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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 Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 07 May 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 07 May 2016

Queensland trotting filly Illdoitwhenimready has headed south. The Chantal Turpin trained three-year-old left for Sydney yesterday (Tuesday) in preparation for a raft of harness racing features over the coming weeks culminating in the Gr.1 $40,000 NSW Trotters Oaks at TABCORP Park, Menangle on May 21. Her campaign starts next week where she will contest the $10,000 Trotters Flying Mile at Menangle. And she heads south in-form following her excellent first-up victory at Albion Park on March 29 defeating older rivals in a time of 2:02.8 for 2138m. “The victory proved she deserved her chance with this campaign in Sydney so we decided to give it a shot, she’ll be based with Pete’s sister Narissa who trains on the track. Obviously, it’s going to be much harder but she’s only a three-year-old once and I think the benefits of this trip away will help her long term.” Turpin said. The Great Success – Countess Jolie filly has always shown natural ability and has built up an impressive record of two wins and two minor placings from just five career starts to date. With limited options in her home state, connections were faced with two options and decided to press on with the current campaign. “It was either send her back to the paddock or continue and give Sydney a go and we thought the racing campaign would be more beneficial. She won’t be overly raced during this stint in Sydney but we thought the time away would switch her on more mentally. “There’s not much of this filly as she’s lightly framed but she continues to develop and strengthen with each campaign. I know Pete (McMullen – driver) was really impressed with her effort last week and the time was her best to date as well. “The opposition will be very strong not only locally but I’m sure the Victorians and maybe even some Kiwi trotters might head to Sydney for some of these features coming up but the opportunity was there and we’re giving it a shot. I think racing and even training on the bigger track will be a great thing for her also.” Illdoitwhenimready was bred by Turpin and McMullen but is raced by Turpin’s brother Jake, a contracted NRL player with the Melbourne Storm. Jake is currently ruled out owing to a broken thumb sustained in an under-20’s game against the Cronulla Sharks two weeks ago. by Chris Barsby

Exciting Queensland pacer Mattgregor has returned to work today (Monday). Prepared by husband and wife combination of Pete McMullen and Chantal Turpin, the harness racing three-year-old has created a strong impression after being purchased from the leading New Zealand stables of Mark Jones late last year. But an injury setback to his offside front tendon at Christmas derailed plans to take him south of the border and therefore ruled him out of a host of features including the recent Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics which ultimately, have him been dominated by the Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen All-stars stablemates Lazarus (Melbourne) and Our Waikiki Beach (Sydney). “We ended up giving him eight weeks off straight away and hopefully we jumped on it quick enough before it became a major issue. It’s always touch and go when dealing with these matters but I think it was a blessing in disguise for him because he looks great and he’ll miss the worst of our summer and it’s been so hot over the past couple of weeks so as a kiwi, he’ll really appreciate that. Everything looks in order and I’m happy to have him back in work.” Turpin said. Importantly, the decision was made by his group of owners to make the Rob Roy Mattgregor – Miss Sunshine youngster two stone lighter during his time out. To date, Mattgregor has won three of his four starts to date and all three victories have been recorded in sub 1:54 mile rates at Albion Park. His most recent start on December 22 was a personal best effort when scorched the oval in a time of 1:53.4 defeating Brass Lantern and dual feature race winner Leos Best. Connections are now focused on their upcoming home state winter carnival features with the climax being the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Derby on July 16 at Albion Park. “That’s the ultimate aim with Bear (Mattgregor) – the Queensland Derby but hopefully we’ll be able to get a look at quite a few of the other features prior to the Derby all going to plan. Fingers crossed, Mark and Natalie might even bypass the Brisbane features this year. “Seriously, that stable is just amazing and they continue to set the standard for everybody in this part of the world, I know Pete and I are just awestruck by how they run and operate their stable and it only pushes us harder to obtain better results for our stable going forward. “The program for our guy will be quite meticulous given his setback but his workload won’t really change once he gains a solid foundation because we don’t see any point changing what worked for him before. He’s exciting, clearly the most exciting pacer in our stable but he’s still untapped and every challenge we set for him in his previous campaign, he conquered.” Mattgregor is raced by the trainer’s brother Jake, along with their mother Karen and loyal stable client in Denis Golinski. Jake, 19, is an up and coming NRL prospect with the Melbourne Storm and is hopeful of cracking it into the senior squad this season. by Chris Barsby

