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Headlines Today is 01/11/2014
At the insistence of Racing Queensland, Senior Steward John Hackett (pictured) inquired into "team driving" in Queensland harness racing a couple of years ago and couldn't find any evidence of "team driving". With a big Group 1 race meeting about to unfold tomorrow night at Albion Park, sadly the general public obviously beg to differ with Mr Hackett's findings, as last Saturday night at Albion Park, two of Australia's top pacers - Im Themightyquinn and Suave Stuey Lombo - clashed yet Tattsbet couldn't even hold $12,000 in the win pool on the race, as per photo that I put up earlier this week on the Brisbaneracing website. In any fair person's assessment that is pathetic - with a capital P.

As a punter - sometimes you look at a set of race fields after acceptances and just shake your head in dismay at how impossible some of the races are. I must admit that I’ve been doing that in Sydney Saturday racing for a while now with all the Waller horses in a race and nothing changes tomorrow in Race 4 at Rosehill as “champion trainer” Chris Waller has five of the nine runners, or 55.56% of the entire field. What a thriller it will be. About as exciting as watching some 18 or 20 stone sheila perform a “Fat-o-gram.” Any rational thinking punter wouldn’t go anywhere near the race with their hard earned moola - and yet if you check out the win pool hold on each of the main three TABs around Australia on the Sky Channel monitor as the horses are entering the barriers you’ll no doubt see that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested on the race, as what I’d call “desperates” get involved in betting on the race.

At Eagle Farm though, there are four what I’d call “decent races” and one of those four races, plus the other four races are what I’d call “impossible”, so all-up five of the eight races are “impossible”.

Race 8 at Eagle Farm is a dream race for bookies and TABs, as whilst there’s no denying that it has some nice horses in it, realistically there are about six winning chances that I can see from perusing the form of the race, even though I’d happily bag a couple of the favourites in the event.

The races that I deem as “decent races” are Races 3, 4, 7 and 8, but of those four races, Race 8 is the “impossible” one at a quick glance.

To me, Race 8 at Eagle Farm gives bookies the opportunity to add to their already burgeoning wealth with the possibility of a total left-field result from some nag that punters have overlooked and it conversely gives bookies the chance to get back into the black if they are losing coming into the race. From a TAB perspective, punters would hardly be able to standout just the one horse in that last race, which is the last leg of the Quadrella, Treble, Daily Double, etcetera, so as punters have to go wide, obviously the TAB pool on those exotic forms of betting swells – so the TABs get to win also. Suffice to say - whatever wins the race should go on with the job at 4YO.

Then when that terrific Race 8 at Eagle Farm has been run and won, many eyes will turn to Albion Park Paceway where some great Group 1 racing may unfold on the night. Wonder what the go will be there at the trots this week? In my humble opinion, “those in the know will know” - and the rest will be old time waltzers. Don’t forget Racing Queensland employed senior steward John Hackett to investigate “team driving” at Albion Park a couple of years ago and he found no evidence of its existence, so apparently punters can bet with confidence at Albion Park harness meetings, which is terrific to know. That’s why I can’t for the life of me understand how the hell Tattsbet could hold less than $12,000 in the win pool of a race last Saturday night with the current (Im Themightyquinn) track record holder and former (Suave Stuey Lombo) track record holder in the race. That’s disgraceful. Then bugger me dead if the 2’s on favourite (Im Themightyquinn) didn’t go over.

Eagle Farm Track Manager, Sean Bridges, advised the website late today that the Eagle Farm track is a "dead 4 following 5mm of rain Wednesday". Sean added that with the gusty winds about today, he felt sure "the track will be back to a good 3 in the morning". He also said that "in the six years I've been in Brisbane, I've never seen it as dry and cold as it is now" further noting, "grass just won't grow in this weather. We haven't had to mow the Eagle Farm track for two weeks. Kikuyu grass needs a ground temperature of 16 degrees and above to grow and the grass temperature at Eagle Farm won't get past 15 degrees".

The apprentice jockey weights for tomorrow should be:



Rikki Jamieson

50 claims 3kgs.

Luke Tarrant

50 claims 2kgs.

Bridget Gryllis

49 claims 3kgs.

Travis Wolfgram

53 claims 3kgs.

Anthony Allen

50 claims 1.5kgs.

Beau Appo

49 claims 3kgs.

Janette Johnson

53 claims 3kgs.

Geoffrey Goold

54 claims 2kgs.

Courtney Van Der Werf

51 claims 3kgs.

Today on I preview the “impossible” race – Race 8 at Eagle Farm. On there’s an interesting story from Reid Sanders on the cobalt rules as they apply to harness racing in NSW and there's also publication on that website of publicly available results of swabs for cobalt in NSW which makes for interesting reading. Check out the diversity of levels on different horses swabs. Also on that website the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park tomorrow night is looked at, whilst on Matt Nicholls looks at Flemington.

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