up but we expect another big effort from Lenny. We’re excited to be part of the carnival.” Aiken was a regular Queensland campaigner many seasons ago when he was previously based at Condell Park, near Sydney. He won the 1990 Queensland Oaks aboard Swing Out Sister.
Club Support For Integrity
April 7, 2017
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club (the Club) totally supports the strict policing of the rules and the integrity of the industry. However, the presumption of innocence must be provided to any person until convicted of any charge. The Club, of course, is disappointed that anyone would engage in any activity detrimental to the best interests of the industry, if proven. After all, the vast majority of the industry is made up of honest, hardworking people who are dedicated to their horses and the wellbeing of the sport. Where money and betting are involved in any form of racing or other code of sport, a small minority will always transgress and that then is the role of QRIC to identify and prosecute any offender. The Club believes integrity is the most important asset the industry has and must be protected and supported at all times.
Track Re-Surface Schedule
April 24, 2017
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club wishes to advise that a track re-surface for our main race track is scheduled to commence on Sunday 30th April and should be completed prior to the race meeting on Friday 5th May. The race meeting on Tuesday 2nd May including all barrier trials and education will be transferred to Redcliffe Paceway. The main and jog tracks will also be closed to training from Sunday 30th April until Tuesday 2nd May. We apologise for any inconveniences. If you have any queries or concerns please contact the Albion Park Harness Racing Club on 07 3262 2577.
BOTRA Charity Race Weekend
May 11, 2017
This coming Saturday night and Sunday afternoon the 13th and 14th of May, Albion Park will play host to the BOTRA Charity Weekend with Bowel Cancer Australia the recipient of the funds generated from this event.The weekend will include two top harness racing meetings, pig racing, mini-trotters, roving entertainment, face painting, pop-up food and beverage outlets and a myriad of FREE carnival rides for the kids! Every Mum who attends on Sunday receives a free entry into the draw to win an overnight stay at the Quest Breakfast Creek Apartment Hotel, AND the first 100 Mums will receive a free gift! The main attraction on Sunday afternoon is the Celebrity Dual-Seater Sulky Race between Channel 9’s footy show co-host Erin Molan and the Racing Minister Grace Grace MP with both contestants very keen on their respective prospects. Entry is by a Gold Coin donation with all contributions going to Bowel Cancer Australia, so don’t miss out be at Albion Park this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for the time of your life. Albion Park Raceway is situated at Yulestar Street, ALBION, directly behind the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel. Free parking is available off Cooksley or Greg Chappell Streets with more information on the event available at http://aphrc.com.au/functions/charity-race-day/ or telephone 07 3262 2577.
2017 BOTRA Young Driver’s Championship
May 18, 2017
The competition was fierce last night as we saw the opening two heats of the 2017 BOTRA Young Drivers Championship held at Redcliffe. In heat one Lachie Manzelmann drove Comigal to win by a neck margin over Make A Point driven by Brittany Graham, and Hayden Barnes ran home into third place on Mo Jarney. Dannielle McMullen took them all the way in heat two aboard Tarin Kowt, ahead of Cheyenne Warrior driven by Hayden Barnes and Lachie Manzelmann on One to Tango. After two consistent drives Lachie Manzelmann heads the leader board on 26 points, Hayden Barnes is in second place with 21 points and Dannielle McMullen closely follows on 20. Heats three and four will take place tomorrow (Friday) at Albion Park and the final two heats will be seen on Saturday night. Congratulations to all junior drivers who were selected for the series and we wish them the best of luck for the following four heats. Join us on Saturday night where a presentation will be held to acknowledge the young drivers participating and one junior will be crowned the 2017 BOTRA Young Driver’s Championship winner!
BOTRA Young Drivers Championship Update
May 19, 2017
Heats three and four of the BOTRA Young Drivers Championship took place today. Please see below for the updated tally.
Egmont Park Stud Open Day
May 22, 2017
The Egmont Park Stud are looking forward to welcoming guests at their open day this Sunday. Come up and see the weanlings, yearlings and mares. Inspect the sales preparation facilities. You’ll be amazed at the condition of all the stock on the stud. Enjoy the traditional on farm hospitality. Please phone Peter Bell on 0418 885 033 or 4691 0772 to book your spot for catering purposes.
When: Sunday 28th May 2017 @ 11AM
Where: 662 Biddeston/Southbrook Road, Biddeston