Day At The Track

Team Teal drivers bringing home the winners

07:31 PM 15 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Team Teal drivers bringing home the winners, Harness racing
Team Teal drivers bringing home the winners

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.

THE GOOD

As the second week of the Team Teal came to a close, the Queensland ladies were able to better the results of the previous week’s 12 wins by claiming victory in 16 races.

Narissa McMullen led the way with five wins, highlighted by a Saturday night treble at Albion Park.

Claiming driving honours on the night, McMullen scored with Clarry in race one for Stephen Cini, Paravani in race three for partner Matt Elkins and completed the treble by race four with Garland Greene - again for Stephen Cini.

Kelli Dawson was able to record four victories for the week, including a Wednesday night double at Redcliffe.

Maywyns Jewel, a pacer that Dawson also trains was the first of her pair, with the second for her father Geoff Dawson behind Shereacts.

Chloe Butler - one of the 2021 Team Teal ambassadors - was able to drive three winners for the week, highlighted by a Tuesday double at Albion Park.

Scoring with a bold front-running display on Illawong Dreamtime for trainer Doug Lee, Chloe completed the double with a win behind Casino Tommy for trainer and father Jack Butler.

Sisters Dannielle Veivers and Taleah McMullen each landed a pair of wins for the week to take the tally to 16 for the week.

The Queensland ladies are in second place on the national tally, with Kate Gath leading the charge for the Victorian team out in front.

With $200 being donated to ovarian cancer research for every win by a female driver during the six-week period, the ladies are quickly starting to build a strong total.

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While it may not add any extra to the tally in terms of donations generated, the Queensland team were the first team to land an all-Teal trifecta, and as of Sunday afternoon, had three with all other states yet to get on the board.

The first of those for the Queensland ladies came at Redcliffe on February 4 when Chloe Butler led home Taleah McMullen and Lola Weidemann.

At Albion Park on February 9, Narissa McMullen scored with sisters Danielle Veivers and Taleah McMullen filling the minors.

The third was again at The Creek, this time on Friday February 12 when Kelli Dawson led home Taleah and Narissa McMullen.

Victoria did manage to gain their first all-Teal trifecta on Sunday afternoon at Charlton, while New South Wales also did on the same day in an all-female, invitation drivers race at Bathurst.

With four weeks still to run, the tally looks set to soar at the current rate that the ladies are bringing home the winners.
 

THE BAD

Joy quickly turned to despair for trainer Justin Pascoe at Redcliffe last Thursday with his pacer Ocean Lane.

A recent addition to his stable, the four-year-old is a well-bred daughter of Mach Three out of the former smart race mare The Neptunes Lady.

Purchasing the mare from the Sydney stables of Paul Fitzpatrick, Pascoe had trialled Ocean Lane at Albion Park in readiness for her first Queensland race start.

Doing it comfortably in that trial without being asked for any real effort, it was decided to send her to Redcliffe for her first race start for her new owner.

With Nathan Dawson booked to take the drive, Ocean Lane was well supported in the market off the back of her trial and despite starting from gate five, was sent to the post as an odds-on favourite.

Looking to make light work of the wide alley, Dawson sent the mare straight to the front, and controlling the race, entered the home stretch looking all over a winner.

With cousin Pete McMullen on the second-favourite Torque In Control, the pair had broken clear of the rest of the field to settle down for a battle to wire.

Ocean Lane began to shift up the track but fought hard to be first past the post and score a first-up victory for the Pascoe-owned and trained four-year-old.

However, after returning to scale, McMullen exercised his right to fire in a protest.

Unfortunately for Pascoe, the success would be short-lived.

After reviewing the replay and hearing submissions from both drivers, the stewards determined the interference was sufficient to have cost the chance of victory to Torque In Control.

The numbers were reversed and the joy across the finishing line was gone, with Ocean Lane officially placed second.

 

THE MILESTONE

Owner Ian Corrazol is no stranger to success, having secured feature race success over the years, most notably with his Group 1 Ladyship Mile winning mare Torque In Motion.

Aiming to become the first Ladyship Mile winner to leave a Ladyship Mile winner in the breeding barn, Corrazol’s mare Justalittle Torque has headed to Sydney looking to follow in her mother’s hoof steps.

