Leading Queensland junior reinsman Pete McMullen experienced the thrill of a lifetime.
The 22yo third generation horseman was given the opportunity to sit behind one of the all-time greats at Albion Park today and he fell in love, just like a teenage girl attending a One Direction concert.
Champion Perth pacer Im Themightyquinn, in Brisbane for the Queensland for the winter carnival warmed up for Saturday night’s Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint with a scintillating trial over the 1660m distance.
The Gary Hall trained triple Inter Dominion winner scorched around the oval in a time of 1;51.9 – the current track record is held by Suave Stuey Lombo at 1;51.8.
“That was the greatest two minutes of my life, or more precisely, the greatest 1;51.9 of my life. To be given an opportunity by Gary and the owners to drive a horse like this is an amazing privilege and honour. That was the greatest thrill I’ve ever experienced.” McMullen beamed immediately after the trial.
The $4.46 million earner will campaign in Brisbane over the next month contesting several features during the carnival and wowed locals with his brilliant point to point speed.
After easing off the gate soon after the start, Im Themightyquinn landed a spot in the moving line and steadily improved his position before racing without cover after moving by the 800m mark.
McMullen allowed the gelding to slide heading down the back straight and soon raced clear of rivals before fully extending over the final furlong.
“He’s wicked fast; he travelled strongly and on the bit but Gary wanted me to give him a serious hit-out so I was able to get rocking and rolling over the final half and it was the best feeling ever.
“Gary said run around the 1;52 mark but chase him over the final half, to be honest, I was quite stunned we went that fast because he felt so comfortable. You would swear that this horse has been here before and raced at this track a number of times because he was well within himself.
“He had a good blow immediately after the trial but his recovery is equally amazing just like his speed. Gary believes that will bring him on just nicely for Saturday night’s race, it’s going to take a very good effort to beat after that today.”
Im Themightyquinn has drawn gate six in the 1660m sprint feature.
Regular pilot Gary Hall Jnr will take the drive on Saturday night while McMullen will partner the Brian McCall trained Lebron.
McMullen is currently second on the Queensland state driver’s premiership race with 138 winners to date this season with Grant Dixon leading the way with 157 winners.
By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)