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  4. Queensland Harness Racing Wrap - August 2

Queensland Harness Racing Wrap - August 2

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.

THE GOOD

On Thursday afternoon at Albion Park it certainly paid to be QBRED, when four horses were able to pick up the lucrative bonuses on offer.

Three-year-old gelding So Much More started the blitz when successful in the opening race on the card.

By Bettors Delight, the Shannon Price-trained gelding was having his first race start when settling behind the leader before charging home over the top to claim victory.

A full sister to the square gaited winner Mistakes Were Made, his two-year-old full brother, Mister Cautious, has also suggested a win is not too far away.

In race two, the Cristina Monte-trained Rebline resumed from a spell in perfect order when successful in the two-year-old event following a strong front running performance to lead throughout.

Driven by Nathan Dawson, Rebline was having just her second career start and had over two metres to spare on the line in her victory, that also secured connections the $12,000 first win bonus.

Out of the former smart race mare Rebby, she has proven to be a great broodmare.

From six live foals, Rebby has now produced four individual winners.

Mac Sweeney, for trainer-driver Nikki Chalk, was the next to cash-in on the advantages of the QBRED scheme when he led from barrier to box in claiming race four.

The now five-year-old was second-up from a spell and never looked in danger in claiming the victory.

It was career start 18 for the son of Major Bronski, with the win securing connections the $7,500 second win bonus.

Happy Publicans had been out of the winner’s enclosure since September of last year but a strong performance in the fifth race of the day saw the gelded son of Mr Feelgood breakthrough for his first three-year-old victory.

Trained by Vicki Rasmussen and driven by Shane Graham, the second win bonus was secured for owners Craig Lusby and Scott Macallister, who as the name suggests, are both in the hotel industry.

Time and again the benefits of the QBRED scheme are on display and some further good news to the country’s leading futurity scheme were also announced last week.

On the back of additional funding through the Queensland State Government Investment Growth Plan, the QBRED first win bonus will jump to $14,000.

It pays to be QBRED.

SO MUCH MORE

29c816a7-88f2-4384-8d03-0228d1ef303c.jpgTHE BAD

On Saturday night, the greatest ever winning square gaiter at Albion Park was retired following an amazing career.

Fittingly, it was a fairytale finish for Our Overanova, who moves on to the next chapter of his career with a swansong victory.

Purchased by Greg Mitchell from the South Island of New Zealand, "Nova" as he was affectionately known, arrived in Queensland in late June 2013 as the winner of one race from seven starts.

Making his first race appearance on July 18 at the now defunct Gold Coast Parklands track, Our Overanova scored a narrow victory after trotting cleanly to lead throughout.

It would be the start of an impressive stretch that netted eight successive wins.

After galloping at the start at his ninth start on Aussie soil, that ended his chances, he would then win another seven in succession.

From his first 20 Australian starts, Nova won 18 of them.

Racing predominantly for the Grant Dixon stable, Our Overanova was sent south on three different occasions to chase bigger races and spent a stint with Belinda McCarthy, where he won one race at Menangle and one at Melton.

The gelding also had two starts for Shane Sanderson, registering a Menangle win and a fourth in the Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton behind Red Hot Tooth.

Nova also had two different stints with Michael Stanley and while he did not win for Stanley, he did place on three occasions, two of those at Group level.

Retiring as an 11-year-old, Our Overanova finishes his career with the figures of 203-64-39-27 and earnings of $522,333.

Of those starts, his record under the care of Grant Dixon is 170-60-34-24 and earnings of $461,322.

Some other career highlights include:

  • 51 Albion Park victories - second only to Destreos.
  • Only horse to have won the DJA Memorial Trot on two occasions.
  • 28 wins from a handicap of 30-metres or greater.
  • Eight wins from a 50-metre handicap.
  • Track and age records on three different tracks.
  • First trotter to break 2.00 at Redcliffe.

It has been a remarkable career over the past eight years and of the track records, Nova still holds the Redcliffe 1780 metre mobile start record and the Albion Park 2138 metre standing start record.

His absence will leave a big void in the Dixon stables, yet his retirement has been well earned.

