By Duane Ranger
Queensland Hall-of-Famer and former premiership winning trainer, Mark Lichtwark, has a good chance of notching up his second winner of the season at Redcliffe Paceway tomorrow night (Wednesday).
The now 65-year-old hobby trainer and breeder, who won the Albion Park Premiership in 2000, works two horses from his Redcliffe barn.
At 8.22pm he has the consistent Our Doug lining up in the sixth event – the $5,200 Darren & Bec Ebert 3yo Pace.
It’s been 75 days since Lichtwark trained his last winner. That was also at Redcliffe when Our Doug and Gary Whitaker got up at odds of $17 from barrier five with a 2:00.3 mile rate.
The son of Rock N Roll Heaven hasn't finished further back than fourth in his last six starts and he has drawn ideally at three this evening.
His toughest opponent, the Darrel Graham trained and driven, My Ultimate Major, will be Our Doug’s major threat.
“I think he (Our Doug) will be competitive because he’s finally got a good draw. It’s been a while since he has drawn this good. He’s done well from a lot of second row and outside draws,” Lichtwark said.
“The one inside him also goes well,” he added.
Lichtwark said he knew Our Doug very well, having bought him at the Redcliffe Yearling Sales (for $3,000) and then broke him in.
“He’s only had 14 starts since his debut last April and even though he’s no star he keeps me happy and he goes all right,” Lichtwark said.
Our Doug goes into the race with a 1.5m second behind the Grant Dixon trained Bettor Because at Albion Park last Wednesday. The brown gelding has now had 14 starts for one win, three placings, a couple of fourths, and has more than doubled his purchased price in stakes.
Lichtwark, who came to Australia 46 years ago from New Zealand, said he started Egmont Park more than 30 years ago and also worked for Kevin and Kay Seymour for 20-plus years.
“I’ve had some good times in the game over the years, but these days I just do it for a hobby. I am retired. I’ve had some memorable moments though. I bought Fake Left here, and I also won the training premiership at Albion Park in 2000.
“Winning four Horse-of-the-Year titles with Girl From Eponina, Cherry Cheer, Aqua Gold, and Masked Crusader was memorable. They were all very nice standardbreds, and horses I won’t forget in a hurry,” Lichtwark said.
Lichtwark has just broken in a For Reason colt and the only other horse he has in work is an unraced 3-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven - My Janes Cullen (Christian Cullen) bay gelding named Hadley.
This evening’s meeting at Redcliffe Paceway kicks off at 5.23pm with the last of the nine races scheduled for 9.24pm.