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Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD Coming out of a week of torrential rain in the Tamborine region, Easter has proven to be the ideal tonic for the Dixon stable. Kicking off one win behind in the State title, 10 wins for the week and a lean week for the Butler stable has seen the Black & White Army charge back into the premier position. The week was headlined by trebles at three meetings and multiple wins to loyal stable clients. Landing a treble on Tuesday at The Creek, the day started with success when two-year-old Leap To Fame franked his effort in the Changeover Classic with an all-the-way win. The other two legs of the Tuesday treble were recorded with the former Kiwi in Chevron We Trust who was second-up in Queensland, and the speedy mare Nimah Franco. It was a successful week for owners Greg and Sharon Mitchell, with their GSM Racing scoring four victories across the week - including a Tuesday double - all trained by Grant Dixon. Wednesday night saw the stable land another treble, with one win each for the Dixon’s three biggest clients - Solid Earth, GSM Racing and Dr John Mammino. One Off started the night when scoring a gritty win for GSM Racing, driven by Chloe Butler to an eight-metre success. Signor Jujon came next, the Dr Mammino-owned four-year-old overcoming the outside of the front line to score a deserved win after finishing as the runner-up at his past four in succession. The third and final triumph came via three-year-old Captains Pick, a Captaintreacherous gelding for the Seymour-managed Solid Earth. Sir Jujon was the lone winner for the stable at Redcliffe on Thursday, with owner Dr Mammino continuing his great run of recent times with the four-year-old scoring his seventh career win. The winning week for the Dixon stable was rounded out with a metropolitan treble at The Creek on Saturday night. Stompem was the first winner for the night, with the GSM Racing-owned seven-year-old powering home late to claim the veteran’s race and break a winless streak in claiming his first win of the season. Four-year-old mare Fond Memories was returning from a spell in the mare’s qualifier when overcoming gate seven to score a strong victory and pass $100,000 in stakes earnings for owners Solid Earth. Completing the perfect ten for the week - in race ten - was the trotter Musculus. Owned by Arbit Each Wa and managed by Dixon’s Tamborine neighbour Jeroen Nieuwenburg, Musculus charged home in the closing stages for a stylish victory.   THE BAD Heading into Sunday night’s race meeting at Redcliffe, young driver Zac Chappenden was sitting precariously on 99 career race wins. Win number 99 had arrived on Wednesday night at Redcliffe with Risky Buziness when claiming a passing lane victory. With only one other race drive that night, the triple figure milestone would be on-hold. Just like a cricketer in the nervous 90s, the triple figure result seemed an elusive target to wrangle. With six drives at Redcliffe on Thursday, four at Albion Park on Friday and another three at headquarters on Saturday, it seemed to be getting out of reach. After three luckless attempts at Redcliffe on Sunday night for the breakthrough, Chappenden was able to steer Beyond A Shadow first past the post in race six. Finally, the ton was up. Or was it? Following an incident at about the 250-metre point that had checked Rayong Princess who had tried to take a run as Beyond A Shadow drifted up the track, a protest was lodged against the winner. Stewards concurred that Rayong Princess had suffered interference that would have cost her winning the race and the numbers were amended. Stuck on 99 race wins, Chappenden was denied the 100 and to rub some salt into the wound, was issued a suspension for his part in causing the interference.   THE MILESTONE The elusive 100-race win milestone may have been denied in race six, however young reinsman Zac Chappenden was able to dust off the disappointment to re-scale the heights of success just two races later. Almost exactly two years to the day following his first race drive, Chappenden chalked up his 100th race win when successful aboard the Lacey Hinze-trained Risky Buziness. Having his first race start on April 10, 2019 aboard Aroona when finishing third, fast forward to April 11, 2021, Zac was able to reach triple figures with an all-the way victory. The win ensured Zac was maintained a perfect 100% winning strike-rate aboard Risky Buziness, with two wins from two starts aboard the gelding. With a steady opening season in the sulky, season 19/20 was the breakout season for Chappenden, reaching several highlights for the term. That included victory in the 2020 BOTRA Young Drivers Championship at just his first attempt, where he scored a decisive 20-point victory in the Series. That Series also signalled the first Saturday night success at Albion Park for Chappenden when steering Sam Is Perfection to victory. Another highlight was his maiden Group 1 race drive when taking the reins behind Jaziah in the QBRED Triad Final for two-year-old fillies - finishing a game 3rd behind Jasper after a tough run. It has been a solid start to the current season for Zac, with his latest victory taking his tally to 29 winners. That has him in third place in the Concession Drivers Title and ninth in the open State Drivers Title. As the opportunities continue to expand for the young reinsman, more milestones will be on the horizon as Zac continues to forge his own path as a harness racing driver.   THE WILDCARD The 2021 yearling sales may have been completed in Queensland, but the last big yearling sale for the season was conducted in Victoria across the weekend. The inaugural Nutrien Standardbred Yearling Sale held at Melbourne’s Oaklands Junction saw 294 lots catalogued with 269 offered for sale. After returning to the training ranks in mid-2020, Shannon Price was active at the sale under the banner of Raboki. Purchasing three lots from the sale, Raboki purchased two pacing colts and a trotting colt. A sum of $100,000 was required to take home lot 88, a Captaintreacherous colt out of the Group 1-winning mare Musical Delight. A 100% producer at stud, her second foal - Beach Music - placed third in the NSW Oaks back in February. The other pacing colt secured by Raboki was by American Ideal out of the six-time winner Flying Mcpocket with $46,000 the winning bid. Picking up the only Dreamcatcher trotting colt in the sale, $10,000 was the required bid to secure the first foal of the dam Bigonluck. While the Raboki team have not had many starters step out thus far in season 2021, they continue to build strongly for the future.   THIS WEEK Following on from the six race meetings held last week, five TAB meetings will be complemented with show racing this coming week. Albion Park will host meetings on Tuesday and Friday afternoons alongside the Saturday night metropolitan fixture. Redcliffe will race in the Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon timeslots, with the Wednesday meeting a strong ten-race card. Show racing will also be a highlight with the Toowoomba Show on Friday and Saturday. Friday will see the heats and Final of the Glenvale Cup, and Saturday hosting the heats and Final of the Toowoomba Cup, with another opportunity to progress to the Showcase Finals at Redcliffe in June. At The Creek, Tuesday will see heats of the Australian Pacing Gold for the three-year-old colts and geldings as well as for the fillies. There are two heats for the boys and one for the girls, and for the eventual winner, a spot in the $350,000 National Final at Melton on May 29 awaits. Those that do not progress to the big Final can still chase the riches locally, with a $50,000 mixed sex consolation to be held at Albion Park on the same night. Saturday night will be the first of the Ultimate Tools sponsored two-year-old events for the season. Popular last season for the juveniles, Ultimate Tools will provide a rug and trophy to the winning connections and $250 to the winning trainer and driver. Winning trainers also receive a $500 voucher.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD The Marburg Club, run by a dedicated group of volunteers, have put another successful Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series into the history books following the running of the Final on Sunday. A race series that has gone from strength to strength, the dedication of all the committee and volunteers along with race sponsor and Marburg Pacing Association President Craig Whiteoak cannot be underestimated. First held in 2018, the fourth running of the series in 2021 saw arguably the strongest line-up of heats since the MPA dared to dream and held their first ever TAB-covered meeting. Modelled off the hugely popular Rocklea Pot of Gold, Whiteoak, through his company Oakwood Capital, have been the major backer of the Goldstrike since its inception. Heats are held with all horses starting from the front mark handicap before reverting to a set handicap dependent on their National Rating if progressing through to the Final. Monday, March 29 saw the four heats held, where the winners were Coppice, Its Mr Clooney, King Of Trumps and Gleneagle Warrior - the latter the most impressive of those saluting. On the track, the nine-race card attracted quality entries and the even and competitive racing was backed up by the wagering, with just one odds-on favourite for the day. Despite starting from the 20-metre impost for the Final, Gleneagle Warrior was too strong, backing up his heat victory with a near one-and-a-half-metre margin over Coppice. With nine races decided on Final day - Easter Sunday - the Marburg Club have always pitched the day as a Family Fun Day and this year’s event was no exception.   THE BAD The weather in South-East Queensland has not been the kindest in recent weeks and combined with uncertainty of COVID-19 lockdown impacts, it looked set to scuttle the hard work of the Marburg Pacing Association on Easter Sunday. With lockdown restrictions eased, heavy overnight rain on Saturday night and the forecast of further storm activity looked set to throw the Easter Sunday Eggstravaganza into disarray. However, there was a reprieve, and the racing was able to proceed with the off-track activities all going ahead except for the jumping castle and the giant slide. The weather Gods may not have had the biggest of smiles for the Marburg area, but that did not stop a healthy crowd turning up for the best bush atmosphere within an hour of Brisbane. Despite the inclement weather, there was still left plenty to see away from the main attraction of the horses. The dodgem cars proved a hit with young and old, and Jess Finocchio was the winner of the Fashions on the Field sponsored by Elly Rae Fashions. Plans for many of the mini-trotting community were also cast awry, with many competitors unable to attend the New South Wales Championships to be held at Tamworth. Again, the Marburg club stepped up, offering extra mini-trot races at short notice with six races held on the day. Full credit must also be bestowed upon track curator John Ballin who had the surface in pristine condition across both days of racing. Not only were some fast times recorded, including a new track record at Monday’s meeting, the surface played fair and was in great order despite the weather for Sunday’s meeting.   THE MILESTONE Multiple wins, maiden breaking wins and first Queensland wins were the order of the day at Marburg. Shane Graham stole the show driving a treble - his first ever at Marburg - including victory in the main race behind Gleneagle Warrior. The day started with a Graham win aboard the Mal Charlton-trained trotter Illawong Buzz, a horse that has proved to be a real handful in his career to date. Charlton is the sixth trainer to try his hand with the six-year-old, while Graham is the 11th driver to take the reins aboard the enigmatic gelding. Stepping out for his 23rd career start, a career that has been plagued by continual issues with his gait and manners, the son of Yankee Spider finally put it all together. Sent straight to the front, he was flawless and the winning margin of over 26-metres perhaps gives an insight into the frustrations that have come along the way. Gleneagle Warrior, trained by Vicki Rasmussen, was the second leg of the double for Graham, overcoming some traffic at the start and then being forced wider to avoid trouble at the 500-metre mark to claim the Goldstrike Final. The final leg of the double was with Golightly, again for Vicki Rasmussen, claiming the last race of the day with an impressive nine-metre victory. Taleah McMullen claimed a driving double with Melton Lucky for trainer and father John McMullen. The second winner was with a newcomer to Queensland - Barkway Arnold- trained by herself. The win of Barkway Arnold came at his first start since joining Taleah’s stable, the 10-time winner arriving from the New South Wales stable of Nathan Hoy. The husband-and-wife team of Ryan and Danielle Veivers rounded out the multiple wins, combining for wins with Makinmefeelgood and Artistic Saint. It was the second win at Marburg in two starts for Makinmefeelgood, the gelding also claiming victory at Monday’s fixture.   THE WILDCARD Gleneagle Warrior swept the Goldstrike series after wins in the heat and final, with each win coming in vastly different style. Stepping cleanly to lead Monday’s heat, driver Shane Graham had the four-year-old rolling in front and never looked in danger in claiming a near six-metre victory. The win set a new track record for the Marburg 2200-metre stand start, setting the benchmark at 2.00.4, rounded out by a sizzling closing 800-metre split. Running his third quarter in 27.4 seconds, the gelding closed out in 28.4 seconds, the 55.8 seconds last 800 metres the fastest ever seen at the Marburg track. His win in the Final came from the 20-metre handicap where he was forced to dodge some early traffic before then being made to evade a breaking runner in the final lap. Charging home wide off the track, Gleneagle Warrior arrived to claim a strong victory. A son of Shadyshark Hanover, Gleneagle Warrior is a graduate of the Redcliffe Yearling Sales, finishing runner-up in last season’s three-year-old Final behind Governor Jujon. A Group 1-winning trainer in his native New Zealand, Harris purchased Gleneagle Warrior for just $3,500 at the 2018 Redcliffe Sales, with the gelding now closing in on $50,000 in stakes following his Goldstrike victory. Harris was again active at last week’s Redcliffe Sales, going to $9,500 for a Changeover colt prepared and consigned by Burwood Stud. The colt is the last foal of Emma Montana, a five-time winner herself on the track. While Harris is an accomplished trainer in his own right, he has entrusted Vicki Rasmussen with his current star pupil on various occasions - a move that has proven successful. From 11 starts, Gleneagle Warrior has won six races for Rasmussen - the past three in succession -since re-joining her stables for his latest preparation.   