Harness expert, Darren Clayton gives his insight and betting tips on all races at Albion Park for Saturday 21st July, 2018
The Blacks A Fake is the jewel in the crown of the Queensland Winter Carnival and is the final Group 1 for the open age performers for the season in Queensland. Held at Albion Park over the 2680m trip, the race has featured in various distance changes since it was first held in 1986. That inaugural edition was run over 2100m when taken out by Wondai’s Mate. It has been held over 2600m, 2647m and in 2004 was run over the current distance of 2680m.
The QBred Triad is a is a G1 event run over 1660m that is restricted to horses that meet the conditions of being Queensland bred and that have paid an associated series entry fee. Held at Group 1 level the final field is declared from a ranking which is determined by the number of race wins in the current racing season. For any that are on equal wins, those with the most prizemoney gain preference in to the Final.
The Chariots Of Fire is a race restricted to 4YO pacers that was first held in 1995. Held in NSW the race was held at Harold Park from its introduction through to 2009. With Harold Park’s closure, since 2010 the race has been held at Menangle.
The Len Smith Mile is a relatively new race on the feature race calendar having been first held in 2008. Run over the traditional mile distance of 1609m, the race was created when the New South Wales Harness Racing Club relocated to their new racing facility at Menangle. Attaining Group 1 status from its inaugural edition, the race has maintained the elite ranking since.
Dating back to 1982 when first taken out by Miss Yarraman, the QBred Triad series culminates with the running of the G1 Triad Final. Run over 2138m at Albion Park, the race is restricted to horses that meet the criteria of being Queensland bred and having paid the associated series eligibility entry fee.
Restricted to horses that meet the criteria of being Queensland bred and having paid the associated series eligibility entry fee, the Triad final is a Group 1 event run over 2138m at Albion Park. Officially known as the QBred Triad the race was first held in 1982.
Restricted to mares, the G1 Queen of the Pacific is one of only 2 mares only events on the Australian G1 calendar open to all nominations. Run over 2760m at Melton the race was first held in 1990 under mobile start conditions. In 2000 the race was changed to a discretionary stand start handicap and in 2016 will revert back to the mobile conditions.
With the series restricted to horses sold through the annual yearling sales held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the Australian Pacing Gold boasts the richest 2YO futurity final in Australia. Each state held heats of the series before the semi-finals were conducted at Menangle in NSW who will also host the final as part of the rotational hosting arrangement.
The Australian Pacing Gold (APG) is a race series restricted to horses passing through the ring at the APG yearling sales held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The race consists of heats held in each of the 3 eastern state capitals, with the semi-finals and final held in any of the 3 capitals, with each year the semi and finals being raced in a different state on a rotational basis.
The Victorian Oaks, held at Group 1 level is a heat / final series, with three qualifying heats held a week before the final at Melton, the first four in each heat progress to the G1 Final. The heats and the final are held over the 2240m distance and in 2016 the Final has total prizemoney of $150,000, with the winner to receive $90,000.
The Great Southern Star is a new race series that was introduced with the abolishment of the Trotting Inter Dominion and was first held in 2013. Based on the time honoured Eliteloppet in Sweden, the format of the race involves the heats and final held on the same race card. In a unique race series, if a horse can win both the heat and final, it can effectively win 2 Group 1 races within 3 hours.
The Miracle Mile was 1st held in 1967 at the famous Harold Park Paceway in Sydney. The race was introduced by the New South Wales Harness Racing Club after the idea was put forward by then President Len Smith. Initially held as an invitation only race, it has constantly created as many headlines off the track as those for the on-track deeds. The format has had some alterations and now has races pre-determined allowing horses to gain selection into the field.