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Narissa McMullen knows that she wouldn’t be both the Australasian Junior and Australian Lady Drivers champion, had it not been for her late grandfather, John McMullen. That is why the 24-year-old said she was enormously proud to be the only member of the McMullen family to line up in the inaugural Group Three $31,000 J.C. McMullen Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night. The race was formerly known as the Premier's Cup. The man known as ‘Hollywood’ McMullen, and was renowned for his familiar red jacket and white-sashed silks, died on September 20 last year aged 81. McMullen Senior was an original ‘Queensland Harness Racing Hall-of-Fame’ inductee, who won multiple metropolitan training and driving premierships at Albion Park. His grand-daughter said he made a huge impact on harness racing in the Sunshine State for more than half a century. As well as being an astute trainer and driver, Mr McMullen was also an active exporter of horses to the United States. “We owe it all to him really. He got Dad (John) involved in the sport and now Dad has four children who all drive. It was really sad to see my grandfather pass away last year. “I remember Dad and I used to go and see him and look at all his amazing photos and listen to all of his racing nostalgia when he lived close to Albion Park. It’s such an honour to drive in this race, even more so lining up the first time it will be run, McMullen (Narissa) said. McMullen, who has three drives on Saturday, has commented about the trio below. She said she got to drive the Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby trained Barrett through Alberton trainer, Stephen Cini. “Stephen and Aaron are good friends and I managed to get on Barrett through Stephen. I’m very grateful for that because he’s a nice horse who has huge speed over 200 metres. “It’s just the second time I will have driven him. I know he went well in New Zealand for Mark Jones, so I’m very fortunate to be able to sit behind him. “Like I said it means a lot to be there for my grandfather in what will be a very special race. I will certainly be thinking of him when I’m out there,” McMullen said. Her grandfather campaigned many good horses over the years including Viking Reign, Alba Wings, and Toliver Bye Bye. All-up he trained 734 winners form 4,952 starters ($2.3m). He also saluted the judge 509 times ($1.5m) as a driver. The ‘J C McMullen’, for the C2 to C5 pacers, which is race seven, will be run over the 2,138m mobile at 7.40pm. Here’s what McMullen had to say about her three drives (with trainer, draw, and opening odds): Race 1: The Narissa McMullen trained and driven TOM ME GUN (12) $5.50 – "He’s going really well after his last win (Albion Park - June 28). I gave him a lil freshener and he trialled real well last week finishing just behind the talented Princess Tiffany, who won in 1:51. I am real happy with the way he is going, but I really wanted a front-row draw. Twelve is not ideal, but some of his best races have been when he’s saved for one last go at them. That’s what I’ll probably have to do. Save him and wait.” Race 6: The Stephen Cini trained AIR TIME (8) $5: "His run last start was unbelievable. He was last at the 800m and then was forced to travel four-wide when they came home in 55 and quicker. He hit the line real strong and another metre or two I think he might have won. He would be the unluckiest horse in Queensland in his last few starts. I hope the one horse holds up, which I think he can, because this horse will go well in the trail. There is speed in the race though. I still definitely think he can win. He would be my best winning chance of the three on Saturday.” Race 7: The Mark Jones & Aaron Goadsby trained BARRETT (3) $14 – "He’s a really nice drive. He’s a lovely sit-and-sprint type horse, who didn’t get a drag into the race last time when they ran a quick time. He has a lethal sprint if saved for the right run. This is just my second time behind him, and I think he will be better for that Redcliffe run. Albion Park suits him better, because he did win first-up on the track last month. If he gets a nice trip he should figure right in the finish."   Racing Queensland

The McMullen sisters have pulled off what is believed to be an Australian, if not a world, harness racing first. At 5.30pm last Friday (April 12) the trio nailed their first ‘sister-trifecta’, when finishing one, two, three in the eighth event at Albion Park. Oldest sister, Narissa (25) trained and drove the winner,  Tom Me Gun. She had 3.6m to spare over second placed Danni-elle (23) and Speedie McArdle. Youngest sister and the cheekiest one of the McMullen four, Taleah (17) finished a head back in third behind the brown gelding trained by her father John, Weedons Express. “I’m very proud of what we achieved, but I would’ve preferred to beat my sisters,” said, Taleah, who is based with her parents at Glamorgan Vale. “All of us siblings are very competitive and definitely like to win. We’ve all had the same teacher (Dad) and that’s why we all drive a bit aggressive and love coming out of the gate,” she added. Oldest sister, Narissa, the current Australian Female Drivers champion, and winner of the 2017 Australasian Young Drivers’ title, said she was proud to have led the ‘eldest to youngest sister trifecta’. “It was good to beat my two younger sisters home, but Taleah was quick to tell Danni-elle and me that she would have won if we didn’t get in her way. “The family have had a few trifectas before with Peter, Danni-elle, and myself, but last week was the first sister trifecta with Taleah,” she said. Danni-elle was also proud, but did give her big bro a cheeky serve. “I think it’s great that it was the three of us girls, without the older brother getting in the middle. However, it would have been good if he ran fourth,” she said. All three said their next family goal was to run the ‘First Four’ with older brother Peter. Mind you the 27-year-old Glamorgan Vale horseman and his wife Chantal (nee Turpin) had weekend to remember themselves. They won three races on QBRED night at Albion Park on Saturday, including two Listed events. Chantal trained and drove Will The Wizard to win race three - the Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings. A race later Peter drove the Turpin trained Amaya Becomes to nail the Listed $25,000 Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing fillies. Then the husband and wife duo then combined to win the last event, the $13,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2yo Fillies Consolation. Mother of the ‘McMullen four’, Jennette, said she was ‘oh so proud’ of her children, daughter-in-law and wider family. “It was so exciting to see their first sister trifecta. We just need a first four now. They are all good mates and were pretty wrapped with their feat. “I’m sure Taleah would love to repeat it with her having bragging rights, through being the youngest sibling.  Their grandma, my Mum - Beryl Dawson, 85, gets a great thrill out of their achievements. “No doubt that will be her story at the next CWA (Country Women’s Association) meeting. Eight of her 10 grandchildren all drive in races and another one is a trainer. Her life revolves around the Sky Channel following the Dawson-McMullen clan,” Mum said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