THIS WEEK Following the changes over the past week due to the Easter scheduling, this week will see Friday racing return. In total, there will be six meetings held in Queensland for the week with Albion Park and Redcliffe each hosting three meetings. Tuesday afternoon, The Creek will hold one of the strongest meetings held mid-week for some time with the nine-race card full of talent and races that look even. The two-year-old event looks an intriguing contest with some eye-catchers out of the recent Changeover Classic engaged along with some that bring some smart trial form. That will complement the Friday night meeting and the Saturday metropolitan fixture on Saturday. Redcliffe has 10 races on the schedule for both their Wednesday and Thursday fixtures. The meeting originally programmed for Monday at The Triangle has been transferred to Sunday April 11, with all races carrying the QBRED cash bonus. Nominations and acceptances for the Sunday meeting close this Wednesday, April 7.   by Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Jack Butler’s great start to the 2021 season took another step on Saturday night when claiming the first two-year-old feature for the year. The Changeover Classic was run and won in impressive fashion by the first starter, Dangerzone, a homebred gelding owned by Butler’s wife Tara and long-time client and friend Tim Malloy. Dangerzone is out of the former handy race mare Sheza Machstar, with that mare also trained by Butler when based in Bathurst. Sheza Machstar was no stranger to Albion Park however - being a QBRED - campaigning at two and three in Queensland when chasing Triad success. By Mach Three, Sheza Machstar retired a three-time winner at Albion Park and finished second in the 2009 Two-Year-Old Fillies Triad Final when narrowly beaten by Abbey Tiara. With a sharp trial in preparation for his first appearance at the races, Dangerzone was allowed plenty of time to settle from gate six, easing from the start to secure position. With the odds-on favourite I Am Sparta forced to work hard in the run as Gotta Go Milking speared out form gate seven to lead, Dangerzone had managed to find a great spot one out and one back. Running down the back straight, driver Brendan Barnes made his move, taking Dangerzone three-wide as I Am Sparta started to feel the pinch at the 400-metre mark. By the time the field had swung into the home stretch, Barnes had sent the gelding to the front and thereafter cruised home to claim an impressive victory with a winning margin of over 17 metres. Leap To Fame snuck through the centre to grab second, while Arnold Street - who was hampered by a tiring leader - was able to arrive for third place. Dangerzone was able to record a winning mile-rate of 1.56.1 in claiming the win. QBRED eligible, the son of Gotta Go Cullect also landed connections the QBRED first win bonus with the $12,000 added on top of the $12,700 winner’s prizemoney. The Breeders Classic and Triad are the obvious targets with Dangerzone, a gelding that looks set to have a bright future off the back of his impressive debut performance.   THE BAD Huge rainfalls along the eastern seaboard were the order of the last week, and Queensland was squarely in the firing line of the big wet. Numerous trainers have reported damage to their training tracks and stabling resulting from rising floodwaters throughout the south-east. Last Tuesday saw the rain have the most impact, with numerous scratchings from trainers and drivers becoming isolated in some areas. Amazingly, despite the sheer level of rainfall, there was not a single harness race meeting lost in the past week as a result of the devastating rain. Track staff at Albion Park and Redcliffe were kept busy through the week with preparing the racing surface, and to their credit, were able to produce tracks that held up to the rain and raced fairly throughout the week. In all, Albion Park was able to complete 24 races across their three meetings, along with 16 at Redcliffe across Wednesday and Thursday. Redcliffe still produced a sharp 1.56.5 mile-rate to Scarlet Babe, a time that was just two-tenths outside the mare’s track record. At Albion Park, there were a pair of pacers that were able to break 1.54.0 for the mile, with the wins occurring on Tuesday and Saturday, proving the consistency of the track’s performance. Both sizzling winners claimed new PB wins; The Harvey Bay ran a 1.53.4 mile when successful in the last race on Tuesday, while Our Madiba ran 1.53.2 when taking the second race on Saturday night. A tremendous effort all round to get through one of the wettest weeks on record without the loss of a single race.   THE MILESTONE Despite training a team of pacers and usually engaging another driver, trainer Greg Elkins has always taken the occasional drive when the need arises. This season, it has been the enigmatic Tearaway Diamond that Elkins has opted to partner regularly after the gelding started to have tractability issues midway through last season. The partnership has been ticking over nicely and on Friday, Tearaway Diamond was able to score a strong win when leading throughout over the Albion Park mile. Sent forward in the early stages from gate five, Elkins was content to press the issue and soon worked to the front. Dictating the pace, Tearaway Diamond was never in danger and went on to claim victory by over six metres, making it successive wins following his win earlier in the week at the Monday fixture. The win was the fourth success this season for the gelded son of Western Terror, with Greg in the sulky for all four victories. Since moving into the driver’s seat, the pair have developed quite the combination, with 18 starts together returning four wins and eight placings. The win broke new ground for Elkins, surpassing his total from the previous two seasons combined where he had driven a total of three winners. Developing a strong combination with owners Peter and Lesley Medhurst, Elkins has been able to put the polish on over 150 winners for the South Australian-based couple. With the top strike-rate from driving Tearaway Diamond, Greg Elkins might be tempted to take up a more permanent position as stable driver.   THE WILDCARD It was a bittersweet week for Jeroen Nieuwenberg. The week started with the huge rain event, with the volume of rainfall resulting in the training track at Nieuwenberg’s Tamborine property suffering immense damage. It was however able to end on a much brighter note - landing a two-state double as an owner thanks to wins with the trotters Great Fantasy and Arnold. Great Fantasy was the first to salute, with the newly arrived Kiwi import remaining undefeated after two starts in Queensland. Trained by Nathan Dawson, the seven-year-old son of Great Success backed up his win from the mobile with a win from the tapes under standing start conditions on Friday. Stepping cleanly to go straight to the front, Dawson never looked in danger despite a late dive from the runner-up Aladdin Sane to get within a metre of the winner. It was another seven-year-old gelding to help complete the double when the enigmatic Arnold was able to score at Menangle, with Luke McCarthy taking the winning drive. Arnold was a winner of the Group 2 Trotters Sprint at Albion Park back on December 12, however since that win, not everything has gone to plan. Finishing second in two runs and unplaced in two runs since the Group 2 victory, Arnold bounced back to wining form with the all-the-way triumph. Passionate about the square gaited standardbred, to end the week with the double would certainly help ease some of the frustration of seeing the track washed away for Jeroen.   THIS WEEK With Easter this coming weekend, the racing calendar in Queensland is a little different this coming week. There will still be six meetings held from Monday to Sunday, but with no racing to take place on Good Friday. Redcliffe will host their regular Wednesday and Thursday fixtures, while Albion Park will have just the two meetings for the week - Tuesday afternoon and Saturday night’s metropolitan card. Marburg steps up this week to host two meetings that will be headlined by their Easter Sunday eggstravaganza, where the Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Final will be decided. Four heats for the standing start feature will be held on their Monday afternoon programme with the series once again being well supported by trainers and owners. The four heats look evenly matched with several new arrivals in Queensland stepping out for the first time as connections look to strike gold. Sunday’s meeting at Marburg is being promoted as an Easter Sunday Funday and their will be plenty of off-track activities to complement the on-track action. Stakeholders should remember to check altered nomination and acceptance deadlines - for both races and trials - for this week and next week owing to the Easter Break.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD The trotting gait in Queensland continues to go from strength to strength. However, the square gaiter may not even be in existence in Queensland were it not for the foresight and generosity of one man - Jim McNeil. The deeds of McNeil are remembered annually with the Group 3 Jim McNeil Memorial Trotting Championship and the latest edition of that series concluded on Saturday night with the victory of Unknown Son. Trained by Graham Dwyer and driven to victory by Pete McMullen, Dwyer became the 10th trainer to win the McNeil Final at its 11th running. Doug Lee is the only trainer to win the race twice, while Gary Whitaker is the only driver to have claimed success in the Final on two occasions. Following two rounds of heats, Unknown Son entered the Final with a win and a second placing, and had the support of the punters, sent to the post as the $3.60 favourite. The other 13 runners were left chasing all the way, as Unknown Son and McMullen controlled the tempo to score. Holding a two-and-a-half-metre winning margin over the Grant Dixon trained and driven Aladdin Sane, there was a further 12-metres back to third placed Van Sank for Adam Sanderson for trainer Shannon Price. It has been a whirlwind ride to this point with the four-year-old Unknown Son taking his record to four wins from just nine starts with his McNeil success. The victory was a breakthrough moment for Dwyer and his family that run Kingslodge, landing their first Group victory. Saturday night’s Jim McNeil victory was also the first time that the red Kingslodge branded racing silks had been worn in a race. After their most successful season by winners last term, Dwyer and the Kingslodge team have continued the successful run, guiding home 16 winners after two months of the season to be firmly entrenched in the top 10 trainers in the state.   THE BAD Despite the impressive victory, it was not all smooth sailing for Unknown Son, the gelding providing connections with some extremely anxious moments as the field was waiting to be released. Fractious behind the tapes, Unknown Son reared high and as he came down, he landed and struck Spiders Devil standing next to him on the front-line tape. That led to a brief delay as a vet inspection passed Spiders Devil of any injury, before Unknown Son continued to be fractious and was keen to get the race underway. Again rearing, this time the four-year-old lost his balance and fell to the track and all the hard-work to get the gelding to this point was teetering on the edge. Luckily, he was able to get straight to his feet and after vet Mark McGarry ran a careful eye over the gelding, he was passed fit to start, but was repositioned to the outside of the front line. After all the early drama, Unknown Son would possibly have been forgiven if making an early error, yet he was safely into stride. With the capacity field quickly settling into order, McMullen sent Unknown Son forward and after 600 metres had assumed control of the race in front, a position he would maintain throughout. Unknown Son joins Its Three By Two as the only winners of the Series to come from the front-line tape, with the other nine winners having all come from a handicap. The win was made even sweeter, with Unknown Son bred by Marty with close friend Denis Grieve. Grieve and Dwyer bred the well-named Unknown Son from a mare they raced in partnership - Im Anonymiss - with that mare winning one race at Albion Park and contested the 2015 Jim McNeil Final, finishing in eighth position when prepared by Dwyer. Unknown Son is the first and only foal to date from the mare Im Anonymiss and is by the champion sire Majestic Son, a stallion that has really made his mark in the Southern Hemisphere. Ever the pragmatist, ask Graham what could add to the racing arsenal of Unknown Son and the answer comes back quickly - “it would be good if he was a QBRED.”   THE MILESTONE Taleah McMullen closed out Saturday’s race meeting with a milestone moment when scoring victory in the final two races on the card. Taking the reins aboard Red Castleton - trained by her partner Trent Lethaby and owned by the pair - the eight-year-old was able to score a smart win in the Trotters Marathon. The win was a mix of firsts all round, with the Group 3 win providing McMullen and Lethaby with their first Group success as owners, as a trainer and as a driver. Beginning safely from the 10-metre handicap, Red Castleton was sent forward and after 700 metres had worked to the front before releasing to Gee Up Neddy following the completion of one lap. The moves continued to come and soon Red Castleton was buried three back along the inside. Knowing the speed the gelding possesses, McMullen was content to bide her time, and with a saloon passage presenting along the inside, sprinted clear to score. Red Castleton has been super consistent since arriving from New Zealand, with the eight-year-old racking up two wins and three minors in seven outings. One race later and Taleah was back for more success, this time with a pacer she owns and trains. Gosling In Flight made great use of an easy run in behind the speed to sprint clear in the stretch to claim the Marburg to Albion Final. Since taking on the gelding back in September, Taleah has placed him expertly, claiming nine victories and five minors in 20 starts and still with a rating of just 58. The double also added more funds to the Team Teal initiative, with McMullen proving she has been a worthy ambassador in 2021. In a super start to the season and the year, Taleah is currently third in the State Drivers Premiership and the leading female driver in the state with 27 wins to date.   THE WILDCARD The Jack Butler stable is riding the crest of a wave at present, leading the Queensland Trainer Premiership two months into the season. Butler has put the polish on 31 winners for the season to date, to sit second overall on the National Premiership. Only Tasmania’s Ben Yole has trained more winners in the season - currently with 48 - however Butler’s winners have come from just 160 starters. In Queensland, Butler holds an 8-win buffer over Grant Dixon in second and sits 11 wins clear of third placed Chantal Turpin. With the retirement of Hectorjayjay at the end of last season, Rock With Sam is now the best credentialed pacer in the barn and the seven-year-old was successful in the opening race on Saturday. Pressing forward, he was never headed once in control to claim career victory number 21, with 19 of those coming at The Creek. On Friday, Franco Hampton remained undefeated for the stable when scoring from the front to make it three wins since joining forced with Butler. The winning rate of 1.52.4 equalled his win from the previous week, while on Tuesday Casino Tommy was in beast mode when successful. Recently re-joining Butler after being claimed by a former owner, Casino Tommy sat parked over the mile and flexed his muscle in a monster crush. Putting At West Point away, the eight-year-old was brutal in pacing the mile in 1.51.8, to make it 3 wins in his past 4 starts.    