While on Saturday night at Menangle it was not to be for Justalittle Torque in the Sibelia Stakes, she will have another chance to qualify for the Ladyship Mile this weekend via the Robin Dundee Stakes.

Back on the ‘home’ front however, it was a successful Thursday afternoon sojourn to Redcliffe for two fillies that share several characteristics.

Both Torque In Control and Typhoon Torque share the Torque moniker and are owned and bred by Ian Corrazol, trained by Chantal Turpin, were driven by Pete McMullen and are three-year-old daughters of Hurrikane Kingcole.

It was a unique moment for Torque In Control, who has been trying to break her maiden status since placing on debut as a two-year-old back on February 7, 2020.

Placed on nine occasions heading into her latest start - the 22nd of her career - it looked likely she would have to wait another day for the elusive win after being second across the line.

However, with her momentum impeded, a protest was fired in and was soon upheld, meaning that Torque In Control had broken her maiden status with a steward’s room victory.

The win was extra sweet, with the first win QBRED bonus also adding a nice cherry on top to the prizemoney.

Three races later and Typhoon Torque scored the first win of her three-year-old season when leading throughout.

A winner as a two-year-old back in August at Redcliffe, the victory secured the second win QBRED bonus for Corrazol.

Hot off the strong showing at Redcliffe, it could well be a milestone week for Corrazol, with Justalittle Torque a finalist in the Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year and the Filly or Mare of the Year categories at this Sunday’s awards evening.

His former Group 1-winning mare is also a nominee for the Broodmare of the Year award.

Victory would be music to the ears of Corrazol, a passionate breeder that has continued to build from his foundation mare Thelma Palms.

 

THE WILDCARD

With the New South Wales Carnival of Miracles heating up, Queensland was well represented across the weekend as trainers Vicki Rasmussen, Wayne Graham, Chantal Turpin, and Anna Woodmansey all headed to Menangle.

Chantal Turpin had the biggest representation of the Queensland trainers on Saturday night, and the only trainer to land a victory.

After breaking the four-year-old mares track record at Albion Park at her last start before heading south, Miss Ruby Sunshine was able to repeat her front running deeds.

With Pete McMullen opting to drive stablemate Saucy Dreams, David Morris picked up the drive aboard the Sunshine Beach mare and made the most of his opportunity.

Taking control from the start, Miss Ruby Sunshine was able to run a new career best mile of 1.52.1 in scoring a narrow victory.

Owned by a long-time stable client of the Turpin barn in Ross Patrick, there was cause for further elation later in the evening as Will The Wizard qualified for the Chariots of Fire when finishing fourth in the Paleface Adios Stakes.

Bred and owned by Patrick, the smart 4YO stuck to the pegs and was able to squeeze into the Group 1 to be held this Saturday, February 20.

While Will The Wizard was able to qualify, One Change was not as fortunate and missed his chance after finishing down the line.

Pelosi landed her ticket to the Group 1 Ladyship Mile when she was able to finish third in the Sibelia Stakes for trainer Anna Woodmansey.

QBRED performers also ran strongly across the weekend thanks to Expensive Ego and Tough Monarch.

Expensive Ego looks hard to beat in the Chariots after his slick win in the Paleface Adios Stakes where he stopped the clock effortlessly in a 1.50.1 mile.

Meanwhile Tough Monarch - the richest trotter bred in Queensland - added another Group 1 victory to his name at Melton on Saturday night when claiming the Knight Pistol.

 

THIS WEEK

It is another regular week in Queensland harness racing with five meetings set down for decision.

Redcliffe has a ten-race card set down for Wednesday night and will follow that with the afternoon meeting on Thursday.

Albion Park hosts a nine-race card on Tuesday and rounds out the racing week with the Friday afternoon meeting followed by the Saturday night metropolitan fixture.

The Friday meeting will see the first-round heats of the Jim McNeil Memorial series for the square gaiters.

Restricted to horses rated NR 50-70, the conditions are discretionary handicap with both rounds of heats over the 2,138-metre distance, while the final is at 2,647 metres.

After the two rounds of heats, the top point scorers will progress to the Final on Saturday March 6 where the Group 3 event will offer $25,770 in stakes. 

 

Darren Clayton

for Racing Queensland

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