She won the Australasian Young Drivers Championship in 2017 and now Queensland’s recently crowned Australian Female Drivers champion, Narissa McMullen, has another burning ambition. “I want to drive a Group One winner now. That’s my next goal. In the meantime I just want to keep driving winners and become a better driver,” the Fernvale resident said. The talented 24-year-old reinswoman finished top of the 12-strong table with 79 points at Saturday's Australian Female Drivers Championship at Albion Park. Her points came via wins behind Annika Magic and Subtle Delight in heats two and five; and she also finished second and fourth behind Shards Halo (Heat 1) and Cool Scoter (Heat 3). KerryAnn Turner (NSW) was runner-up with 75 points, while Victorian harness racing legend Kerryn Manning, and McMullen’s cousin Kelli Dawson, finished tied for third with 54 points apiece. McMullen said it was always good to get one over family members, especially brother Peter. “He’s my only brother and the only one older than me. I’m probably more competitive with him and my sisters than I am my cousins," she said. “It was great to see Kelli do so well. Nathan (Dawson) is also a cousin so there’s a few of us out there. I’ve only just started to take it all in. I’m so happy,” McMullen said the morning after her nailing her first Australian title." McMullen and her siblings, Peter and Danni-elle have all won BOTRA Queensland Juniors Driving titles as well. McMullen, who works at her parents – John and Jennette’s stable at Glamorgan Vale, said she celebrated with a night out. “It was an amazing feeling and even though I was 13 points ahead going into the last heat I never took anything for granted. I just had to focus,” McMullen said. “Only this morning has it really started to sink in. I’m so proud." There were seven heats of the AFDC on Saturday and two other tote races. McMullen carried on her winning ways in the ninth event – in track record time. She steered the Stephen Cini trained Quietly Spoken along the passing lane to win the feature 1660m trot in 1:59.3, which equated to a 1:55.6 mile rate. “It’s been a night to remember. Stephen had this mare spot on tonight,” McMullen said immediately after the $9,000 trot. According to Saturday's racebook, McMullen has now driven 726 winners and had 6,560 drives. She vividly remembers her first win. “That was Miniature Classic for Ron Sallis at Albion Park (October 18, 2010). My brother ran second (Southern Pacific),” she said. Dad - John, who won the Australasian Junior Driving title in 1986, and Mum - Jennette were “super proud”. “All four of our kids (including Taleah) are fierce rivals on the track and enjoy bragging rights at the Monday night family dinner," Jenette said. “Pete, Narissa and Danni-elle have always been competitive since their pony trot days. Pete was very proud last night though, ringing me on his way home to tell me Narissa proved she is the best female driver in Australia. “He said she drove six out of seven ‘top races’, and the only bad drive for the night was on his horse." She said doing the hard yards and driving ordinary horses had taught Narissa to be a good driver. “Her hard work and has dedication paid off’. Dad’s (John) quote is: ‘All his years of advice have finally paid dividends’. That’s tongue in cheek as he is a very hard task master as everybody at the track knows,” Jenette said. She said her daughter studied Science and Journalism for a year after leaving school and gave that up for her love of horses. “Narissa trained and owned a top horse called Bettor Draw who finished third in an Interdominion heat in Brisbane in 2015. Then he ran fourth in the Bohemia Chrystal at Menangle a few weeks later," Jenette said. “He was a super horse to her and led Narissa to move to Sydney for six months to train. Murano was another nice horse that Narissa had. He won great horse about 15 races. “In 2015 she won the Lady Drivers Group 2 Invitation race on Inters day as well. That was probably her most successful year. “As you can tell, I am very proud of all my kids." Meanwhile, McMullen’s three wins added another $600 to the Women’s Cancer Team Teal Fundraiser. She finished the February 1 to March 9 campaign with the most wins (23). Women in fact won eight of the nine races carded last night, ensuring another $1600 was added to the final pot, which totalled more than $11,000. Competitors in last night’s 2019 Australia Female Driving Championship were: Narissa McMullen and Kelli Dawson (QLD), Hannah Vandongen (TAS), Samantha Gangell (TAS), Kerry Ann Turner (NSW), Ellen Rixon (NSW), Madeline Young (WA), Emily Suvaljko (WA), Lisa Ryan (SA), Kaela Hryhorec (SA), Kima Frenning (VIC), and Kerryn Manning (VIC). Duane Ranger