THIS WEEK There will be six race meetings this week in Queensland with Redcliffe and Albion Park each playing host to three meetings. The Creek will be the venue for the regular Tuesday and Friday afternoon meetings to coincide with the metropolitan fixture on Saturday night. Redcliffe will have an extra meeting this week, with the regular Wednesday and Thursday cards complemented with racing at The Triangle on Sunday night. After six weeks, the Team Teal promotion will also wrap up this week, with the last meeting for the fundraising initiative held on Saturday. A female driver invitation race will be held in recognition of the great work of the past six weeks, with the Team Teal Invitation Pace over the mile offering $14,060 and a penalty exemption to the winner.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD The long trip home to Warwick on the Southern Downs would have been a little more bearable for trainer Dayl March on Saturday night following the success of Clintal Do. Stepping out under race conditions for the 100th time, the seven-year-old raised the bat in style when swooping over the top of his rivals for a deserved victory. Charging home in his races in recent weeks, the gelding had placed in six of his previous seven starts, as he continued to knock at victory’s door. Landing gate seven on Saturday was not ideal, yet the race worked out exactly as it looked on paper, with a strong early and mid-race tempo working in favour of Clintal Do. Angled to the outside by driver Adam Sanderson, the gelding charged home to score in impressive fashion, again running some slick closing sectionals with the victory. The win also ended a frustrating drought for connections. Considering the strong record throughout his career that shows 27 wins and 31 placings, amazingly 12 months had ticked over since his previous victory. That win came on February 22, 2020 - when scoring in an open event - with a further 24 starts between wins, placing in 12 of those outings. Victory also ensured the gelding maintained his record of a victory in every season he has raced since his two-year-old days. It has been a successful career that includes victory in the QBRED three-year-old and four-year-old Triad Finals, a Redcliffe Cup, an Armidale Cup, and a track record at Inverell. That track record was set when still just a three-year-old, when claiming victory by a mammoth 67.9 metres. With the winning drought broken, the rains of success might just continue for March and his stable star.   THE BAD Horses can be the ultimate test of patience and square gaiters can quite often raise that bar even higher, proving the ultimate test for a farrier, trainer, and driver to elicit the best from the animal. Living up to his name somewhat, Crazy Ben has proven the ultimate frustration for his trainers and owners throughout his career. After scoring two wins and seven placings in his first 13 race outings with former trainer Chris Svanosio, it has been exasperation ever since. Joining the Joe and Mary Rando stable in Sydney, the gelding started on 27 occasions without a victory and was ultimately placed on the market. Ryan Veivers opted to try his luck in finding the key to the son of Crazed, purchasing the gelding and took over the training. After nine starts for Veivers, he was again moved on, this time sent to the barn of Dan Russell. Continuing to search for the answers, Russell took Crazy Ben to Marburg for his 12th attempt under his name on Sunday for a stand-start event over 2200 metres. Stepping cleanly, Crazy Ben with Matt Elkins in the sulky were able to control the tempo and hold on to score his 3rd career victory. It was close to two years since his last victory, with that win coming on March 11, 2019 at Horsham. Since that victory, Crazy Ben has been the ultimate test of perseverance and resilience to his owners and trainers along the way. With 49 starts and 4 stand-downs in between drinks, is the new Ben ready to take over? Connections are no doubt crossing their fingers that he has.   THE MILESTONE Hitting some nice areas throughout February, young trainer and driver Lachie Manzelmann has been a regular in the winner’s enclosure over the past week. Starting at Redcliffe on Wednesday night, Manzelmann was able to drive a winner for Mitchell Dawson, as well as training his own winner. Cyclone Kelly has now scored victory in two of his five starts since joining the Knight Street stables of Manzelmann, with Team Teal Ambassador Chloe Butler taking the drive on the six-year-old gelding. Three races later and Lachie was able to reach 200 wins as a driver when arriving with Faireachdainn. The Mr Feelgood mare claimed her third race victory and picked up the QBRED second-win bonus after sprinting strongly to score. Picking up where he left off from the night before, Manzelmann partnered with the Jonah Hutchinson-trained Lets Blaze to win the opening race on Thursday afternoon at Redcliffe. He quickly made it a double, claiming race two for Lola Weidemann aboard Miss Catalina when making full use of the passing lane, before making it three winners for the afternoon with Aqua Cruiser. Taking the drive for trainer Steve Coombs, it was a smart front-running display when leading all the way to score a strong four-metre victory. Slingshot was successful in race seven on Friday at Albion Park, when leading all the way in a smart 1.54.8 mile-rate, the gelding rated perfectly in front by Manzelmann. No stranger to landing a winner at a big price - having claimed the 2019 Newcastle Mile aboard outsider Yayas Hot Spot - Lachie was able to get the spoils with Kingdom Come on Saturday night. The $81 rank-outsider was driven patiently before sprinting hard to arrive for an upset victory. Rounding out the week with a trip to Marburg, Manzelmann completed the week with victory aboard the Lacey Hinze trained High On Montana in a heat of the Marburg to Albion series. With a career high 64 wins for the season secured last term, Manzelmann is currently sitting on 19 wins after two months this season - and it augers well for a strong 2021.   THE WILDCARD Spending time working with master trainer Shane Tritton has proven a pay-it-forward experience for young horseman Jonah Hutchinson. Purchasing six two-year-olds at the start of 2019, Shane and Lauren Tritton established the Team Tritton Fractional Ownership Group. With Shane and Lauren then heading to the USA in March of 2020, the six horses spent time in various stables around New South Wales until recently. After spending time with the former premier trainer before his relocation to the United States, Hutchinson returned to Queensland and began increasing the numbers in his own stable. Those number have blossomed in 2021 with Tritton showing faith in his former staffer, sending all six horses to the Queensland stables of Hutchinson. That faith was repaid at Redcliffe last Thursday when Lets Blaze scored an impressive win at his first start for the new partnership. Starting a short-priced elect, the colt showed a brilliant turn of acceleration to sprint clear and post an effortless 15-metre victory. There was some good symmetry with the victory, with the winning drive taken by Lachie Manzelmann, also a former Team Tritton member. Releasing some pressure with the first win out of the way for his new owners, the Hutchinson barn looks ready to step-up after a lean start to the first two months of the season.   THIS WEEK All eyes will focus on The Creek this Saturday night with an action-packed night of racing programmed. Following the completion of four heats for the Jim McNeil Memorial held over four rounds, the Final will be held this Saturday over 2,647 metres with the Group 3 Final carrying stakes of $26,330. Orlando Jolt will be looking to make a clean sweep of the series after claiming victory in both heats. The other two heat winners were, Van Sank and Unknown Son. There will be two Group 3 events for the square gaiters with the Trotters Marathon over the long trip of 3,157 metres also to be decided. Supporting these Group events will be the latest instalment of the Marburg to Albion Final, with heat winners Donny Jones, Gosling In Flight, High On Montana and Our Friend all set to feature. A Lady Drivers Invitation event will also be conducted to help celebrate International Women’s Day, the race carrying a penalty exemption for mares that do not have a band assessment. Five race meetings will be held for the week, with Albion Park racing Tuesday afternoon and Friday and Saturday nights. Redcliffe has two meetings this week, hosted in the regular slot of Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD I Am Sparta became the first two-year-old winner for the new season in Queensland after scoring an impressive victory at his race debut on February 16. Trained and driven by Darrel Graham, the colt franked some impressive trial performances when defeating the older horses to open his account. The new National Rating system was in his favour after the previous system was not conducive for the young horses to compete against their older rivals early in their career. Those changes meant that I Am Sparta was able to get to the races and land that first victory despite a lack of two-year-olds qualified and ready to race at this stage of the season in Queensland. Starting a hot favourite, Darrel Graham sent the son of Shadow Play straight to the front to take any unforeseen circumstances out of play and make his own luck. Luck was not required however, as the colt proved too classy for his older rivals when cruising home to an untouched victory by 20.1 metres. The 1.56.2 mile-rate was smart with the last mile covered in splits of 28.4, 30.3, 29.2 and 28.4 to make it an impressive debut for owner Shane Grice. A graduate of the 2020 Brisbane APG Sale, the colt is eligible for the Brisbane Group 1 Sale Series as well as the QBRED race features. The $18,000 purchase price was quickly offset after his victory secured the $12,000 QBRED first win bonus on top of the race prizemoney. Bred by Greg Mitchell and Burwood Stud, I am Sparta is the ninth foal of his dam Dontdrinkthendrive and the fifth winner the daughter of In The Pocket has produced to date. The compact colt looked the ultimate professional in his victory and has been displaying ability through his educational and qualifying trials. The next appearance for I am Sparta will likely depend on whether he can find a two-year-old race, with plenty of targets throughout the season on the radar following his debut.   THE BAD The Newcastle Mile was shaping as a great spectacle with connections of Lochinvar Art looking to make the most of the opportunity on their path to the Miracle Mile. His scratching from the race then looked to provide the Queensland-trained Turn It Up with the prime opportunity to force his way into the famous mile, and punters reacted to send the gelding to the post as an odds-on favourite. However, it was not to be, and the Vicki Rasmussen-trained gelding will now have to regroup and try to win his way through one of the sprint qualifiers this weekend to stamp his ticket to the big dance. Starting from gate 6 in the field of 7, Shane Graham was eager in the early stages to get across the field and after a brief challenge, restrained as The Black Prince kicked through to lead. Making another challenge, Turn It Up was able to press to the front with a lap to travel after the opening quarter was set down in a slick 26.4. Running the field through quarters of 29.5 and 27.7, Graham was trying to stave them off as they swung into the stretch, but they were unable to raise the effort to fight off the challengers, finishing in fifth place. While victory and the two-week break into the Miracle Mile was the ideal path, all is not lost and Turn It Up still has an opportunity to earn entry to the $1million event.   THE MILESTONE Bertil Olsson has owned horses over an extended period, and last Thursday at Redcliffe was able to secure a double as an owner from his small team. Placing his horses with different trainers to suit the horse, the Redcliffe double came through trainers John Kerr and Lola Weidemann. The first win came via the four-year-old Bertils Watch Me; a gelding by Hes Watching that was also bred by Olsson out of the Fake Left mare Pinoshea. Trained and driven by Lola Weidemann, the gelding was second-up from a spell at just his seventh career start when he was able to finish over the top of them in the closing stages. The maiden-breaking win was made even sweeter with the gelding securing the $12,000 first win QBRED bonus. Just two races later, John Kerr partnered Bertils Firefox to an all the way victory, with the five-year-old gelding claiming the third win of his career. Another bred by Olsson, Bertils Firefox is by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the six-win Bertils Wildfire, a mare that has had four foals to race and all four are winners. The win of Bertils Firefox completed the breeding/owning double, with Olsson having claimed an ownership double just once previous. That came back in 2015 at Hobart when Vander Jenkins and Bertils Bliss were successful with both horses trained by Heath Szcyzpka and driven by Gareth Rattray. In claiming victory, Bertils Firefox also added another milestone in the ownership history for Bertil Olsson; 100 lifetime wins as an owner was reached as Firefox crossed the line, a proud moment as an owner to reach triple figures. Congratulations Bertil!   THE WILDCARD Narissa McMullen was stuck on 999 wins for 20 days waiting to breakthrough to 1000 career wins, but it has been full steam ahead ever since the four figures were raised on February 5. Driving in great touch, McMullen completed a treble at Albion Park on February 13 and bettered that on Saturday night when steering home four winners. From six drives on the night, not only did Narissa claim four victories, but she also finished second with the other two drives. It was the fourth quartet of her career and the second at Albion Park, with the other two coming at Redcliffe and Gold Coast. However, the achievement was the first time at a Metropolitan meeting for McMullen. The night started with a dominant and deserved win to Ideal World, a pacer she also trains that had finished second at each of his previous three starts. The second win came courtesy of a pick-up drive aboard the classy Blacksadance when he was able to outstay his rivals in a tough victory. Win three came aboard the Stephen Cini trained trotter Garland Greene - overcoming a 40-metre handicap - and the quartet was completed when Clarry claimed victory in the ninth event, also providing Cini with a double. Very few female drivers have been able to score four or more wins at a Brisbane Metropolitan Staked card, with McMullen joining Kylie Rasmussen, Natalie Rasmussen, and Trista Dixon in the elite club. Dixon stands alone with her five wins on January 21, 2017, the only time a female has driven five winners at a Queensland Metropolitan meeting. Kylie Rasmussen has achieved four metro winners on four occasions, to lead the way for frequency amongst her female rivals. Meanwhile Lola Weidemann is in a league of her own, having driven four winners on a card on 32 occasions and five winners on 6 occasions.   THIS WEEK Six meetings are scheduled for decision this week with a Sunday afternoon fixture from Marburg the addition. Heats of the always popular Marburg to Albion Series will be held for the NR 47-52 rated performers doing battle to secure a spot in the $11,030 Final to be held at Albion Park on March 6. Marburg will also be joining the Team Teal campaign, hosting a female driver invitation race. Always a great day of country racing, QBRED cash bonuses will apply to all races on top of the regular prizemoney. Action from Albion Park this week will be the regular Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday timeslots. Friday’s meeting will play host to the second round of heats of the Jim McNeil Memorial, where Orlando Jolt and Unknown Son gained maximum points when winning their respective round one heats. Saturday Night sees a 3YO pace programmed for $14,060, another of the Ultimate Tools sponsored events with the winner to receive a rug along with vouchers to Ultimate Tools presented to the winning trainer and driver. Redcliffe will host the other two meetings in their regular Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon slots.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

