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Gurney Glad To Be Back

Some great stories will be re-lived at Albion Park tomorrow night.

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will celebrate 50 years of night trotting at 'The Creek'. 

The first meeting under lights took place on Saturday 7 September 1968, in front of packed grandstands with an estimated crowd of 15,000 and over 60 bookmakers fielding at the meeting.

Curly Adios won the opening race on the program while the feature event was taken out by star performer Stormy Water at a very short quote.

Many that have played a role during that time will be present while other family members will also be represented; it’s a night of celebration and a great chance to reminisce.

Ian Gurney has many fond memories of Albion Park, largely owing to the deeds of mighty pacer Avonnova, a triple Queensland Horse of the Year.

The Chambers Flat horseman returns to the famed Breakfast Creek oval with a team of four pacers competing across two races.

Smooth Showgirl and Ideal Scott will contest the Welcome Advice Open Pace over 1660m while Our Hi Jinx and Sparkling Cullect start in the Stanley Rio Pace over 1660m.

The quartet are resuming from lengthy breaks.

“It’s good to be back, I’ve had an ordinary time of it lately owing to viruses and other niggling setbacks in my team but we’re back amongst it. I’m happy with all of them but obviously they will improve with whatever they do this weekend.” Gurney said.

All four runners have had a number of trials in recent weeks to be readied for their respective assignments and Gurney is hoping for some luck.

Talented reinsmen Adam Sanderson (Smooth Showgirl & Our Hi Jinx) and Paul Diebert (Ideal Scott & Sparkling Cullect) will handle the team.

“Most have been off the scene for 15 weeks or longer so it’s tough coming straight back into this grade but there’s no other options for them. All their work and preparation has been pleasing and now it’s just a matter of getting back out there and getting the miles into their legs.

“Smooth Showgirl won her most recent trial on Tuesday night when leading most of the way; she’s got class and landed a good draw so I’m hopeful she will measure up. Ideal Scott has drawn a touch wide with some in-form runners drawn to his inside so he might require some luck.

“Both Our Hi Jinx and Sparkling Cullect should prove competitive, their trial form is pretty good and the small field will suit both of them. It looks like being a good night and I’m happy to be part of it.”

Gurney listed the victory of Avonnova in the Gr.1 $100,000 Sunshine Sprint back in 2015 as his best memory at the track while Our Hi Jinx deserves special mention following his triumph in the 2015 Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship.

 

Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | September 7 | Photo by Dan Costello