Races

8
8

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 8:37 PM

SKY RACING TROTTERS DISCRETIONARY HANDICAP

1
OUR OVERANOVA NZ T: Grant Dixon D: Grant Dixon
2
MAJESTIC ESS JAY T: Denis Smith D: Clint Sneddon
3
JUSTABITNOISY T: Doug Lee D: Doug Lee

UmGVktco-1.jpegTHE MILESTONE

Kylie Rasmussen chalked up her 800th career victory at The Creek on Saturday night, with a ‘catch drive’ behind the Colin Godden-trained Sport Mental.

Godden, a Victorian, is currently campaigning a team in Queensland and has been enjoying some good success with Sport Mental and Ajay Breezy Rose claiming races in the past fortnight.

‘Lady Luck’ had just the two drives on Saturday night, with both for Godden in the two mare’s events on the program.

Settling Sport Mental one out and two back in the running line, Rasmussen produced the mare to the outside and she sprinted strongly over the closing stages to arrive.

Running down a game Voodoo Lou who sat parked throughout, the win made it 800 career victories.

Fresh off a Group 1 victory aboard Cat King Cole the week prior in the QBRED Triad Final, Rasmussen holds a strong hand heading towards the Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sales Graduate Race on August 14.

With Cat King Cole looking to have a distinct class edge on her opponents, a victory in that Final would provide Kylie with a fifth Group 1 victory.

Scoring over a century of wins in a season twice in her career, Kylie can also boast a victory aboard the mighty Blacks A Fake when deputising for sister Nat.

Looking to concentrate more on the preparation of their team, Kylie still has a deft touch, evidenced by her recent outings - three wins from her past five starts.

Races

3
3

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 6:13 PM

AQWA CONSTRUCTIONS DIVIDED CONDITIONS DIV 1 PACE

1
UNCLE JORD T: Chris Frisby D: Hannah Rixon
1
ALTA ORLANDO NZ T: Belinda McCarthy D: Ricky Thurlow
3
ROCKNROLL ICON T: Donny Smith D: Angus Garrard

lIJNYvU.jpegTHE WILDCARD

Dead heats are not totally uncommon, yet on Saturday night at Albion Park, the occurrence of a split decision was certainly a little rarer than usual.

The even finish happened in the Open event of the night, when the judge could not split Uncle Jord and Alta Orlando with the pair hitting the line in unison.

A dead heat in the FFA ranks has not been seen at The Creek for some time and Alta Orlando, who was hoping to regain some wining form, did so - partially.

The margin may have been equal across the line, however Ricky Thurlow, the driver of Alta Orlando, then had to plead his case in the steward’s room to maintain the half win.

A protest was lodged by Angus Garrard, the driver of third-placed Rocknroll Icon, alleging interference to his drive through the first turn.

After hearing the submissions, the numbers remained as the panel could not be satisfied had the incident not occurred that Rocknroll Icon would have finished in advance of Alta Orlando.

While the level of interference did not alter the results, Ricky Thurlow did incur a 14-day suspension from the incident.

It may have been partial disappointment for Thurlow, however Hannah Rixon, driver of Uncle Jord, was all smiles following the joint victory.

Taking her career tally to 17 victories with the result, it will be a memorable first metropolitan success for Rixon.

Currently in Queensland campaigning over the winter period, Rixon was given the drive by Bathurst-based Chris Frisby aboard Uncle Jord.

Driving your first metropolitan winner in Open company and splitting the result with a dead heat is a unique occurrence - well done Hannah.

THIS WEEK

Racing kicks off in Queensland this week with the Tuesday afternoon meeting from Albion Park where nine races are scheduled.

Redcliffe hosts meetings on Wednesday night and racing will be back again at The Triangle on Thursday afternoon after last week’s Thursday fixture was from Albion Park.

Friday and Saturday are back to Albion Park, where on Friday heats of the Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sales Graduates Series will be held.

Exciting filly Cat King Cole will be stepping out in these heats for trainer Darren Weeks with entry restricted to horses sold at the 2020 APG Brisbane Yearling Sale.

The week will wrap up with a dual-code meeting on the grass at Kilcoy.

Normally held before the first galloping race, the current schedule is likely to have the harness events following the days galloping card.

Races

1
1

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 5:13 PM

WELCOME TO THE CREEK BAND 5 PACE

1
CRUNCH TIME T: Rickie Alchin D: Nathan Dawson
2
MACH DA VINCI NZ T: Peter Hanson D: Shane Graham
3
TOMMY LINCOLN NZ T: Mark Dux D: Angus Garrard