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. 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

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD  Turn It Up did just that on Saturday night at Albion Park and confirmed his ticket to tackle an inter-state campaign in the process of his scintillating victory. Starting from gate 10 over the mile, Shane Graham soon had the gelding in the running line as reigning Horse of the Year, Colt Thirty One rolled to the lead. Staring from wide off the front line, Grant Dixon looked to take advantage of staying in front of Turn It Up and after an opening quarter of 27 seconds was able to slow it right down through the second stanza. With 31.3 appearing for that second quarter of the last mile, it appeared that Colt Thirty One had a firm hold on proceedings. However, in the space of 100 metres, Turn It Up had turned the race upside down. Set alight from the one-by-one trail, Shane Graham hit the afterburners- with Turn It Up responding- scorching the back straight to be in command before the 400. It was a winning move and the six-year-old was able to cruise home, running some slick closing sectionals. Stopping the clock with a mile-rate of 1.52.1, the Courage Under Fire gelding now heads to the Newcastle Mile where a showdown with Lochinvar Art looms. David Moran, trainer of Lochinvar Art has pencilled in that race as his preferred lead-up to the Miracle Mile with the winner gaining automatic entry to Australia’s richest pacing race. Turn It Up has been in great form since joining the Vicki Rasmussen stable, finishing with three wins and three second placings in just six starts. Yet to miss a place in 21 career starts, the gelding has faced injury concerns throughout his career but appears to be handling the racing demands under Rasmussen’s care. The NSW Carnival of Miracles could be a bonanza for Rasmussen and Graham as their other stable star, One Change, chases a Chariots of Fire berth via this week’s Paleface Adios Stakes. With the Chariots winner also securing a Miracle Mile berth, can Vicki dare to dream that she could possibly have a dual pronged attack in the Mile.   THE BAD Every driver goes through a period where it can seem no matter how hard you try to win, it just does not go to plan. Narissa McMullen experienced a lean spell by her lofty standards through the second half of January where it just seemed the next winner was an eternity away. That feeling was no doubt exasperated from the fact of the momentous number that was lurking on her career statistics. Overcoming the ‘nervous nineties’ Narissa McMullen scored a landmark victory on Friday at Albion Park when securing the 1000th driving win of her career aboard Royal Obsession. Stuck on 999 wins after the victory of Slingshot on January 15, Rocket Riss had been close with several placings before finally landing the milestone breakthrough. Scoring her first race victory aboard Miniature Classic at Albion Park on October 18, 2010, Ron Sallis was the trainer of Narissa’s first winner, and it was again Sallis that provided win 1000. Royal Obsession had been building towards a victory after some good runs in recent weeks and settling midfield, arrived with a well-timed run to score. The McMullen/Sallis combination has been a successful one in the ten years that Narissa has been driving, scoring plenty of victories together. The most successful of their combination has been Comply Or Die, a pacer that Narissa has partnered to success on 26 occasions for Sallis. Narissa- the second eldest of the four McMullen siblings- joins brother Pete in reaching 1000 victories. Despite playing second-string to Pete in number of victories, Narissa was able to take bragging rights two races after her momentous win. Narissa drove a perfectly judged race to defeat the odds-on favourite Big Wheels, driven by her big brother. In the sulky behind the aptly named Cool And Calculating, Narissa quickly set about moving towards the next 1000 wins.   THE MILESTONE Chloe Butler started her ambassadorial role for Team Teal with a full book of six drives in all six races at Albion Park on February 2. With a six-week period of all female drivers wearing the teal pants to fundraise for ovarian cancer research, each state also has a pair of ambassador drivers Queensland represented by Butler and Taleah McMullen. It was a mixed day for Chloe with two fourth placings and three fifth placed finishes. The best result for the day was a strong finish aboard Cardlesfromheaven for trainer Ian Gurney when charging late to grab second place behind the odds-on favourite Paravani. Heading to Redcliffe for the second night in the Teal silks, Butler had a book of four drives. The night started perfectly when leading all the way in the opening race of the evening with Huntaway. Sent straight to the front, the seven-year-old was able to stave off all challengers to claim his eighth career victory and second since joining the Jack Butler stable. Race three was Chloe’s next drive and like race one, it was a case of first out, first home with Rum Delight continuing his strong form in scoring another victory. Finishing down the line in race five aboard Cannan, Butler’s last drive of the night was in race eight for trainer Lachie Manzelmann. Taking the reins aboard Cyclone Kelly, Chloe was able to issue another front-running display after hustling the six-year-old out of the machine, press forward and wrestle away the lead. Once he was in control, the gelding was able to score an easy 4.9 metre victory and complete a winning treble for Butler. That was the first treble for Butler as she starts her third season of race driving. After driving 65 winners last season, Chloe Butler has completed the first five weeks of the 2021 Season with a handy 14 wins to sit fifth on the state premiership table. In total, the pair raised $2400 through the opening week of Team Teal with further fundraising chances on the horizon.   THE WILDCARD The father-and-daughter combination of Lacey and Warren Hinze had a successful end to the last week with wins on Thursday at Redcliffe and Friday at Albion Park. Our Dolly was the first of the two winners in an owner’s partnership for the Hinze’s when proving too strong over the 1780 metre trip at The Triangle, driven to victory by Shane Graham. Trained by Warren, the Lanercost filly was able to flex some muscle when scoring a tough win, breaking through for her fist career victory with a head margin on the line. The win also secured the pair the QBRED first win bonus with the three-year-old breaking through at start number 17. Our Dolly- out of the 2013 Redcliffe Oaks winner Montana Tess- went through the 2019 Redcliffe Yearling Sale but was unable to garner much interest before being a buy-back for $1000 by her then owners and breeder, Montana Park. Purchased privately by Warren and Lacey Hinze, the filly had her first race start in the heats of the Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series back in June 2020. Slowly starting to develop, the maiden breaking win came at career start number 17 for Our Dolly. On Friday, High On Montana landed his 11th career victory with Jonah Hutchinson taking the reins for the winning drive. Reversing the combination of Thursday’s win, High On Montana is trained by Lacey Hinze and like Our Dolly, is owned in partnership by Lacey and Warren. Settling back in the pack, it was a well-timed drive with Hutchinson bringing the gelding with the perfect run to claim the victory in a 1.56.5 mile-rate. Another private purchase from Montana Park, High On Montana started his career in Victoria with David Miles before heading to the Darrel Graham stable. Lacey Hinze then became his trainer following 16 career starts and two victories and had quick success with the gelding claiming three wins his first eight starts for the stable. Our Dolly and High On Montana have provided a successful start to February for the Hinze family.   THIS WEEK Five race meetings will be held this week in Queensland with Albion Park hosting the regular three and Redcliffe two meetings. Tuesday at The Creek is scheduled for a nine-race card with meetings to be held in day slot on Friday and the Metropolitan card on Saturday night. Redcliffe hosts a nine-event meeting on Wednesday night partnered by the Thursday afternoon fixture from the Peninsula Club. There is likely to be some Queensland interest at Menangle on Saturday night with One Change and Justalittle Torque featuring in the nominations as they search for feature race success.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD It was another big week for the leading state-based futurity scheme in Australia with over $70,000 in bonus payments reaching the pockets of owners. The week started with a grass track meeting at Kilcoy where three $1,000 QBBRED cash bonus payments were paid to the connections of Montana Pride, Hurrikane Special and Groovy Miss Annie. Golightly claimed victory in the Moonee Valley of the North Pace and in the process also collected the $7,500 second win (subsequent season) bonus when scoring the fifth triumph of his career. Peter Nugent - a board member of HRNSW - was the beneficiary of a second win bonus when his mare Miss Lily May scored victory at Redcliffe on Wednesday night. Nugent has been a long-time stable client of Phil Mitchell who trained the mare to success, with the former Mitchell-owned On Pace Group having had strong success with the maternal family of Miss Lily May. Thursday afternoon at The Triangle proved to be a QBRED bonanza with five bonuses paid to winning connections with two first win and three second win payments. The opening race of the day proved a treasure chest for Darren Ebert who was the breeder, owner and trainer of Brisket, who claimed his first race victory and the $12,000 bonus at just his third career start. Fire Eyes was the other recipient of the first win bonus when claiming the fourth race of the day for trainer Mal Charlton with Steven Doherty taking the reins. Owned and bred by Greg Edwards, the A Rocknroll Dance gelding was finding the first win an elusive prize to capture, having placed in seven of his previous 10 starts before finally landing the breakthrough. Trainer Trent Dawson claimed two victories thanks to Mykindoffeeling for owners Solid Earth and Kissesforyamisses for partner Crystal Towns. Feel The Thunder claimed his third career victory along with the second win QBRED payment with a fast-finishing burst to score for trainer John McMullen and connections. The big week of payouts was wrapped up at Albion Park on Friday afternoon when Betterthanlego claimed her second win bonus. The payments flowed on and off the track, as the next generation of potential QBRED stars went through the sales ring with the first sale of the 2021 season. Australian Pacing Gold held its annual sale at Albion Park on Sunday with some strong results recorded from the 48 lots that went through the ring of the 53 catalogued. The top-priced lot was shared in a three-way split - with two colts and one filly all reaching $60,000. All three are QBRED-eligible and with APG also announcing an increase to the Brisbane Sales Final race to $150,000 for horses to come from this sale, the on-track earning potential looks enticing.   THE MILESTONE Acehigh Fella was a narrow winner when claiming the Parklands Function Centre Pace at Gold Coast on February 4, 2010 for owner Tony Turpin. Never scaling any great heights as a racehorse, the gelding did manage to score six wins in his career, but that win signified the start of what has been a superb training career thus far. The win was the second lifetime win of the then four-year-old, providing fledgling trainer Chantal Turpin with her first career victory as a trainer. Fast forward nearly 11 years to the day - January 30, 2021 - and Chantal reached another milestone when Saucy Dreams provided her 1000th training victory. It was a dominant display to bring up the momentous number, the six-year-old mare crushing her rivals in claiming victory by over 21 metres. With husband Pete McMullen taking the drive, the stable has been in great form in the past week with last week’s quartet of wins backed up with a double on Saturday night thanks to Blacksadance and Saucy Dreams. Breaking through for a century of victories for the first time in the 2013/14 season when leading home 104 triumphs, Turpin has managed to reach triple figures in every season since. The 2015/16 season was the most successful by number of wins for the stable when 149 winners carried the Turpin polish to victory. Season 2019/20 was arguably the best for the stable on several fronts, claiming 120 wins in the extended calendar. Group 1 success with Big Wheels along with multiple feature race wins through the Summer and Winter Carnivals have propelled the team into a strong position to start the 2021 season. Add to that the first win back in September in the mini-trotting ranks with daughter Rylee McMullen, and things in the Chantal Turpin stable look to be ticking along nicely.   THE WILDCARD Mark Belford was back in the Albion Park winner’s enclosure last week thanks to the success of the mare Betterthanlego. It has been a few years between drinks at The Creek for Mark, with son Dean doing the bulk of the driving for the Belford team. The last winner in the gig at Albion Park for Belford was back on June 30, 2017 when successful with Mister Blackjack. Mixing his time between duties as the Redcliffe track curator and preparing a small team, Mark Belford has had the track in superb order - highlighted by the recent Saturday night meeting where it held up to torrential rain. After limited success through the past two seasons, Mark has started the 2021 season in perfect fashion taking his tally to a perfect one from one strike rate. Betterthanlego had signalled that a win was not far away with some eye-catching performances in recent weeks since resuming from a spell. Placed in two of her previous four starts, the four-year-old mare had made an error at the start when second-up which resulted in her being placed as an outside draw runner. Earning her way back into the main draw following two clear starts without error, the daughter of Betterthancheddar started from gate two on Friday. Given time to balance up, the mare settled three back in the running line before making a strong closing challenge to arrive for the victory in a 1.56.2 mile-rate for the 1660-metre trip. Bred and owned by Debra Belford- Mark’s wife, Betterthanlego is out of the mare Jenzajet which Debra also bred and raced through a career of 12 victories. In the breeding barn the mare has produced two winners, the other being the Major Bronski mare Jenuflection, a winner of four races along with 13 placings in her career. Scoring her second career victory, Betterthanlego also claimed the $7,500 QBRED second win bonus for Debra.   