Day At The Track

Mathew Neilson notches up another century

11:07 AM 11 Apr 2014 NZST
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Mathew Neilson.jpg
Triple Figures: Leading driver Mat Neilson registered his eighth century season this week.
Ross Stevenson

Leading reinsman Mathew Neilson has registered another century season.

Neilson posted the milestone moment with a driving double on Tuesday afternoon at Albion Park when successful aboard the Peter Donohoe trained He Gets It and the Shawn Grimsey prepared Pacific Cruza.

It becomes the eighth season where Neilson has driven more than 100 winners.

During the 2001/02 season Neilson registered his maiden century with a total of 113 while his biggest haul came during the 2002/03 season when he landed his first double century with 204 winners.

With his tally currently sitting at 101 for this term, he finds himself second on the Queensland statewide premiership table behind dynamic junior driver Narissa McMullen who has a total of 103 winners to date.

McMullen, a third generation horseperson has been in tremendous form this season which includes multiple victories in New South Wales but is currently serving a two week suspension.

On Inter Dominion Grand Final day (March 2) at TABCORP Park, Menangle, McMullen landed an all-the-way victory aboard the Peter Walsh trained Essbee Doubleyou in the Gr.2 $50,000 Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational.

The battle between McMullen and Neilson in the final months of the season should be enthralling.

“It’s nice to reach that figure again but I’ve just got to keep improving on it, there’s still a long way to go this season with several good drivers competing.” Neilson said.

The lightweight driver is now preparing his own team of horses after splitting with leading conditioner Grant Dixon earlier this year and has recently invested in a new property at Toorbul, north of Brisbane where he will expand on his stable.

Other Queensland based drivers close to registering century seasons include Grant Dixon, Pete McMullen, Shane Graham and Bart Cockburn.

Another milestone moment from Tuesday’s meeting arrived for rookie horseman Hayden Barnes, who prepared his first winner as a trainer when Alberts Flight proved too strong for his rivals in the New Farm TAB Pace in a time of 1;55.5.

Barnes prepares the son of Flight N Irish for James McDonogh.

Currently employed by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Barnes previously spent time with Darrel Graham along with his father Al.

Barnes has driven 9 career winners to date.

By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

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