Saturday night’s Australian Female Drivers Championship at Albion Park could create a couple of milestones for ‘Team Teal’ pace-maker, Narissa McMullen, but the Fernvale 24-year-old knows exactly where it’s at. “I have had family members with cancer and I’ve known other people who have had it too. It’s such a nasty disease. I am honoured to be able to help women cancer sufferers," McMullen said. “I’d love to raise the most money for them. That would mean a lot." McMullen is well aware that two out of every three women who suffer from ovarian cancer will die. “Of course I want to win the Australian title, but I also want to do as much as I can for the Teal Campaign. We have had stalls and I’m also selling teal Hygain caps, with the $15 goes to the Women’s Cancer Foundation. I’ve also got them at Albion Park and Redcliffe. So winning more races on Saturday means a great deal to me,” McMullen said. McMullen leads the national ‘Team Teal’ tally to date, with 20 winners since February 1, helping the Queensland campaign raise $9,800 going into the Thursday Redcliffe meeting. At least another $1400 will go into the pool with seven heats of the Australian Female Drivers Champs scheduled for Saturday’s 9-race programme. McMullen would also like to record two more wins at Albion Park. “I think I’ve driven 698 winners in Queensland and more than 700 all-up. Luck will play a big part on Saturday night,” the modest horsewoman said. McMullen, who swaps the teal for the maroon on Saturday, has a splendid book of drives and should end the 2019 ‘Team Teal” campaign as outright winner. “Track knowledge might help a bit but I think it comes down to luck in the running. I have some nice drives. It would be a dream to win the Australian Women’s Drivers Champs after running midfield in Tasmania last year," she said. “I love competing against the best and always want to win no matter where I’m driving, or who against." She said she liked the drive behind the Kelli Dawson trained Cool Scooter in race three. Dawson, ironically, is Queensland’s other competitor in the 12-strong Ladies Championship. “He went well last week winning first-up for Kelli after a three month spell. He should be improved by that run because this will be just his second run here since arriving from New Zealand," McMullen said. She also though the Jack Butler trained Shards Halo had the economical second row draw to go close in race one and then a race later said the consistent Kerry Smith trained Annika Magic had the nice front-row draw (4) to be prominent. "It's hard to single any one of them out really because they all have good form. The drawers were good to me," McMullen said. "Left A Terror, who is going for his fourth straight win, is also a chance despite his wide draw, in race seven," she said. McMullen, the second eldest in a prominent McMullen harness racing family, lives in Fernvale and works from her parent’s, John and Jennette’s stable at Glamorgan Vale. She will be up against: Kelli Dawson (QLD), Hannah Vandongen (TAS), Samantha Gangell (TAS), Kerry Ann Turner (NSW), Ellen Rixon (NSW), Madeline Young (WA), Emily Suvaljko (WA), Lisa Ryan (SA), Kaela Hryhorec (SA), Kima Frenning (VIC), and Kerryn Manning (VIC). In addition to the prestigious Australian title, the winner will also receive a trip for two to Hamilton Island thanks to the support of long-time industry supporters, Kevin and Kaye Seymour.   Duane Ranger

Leading Queensland reinswomen Narissa McMullen and Kelli Dawson will swap teal for maroon in Saturday’s Australian Female Drivers Championship (AFDC) at Albion Park in Brisbane, where competitors from each state will go head-to-head in one exciting night of harness racing. Among the headline acts are World Champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning (VIC), KerryAnn Turner (NSW) and Madeline Young (WA). The night will double as a close to the 2019 Team Teal campaign, which aims to raise funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation in its fight against Ovarian Cancer and other Gynecological diseases. In addition to battling out for the prestigious title, the winner will also receive a trip for two to Hamilton Island thanks to the kind support of long-time industry supporters Kevin and Kaye Seymour. A sensational night of entertainment is planned with guest appearances from Brisbane Heat cricket star Jemma Barsby and legendary jockey Pam O’Neill. World record-holding reinswoman Kerryn Manning will also speak on the night in between her driving commitments. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said he looked forward to welcoming Australia’s best drivers to Brisbane for a great night of racing. “This will be a tremendous celebration of women in harness racing,” Mr Brick said. “Harness racing is a unique sport in that men and women compete on a level playing field, with women providing some of the sport’s biggest stars.” The field for the 2019 AFDC is as follows: Hannah Vandongen (TAS) Samantha Gangell (TAS) KerryAnn Turner (NSW) Ellen Rixon (NSW) Narissa McMullen (QLD) Kelli Dawson (QLD) Madeline Young (WA) Emily Suvaljko (WA) Lisa Ryan (SA) Kaela Hryhorec (SA) Kima Frenning (VIC) Kerryn Manning (VIC) Kelli Dawson, who came to notoriety in Queensland through her association with ‘Freak of the Creek’ Destreos, comes into the Queensland line-up for the suspended Kylie Rasmussen, who alongside McMullen, has been flying the flag for the 2019 Team Teal campaign in the Sunshine State. McMullen has been leading the charge for Queensland in the 2019 Team Teal campaign, which aims to raise funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. McMullen leads the national tally to-date, with 19 winners since February 1, helping the Queensland campaign raise just short of $10,000.   Racing Queensland