Exciting Queensland harness racing three-year-old Mattgregor has been temporarily grounded. The New Zealand bred flying machine was expected to make his maiden interstate sojourn this weekend in the G.3 $31,800 TABCORP Simpson Memorial at Menangle this Saturday night. But a slight mishap has forced a change of plans. Prepared by young couple of Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Mattgregor has created a strong impression winning three of his four starts to date. All three victories have been recorded in sub 1:54 at Albion Park. “He’s a colt and he’s very well within himself at the moment and he just got a little too excited the other day and caused a bit of mischief. It’s nothing too serious but enough for us to shelve his immediate plans.” McMullen said. The Sydney campaign has been earmarked for some time and everything was in check following his brilliant victory on December 22 in a career best time of 1:53.4. Connections were hoping the Simpson Memorial start would give them a clearer indication of what the season could provide following the stunning start to his career. “The Sydney trip will still take place but just not now obviously; all going well I think a shot at the NSW Derby is the long range ran plan but we’re realistic and ultimately we’ll let him tell us if he’s up to it or not. The current depth of three-year-olds is outstanding but at this point, he deserves an opportunity. “It’s unfortunate with what took place with him because we’ve been looking at this race for some time, we knew it would provide a perfect opportunity to see where he ranked with some of the other promising three-year-olds that will chase Derby classics this season. “We’re hoping this might be a little blessing in disguise and the time will only make him a little stronger and smarter, the speed is there and hopefully we can work on other areas of his game. He’s a nice horse in the making that will provide plenty of fun for his owners.” On a brighter note for the stable, a Sydney trip looks certain at some point this season because they have high hopes for their three-year-old trotting filly Illdoitwhenimready. The Great Success filly has shaped well in two starts to date including her last start victory at Albion Park on October 16. “The NSW Oaks is scheduled for May and we think she can measure up because we think a bit of her. We liked her from the start and she’s doing a very good job, her best asset is her speed and hopefully she will become a little stronger in time.” Illdoitwhenimready starts tomorrow (Tuesday) at Albion Park. by Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Tuesday 05 January 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Tuesday 05 January 2016

Emerging talent Mattgregor is set to follow a similar path as his owner. The New Zealand bred three-year-old colt is co-owned by talented NRL prospect Jake Turpin, a contracted player with the Melbourne Storm. Turpin, 19, shares ownership with his mother Karen and long-time stable client Denis Golinski after purchasing the unraced pacer from the leading stables of Christchurch based horseman Mark Jones earlier this year. The similarities between owner and horse are eerily alike. Both are loaded with enormous potential and great skill while both are hoping to crack it at a higher level. Turpin has been part of the Melbourne Storm system since catching the eye of talent scouts at the Queensland Under-15 Schoolboys side a few years ago. The talented utility spent his first season as a Thunderbolt playing halfback in 2014 and earned selection in Queensland's U18 side at hooker and has trained with the NRL squad during pre-season for the second straight year. With future immortals Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk standing in his way, Turpin is happy to ply his craft and learn from the best. Turpin is midway through another gruelling pre-Christmas Storm training camp but keeps in regular contact with his sister Chantal, the official trainer of Mattgregor. “It’s tough going at the moment but it’s an amazing opportunity to train with the likes of our first grade squad, it’s all about building for a big season next year. Hopefully it will be the same with this colt, he looks like he’s got some ability and hopefully he continues to step up to the mark for Chantal and Pete (McMullen – driver)” Turpin said. Boasting two wins from three starts to date, Mattgregor has looked overloaded with speed because both victories have come in sub 1:54 mile rates at Albion Park before heading for a brief freshen-up while connections consider their options. The Rob Roy Mattgregor – Miss Sunshine colt resumed at the trials today (Tuesday) at Albion Park and scored a come from behind victory in 1:58.7 while covering his final half in 57.3 seconds. “We all know he’s got ability but it’s all about harnessing that potential and going to a higher level and like most owners, we’re hoping he can measure up to Derby standard and chase some of the better races available this season. “He’s still a colt but it has been mentioned about gelding him but they can make that decision if it needs to be made, they’re the experts in that regard. I know they’re still teaching him plenty and hopefully he will put it all together in time to come. “At this stage I think we’re heading to Sydney next month for the Simpson Memorial and that will be his measuring stick to see whether we have a really nice horse or just a nice horse on our hands. If he performs well, we can look at other features otherwise he can head back home and look at races at Albion Park.” Hopefully it can be a breakthrough season for both owner and his horse. by Chris Barsby