THIS WEEK February has normally been the month in recent years that we see the first two-year-old race held, however with the racing season now mirroring the calendar year, that might not be the case in 2021. The racing week will see meeting five race meetings held with the regular schedule in play. Albion Park host a small but quality packed six-race card this Tuesday along with the Friday meeting and the Saturday night metropolitan meeting completing the week from The Creek. Redcliffe host the Wednesday night meeting with 10 races to be held along with the Thursday afternoon meeting. This week will also see the start of the Team Teal campaign. Held for six weeks through February and the first two weeks of March, all female drivers will wear the Teal pants - helping fund the fight against ovarian cancer. For every winner driven by a female during the period, $200 will be donated to the cause, with Racing Queensland, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club funding each donation. Chloe Butler and Taleah McMullen are the 2021 ambassadors and will also wear the Team Teal driving silks for each of their engagements during the six weeks.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Last season may have ended in disappointment for trainer Jack Butler following Hectorjayjay’s forced retirement, however every end signifies a new beginning. The new season has been a strong one for Butler, with winners at all three Saturday metropolitan fixtures to date. At Redcliffe on Saturday night, the Butler stable was able to leave the Peninsula with a winning treble thanks to victories by Needabacardi, Bohannan and Rock With Sam. In-form square-gaiter Needabacardi was the first in the bag when scoring his third victory since joining Butler’s Logan Village stables, making it the 10th of his career. Sent out as the favourite in the AQWA Constructions Trotters Cup, driver Brendan Barnes was able to secure a great position in the one-out one-back trail as Skyline set the tempo in front. Making his challenge as the field approached the home turn, there were a few anxious moments as the saddle-cloth number detached. Flapping around the legs of the gelding, he remained focussed and maintained stride to power home to victory - minus the pink number eight cloth that was left on the Redcliffe track. One race later and Bohannan took to the track from inside the second line, drawn to follow out the race favourite Master Catch. Just prior to release, Master Catch was off stride and again when the field was released again made an error, forcing driver Chloe Butler to take evasive action before settling in position three back along the marker line. Angling across runners to find open space as the field swung for home, Bohannan produced a powerful closing sprint to arrive for a narrow victory - his second at Redcliffe. Knocking on the door in recent weeks, it was a deserved victory for the seven-year-old after placings at his past five starts in succession. Butler’s third and final win of the night came courtesy of Rock With Sam in open company when taking advantage of conditions to lead throughout, giving Brendan Barnes driving honours for the night with a double. Not raced through December after finishing fifth in the Be Good Johnny Sprint behind Colt Thirty One, the seven-year-old was the recipient of a smart drive from Barnes. With a steady opening half, the speed was dialled up through the last 800 metres with identical 28.4 seconds for the last two panels making it near impossible for the chasers. The win took Rock With Sam’s record to 20 career wins, with the gelding having recorded a win every season since his first as a two-year-old back in May 2016. With the Butler stable having some handy types looking to progress through their grades - Franco Landry, Going For Gold and Sweet Appeal come to mind - season 2021 has started in promising fashion.   THE BAD It’s fair to say that Saturday night’s meeting at Redcliffe wasn’t smooth sailing. After the Greater Brisbane lockdown the week prior, updated COVID-19 protocols were enforced and then after a week of dry weather, storm activity began to build on Saturday afternoon. With rain hitting the Redcliffe Peninsula, the track was in great order, but the muddy conditions made it tough for the drivers. Just to make the night even trickier, the track lighting was a victim of the storms and deluge of water, with the front straight plunged into darkness following the running of race six. Despite the misfortunes that the club was forced to endure, the meeting was able to progress and all ten races were completed. With over an hour lost to the lighting issues, it made the night even longer for Lola Weidemann who had just one horse in for the night. That runner was Pacific Coin who had progressed to the Hygain Final after winning a heat of the series 10 days prior. Sent straight to the front over the sprint trip, Lola was able to stay in front and relatively mud-free, the luxury that leading the pack brings with it. Owned by Lola’s sister, Julie, the nine-year-old had one of the busiest seasons of any horse in Queensland last term, facing the starter on 84 occasions for 10 wins. The big season has certainly not hampered his start to season 2021, with his record showing two wins from three starts. In claiming the 15th career victory with Pacific Coin, the near six-hour round trip from her Clifton stables may just have been worth the race delay for Lola.   THE MILESTONE A relative newcomer to Queensland, Sam Clotworthy is on the board as a winning driver in the Sunshine State. Joining forces with the Jack Butler stable, Clotworthy has taken a handful of drives before breaking through for his first Queensland victory at Albion Park last Thursday. Taking the reins behind the Butler trained Harpagus, the pair were able to settle in a perfect position from inside the second line as Springfield Spirit tried to lead throughout from gate one. Taking the passing lane when the gap presented, Clotworthy was able to arrive in time to end a prolonged period out of the winner’s enclosure for the six-year-old mare. Keeping the good start to the year for the stable rolling, the mare is now owned by stable boss Tara Butler and trained by husband Jack. Last victorious back in June of 2019, Harpagus was driven by champion reinsman, the late Gavin Lang on that occasion. Hailing from New Zealand, Clotworthy spent time in Tasmania last season where he was able to claim the Youngbloods Challenge just prior to arriving in Queensland. The Youngbloods is a six-race series for young drivers - with three heats at Hobart and three at Launceston - with Clotworthy claiming victory in three of the six heats, with a further two placings. Taking his second race drive behind Harpagus in Thursday’s event, the win was a great season start for Clotworthy to get off the mark.   THE WILDCARD Although it does not bring any further reward, book-ending a race card does not happen frequently. For owners Rob and Pam Essex, they were able to claim a book-end double at Thursday’s Albion Park meeting with driver Kelli Dawson piloting both winners. With a big team of pacers and greyhounds that race with the Maywyn moniker, the Essex’ have poured large amounts into both the pacing and chasing codes. On Thursday, Maywyn Troubador was able to score the second win of his career with a dominant victory in the opening race of the day. Given plenty of time to balance, the four-year-old was sent stomping around the field as they went down the back straight. Charging past the leaders, the gelding went on to score a commanding 21.8-metre victory and frank the effort of a recent trial where he blitzed his rivals in similar fashion. Trained by Geoff Dawson (Kelli’s father), the win demonstrated the talent of Maywyn Troubador who has taken some time to adjust to what racing is all about. Waiting until the last race for their second runner of the day, this time it was Kelli as both the trainer and the driver involved with the success of Maywyns Courage. Second-up from a spell, the six-year-old son of Courage Under Fire sat back in the pack from his second line barrier. The widest runner as they swung for home, Maywyns Courage sprinted sharply down the outside of the track to claim his first win of the new season. An APG sales graduate from 2016, Essex went to $22,000 to secure the Courage Under Fire x Nonni Sheffield colt, with his latest win taking his tally to 12 victories. No stranger to a handy horse, some of the better performed that the Essex family have been involved in include the likes of Maywyn Jasper, Badge Of Honour and Maywyn Tonz. Maywyn Jasper won the 2010 3YO APG Final at Group 1 level, defeating a field that included For A Reason, Chariot King and Renaissance Man - all Derby winners that Season. With Rob Essex recently celebrating a milestone birthday, number 10 may be the new lucky number for Rob, Pam and the Maywyn team, with both Troubador and Courage wearing saddlecloth 10 to victory.   THIS WEEK After a change-up to the regular Saturday night metropolitan meeting last week, this week returns to the more traditional programming. Tuesday afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday night will be from Albion Park. Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon will be from Redcliffe with Wednesday again hosting a full ten-race card. The week will start with an eight-race card from The Creek with race six named the Happy Retirement John Hackett Pace. John has filled many roles within the integrity arm across various administrations, most recently with the Integrity Regulation Unit for QRIC. A former Chief Steward of harness in Queensland and deputy chief steward for the thoroughbred code, John Hackett has given a significant contribution to the integrity of all three racing codes across more than 40 years of service. Enjoy retirement Mr Hackett.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Major Cam has faced his share of battles throughout his career but on Saturday night he produced one of his finest victories. In a career littered with issues and layoffs, the giant nine-year-old showed he still has the desire and instinct with a breathtaking last-to-first victory in the Remembering Atomic Ark Pace. Settling at the rear of the field as Mattgregor set the tempo in front, a steady early pace over the 2138-metre distance was making it look a difficult assignment for those back in the field. Still at the rear of the pack as the third split was put down in a sizzling 26.8 seconds, driver Kylie Rasmussen made her move. Angling across runners as they turned for home, Major Cam was soon the widest runner and shaken up to give chase, and give chase he did. Charging home down the outside of the track, he picked them up and put them away in the blink of an eye in claiming a two-metre victory. The win was astounding, with horses just not winning in free for all company in that manner. Trained by Darren Weeks, driven by Kylie Rasmussen and owned by her mother Cheryl, the win took Major Cam’s record to 59 starts for 26 wins and 13 minor placings and earnings of $235,000. Starting his career with a Redcliffe victory as a three-year-old in December 2014, Major Cam has been sidelined for periods of nine months or longer on three separate occasions. Following two wins from six starts in his first campaign, he was away from the track for 12 months, returning as a four-year-old with a first-up victory at Albion Park. It was to be a successful four-year-old term that returned 7 wins and 3 minors from 12 outings. Included were a pair of Group victories - the Group 2 Four-Year-Old Triad Final and the Group 3 Four-Year-Old Championship. The 4YO Championship victory would be his last in that season, with two more starts before another 11-month stint on the sidelines. Returning as a five-year-old, he showed no effects of the long break when scoring a gritty win first-up from outside the leader to claim his tenth career victory. A further six wins that season were followed with his progression to open company early in the new season as a six-year-old. Major Cam announced himself to the Free For All ranks with a dominant victory at his second start of the 2017/18 season in a field that included battle-hardened open class performers Alleluia and Mach Alert. Apart from a half-head second in the 2017 Redcliffe Patron’s Purse behind Bettorthanspecial, all his racing has been at Albion Park. His latest victory has elevated him into the ’25 Club’ for horses that have achieved 25 victories at The Creek. That victory indicating there is still film left to be added to the Major Cam highlight reel.   THE BAD George Michael is an owner, breeder and trainer that has put huge amounts of money and hard work into the sport of harness racing. With many of the horses owned by Michael bred by his own stallions in recent times, in 2016, he opted to send a mare by the name of Melton Bonny Bye to the court of Hurrikane Kingcole. The resultant foal was a filly, and that filly was then entered in the 2019 Redcliffe Yearling Sale. Entering the sales ring, the filly could not attract a solitary bid and was knocked down as a buyback to Michael for the paltry figure of $200. Naming his horses with the moniker of Melton as either a suffix or prefix in their name referring to Melton Stud - which is owned and operated by Michael - this filly would race as Melton Insulted. Given the name owing to how George Michael was feeling after his filly could not even secure a solitary bid at that 2019 sale. Fast forward to her two-year-old season and Melton Insulted - now prepared by John McMullen - progressed through to the Redcliffe Sales Series Final following a placing in her heat. There was to be no fairy tale in the $100,000 Group 1 Final, however the filly ended the extended season with 8 minor placings from 16 attempts. Stepping out as a three-year-old on January 7 at Redcliffe in her first start for the new season, Melton Insulted was able to land a maiden-breaking victory. Every cloud has a silver lining and the lining on this occasion was for Michael’s pockets. In claiming victory, the filly also pocketed the $12,000 QBRED first win bonus. Not bad for a horse that no one wanted!   