Glamorganvale trainer, John McMullen, admits his four children have now achieved something he hasn’t. “All four of my kids have now driven Weedons Express to win. I did drive him to win a trial late last year, but I guess that doesn't count does it?” the Lockyer horseman joked. “I’m very proud of them and what the horse has achieved,” he added. Twenty two-year-old Danielle drove Weedons Express inch perfect at Albion Park on Saturday to win the eighth event – the $8,390 Changeover At Burwood Stud  C4+ Pace, by a neck. The 8-year-old brown gelding was a $25.90 outsider. Peter (27) tasted success first behind Weedons Express when steering the brown gelding to victory at Albion Park on April 7, 2017, and then Taleah (17) got him home at Redcliffe on July 19 that same year. Narissa (24) then chimed in with a nice triumph at Redcliffe on October 17 last year. For the record Peter and Taleah have won three times each behind Weedons Express. Trainer, McMullen had a good night at 'The Park’ winning two races. The other came via Narissa, who won the fourth event with six-year-old Quick Approval  gelding, With Authority. He was the $3.60 second favourite. Narissa also landed two winners on Saturday. She also drove the Ron Wells trained outsider, Smiling Armada to score in race six. Sister-in-law, Chantal Turpin, who is marred to Peter, trained and drove Watch Pulp Fiction to win race seven. Weedons Express has now won 14 of his 149 starts and placed in 14 others and netted just over $90,000 In purses. He is owned by Mike and Karen Sparkes, who also co-owned the 2018 VRC Derby winner, Extra Brut. Weedons Express was named after a small rural town just South of Christchurch. The son of Elsu and My Barbie Doll ( By In The Pocket) was bred by Kiwi horseman, Lou Driver. He was exported from New Zealand on October 2, 2015, after winning three of his 41 starts. “I couldn’t believe he paid more than $25 to win. He’s been going really well and the race was a B grade one for his class," McMullen, who works a team of 25 said. “He’s been going 54 in most of his races and I thought that might be enough to win this race. Sure enough he went 55 this time and still won. Unbelievable money. “I’m also rapt for the owners who backed him." Also very proud of her family's achievements last night was wife and Mum, Jennette. “I’m delighted for them all. I’m also very proud of Des Dewar, who owns With Authority. He’s 81 and only got into ownership a couple of years ago," she said. “He idolises our girls and he loves going to Redcliffe because it’s not so far for him to travel. He is a wonderful person. Des was bestowed a Volunteer-of-the-Year award on Australia Day for 40-plus years of voluntary service. “We all get such a thrill winning for our owners, especially a truly brilliant man like Des." Meanwhile, the feature pace last night was won by the Donny Smith trained and Nathan Dawson driven Slice Of Heaven. His 15th career win ($90,861), has now virtually sealed Slice Of Heaven a trip to Tabcorp Park Menangle for a supporting race on Miracle Mile night in early March. “I’ll give him a trial first, but I’d better wait to see if we make the field. He should but I’m taking nothing for granted,” the Redcliffe horseman said. The night also featured four winning drivers from Team Teal participants, with Narissa McMullen (2), Danni-elle McMullen (1) and Chantal Turpin (1) collectively raising $800 for the important cause.  Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Cancer researchers would have been delighted after watching the state’s best female drivers display their prowess at Albion Park on Saturday.  Female reinswomen won half the card (five races) and in doing so raised $200 per win for the annual ‘Team Teal’ campaign which runs throughout February and early March. It’s the third year in a row the female drivers in Queensland have donned the teal strides. And it was the women who dominated early on Saturday evening nailing a $794.60 quaddie in races two, three, four and five. Chantal Turpin trained and drove Argyle Beach to win the second event; and then 33 minutes later Narissa McMullen steered the Peter Greig trained Parisian Rockstar to a 1.1 metre victory. Trista Dixon drove the Grant Dixon trained Aqua Miss to win race four; and then at 8.08pm Kylie Rasmussen trained and drove Lilac Flash to win race five – the feature open class pacing event. The first three home all paid $5 to win, while the latter returned $6.50. It was a good night for Dixon. She also won the eighth event behind the Grant Dixon trained $13 shot, Southern Alps. Asked to comment on ‘Team Teal’, Kylie Rasmussen said should would do everything she could to raise money for cancer sufferers. “We are all affected in some way or another. I’ve had no relations or close friends die from ovarian cancer, but my Aunt did have breast cancer. It’s so sad and I personally am so pleased to be doing this," she said. “It was a nice feeling when the horse won, and then knowing $200 would be going to such a worthy cause. It’s a great idea." Patrick Estate trainer, Chantal Turpin, also said she was proud to be wearing the teal colours. “It’s a good cause because it affects a lot of women, and I’m only too pleased to help out. It’s also great motivation to do even better,” Turpin said. Turpin’s only win last night came in the second event behind the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare, Argyle Beach. The Somerset horsewoman was so happy with that 4.1 metre victory she will now take her to New South Wales this week alongside her 16-time winner ($136,666), Mattgregor. "She's earned her trip to go south and have a go at the Ladyship Mile (March 2). Mattgregor will race in the Newcastle Mile on Friday night. More will come down later, including Watch Pulp Fiction," Turpin said. Turpin was rapt with Argyle Beach saying “she’s really flying at the moment,” but she will be retired from racing in May. “She’s been a great little horse and won real well this time. She will be let down in May so she can prepare for the next breeding season when she will be served by Betting Line,” Turpin said. Argyle Beach and Turpin sat second last early before joining the three-wide train down the back the last time. They then loomed up at the 300m and ran away to an easy victory over Sir Julian and claimer, Stacey Weidemann. The mare paced the 1660m mobile in 1:56.7 (mile rate 1:53.2). Her sectionals were 26.2, 29.9, 28.5 and 28.9. It was the Ross Patrick owned mare's 14th win in 40 starts. She has also placed 14 times and banked $81,404. "That was her quickest mile rate yet and she did it pretty easy. I'm going to miss who when she retires," said Turpin who works a team of 36. Meanwhile Racing Queensland, Albion Park and the Redcliffe Harness Racing Clubs will continue donate the $200 to the Women's Cancer Foundation every time a female driver salutes the judge. The reinswomen are wearing teal coloured pants, while leading drivers Kylie Rasmussen and Narissa McMullen are donning specially-made ‘Team Teal Silks’ as ‘Queensland’s Ambassadors’. The Queensland Teal Campaign ends on March 9 when the Albion Park HRC hosts the 2019 Australian Female Drivers Championship. It will feature the best female drivers from across the country. The Team Teal concept was created by Duncan McPherson OAM, who lost his wife Lyn to ovarian cancer in 2010. Racing Queensland has raised more than $60,000 since 2017. The Women’s Cancer Foundation target is $250,000. Extensive results and race videos from last night’s meeting can be viewed here.   Duane Ranger  for Racing Queensland