Young Queenslander Hayden Barnes is enjoying a breakout harness racing season. The promising horseman is racking up his best numbers to date, driving with skill and poise while making the most of his opportunities come raceday. In only his third season of race driving, Barnes has booted home 46 winners to date this season which includes victories in the recent Girls On Track Final at Albion Park behind Benazir Bhutto plus his triumph on foreign soil when successful aboard Millie Sampson at Alexandra Park, Auckland during the Australasian Young Guns Challenge last November. Barnes is currently ranked equal fourth on the concession driver’s premiership table behind outstanding talent Narissa McMullen who has driven 69 winners to date. This season, Barnes has taken 253 drives for 46 wins and 58 minor placings. On Saturday night, Barnes has been presented with a wonderful opportunity when he will partner in-form pacer Bettor Draw. The Bettors Delight gelding equaled the Albion Park 2138m track record with his stunning 1;54.0 victory after racing without cover on March 31. Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova is the co-owner of the track record. “It’s a great thrill to be driving a horse like Bettor Draw, he’s clearly the best horse that I’ve driven to date and I’m thrilled that Narissa (McMullen – trainer) has put the faith in me.” Barnes said. Bettor Draw must overcome a second-line draw in the Fiery Tan Pace over the 1660m while in-form rivals Medal Of Honour, Mista Mara, The King Of Swing and Livinthehighlife have all drawn the front-line. Since being transferred to the care of McMullen, the seven-year-old gelding hasn’t missed a beat with placings in 9 of his 10 starts including a career best performance at Menangle in 1;51.9 three starts ago. “I think he looks well placed in this field and hopefully we can push forward and get fairly close to the action early, his form at the sprint trip reads very strong. “His winning effort last start was just unbelievable, he was a monster and I’m really looking forward to the challenge this weekend.” Barnes is also listed to drive Skippy Saddler (Race 1), Western Union (Race 3) and his own runner Donegal Under Fire (Race 5). He has trained 4 winners from 42 starters to date with his first winner coming with Alberts Flight last year while the other three winners all coming from Donegal Under Fire. Barnes is currently employed by Chantal Turpin after spending his early days with Darrel Graham. In fact, his first driving success came aboard the Graham trained Palazzo Las Vegas at Marburg on June 1, 2013. After 449 drives, Barnes has 69 lifetime wins while being placed on another 100 occasions. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 11 April 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 11 April 2015