THE MILESTONE Breeding is a character-building part of racing that can test the toughest of people and assess their resilience. Keith Croft has been lucky enough with his mare Versace Woman, on the most part, to experience the highs that breeding brings. On Saturday night at Albion Park, Versace Woman was able to land a metropolitan double when Just Joshin and Jiggle And Jive were both successful. Full siblings by the champion sire Bettors Delight, both pacers are trained out of Redcliffe by Aileen Smith and owned by Croft. Just Joshin was the first and perhaps unexpected of the double when claiming victory in a Qualifying Pace. Securing a perfect trip in behind the leader after starting from barrier one, Lachie Manzelmann was able to steer the six-year-old to victory via the passing lane. Securing a last stride victory by the barest possible margin, the winning rate of 1.55.3 also set a new benchmark for the gelding in landing his ninth career win. Less than 90 minutes later and the winning double for Croft, Smith and Versace Woman was completed when Jiggle And Jive triumphed. Already a Group 1 winner after claiming the 2019 2YO Fillies Triad Final, the four-year-old mare was able to break a winless streak when scoring a narrow victory in a mare’s event. After returning as a three-year-old with three successive victories, Jiggle And Jive just lost her way somewhat and after a steep rise in class that saw her meeting experienced rivals. A string of bad gates did not aid her cause, and after landing gate 1 on Saturday night, driver Shane Graham made the most of the advantage. Leading throughout, the mare was able to hold on for a narrow victory as Tuapeka Light made one last bid to get within a half-head of the winner. With a team of four in work - three of those full siblings out of Versace Woman - it has been a successful fortnight for Smith landing a pair of doubles. Joy To All - the third of the Bettors Delight x Versace Woman in Aileen’s team - was able to break through for her first victory at Redcliffe on December 30. Also successful on that night in completing a double for Smith was Regalia, the four-year-old claiming his second career victory. Owned and bred by Aileen along with her father Cliff Gassman, the gelding is out of the mare Idontneedluck that Smith raced to 12 career wins. Season 2021 has certainly started the best way possible.   THE WILDCARD Daroobalgie is a small hamlet just off the Newel Highway between Forbes and Parkes in the Lachlan Valley of New South Wales. It is also the name given to a handy pacer that raced in the early to mid-2000s for owner/breeder Carol Wood and her husband Bruce, who was also the trainer of the stallion. In an impressive career that netted 21 victories, the highlight was a Group 1 success when claiming the 2001 3YO NSW Sires Stakes. As a four-year-old, he was able to progress through to the 2002 Inter Dominion Final won by Smooth Satin. In a four-start Queensland campaign in 2003 as a five-year-old, he finished unplaced each time, including an eighth in the Winter Cup won by Sokyola and down the line in the Redcliffe Cup. At stud - with limited opportunities - Daroobalgie has been able to sire five winners from 11 starters. Of those five, three have been successful at Redcliffe - Gargarra, Ceear Rail and Aroona. Last Thursday, 15 years to the day since Daroobalgie contested the Shepparton Cup, Aroona claimed his fifth career victory. Trained by Melissa Kendall and driven to victory by her son Zac Chappenden, Kendall has been patient with the now eight-year-old. Repaying that patience has seen the gelding claim five victories and place on a further 22 occasions under her care after taking on Aroona as a 15-start maiden. The win of Aroona provided mother and son team of Melissa and Zac with the first leg of a race-to-race double. Wild About Town was the second leg when the seven-year-old was able to lead all the way in scoring his sixth victory for Kendall. Scoring a double with a pair of pacers that entered her barn as maidens and virtual cast-offs, they have started the latest season in perfect fashion.   THIS WEEK This coming week will again see five race meetings held in Queensland. Albion Park kicks off the week with an eight-race card followed by Redcliffe on Wednesday night with ten races to be decided. Redcliffe on Thursday afternoon will be followed by Albion Park Friday afternoon. The week will be rounded out with something a little different to the normal schedule, with Redcliffe hosting the metropolitan staked meeting. Highlighting the card will be a Trotters Cup race offering total stakes of $22,210, run over the 2613-metre distance with conditions of discretionary handicap. There will also be the final of the Hustler Raptor Series following two heats last Wednesday. For the 47-52 rated performers with a random barrier draw, heat winners were Headwin and Pacific Coin. All participants and stakeholders are requested to keep pace with the latest advice from Racing Queensland to ensure COVID-19 protocols are met.   by Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD Angus Garrard has had one of his most successful weeks in the sport, landing multiple wins at three successive meetings last week. The run started at Redcliffe on Wednesday night with a winning double aboard the Doug Lee-trained Illawong Dreamtime and Barboo for Charlie Chiang. The Christmas eve meeting - again at The Triangle - saw Angus go one better than the previous evening when scoring a threepeat of victories. His first winner for the day came with Fortyfive Rock, a pacer that was winless after 43 career starts. Garrard has now had ten drives on the gelding for three wins and two minors. Go Anne Go was the second triumph, with the Gary Gerard-trained mare charging home from the rear of the field to claim victory. The treble was complete when Blues Terror - having its first start in Queensland - was successful in race eight for trainer Donny Smith. Angus only had two other drives outside of his winners, placing third in both. Heading to headquarters for what looked on paper a strong book of drives, the results backed up that early assessment. In claiming his third metropolitan treble in his fledgling career, it was trainer Donny Smith that provided the first winner of the night. That win was courtesy of Letterkenny Boy, a pacer Garrard has now partnered to five victories. Picking up a nice catch-drive for the Craig Cross stable in the seventh, Lets Katchmeifucan proved that the field could not, scoring a start-to-finish win. The treble was completed with a well-timed and patient drive aboard the star filly Pelosi, charging home wide off the track to score. In just his first full season of driving, Angus has broken into the top 20 nationally, sitting behind 174 wins in the extended season. Listing the treble of wins at his first ever Metropolitan meeting back in June as a season highlight, the young reinsman has had many memorable wins already. Landing four wins for the term aboard the excitement machine Speech Is Silver also ranks highly, purely for the acceleration and speed he can deliver at the end of his races. Arguably one of the most impressive wins for the season for Angus came aboard The Bus at Albion Park back in September. Caught three-wide throughout, it was a composed drive and looming up in the stretch, Garrard was able to coax enough out of the entire to score a win against the odds. The call by Chris Barsby complemented the triumph, as he proclaimed “The Bus reaches the lead, he has the Go-Card stamped tonight, The Bus - that’s a monster victory”. Driving with poise and balance beyond his years, Angus will also claim a unique record in Queensland for the season. Five tracks have hosted TAB meetings in Queensland this season and just one driver has been able to win at least one race at all five - Angus Garrard.   THE BAD Bad injuries are never easy for any human to manage, and athletes can often find it even harder in the pursuit of returning to their chosen endeavour. When those injuries belong to an equine athlete, the job of a trainer can become testing, stressful and even harder to manage. Secretagent Tycoon has faced a string of injury setbacks in his career, but trainer Ryan Veivers has been able to convert the bad into something special. A broken hip and two bowed tendons have meant long stints on the sideline, however with a patient attitude and a steady approach, Secretagent Tycoon is on the cusp of breaking into the open class ranks. Progressing through the grades, the rising eight-year-old is now one win off becoming a Band 1-rated horse in Queensland and thus a free-for-all competitor. The latest victory for the gelding on Saturday night was against many horses that are already in the open ranks, with the likes of Fame Assured, Mattgregor, Northview Hustler and recent Queensland Cup winner Cruz all finishing behind the gelding. Sent straight to the front over the 2,138-metre distance, Secretagent Tycoon proved too strong up front in claiming victory, his eighth win when partnered by Dannielle - now the wife of Ryan Veivers. Stepping out for Ryan for the first time back in July 2019, the rangy chestnut has now had 33 starts for 12 wins and 7 placings under his care, amassing just shy of $85,000 in stakes in that period. Owned by Karen Burrows, he is now within striking range of $100,000 in earnings and after his win on Saturday, and it looks a case of when, not if, he can breakthrough that figure.   THE MILESTONE Chris Petroff has achieved plenty in the sport; 1000 plus career driving wins, six Group 1 victories and countless feature race wins. However, in November 2018, it was time for a break and Chris stepped away from the sport. Harness racing is one contagious beast and like it has done to so many people before, it was able to lure another back to the bright lights of the racetrack. Enter Grant Dixon, the country’s leading trainer who knew the talent and experience Petroff could bring to the sulky, and soon the comeback was in motion. Pulling the silks back on under race conditions for the first time in 754 days, Chris was able to steer the Dixon-trained Tajie Baby to third placing at his first drive back. Just two days later with the first night of the Summer Carnival underway, linking with the Dixon stable meant that drives were available in the feature racing. While a comeback victory was proving elusive, the placings were starting to build. Finally, on Redcliffe Christmas Cup night, the present was delivered when Chris Petroff was able to bounce back for his first victory back in the sulky. Courtesy of an all the way win to Madamoiselle Jujon, 27 days following his first drive and 848 days since last tasting a race victory, the comeback was complete. With that monkey off the back, expect to see C A Petroff more regularly in the winner’s enclosure.   THE WILDCARD With the extended racing season closing this Wednesday night, one horse will end the term with a unique achievement. In the past season, TAB rated meetings have been held on five tracks through Queensland - Albion Park, Redcliffe Marburg, Kilcoy and Warwick. There are several horses that have competed on all five tracks, however Montana Chief stands alone with victories on four of the five and finishing runner-up at the fifth. Trained by Adam Sanderson, Stephanie Graham and Darrel Graham throughout the season, the four-year-old ends the term with the figures of 66: 9-11-7 and stakes of $55,509 for his owner Will Jones. Drivers at the reins for the wins were Brittany Graham (3), Adam Sanderson (2), Trent Lethaby (2) and Angus Garrard (2). The first win of the 2019/20 season came with an Albion Park success on September 30, 2019 and was followed four days later by another win at The Creek. Montana Chief scored his first Redcliffe victory for the season on December 11, 2019 and again showed an appreciation for the quick back-up when claiming a qualifying victory just three days later. Marburg was next on the hitlist for the Chief, scoring there on October 25, 2020, with his next victory coming at Kilcoy on Sunday November 29. The Kilcoy win made it success at all four tracks that had conducted TAB meetings until that point of the season. Heading to Warwick - the fifth track - victory in the Warwick Pacing Cup would have completed the set, however Our Major Day proved too strong on the day as Montana Chief scored a respectable second placing. A consistent performer throughout his career, Montana Chief will also bring up the milestone of 100 starts when he next steps out.   THIS WEEK Following the extension to the racing season to coincide with the calendar year, this week will see the 2019/20 term close. Racing for the final week of the season starts with 8 races to be held on the grass at Kilcoy. Although field sizes are thin, the races look competitive with the club also running a heat and final series for the first time. Those progressing out of the heats will do battle at Kilcoy on Monday January 25 in the Final where the $8,170 stakes will be the largest prizemoney ever offered in Queensland grass track racing. The remainder of the week will see Albion Park hosting the regular Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday slots. The last day of the current season ends with Redcliffe hosting the Thursday afternoon meeting. With last season starting at The Creek on a Monday, the 2020/21 Season will again at Albion Park as they play host to a night meeting this Friday.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Shane Graham has continued his great form since returning to the sulky mid-year and on Saturday showed the type of form that took him to the Australian Drivers title back in 2014/15. With just six drives for the night, Graham was on target, scoring a quartet of victories. Starting the night with a swooping victory aboard Chevrons Reward, the win made it successive victories behind the mare following her smart win just one week prior. The second triumph came in the feature race of the night, the Christmas Cup, when taking advantage of the situation after Colt Thirty One did not have the hustle to hold the lead from barrier 1. Driving One Change for trainer Vicki Rasmussen, the colt was sent forward to take control of the race after 350m and from the front Graham was able to dictate terms. With a sharp 28.1 second opening split over the long 2,680-metre distance, he backed it off through the second split before dialling it up to run home the closing 800 metres in 28.4 and 27.4. It was a deserved win for One Change after placings in the Be Good Johnny Sprint and Queensland Cup, preceding a fifth in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake. Graham’s next winner came in race six, once again combining with Charlie Cini, aboard the four-year-old gelding Straddie. Having partnered Straddie to success in the Bill Dixon last week, the pair were back at it, this time leading all the way to a comfortable seven-metre victory. With his final drive coming in the eighth event, Graham had to call on all his skill and guile to get Lenny The Legend home. Looking in all sorts of trouble when positioned three back on the pegs and the leader started to wilt, Shane somehow found space to angle into open air. With Nathan Dawson looking to have pinched enough of a break with a back-straight charge aboard Sir Julian, Shane and Lenny set out for a stretch pursuit. With plenty of speed to call on after being given an easy run, Lenny The Legend finished over the top for a smart win, his third this season with Shane Graham at the helm.   THE BAD Gasmonkey claimed his 20th career victory on Friday at Albion Park, in a result that left many punters reeling. While the case can be made that it was a bad result for those that backed the beaten favourite - the $1.70 Blissfulday - those that took the big odds on Gasmonkey would be on great terms with themselves with Christmas approaching. Hindsight and retrospectively looking is something that many punters wish they could add into their pre-race assessments and this win likely falls into that category. Looking deeper into the form of the Mark Dux-trained seven-year-old, and he certainly looked well-placed after meeting some stronger opponents in recent starts. Dropping back in grade, the diminutive gelding was also suited by the small field, making a closing challenge under the urgings of Angus Garrard to claim a narrow victory. Stepping out for his 150th race start, Gasmonkey took his record to 20 wins and 37 minor placings for the long-time Dux stable clients. Further, 19 of those victories have been for Dux and the current owners after purchasing the then two-year-old back in mid-2015 after four career starts that included a win on debut. Some much-needed winning confidence could be just the tonic for Gasmonkey as he continues past the 150 mark.   