Tomorrow is the day lady drivers all around Australia and New Zealand will hang up their traditional white driving pants and replace them with Teal pants for a very worthy cause. For the next six weeks (between February 1 and March 10) these ladies will form “Team Teal”, an awareness and fundraising campaign that connects the harness racing industry with Women’s Cancer Foundation. Each time a female driver wins a race they secure funds for ovarian and gynaecological cancer research conducted by the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG). While the campaign initiated in Victoria in 2014, it has since grown to an international status with hundreds of reinswomen wearing teal driving pants last year, securing a total of 315 winners and close to $200,000 in donations. This year they strive for more with the fundraising goal set at $250,000. As in tradition the campaign ends with the Australian Female Drivers Championship, this year being staged at Albion Park on March 9. Narissa McMullen and Kylie Rasmussen will represent Queensland in the multi-race series and therefore have been selected as Queensland’s Teal Ambassadors who will also wear Teal driving silks throughout the campaign. McMullen has been the most successful Queensland female driver while driving in her teal pants for the past two campaigns, in which she has accumulated a total of 19 winners. “It’s great that we are back driving in the teal pants again this year, getting a winner is always great but to raise money for such a worthy cause while doing so is even better,” McMullen said. The harsh reality is that this year, more than 1400 women in Australia alone will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Over 900 of these same women will die from the disease. The Women’s Cancer Foundation strives to change these statistics, however we need your help to raise much needed funding to support their research projects and raise awareness. Donation buckets and Teal merchandise will be available at Albion Park as well as many other harness clubs. You can also donate directly at   Albion Park

Some of the world’s best young harness racing drivers have arrived in Queensland ahead of the 2018 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship to be staged in Brisbane between Thursday and Saturday. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said if last year’s series was anything to go by, the 2018 edition would provide plenty of thrills.  “The drivers from across Australia and New Zealand are not only recognised as the best young talents in harness racing, but as some of the most well-known names in the sport,” he said. “The 10 drivers have amassed a combined 2359 winners and more than $15 million in stakes, despite all being aged under-25.” The series returns to Queensland for a second-straight year where defending champion and Queenslander Narissa McMullen will join cousin and leading Queensland driver Nathan Dawson to try and keep the trophy in the Sunshine State. The points-based series will be determined over nine heats (four at Redcliffe on Thursday, two at Redcliffe on Friday and the final three heats at Albion Park on Saturday) with the leading point-scorer earning themselves glory for their state or country and, a new Rio Mark 2 sulky thanks to major sponsors Garrard’s – long-time supporters of harness racing in Queensland. Mr Brick said the young drivers had again agreed to throw their support behind a charity through the donation of their driver’s fees and raising funds throughout the series. “This year the young drivers will be racing in support of Youngcare,” he said. “The drivers will visit a Youngcare facility to meet some of the residents during their stay in Brisbane and have set a fundraising goal of at least $4000 to help provide appropriate housing for young people with high care needs.” The drivers will be welcomed to Queensland at an opening function at the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel – just steps away from the Albion Park club – on Thursday morning. To follow the series head to or follow Racing Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@racing_qld) or the event Twitter handle @AustralasianYDC               Driver State Drives Wins Places Stakes ($) Narissa McMullen QLD 6139 669 1345 $3,658,885 Deni Roberts   WA 1221 83 243 $697,257 Chris Geary   NSW 3711 501 914 $4,369,376 Nathan Dawson QLD 4688 549 1045 $2,549,854 Jack laugher   TAS 901 74 185 $555,994 Darby McGuigan VIC 1298 135 333 $929,157 Jayden Brewin   SA 1246 154 314 $664,869 Benjamin Butcher NZ (Nth Island) 1374 103 260 $988,218 Sheree Tomlinson NZ (Sth Island) 976 75 145 $840,111 Alicia Harrison   NZ (Nth Island) 128 16 22 $142,387   Racing Queensland

