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Brisbane Racing

Saturday Morning Mail

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By Phil Purser
All Doomben photos Dan Costello - Toowoomba Show Phil Purser

The Justracing camera caught up with one of the icons of Queensland - ring master Angus Lane - whose dulcet tones have been on display at Brisbane's RNA Show - and many other Shows - for decades. Angus was joned by the charming winner of the Toowoomba Miss Showgirl competition to make presentations to the winning driver of each harness racing event. I was so besotted by Angus' beauty that I forgot to ask the young lady her name. Think I'll go into training to become a ring master, as the job has some benefits. Wonder who Miss Showgirl will meet first from the harness racing industry?

Well the first person Miss Showgirl met was Clint Petroff who drove Race 1 winner Mitsume. Angus Lane can be seen giving the public the information about the winner from the racebooks that were available on the day, whilst Miss Showgirl approaches Clint Petroff. Want to know why Clint Petroff was so nonchelant about Miss Showgirl approaching? Stick with me then - and I'll show you.

It was because he only got married to Tammy Gillespie a couple of years ago - so he's happily married - and the Justracing camera was even there to catch the action from that momentous day. Looks like Tammy could have got a gig as a Miss Showgirl herself at one point, had she tried.

Driver Andrew Millard was photographed with Race 2 winner Romijn. Each harness racing event at the Toowoomba Show was worth $1,000 - and all races had sponsors.

Gold Coast trained galloper Masai Pride gets a well earned pat from jockey Paul Hammersley upon returning to scale last Saturday at Doomben. Notice how the horse is knackered? How can I tell? Well he must be - as he's asleep, for God's sake. What amazing fact was I able to tell my Brisbane Sectional Times clients about Masai Pride this week in their report? Pity you aren't in the loop, or you'd know.

Do you remember the jockey P. G. (call me Graham, or I'll tie this horse up to the nearest fence and come over and deck you) Birney? Well he's long retired, but he was at Doomben last Saturday and was strapping Starzando for his trainer wife Sue - and jockey Jason (call me stubby, or I'll get off this horse and deck you) Holder. See stick with me and you'll know what everyone is up to these days. Notice how Starzando has dozed off? Hey wake up Dopey, you have to run in about 10 minutes time. The horse woke up soon after this photo was taken - when he ran into the stewards tower. What great colours they are too - but unfortunately the star had to settle for third on the day.

Two racecallers were photographed in the racecallers box at the Toowoomba Showgrounds last Friday - when I caught up with Warwick racecaller Barry Jones and the young man he has groomed - Anthony Collins. Anthony called all the harness racing action at the show. During the afternoon I interviewed Barry Jones and I'll bring you his interesting biography in the forthcoming weeks. Barry has been calling races for about 40 years, so he has had an interesting life journey to this point.

The Norm Hilton trained Poor Judge wins the Weetwood Handicap last Thursday in Toowoomba. "Daylight" ran second - and third - and fourth - as the winner made an absolute mess of his opposition up the home straight.

The Kath Carroll trained Yield Curve proved too strong for his opposition in the Toowoomba Cup. He won easily from Royal Hope out wide on the track.

They are underway in Race 3 at the Toowoomba Show - and stick with me here, as we may have been watching history in the making. See the horse in dark red colours one-out and one back? Well its name is Party Dream. Note how the trainer/driver Dawn May has put the horse straight in the box seat.

Dawn May has driven her pacer a treat to this point - and she has now extracated the pacer out from behind the leader - to be able to come with a quick dash in the home straight. What so special about Dawn May I hear you say?

Well you see Dawn May is widowed and aged in her "early 70's" - so what a remarkable effort it is to be healthy enough to drive her own pacers at that age. Everyone thought it was amazing that jockey Tony Erhart rode a Saturday city winner at age 63 recently, but Dawn May has got about 10 years on Tony Erhart. By the way Dawn clocked in second here with her pacer Party Dream, behind the Clint Sneddon trained pacer Stylish Falcon. Dawn doesn't like getting her photo taken, but she kindly consented to do so for the revered Justracing camera. Thanks Dawn, I reckon you are a pretty amazing lady.

Dan Costello took this photo of the just opened new Doomben enclosure last Saturday. It has earned some nice accolades in emails to the website, so it looks like the club has kicked a goal.

Steven Doherty, steering the grey pacer Mister Distinction, led Race 4 at the Toowoomba Showgrounds last Friday. However they weren't in front at the mirror, as the winner Madalena Magic trained and driven by Redcliffe's Ross Fletcher proved too strong in the run to the line. Madalena Magic is parked behind Mr Distinction on the fence.

Tierqualo and Matthew Palmer were photographed landing a $6 to $4.40 betting plunge when winning Race 7 at Doomben last Saturday. The galloper is unbeaten since returning from a spell.

Trainer Kelly Doughty looked pretty pleased with herself when she was photographed straight after the win of Tierqualo. Her husband Gary can be seen sharing his excitement around a couple of fellow part-owners in the background.

The Toowoomba Show is so popular that even people from out of space were there to witness the harness racing action and sample such earthling delicacies as dagwood dogs and waffles. What's in the pram I wonder? Could this robot be capable of breeding? Stick with me and all will be revealed.

Well yes he could, because there's his baby.

Stathi Katsidis scored a winning treble at Doomben last Saturday and is pictured returning to the enclosure on Decibella, after they had combined to win the last race on the programme. My Brisbane racing Sectional Times clients, led the $8 to $6 move on the winner, after they had been advised to back the Clang mare.

Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears trains Race 8 Doomben winner Decibella. The mare has now won seven races and has earned $160,820 in her career to date.

Here's another view - from a different angle - of the new parade ring at Doomben. (Photo supplied)

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