THE MILESTONE Chevrons Reward has been in superb form since joining the Charlie Cini stable and the mare continued that purple patch on Saturday night. The five-year-old settled midfield from her second line gate, as Ideal World put the power on to find the front, before continuing to keep the speed on throughout. When Shane Graham angled Chevrons Reward wider on the track, the mare let down strongly and sprinted hard to arrive for victory by a neck margin. The clock stopped in a 1.51.4 mile-rate and this time has equalled a benchmark that is now jointly owned by three mares. Chevrons Reward joins the two retired mares - Annika Magic and Jossie James - as joint holders of the title as the fastest winning mares around the 1,000-metre track. Annika Magic held the record outright for just one week back in mid-2019 when claiming victory in the Ladyship Stakes. Jossie James equalled the rate just seven days later, with the pair jointly owning the record until Saturday night. The victory claimed Chevrons Reward fourth win from just six starts under the care of Charlie Cini. All four victories have come from tough barriers as the mare has shown explosive speed in the closing stages of her races on each occasion.   THE WILDCARD Boomchuckalucka! It is a name that endears itself to a closely fought finish, or a powerful run out in front, scoring victory and the caller being able to exclaim Boomchuckalucka. In the case of the four-year-old gelding trained by Chantal Turpin with this same name, it was an all the way first-up victory in Queensland that we were able to hear his name. After trialling impressively in readiness for his first start in Australia and first since June 2019, the gelding led throughout in claiming a four-and-a-half metre victory. Sent straight to the front by Pete McMullen, the result never looked in danger as they completed the 1,660-metre trip in a smart 1.55.4-mile rate. The ownership interests in the gelding are also capable of providing their own Boomchuckalucka moments in their chosen fields. Jake Turpin has cemented his position in the Brisbane Broncos NRL team over the past 2 two seasons and having enjoyed the ride with Mattgregor, has convinced one of his team-mates to join the excitement of horse ownership. Kotoni Staggs, a free running outside back with the Broncos, had the prefect introduction to owning a standardbred - a winner at his first start with his first horse. Staggs was trackside to see Boomchuckalucka win and would be hopeful his goal kicking percentage was the same 100% strike rate. David Garratt, a distinguished Brisbane-based lawyer has joined the Broncos pair in the gelding. No stranger to winning cases in the courtroom, he now boasts a win at The Creek. Karen Turpin, mother of Chantal and Jake is the fourth in the quartet of owners and has some impressive talent in her ‘ownership barn’ with the likes of Millwood Tilly, Dance In The Sun and Mattgregor.   THIS WEEK Christmas Day falling on Friday will see a tweaked racing schedule this week. Albion Park will have just the two meetings this week - Tuesday and Saturday night - while Redcliffe will play host to meetings in the normal Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon slots. The Wednesday meeting is a strong 10-race card where the curtain will come down on the Queensland Summer Harness Racing Carnival. The Redcliffe Christmas Cup is the highlight of the night with a capacity field to do battle, with Clintal Do - who draws barrier 8 - backing up from the Group 1 Blacks A Fake. Other support features include the newly introduced Redcliffe Guineas where Targaryen will look to extend his unbeaten streak in Queensland to three following successive Albion Park victories. The Burwood Stud Two-Year-Old Feature may only have a small field of six, however shapes as an intriguing contest. Redcliffe Sales Final winner Manila Playboy looks hard to beat while Regina Elena - a winner of her past two starts - has been given a chance to ‘dip her toe’ against some experienced performers.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Officially taking place over three consecutive Saturday nights, Group racing at Albion Park as a part of the Queensland Summer Carnival concluded on Saturday night with victory to Frontliner. A total of 30 races were decided across the three feature nights, with the starting favourite winning on thirteen occasions. The shortest priced winner of the Carnival was Franco Hampton when successful in the No Band Final at a $1.22 quote. On the flipside, the longest priced winner was Petite Paree, successful on the opening evening and Riverleigh Rocket on the second night, both saluting at $34. The average starting price for the winner was $6.83. The leading trainer for the Carnival was the New South Wales visitor Craig Cross, preparing eight winners - four on the second and four on the third night. Leading the charge was King Of Swing in the Blacks A Fake, who was ably assisted by other Group winners Balraj (4YO Championship), Arnold (Trotters Sprint), No Win No Feed (Forever Gold) and Cruz (Queensland Cup). Over the three weeks, the leading driver was Pete McMullen, who tasted victory on all three nights for a total of six winners. Group victory came in the Darrell Alexander Memorial (Majestic Simon), while the personal highlight was the win of Will The Wizard in the JC McMullen. Three drivers finished the Carnival with four wins a-piece; Shane Graham missed on night two but doubles at each of the other two aided his cause. Meanwhile, Leonard Cain and Luke McCarthy were the beneficiaries of the quartet of wins on each night for Craig Cross; Leonard partnering all four winners on two weeks ago and Luke all four at the weekend. Of the equine stars, three horses were able to win twice across the three meetings, with just one claiming a pair of Group wins. The opening night saw Governor Jujon successful in the QBRED For Life, and one week later he backed that up with victory in the 3YO Colts & Geldings Classic, both races at Group 3 level. Chevrons Reward claimed the Listed Queen of the Creek on the opening night, and the Band 5 Pace on the closing evening. Will The Wizard backed up his success in the JC McMullen when securing a strong all the way win at the weekend in the Ultimate Tools 3YO Pace. After a successful revamped Summer Carnival, it is likely that we only have seven months to wait for the next edition of the Blacks A Fake as it returns to the Winter timeslot. Click here to view all the action from Albion Park on November 28 Click here to view all the action from Albion Park on December 5 Click here to view all the action from Albion Park on December 12   THE BAD The weather Gods were not friendly for the biggest night of the Carnival, with all ten races run in wet and muddy conditions. Putting a dampener both literally and figuratively on the evening, in a year where seemingly everything has not gone to plan, it was a disappointing outcome. Some things cannot be controlled, the weather being one of those and while the skies opened, the track held up to the downpours. The track staff need to be complimented on delivering a race surface where all horses seemingly had their chance in the running, with leaders and off-pace runners successful throughout the night. The popular jockeys and drivers’ races were still able to be completed as well, with leading hoop Baylee Nothdurft claiming the final race over Georgina Cartwright. Last season’s leading jockey in Queensland, Nothdurft donated the $1,000 winner’s cheque to his chosen charity - Beyond Blue. The last race on the card was also robbed of some lustre when the Chantal Turpin-trained pair of Big Wheels and Dance In The Sun were scratched. Having won each of the previous two weeks’ two-year-old events, Frontliner was able to arrive in the last stride to defeat Manila Playboy. Overall, the on-track action of the revamped Summer Carnival was a success.   THE MILESTONE Despite reaching 65, retirement is a long way off for Luke McCarthy who has won nearly every big race there is to win in Australia. Of course, Luke is not of retirement age, but King Of Swing’s victory on Saturday took McCarthy’s tally of Group 1 victories to 65. Since claiming the 2004 Queensland Pacers Derby with Slipnslide, very few races at the elite level have eluded the talented reinsman. Saturday’s victory was his second under the current race name, and his first since the Blacks A Fake became a Grand Circuit event in 2017. The predecessor of the Blacks A Fake was the Queensland Pacing Championship, a race that McCarthy claimed for the first time in 2004 behind Cobbity Classic, and has claimed on a further six occasions. Now based in New South Wales, it has been a long journey since scoring his first ever race victory aboard Castle Belles at Redcliffe back in March 1999. With a fondness for The Creek, that was never more evident than Saturday where McCarthy landed a quartet of winners, with all four prepared by Craig Cross. McCarthy fired a warning shot to his rivals in the opening race, when summing up the situation perfectly, he took off mid-race with Lets Katchmeifucan to find the front. Catching his opponents off-guard in the move, he was then able to hold on to claim victory. The win of Arnold in the Trotters Sprint added a Group 2 victory to his overall tally of 2,670 career wins. Franco Hampton was the third of McCarthy’s four wins before the night was capped by King Of Swing who dominated his rivals in the easiest of victories. A successful homecoming for Luke was rounded out by his 22nd Group 1 victory at The Creek.   THE WILDCARD Owner Jeroen Nieuwenberg is no stranger to feature race success, however claiming the Group 2 Trotters Sprint on Saturday night with Arnold could possibly rank right up there. The satisfaction factor would certainly be up there as Arnold has always shown immense ability countered by issues and manners that have hampered his progression. Purchasing Arnold from the south Island of New Zealand, the gelded son of Muscle Mass arrived in Australia as a four-time winner. Stepping out in Brisbane for the first time after crossing the Tasman on December 8 2018, Arnold finished with second placing in a run that defied belief. Bombing the start, he was tailed off and for most of the race was not even in the video picture. Making a closing charge from the 400m after chasing the field, somehow, the gelding was able to finish as the runner-up with Chris Barsby’s call summing up the situation when he exclaimed “Oh. My. God.” Arnold would not start again until May of 2019 when returning and making another error. With just three starts in that campaign, he was again sent to the paddock. Returning in February 2020, he raced on two occasions for trainer Brad Connelly, but with Brad stepping away from training, was transferred to Nathan Dawson. April 9 2020, Arnold scored his first Australian victory when overcoming a 50-metre handicap and seemingly trotting much cleaner than his previous six starts to win a mid-week event at Albion Park. Placing at his next three in succession before recording another victory, Arnold was then up to his old tricks when making errors at his next two starts. That signalled a change, and Nieuwenberg opted to send the six-year-old to the all-conquering Craig Cross stable in New South Wales. Always showing the talent, Cross has been able to get Arnold trotting cleanly and soon claimed three successive victories. That paved the way for a return to Brisbane and tackling the newly established Group 2 Trotters Sprint, Arnold with Luke McCarthy in the bike proved superior to their rivals. Leading throughout in a 1.55.8 mile-rate, it was two years and four days since that first appearance at The Creek when he somehow finished second. Arnold has arrived and with his abilities unlocked, the future looks bright.   THIS WEEK The Albion Park portion of the Sumer Carnival has concluded, however a full week of harness action in Queensland starts Monday. For seven straight days, there will be race meetings across the South-East, starting with a Monday night meeting from Redcliffe. The Peninsula Club will host the regular Wednesday and Thursday meetings to complement the Monday addition. Marburg will close the week with a Sunday afternoon meeting, where heats of the always popular Marburg to Albion Series will be conducted. Albion Park joins the action via the Tuesday afternoon fixture and weekend racing on Friday and Saturday nights. The Saturday night card includes the Christmas Cup for Open Class pacers over 2,680 metres and the Trotters Christmas Cup - a discretionary handicap over 2,647 metres.   Darren Clayton. for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Leonard Cain made a successful homecoming last week, steering seven winners in two days at Albion Park. All seven winners were trained by Craig Cross, with the stable landing a treble on Friday before striking with a quartet of winners on Saturday night. Friday’s winners were Franco Hampton, Oaxacan Dream and Lets Katchmeifucan. The stable dominated Saturday night with Cruz, Balraj and No Win No Feed all claiming feature races, capped off by Mister Donald, who was successful in a Band 5 event. Cruz picked up where he left off from his winter campaign, taking out the Group 2 Queensland Cup when leading throughout over a gallant Colt Thirty One, claiming his sixth victory at The Creek with the win. Sent straight to the front, Cain dictated the pace perfectly and was able to sprint home the closing quarter in a slippery 26.9 seconds, making it almost impossible for the chasers. Stablemate Balraj landed an off the canvas victory when successful in the Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4YO Championship. Sitting outside the leader L L Cool J, he was under pressure swinging for home where Cain had to get busy on the gelding. Responding to Cain’s urgings, Balraj was able to lift himself and arrive in time to claim victory by a head margin over Escalera, with L L Cool J hanging on for third. The third of the feature races to go the way of the Cain/Cross combo was the Forever Gold Mares with No Win No Feed. Fresh from her victory in the Group 2 Breeders Crown Final at Melton, the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance was never in danger in scoring an all the way two-metre victory over Georgie Martin. All three winners will be nominated for the Blacks A Fake, where they will face a showdown against the number one seed from their own barn. King Of Swing will be heading north this week for the Grand Circuit event, with the reigning Miracle Mile champion likely to prove extremely hard to beat. Cain will likely stick with Cruz for the Blacks A Fake, with Luke McCarthy also set for a homecoming of sorts to partner King Of Swing. The Cross stable will be set for another big night, with Franco Hampton tackling the No Band Final and Lets Katchmeifucan in the Band 5 Final looking well-placed for successive wins. Ranger Bomb - who was an eye-catcher after a massive run when third to Governor Jujon - will look for redemption in what will be a cracking 3YO contest. It will be hard to top seven winners in two days, but the Cain Plane is airborne.   