For the second year in a row Queensland will host the Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship and defending champion Narissa McMullen looks to make it back to back wins. The series, beginning tomorrow (22nd November), showcases 10 of the best junior drivers, one from each state of Australia, one from each New Zealand Island, an overall New Zealand representative, as well as the defending champion. Last year racing enthusiasts saw a nail-biting finish on the concluding night at Albion Park where McMullen went into the final round just 2 points ahead of her nearest rival, New Zealand’s Dylan Ferguson. While McMullen led throughout the race, Ferguson swooped right on the post. A photo finish declared McMullen the 2017 winner and she was presented with a Rio Meter Race Sulky curtesy of Garrard’s. Alongside McMullen, Nathan Dawson represents Queensland in this year’s series. Other drivers are Chris Geary (NSW), Darby McGuigan (VIC), Jayden Brewin (SA), Deni Roberts (WA), Jack Laugher (TAS), Sheree Tomlinson (NZ South Island), Ben Butcher (NZ North Islander) and Alicia Harrison (NZ). The series kicks off tomorrow (Thursday 22nd) at Redcliffe with heats 1-4, followed by heats 5-6 at Redcliffe on Friday night before the series concludes at Albion Park on Saturday night with the final 3 heats. While the series will be very competitive on the track, the drivers will enjoy a number of social outings and activities including visiting the 2018 AYDC Charity partner Youngcare. For the meeting fields and form guide visit   Albion Park Harness Racing  

Aaron Bain is spreading the love. And the early signs are positive. During the recent Albion Park winter carnival, the talented and enthusiastic horseman made the long trek by road from Gawler to Brisbane with stable star Ideal World chasing the riches on offer. While a feature race triumph proved elusive, Ideal World raced with distinction during a number of events including his placing in the Premiers Cup behind star local product, Colt Thirty One. But the trip north proved invaluable for a number of reasons. Based at Glamorganvale (west of Brisbane) with Narissa McMullen, Bain enjoyed his time in the Sunshine State and the way the system works which prompted some serious thinking on his way home. “I like the Queensland assessment system and decided to explore it further and found its another way for owners to gain maximum reward with their horses. So, after careful consideration, I’ve sent two horses up to Narissa.” Bain said. The two horses sent to the care of McMullen were Prince Of Zanzibar and Just Seduce Me. And the latter scored an impressive first-up victory at Albion Park last Friday. The Ohoka Arizona mare overcame a second-line draw to defeat Mammals Magic and Motu Real Style in a time of 1:56.2 to claim the Mr Feelgood @Egmont Park Stud Pace. “We’re thrilled because she’s always been a better front-running type so to score from the back row is an added bonus. Narissa said she was happy with her going into the event and her recent trial was good but until you go out and do it, that’s another matter. “Taking a good time is an added bonus and only adds to her value long term, she’s a lovely big roomy mare with a nice pedigree so it’s a great start to the venture. I felt she reached her mark here in Adelaide but still had plenty left hence the move to Queensland. “I think she can win a few more, hopefully some of those Saturday night mares events are within range. Prince Of Zanzibar is better than what he’s showing presently and I’m sure Narissa can get him sorted in time. “I’ll be sending up another one soon, Hilltop Rose is being considered for a Queensland mission.” Bain also has a number of racehorses based in Melbourne with Alex Ashwood and Kate Hargreaves and they’re also enjoying good success spearheaded by Cresco Park. The talented horseman has prepared four winners for the new season in Adelaide. And stable star Ideal World is set to resume very shortly. The plan of putting the racing team in the best environment is certainly working and looks like paying good dividends.   Chris Barsby

