Day At The Track

Career best for young couple

06:48 PM 04 May 2016 NZST
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Exciting 3yo Mattgregor
Exciting 3yo Mattgregor is close to a racetrack return for Pete McMullen & Chantal Turpin.
Dan Costello Photo

In-form young couple Pete McMullen and Chantal Turpin enjoyed a harness racing career highlight last weekend.

Last Saturday night, the talented duo landed a training quartet at Albion Park and went within a whisker of training half the program after being beaten by a nose margin.

Ironically, it was McMullen aboard the Stewart Dickson trained Lancelot Bromac that edged out Boom Boom Hall in the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace.

Their winners included Overlap, Munroe, Run Fatboy Run and Motu Young Jacob.

“A huge thrill for both of us and our staff, we were hopeful of a good night because we had some good draws and we were able to convert them which is great. It’s a definitely a best for us at a metropolitan meeting, it would’ve been extra special to get that fifth winner and prepare half the card but it wasn’t to be but it gives us something to aim at in the future.” McMullen said.

Based at Patrick Estate and working a team of 35 currently, the winners have flowed consistently again this season for the young couple.

They currently sit a clear second on the state trainers’ premiership table behind perennial performer Grant Dixon.

As it stands, they currently sit on 99 winners for the season and look set to break their best record of 125 winners which they set last season.

It will be the third straight season they have achieved a century of winners.

In the drivers’ premiership table, McMullen sits second behind reigning Australian Driver of the Year in Shane Graham.

“It’s all about hard work and we’re committed, we have a training complex that we’re still improving on and we’ve got some really good owners that are providing us with good opportunities. We’ve kept improving since we bought our property and we’re keen to surpass last year and we’re on track.

“I thought we had some chances last week and things went our way, Overlap has been really consistent this campaign and he was well placed with a claim for Hayden (Barnes – driver) who handled him perfectly. Munroe hasn’t had the chance to lead for some time and he’s a much better horse on the front end so he was always going to race well from his draw. Run Fatboy Run has taken some time to sort out but we’re really happy with his form and he was great leading throughout while the good trotter Motu Young Jacob wasn’t a complete surprise, I drove him bad recently.

“The way the game is going, draws are so vital and we had a number of good marbles last week and it makes such a big difference. Hopefully, we can back-up this weekend and do the same again.”

This weekend, the couple has nine runners entered for Albion Park.

Meanwhile, stable star Mattgregor is close to a racetrack return following an injury setback earlier this year which derailed a southern campaign.

The New Zealand bred three-year-old has won three of his four starts to date, all at Albion Park and all in sub 1:54 times.

“He’s probably a few weeks off a trial but we’re happy with the way he’s coming along, we’ve gelded him during his time off and the attitude is much different now, he’s great to work with now.

“The winter carnival is our target for him so hopefully he will take the next step forward this campaign.”

The Gr.1 Queensland Derby on July 16 is the main aim.

Chris Barsby

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