THE BAD The Dux stable is in good form at present and would have been keen on the chances of one of their two runners on Saturday night at The Creek. The two runners were at opposite ends of the night, with Riverleigh Rocket landing barrier 10 in the opening event, while Key Largo was barrier two in the final race of the evening. It can be a long time waiting with such a big gap between runners, yet trainer Mark Dux would have been buoyed by the chances of landing a rare Saturday night double following the success of Riverleigh Rocket in the opening race. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire has been a great bread-and-butter performer for his connections, who are long time clients of the Dux stable. Claiming the 17th victory of his career to go with his 40 minor placings, Dux always felt he could win a qualifier, yet it has proven elusive - with over 30 attempts prior to claiming the breakthrough. With Saturday night’s race over his less-preferred 2138-metre distance, drawn the second line and starting an outsider according to punters, it appeared that it might be a case of not this time once again. However, after settling at the rear of the field, driver Paul Diebert was able to secure a three-wide trail from the 800 metres. Approaching the 400-metre pole, he was left exposed three-wide but continued to surge forward and claim victory with a winning margin of three-and-a-half metres. With the long wait until race ten, the stable would have been quietly confident of snaring the double, especially when the field swung for home. Last start winner Key Largo was fired off the gate to find the front and after running the field through a steady middle-half, hit the stretch in front and travelling. Despite setting a 27.1 closing quarter, Key Largo could not hold off the challenge of Mister Donald, grabbed in the closing strides to be a neck away in second. Second place is still a great result - especially backing up from his smart win on Monday - yet it looked like it was the one that got away in an attempt to claim a rare bookend double.   THE WILDCARD ‘Hollywood’ John McMullen created a wonderful legacy in Queensland harness racing and Albion Park recognised those achievements on Saturday with the running of the JC McMullen. A pioneer ahead of his time, John McMullen had success with many horses, as well as both imported and exported racehorses and stallions over the years. JC McMullen trained his last winner on February 25 2012, when Riverboat Star was successful for the last time in his career, driven to success on that occasion by Pete McMullen. Yet one of his proudest moments came in 2009 when Riverboat Star, which he also owned, contested the 2009 Inter Dominion. It was a special moment with three generations of the McMullen clan coming together with son John (Jnr) training the gelding and grandson Pete taking the reins as a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old. Fast forward to 2020 and the second running of the JC McMullen, it was a fitting victory to Will The Wizard who came with a powerful finishing surge. Driving the winner was Pete McMullen, wearing the silks of his grandfather - red with a white sash - to claim an emotional victory. It was a poignant win with the gravity of the moment evident when McMullen raised his whip for a celebratory salute. Narissa McMullen added to the moment when finishing second with Colby, securing the quinella for the family. As for Will The Wizard, he has been a six-time winner this season and connections could only dream he can make the rise in his four-year-old season the same way the inaugural winner of the JC McMullen did. That winner was Self Assured.   THE MILESTONE Allman Park at Warwick played host to an eight-race card on Sunday with the country track providing a great spectacle of grass trotting action. It was local trainer and driver Dayl March who was able to steal the show, landing a treble - including the big one of the day - the Warwick Pacing Cup. Used to travelling upwards of five hours for a return trip to Redcliffe or Albion Park, the chance to race in their hometown proved welcome and rewarding outing for the March stable. With just six harness horses in the barn at present, March had four of those entered for the Warwick meeting - Atomic Pete, Artful Maid, Our Major Day and Timenpatience. On paper, March looked to have a strong book of runners, but after his first runner he may have been left thinking luck was not with the team after Atomic Pete bombed the start at his maiden race outing. But it was the only hiccup of the day, with the remaining three runners all scoring decisive victories. Artful Maid was next onto the track with the mare returning from a spell while Big Bang Leonard was sent out a white-hot favourite to claim the race. March chanced his arm and sent the mare straight to the front and from there was never headed in a comfortable victory. The highlight of the treble was without doubt the gritty win of Our Major Day in the Warwick Pacing Cup, with the six-year-old scoring in smart time on the grass surface. Our Major Day has now landed successive wins, adding to his last start Albion Park victory when successful on November 24. Timenpatience also made it successive wins when claiming the last race of the day. Breaking her maiden status at Redcliffe at just her third career start, the Warwick victory takes her figures to two wins in four starts. The trip home from the races is always shorter after good success, and the best bit of the March treble is that Dayl only had ten minutes to travel home.   THIS WEEK Five race meetings will be held in Queensland this week, kicking off at Albion Park on on Tuesday and Friday afternoon, before the mammoth night of action on Saturday. Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon will be the regular fixtures from Redcliffe. All eyes will be fixed on The Creek this Saturday with the running of the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake, which will also be featured on free-to-air television via 7Mate. The crescendo of the Summer Carnival arrives with the running of the Grand Circuit event over the long trip of 2680 metres. Colt Thirty One will be out to defend his title after winning the last running of the Blacks A Fake back in July of 2019. The trotters will do battle in the Group 2 Trotters Sprint, while Ultimate Tools sponsor two-year-old and three- year-old feature events, as well as finals of the No Band and Band 5 following heats and a prelude held last Friday. Hall of Fame Horseman Bill Dixon will also be honoured with the second running of the Bill Dixon, and Virgil looks a top chance to go back-to-back.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Queensland’s signature event for square gaiters - the Darrell Alexander Memorial - will be run this coming Saturday night; with the 14 finalists decided after six heats. There were five winners of the six heats - Our Overanova, BD Khaosan, Musculus and Majestic Simon, with Gee Up Neddy the only finalist to claim victory in both heats he contested. However, if Neddy is to claim victory in the Group 2 Final, he will need to overcome history. The 2020 edition will be the 14th running of the DJA and in the previous 13 renewals, no trotter has been able to win both heat rounds and the Final. But this year has been a year like no other in so many ways, so will this be the year that a trotter can sweep the series? Gee Up Neddy has certainly found form at the right time to make it a reality, and from the 10-metre handicap combined with his great manners, has the chance to re-write history. In in the fifth heat on Saturday night, Gee Up Neddy was safely away to settle closer to the rear as Godofthunder moved up outside the leader Im The Commando to ensure an even tempo throughout. BD Khaosan had the one-by- one trail and looked poised to strike as the field swung for home, however, Gee Up Neddy kept coming down the outside to claim victory by a half-neck. That pair had broken away with the third placed Havana Magic a further 14 metres astern. Owner, trainer, and driver Hayden Barnes will be hoping that he can go one better than the 2019 Final. In last year’s series, Gee Up Neddy was a narrow 2nd in the Final after looming up strongly, only to be grabbed in the closing strides along the passing lane behind Wee Man Trouble. Versatility could be the key to victory in 2020, with Gee Up Neddy possessing that attribute. Clean manners from the tapes along with the ability to work or be saved for a closing sprint will hold the nine-year-old in good stead. Back in August, Barnes listed his season highlight as bringing up his 400th career victory aboard Gee Up Neddy. That statement may be up for debate later this Saturday night if Barnes can become the first to sweep the DJA Series. If by some bad luck Gee Up Neddy is runner-up again, there is probably only one horse that Hayden hopes can beat him home - Needabacardi. To be driven by his brother Brendan, the chestnut has been runner-up in both rounds of heats. Trained by Jack Butler, listed as a part owner - Hayden Barnes, it would certainly be a season highlight. THE BAD American politician Frank A. Clark once quipped “It’s hard to detect good luck — it looks so much like something you’ve earned.” That is a statement that certainly would resonate with owner Mick Andreadis. Owning horses in several states spread across various trainers, Andreadis has certainly had his resilience tested, and here in Queensland, the trotter I Asked Nicely is one such test. Starting just nine times since arriving in Brisbane with trainer Travis Mackay back in March, the eight-year-old has won two races. Yet such are his problems, he has trialled on 15 occasions in that same period under enforced embargos to correct his manners. Another horse owned by Andreadis is Major Mucha, a horse that has been plagued by bad luck in landing a good barrier in recent months. Joining the Mackay stable back in July, the four-year-old Art Major gelding has started on 20 occasions. Heading into his latest assignment, Major Mucha had started from gate 4 or wider in 17 successive starts. From gate one on Saturday, he made his own luck when leading throughout to claim victory with Dannielle Veivers taking the reins. Luck may be turning for Andreadis, with another of his pacers scoring at Mildura on Thursday. Laser Major - now a 10-year-old - was successful in the opening race, ending a win drought that had extended back to 2016 and over 50 race starts. With that sort of drought, it is fair to say that any luck has certainly been earnt.   THE MILESTONE There were three age track records at Marburg on Sunday, with the warm weather and settling track proving ideal for fast times. The first of those records came in the opening event of the day when the Peter Greig-trained Straytothepoolroom was successful. Marburg does not tend to have a great deal of two-year-old events on their programmes, however on Sunday a mixed age event was the catalyst of the new record. Driven by Angus Garrard, the Cammibest gelding was put on the front-end early and once in control, held on to take the victory and surpass a record that has stood since 2008. Maywyn Gold, trained and driven by Shane Sanderson, has held the record for 12 years, with the win of Straytothepoolroom taking 0.9 seconds off the old mark. Two weeks ago, Voodoo Fella provided Jordan Topping with her first victory as a driver and with his latest victory, Jordan can also boast the three-year-old colts and geldings record. Twice within a month this record has been bettered - Major Fernco setting a new mark on October 25, with Voodoo Fella eclipsing that mark with his victory at the weekend. Wide in the closing stages, it was a well-timed drive by Topping, arriving to claim a half-head margin and set a record of 1.58.4 with the win. It also provided the Russell family with a quinella - David training the winner with son Dan training the runner-up - Abercrombie Tab. The third and final record was the victory of Gina Tarantella, setting a new benchmark for the aged mares of 1.57.8, taking 0.3 seconds off the previous mark held by Ale Ale Kai.   THE WILDCARD Gina Tarantella was having her first start for Jonah Hutchinson after joining his stables from New South Wales. The four-year-old Million Dollar Cam mare arrived in Queensland after 20 starts that had failed to net a return down south. After a sound trial at Menangle in mid-October, she was on the move North where Hutchinson opted to send her straight to the races on Sunday at Marburg - without a further trial. Powering out of the pack from the start, Hutchinson had the mare freewheeling in front, running the opening splits in close to even time with identical 30.1 second quarters. Dialling it up down the back, Gina Tarantella put up a big margin on her rivals when running through the third split in 28.3 seconds. With the race shot to bits, Hutchinson had not moved on the mare, cruising home in 29.8 seconds for the last 400 metres, setting the 1.57.8 mile-rate for the 1850-metre trip and establishing a new aged mare track record. In the demolition process, the winning margin could likely be a new record for the Marburg track - the 73.2 metre margin back to second also close to a Queensland record. Searching through mountains of results, the victory could possibly be the second biggest in Queensland behind the 77-metre debut win of Viking Reign back in 1987. Stablemates Greg The Great and Archilles - trained by Graham Dwyer - both won races by 55.3 metres last season but hitting into 70+ metres looks rarefied air. That is not the only big win in recent weeks for the Hutchinson stable, with the arrival of some new horses to the barn bringing some good success. Rousey claimed victory by 51.7 metres at her first outing for the stable, the mare remaining undefeated in Queensland after four starts. With the manner of the win by Gina Tarantella, Jonah Hutchinson and connections could have some fun times ahead.   THIS WEEK The TAB Queensland Harness Racing Summer Carnival officially starts on Saturday at Albion Park with the night jam-packed with feature racing. Headlining the on-track excitement is the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint where Colt Thirty One and Turn It Up look set to do battle. After two rounds of heats, the Darrel Alexander Memorial Trot at Group 2 level will see a capacity field of square gaiters look to secure Queensland’s biggest trotting event. QBRED three-year-olds are set to do battle, with a pair of Group 3 races - for the colts and geldings and for the fillies - in the new QBRED for Life race to be conducted at 2138 metres. Support races on the card include the APHRC Members Cup, the Changeover Queen of the Creek for mares and a two-year-old feature. The racing week will include the regular schedule of Tuesday through Saturday, with Albion Park on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday along with Redcliffe hosting Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday will see grass track action from Kilcoy where three races will be conducted alongside the gallops meeting at the track known as Moonee Valley of the North.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

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