Was history created at Albion Park on Tuesday? During the eight race program, the four McMullen siblings took away half the program with Pete, Narissa, Dannielle and Taleah all tasting glory. The ‘awesome foursome’ are the children of John and Jennette McMullen. Both sides of the family are steeped in harness racing history and the McMullen name is synonymous and a constant at all race meetings staged in south-east Queensland. But today is the first time that all four siblings have landed a winner at the same meeting. It started with the eldest of the siblings, Pete taking the Changeover @ Burwood Stud Pace with Our Delight who scooted the sprint lane to run down Miss Mia in a time of 2:01. Our Delight is trained by Pete’s wife, Chantal Turpin. It was the maiden victory for the Bettors Delight filly that is raced by her breeder, Tony Turpin – Pete’s father-in-law. Up next, Dannielle guided Ima Top Tycoon to victory in the Seymour Group Pace when defeating Ned Pepper and Might And Main in a time of 1:55.8. Ima Top Tycoon is prepared by Ryan Veivers, partner of Dannielle. Narissa then stepped up and took the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace when leading all the way with former New Zealand pacer Tom Me Gun in a stunning time of 1:55.5 for the 2138m distance. It was his first local start and the Courage Under Fire gelding is raced and trained by Narissa. In the final event of the day, Taleah shot through along the sprint lane with Waste Of Time to take the UBET Pace in a time of 1:58.5 defeating Famous Shoes and Modernday Falcon. Waste Of Time is prepared by big sister Dannielle, the veteran gelding scoring his first win since May last year. And just for good measure, cousin Nathan Dawson also scored at the program when Tell The Linesman took the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Pace. Dawson currently leads the Queensland Drivers Premiership with 156 winners. Scanning the record books, this feat has never been achieved before on a Queensland racetrack and when digging a little deeper, it may be a first across the nation.   Back in 1989 at Yarra Valley, three sisters in Rosemarie Weidenbach, Gaita Pullicino and Rita Burnett all steered winners at the meeting. The Turnbull clan holds a record where they finished in the top five placings in an event at Bathurst back in 1988. The record of the first 5 place getters in a race driven by members of the same family belongs to the Turnbull’s after Cindy Rixon (nee Turnbull) beat home her father Tony and brothers Steve, Craig and Greg in the Family Hotel Pace. So, it may well be history that was created at the famed Breakfast Creek oval. And it’s not the first time history has been created in the Sunshine State after the father/son combination of Greg and Matt Elkins scored a deadheat victory last year. Chris Barsby

Harness racing driver Narissa McMullen proved there’s no place like home after dominating the opening night of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship at Redcliffe on Wednesday. McMullen won aboard the Tayla Gillespie-trained No Confession, before backing it up to win with Shane Sanderson’s Stuunder NZ and claim the opening two heats of the series.   The 23-year-old has been one of the bayside track’s leading drivers in the past 12 months, scoring 57 wins from 417 drives. McMullen is representing Queensland for the second time since 2014, and is now in the box seat to claim the series. She sits two points clear of the three New Zealand representatives, Dylan Ferguson, Kimberly Butt and Sheree Tomlinson. “It was a really great feeling to win the first two,” she said.   “I’d just like to thank the trainers for putting horses in the race. Both of my first two drivers were nice horses so that made it easy. “It’s probably easier driving horses you know. But, your job as a driver is to get on horses you’ve never driven before … you work it out pretty quickly.” Heats three and four belonged to the land of the long white cloud, as Ferguson (North Island) and Tomlinson (NZ) put themselves into AYDC contention. Ferguson saluted in Heat 3 with the Ron Sallis-trained Punters Delight, before Tomlinson teamed with Matt Elkins to win aboard Its All Go. Ferguson said it was nice to get the first runs on the board. “We’ve just got to hope me and the girls can get another couple,” he said. “(Punters Delight) has been going great guns since Ron has had him and my job was the easiest one.” Tomlinson said her win was a “great way to finish the night” and it put her within striking distance of the lead.  

Harness racing driver Narissa McMullen is ready to hit the road. The talented young Queenslander will head south and tackle the iconic Golden Guitar series at Tamworth which starts this Sunday before heading further south. McMullen, 21, will make a permanent move to Sydney and set up base at Menangle and prepare a small team of her own on track headed up by in-form pacer Murano and open class performer Bettor Draw. “I’m prepared to make a change in my life and I see Sydney as a good opportunity so I’m ready to give it go and the timing is right for me. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time and now I’m ready to give it my best shot, I’m excited by the challenge and it will be hard but it’s now or never.” McMullen said. The third generation horseperson has been a constant fixture on the Brisbane scene since being granted her licence at age 16 and has built up an impressive list of accomplishments ever since. McMullen has enjoyed success previously at Menangle which includes a victory aboard Essbee Doubleyou in the Gr.2 $50,000 Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational back in 2014 while gaining valuable experience driving at tracks like Melton in Victoria plus in New Zealand at Alexandra Park and Ashburton. Over the past three seasons, McMullen has notched strong numbers and finished in the Top Ten State Drivers Premiership with totals of 96, 134 and 100 and as a result, was the leading female driver in the sunshine state during that period. In the 2013/14 season, McMullen claimed the Queensland Concession Driver of the Year title after finishing 27 wins clear of her nearest rival. “I’ve had a heap of fun over the past couple of seasons and been lucky enough to travel and compete at a number of tracks and meet new people and make new friends but I’m looking for a new challenge and Sydney looks right for this new venture in my life. “Obviously I’m taking a few horses with me like Murano, Bettor Draw, Ona Happy Note and an unnamed two-year-old by Rocknroll Heaven but I’m hoping to do a fair bit of catch driving too. It’s never easy trying to get established in a foreign driver’s colony but I’ll give it my best shot, I really enjoy the racing style at Menangle. “I’ve signed up for a few boxes at the new Menangle training centre but they’re not quite ready so I’ll be based across the road for the time being, I think the new training facility will be excellent.” But the immediate focus is clearly this Sunday when ‘stablestar’ Murano lines up in the 5th heat of the Golden Guitar series taking on the likes of Another Broadway and Kyalla Luke among others. Murano, a winner of his past 7 starts, must overcome a second-line draw after landing gate 8 in the 1980m event. “He’s in super form and this series has been on the radar for some time, I thought he was really good winning at Albion Park last weekend and he’s trained on well since. I don’t think the track will prove any problem because he’s handled Redcliffe in the past. “I’m not starting Bettor Draw at Tamworth but he’s making the trip and we’ll go straight to Menangle with him because he’s had three trials at Albion Park and he paced in 1:52.6 on Tuesday afternoon. He came back really fat so he’s needed some serious hit-outs to strip the weight off him. McMullen has also been engaged to drive Bettabe Perfect and Im El Magic in other Golden Guitar heats. The $25,500 final is scheduled for next Friday. by Chris Barsby

