The Hot Seat (Weekender) with Brittany Graham 14-05-2021

In The Gig Harness Racing expert, BRITTANY GRAHAM, looks ahead to all the action coming up and tosses in a tip or two along the way.

 

THE strength of the Queensland breeding industry will be on show this Saturday night with the running of the QBRED Triad finals for three and four-year-old’s.

Queensland has produced some of the sport’s brightest stars in the last two decades including the likes of BLACKS A FAKE, FLEUR DE LIL and COLT THIRTY ONE. Now the search is on for the next Maroon poster child.

With two $100,000 features for the three-year-old pacing divisions, the barrier draws conducted on Tuesday created plenty of intrigue.

MANILLA PLAYBOY will be searching for his second career G1 when he starts from the front row in the colts and gelding’s division. Trained by Shane Fraser and driven by his new reinsman Shane Graham, the trio have combined for back-to-back victories in the last month.

His main rivals, defending Triad champion BIG WHEELS and New South Wales visitor JUSTALITTLE BIT, have both been cursed by second line draws which makes their task infinitely tougher.

When it comes to the fillies G1 event, on paper, the barrier draw has made the race.

The clash between JASPER and TALENT TO SPARE has been well anticipated since their juvenile campaigns. Whilst Jasper appeared to be a more well-rounded filly at two, Talent To Spare has returned in superb fashion, blazing through four victories and a second at her last five starts.

Adding to the build-up, both fillies have now drawn wide second row gates. Jasper will wear the twelve saddlecloth, whereas Talent To Spare is drawn right alongside her in thirteen.

The Listed features for the four-year-old’s and two-year-old’s will also be hotly contested by some classy pacers.

Grant Dixon will once again play an important part in all ten races on the card with a representation of 24 runners on a night that he has dominated many times in the past.

‘The Creek’ is building toward an enormous TAB Constellations Carnival and will no doubt host a decent crowd tomorrow night, in conjunction with NRL Magic Round taking place five minutes down the road at Suncorp Stadium. In a correlation of the two sports, leading trainer Chantal Turpin’s brother Jake will captain the Brisbane Broncos tonight, whilst she will look for G1 success with Big Wheels and Typhoon Torque tomorrow.

Sky Racing Active will showcase all the action LIVE from Albion Park tomorrow evening with Cassie Fahey, Chris Barsby and myself as hosts.

 

Check out the latest TAB Harness Racing markets here.

 

WILL WE BE ROBBING PETER AND CRYING POOR

THE proposed Harness Racing Australia stallion levy has continued to cause rumblings across Australia and New Zealand this week.

The 15% ‘tax’ will be implemented on service fees from stallions which originate outside Australia, which of course encompasses American shuttle stallions, those based in New Zealand as well as Europe and frozen samples.

The issue of colonial stallions not receiving sufficient support has certainly created chatter in the past, however I don’t believe anyone invisaged something quite so significant.

This levy will be imposed on the stallion owners on receipt of a 45-day positive pregnancy test, however it would be foolish to assume this would not also have an effect on the broodmare owner.

In a year of positivity for the breeding industry, one integral part that has not experienced an upswing in a very long time has achieved just that. So why do we now decide to implement a levy which will undoubtedly undo all this progress?

An enormous part of our harness racing eco system are studs who rely on shuttling stallions to provide to the Australian industry, then pour much of this revenue back into the game in sponsorships and support.

This levy will either break them, or break breeders. It's as simple as that – whoever wears the brunt of this tax will have an immense struggle on their hands.

Shouldn’t we want to entice our industry to be the best and breed to the best?

Shouldn’t breeders have the freedom to choose who they wish to send their mares to, without having to consider a significant tariff on most of their options?

This levy is estimated to deliver $2million annually to the industry each year, which I am sure no one is complaining about, but surely there must be a better way to raise revenue than taxing our own participants so significantly.

We are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

 

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.

 

STEWART SET FOR ANOTHER ALLWOOD

GLOBE Derby will host South Australia’s lone G1 event for this season tomorrow (Saturday) night.

The Allwood Final for two-year-olds has been dominated by Emma Stewart and this year’s edition looks to be no different.

2019 saw PANDERING prove far too good and TREACHERY made it a one filly affair last year.

ENCIPHER looks to be the one to beat in this year’s edition after a hard-fought heat victory, at just her first start last week.

In a stirring battle over the last lap, Encipher managed to narrowly nose out a brave DOUGS DIVA in the significantly quicker second heat, spacing their rivals by over 50 metres.

Kate Gath will make her way ‘home’ to South Australia this weekend in search of another G1 driving victory for her resume.

 

BEST BET OF THE WEEKEND

Albion Park Saturday: R5 No.6 Manilla Playboy

VALUE BET OF THE WEEKEND

Albion Park Saturday: R7 No.8 Aunty Bella

 

Brittany Graham is a regular host on Sky Racing and the Sky Racing Active app, plus In The Gig with Ben Way and Gareth Hall every Tuesday night on Sky Racing 2 from 6pm.

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