Day At The Track

Milestone moments for Qld drivers

04:33 PM 13 Jul 2020 NZST
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Queensland drivers Pete McMullen, Lola Weidemann and Angus Garrard all recently recorded career milestones,Harness racing
Queensland drivers Pete McMullen, Lola Weidemann and Angus Garrard all recently recorded career milestones

It’s been a busy and joyous time in recent weeks for a trio of Queensland based drivers.

The Sunshine State has a proud and rich history of producing outstanding talent, both male and female, in both the training and driving of Standardbred stars.

This ever-expanding list continues to grow year by year.

Just recently, Lola Weidemann surpassed 3000 career victories; the milestone moment was reached at a nondescript Sunday night meeting at Redcliffe aboard Prettycompact in the final event on the program.

But in many ways, the victory had gigantic ramifications.

With over 3000 career victories, Weidemann now sits clearly at the top of the list of female drivers in the state while only Grant Dixon has more wins with over 4600 and still climbing.

Only Kerryn Manning has more wins in the country as a female with close to 4000 wins to date.

Sitting behind both Manning and Weidemann is Jodi Quinlan with over 2100 wins to date while Amanda Turnbull is closing in on 2000 wins.

Weidemann is a highly respected figure within the industry and her skillset was on full display on Saturday night with her winning drive behind Kid Montana in the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace.

At the same meeting, third generation horseman Pete McMullen registered his 2000th victory following the thumping win of exciting rookie pacer Uncle Shank in a time of 1:54.8 in the Burwood Stud Pace.

Uncle Shank is prepared by Pete’s wife, Chantal Turpin.

By reaching the 2000 win club, McMullen achieved the feat by becoming the youngest driver to do so in the country.

McMullen is 28 years and 10 months old.

It backs up his record as the youngest driver to reach 1000 wins after he eclipsed the record which was then held by Amanda Turnbull.

McMullen is the son of John and Jennette and the Grandson of the late J.C ‘Hollywood’ McMullen.

Younger sisters Narissa, Dannielle and Taleah all regularly compete against their record setting big brother.

McMullen had the honour and privilege of driving millionaire pacer Im Themightyquinn, one of the all-time greats of the sport back in 2014 at Albion Park.

He has also driven in North America, competing against the likes of Hall of Famer’s John Campbell and Ron Pierce at the Meadowlands as an 18yo.

The full list of drivers that have 2000 or more victories includes Chris Alford, Gavin Lang, Grant Dixon, Daryl Douglas, Chris Lewis, Kerryn Manning, John Caldow, Greg Sugars, Gary Hall Jnr, Lance Justice, Lola Weidemann, Brian Gath, Colin Brown, Luke McCarthy, Shane Graham, Greg Bennett, David Harding, Steve Turnbull, Peter Greig, Ted Demmler, Darrel Graham, Geoff Webster, Jodi Quinlan, John Justice, Mathew Neilson and Ryan Hryhorec.

And the young talent within the state keeps coming with Angus Garrard stamping himself as a genuine star in the making.

Last week at Redcliffe, Garrard brought up his maiden century in his first full season of driving when the Donny Smith trained Arbit Major scored in the Stevie Redback Pest Control Pace.

It was part of another winning treble for the recently turned 17yo.

Garrard now becomes the youngest driver in Australian harness racing history to register 100 wins in a season.

The son of Daren and Gayle is still attending school while undertaking his driving commitments.

Angus is the Grandson of Chris and Maureen Garrard, founders of Garrrads Horse & Hound company, generous sponsors and benefactors to the racing industries throughout the southern hemisphere.

Here’s hoping the winners keep flowing for these outstanding drivers.

 

Chris Barsby

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