In-form Queensland pacer Murano is providing harness racing trainer Narissa McMullen with plenty of fun. And options. After purchasing the well-travelled pacer from South Australian clients earlier this year, Murano has firmly established himself as one of the more progressive pacers in the sunshine state. The Bettor's Delight – Laugh Out Loud gelding has won 8 of his 15 starts since joining the stables of McMullen including his past five starts. And McMullen is now eyeing off an interstate trip with her rising star. “The Golden Guitar series in Tamworth is my main focus with him right now and that series starts in a couple of weeks so everything is aiming at that target. He’s going really well at the moment and I think this series is a good option for him.” McMullen said. The Pryde’s Easifeeds Golden Guitar series starts on January 17 with the $25,500 final is scheduled five days later. Queensland trained pacers have enjoyed good success in this event in recent years including the victories of Goldplay in 2014 and Tiger Island in 2012. The winning form of Murano under the careful guidance of McMullen is further testament to her ability as a trainer. While her driving skills are well documented, her ability to transform and rebuild winning form in tried racehorses is quite sensational. A fine example of this was another well-travelled pacer in Bettor Draw who managed to win 6 races from 20 starts under the watchful eye of McMullen. The hard running style of Murano looks ideal for the Tamworth feature and his smart gate speed will prove invaluable on the tight turning track. His past four wins, all at Albion Park, have come in a stunning style and in blistering time including a ‘PB’ effort of 1:53.0 two starts ago. “He’s thrives on hard work; he was quite fat when he landed at my stables and I just poured the work into him and he’s obviously enjoying this new level of fitness plus mum (Jennette) spoils him rotten. “The heat/final format will really suit him because the more racing the better he performs; he likes the back-up style of racing because it doesn’t allow him to get fat between starts. Obviously a lot of horses from all over the place chase this series but I think he’ll perform well. “I thought he was really good last start (Friday) and that came off the back of his 1:53 victory so I’m very happy with his form. I’m still sorting what to do with him before the series starts now, he’s a C2 now and I want to keep my advantage for this series so that gives him a good draw.” The third generation horseperson is the daughter of John and Jennette McMullen and younger sister of star horseman Pete. by Chris Barsby

Champion young Queensland harness racing driver Narissa McMullen returns from a six week North American sojourn to drive at the Redcliffe Paceway on Melbourne Cup day. A co-winner of last season’s  RQ/Mercedes Benz Toowong Young Achiever Award, McMullen last drove in Brisbane on 19 September but she has kept her skills tuned while overseas, driving  just last week at Canada’s Flamboro Downs track. McMullen, who turned 21 while she was overseas, has a four drives for her return and she said she can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. “I missed the driving while I was away, it was an awesome trip and I got see some good races but I really missed driving all the time,” McMullen said. McMullen travelled North America and got to see the Breeders Crown, the Little Brown Jug and the Red Mile races on her journey. “The Jug was the highlight, such a great atmosphere, it’s a big party and everyone just has a great time at a great raceday,” she said. Late last month Narissa caught up with her sister Danielle and Hayden Barnes who had been staying with Natasha Day in Canada. “It was good to all get together and to also experience what Hayden and Danielle did, driving at Flamboro was really good and it was very nice of Tash to give me a drive in a race on one of her horses while I was there." McMullen said its now back to the real world. “I was up at five this morning and I have all of my seven horses in work, I spent too much money while I was overseas so I need to get some winners,” she said. Murano, her stable home at Redcliffe tomorrow could be her first deposit back into her bank account. The Redcliffe Club has a five race program with the first race timed to go at 12.20pm and McMullen has three drives for Tamborine trainer Richard Hutchinson in addition to driving her own horse Murano. Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Murano will be well fancied in the fourth race, the Might And Power Pace. The pacer has raced six times this season for two wins and two minor placings including a win and second placing this month at Albion Park with Narissa’s brother Pete at the reins. The Hutchinson stable horses will be at much more generous odds. Diabolo Star (Race 2) is resuming from a long spell. Life Sign gelding Diabolo Star, a seven-year-old, hasn’t raced since March 2013. He is a winner of three races with the last win at Marburg in 2012. Hutchinson’s six-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Cheyanne Warrior (Race 3) is also chasing its first win in more than two years. Cheyanne Warrior has raced eight times this season for two minor placings including a third placing at Redcliffe this month. Veteran In The Pocket gelding Barney Maguire will start in the last race on the program for the McMullen/Hutchinson combination. The 11yo's form has been poor at his last four starts but he has drawn the pole position and in September he did notch a win over this distance at Redcliffe after following the speed and using the sprint lane. by David Aldred Racing Queensland Fields for Redcliffe, Tuesday 03 November 2015 Form guide for Redcliffe, Tuesday 03 November 2015

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