Tuesday saw the Queensland Young Guns travel to Sydney for the New South Wales leg of harness racings State of Origin Young Drivers Championship. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. The group consists of 10 young trotting participants who were selected to engage in a range of programs aimed at educating the group to further their knowledge, not only in the sport but in business, presentation and media. The Young Guns selected for the initial group training are Pete McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Hayden Barnes, Amy Rees, Ryan Veivers, Narissa McMullen, Dannielle McMullen, Brittney Graham, Trent Moffat and Isobel Ross. With early starts not being a problem for this group, they gathered in the wee hours at Brisbane Airport ready to jet off to Sydney for a day full of programmed activities. Looking extremely smart in their team uniform, the professional look the team displayed was a credit to all. Arriving in Sydney, first stop following a trek over the Harbour Bridge was the Frenchs Forest studios of SKY Channel. The group were given a tour of the studios and were able to meet and question some of the SKY ‘stable of stars’. Narissa and Trent were then interviewed for a segment of In The Gig that aired on Tuesday night. Venturing from the North-East back to the South-West, it was all aboard the express to Menangle. Of the 10 Young Guns, 5 were selected in Queensland’s starting lineup with 1 on the ‘bench’. Unfortunately for Pete McMullen, he met the wrath of stewards at Albion Park on Saturday night, meaning Brittany Graham was called into the starting lineup. Brittany joined the other starters, Narissa McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffat and Amy Rees to provide the Queensland team with a strong advantage in experience. The Queenslanders boasted a combined total of 739 career wins with Narissa and Chantal both having over 300 wins a piece going into the Series opener. Taking to the track in the New South Wales lineup were Kasey Hocking, Chris Geary, Kylie Barnes, Cameron Jones and Todd Prest with a combined total of 128 wins. The total lifetime winners counted for little once the on track action started, especially considering that only Chantal and Narissa had previously driven at the famed Menangle circuit. Kylie Barnes, the most experienced of the Sky Blue Brigade put on a clinic in the first 2 races to show the Maroons that the Blues would not be easy-beats on their own dirt. In cold, wet and windy conditions the first race saw two scratchings, leaving both teams one runner short with Trent Moffat and Todd Prest left to cheer from the stands. In a great finish where only 5 metres separated the field, Kylie Barnes came with a well-timed run aboard Miss Artistic Tara to score majority points over Cameron Jones. Narissa McMullen was Queensland’s first finisher, coming in third position. Heat Two saw victory once again go to the Blues and once again it was Kylie Barnes to the fore. As the field turned for home, Barnes driving the race favourite El Chango, loomed up to the leader Eagles Ace and looked to run right on by. However, Narissa McMullen driving Eagles Ace fought back, as did Bazzas Art for Chantal Turpin. As the trio drove down to the wire, El Chango packed too many guns and scored a gutsy victory for his cartel of owners. Turpin finished second with Narissa third. It was left until the last Heat for Queensland to restore some pride and Trent Moffat provided the right tonic aboard Fellas R Trouble. Leading off the barrier, “The Moff” gave no others a look in with a very controlled drive to take the field all the way in a barrier to box performance. Brittany Graham making the most of her call up to the starting lineup ran into second place with the outsider of the field Major Command to provide the quinella to Queensland. Chris Geary finished third to avoid a Queensland trifecta. The series now moves to Albion Park for the deciding three Heats on Friday and early indications see it going down to the wire, despite New South Wales holding a 17 point lead. TrotTips Michael Polster’s form assessment sees two of those heats going to Queensland. Racing Queensland  

There will be no love lost between Queensland's top young harness racing drivers and their New South Wales counterparts when they go head to head in the inaugural Young Drivers State of Origin Series later this month. The Queensland team of Peter McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffatt, Narissa McMullen and Amy Rees will travel to Menangle for the series opener on August 26 before returning to their home turf at Albion Park on August 29. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams. "To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now," Mr Condon said. "Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver's confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future. "Harness Racing certainly has a high rate of younger participants in Queensland and we are proud to able to give the Young Guns this opportunity and be part of such a great initiative." The New South Wales team consists of Cameron Jones, Chris Geary, Kasey Hocking, Kylie Barnes and Todd Prest. Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said providing opportunities like this for the young participants in his state is vital for the future of the sport. "We are all acutely aware of the need to nurture the next generation of trainers and drivers, "Mr Nati said. "Giving them the opportunity to participate in showcase events such as this not only provides a great incentive, but just as importantly, valuable learning opportunities. "Additionally it's very satisfying to achieve an outcome with another state controlling body which is mutually beneficial to our respective longer term objectives." Racing Queensland and Harness Racing NSW have confirmed a boost to the prize pool for the six races with each worth $10,000. New South Wales will launch the series with three races scheduled on Tuesday 26 August at Menangle, with the Queensland final scheduled for Friday 29 August at Albion Park. For further information please contact: Queensland Lucy McIntosh (Brand Manager - Harness, Racing Queensland) 0457 743 908 New South Wales Sam Nati (CEO - Harness Racing NSW) 02 9722 6600                  

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)

Rookie harness racing trainer Chantal Turpin is just hoping for some luck. Turpin will have two representatives in tomorrow night's Gr.2 $50,000 Parklands Premiers Cup Final at the Gold Coast after qualifying both Compton Street and Im Young Tommy for the 2609m stand start feature.

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