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The unplanned Sydney trip has been profitable for Turpin/McMullen racing stables. A team of seven pacers from the Patrick Estate stables of Chantal Turpin and her husband Pete McMullen ventured south owing to the issues with the Albion Park track and they’ve reaped the rewards. Already successful at TABCORP Park, Menangle has been stable stars Mattgregor and Watch Pulp Fiction while Bull Market and Laughing Emoji have also registered victories. Opononis Bliss has managed two minor placings while former New Zealand pacers Some Excusesomwhere and Itz Major Look were unplaced in just one start to date. With the Brisbane summer carnival and a return to Albion Park imminent, the team will be heading back up the highway in the next week. But not all. “At this stage, we have Laughing Emoji, Opononis Bliss, Itz Major Look and Watch Pulp Fiction heading home. Bear (Mattgregor) is racing again this weekend and then he’s joining Darren Binskin while Bull Market has been sold to Leon Jurd and Some Excusesomwhere will head to Jarrod Alchin next week.” Turpin said. On Tuesday, the husband and wife stable combined for a double after Bull Market and Laughing Emoji both proved triumphant. Both pacers recorded new personal best times with Bull Market taking a mark of 1:51.5 while Laughing Emoji rated 1:52.9. Their victories follow on from Mattgregor winning last Saturday night while Watch Pulp Fiction and Bull Market both scored the previous week. And with solid success during their brief stay, they’re reluctantly returning home. “We have absolutely loved it down there, we’re based on the track at Menangle and the facilities are outstanding and the other trainers are very accommodating so it makes it difficult to leave but we have obligations up here. A return trip next year is already being planned and we can’t wait to have another crack at it. “We plan on starting Watch Pulp Fiction in the open features during the summer carnival, that’s as long as he gains a start. That’s the reason why we are leaving Mattgregor down in Sydney; he’ll probably get left out of these upcoming features so we figure its best to keep him in Sydney on the bigger track. “He looks a good chance again this weekend and Pete will fly down on Saturday and take the drive, he did a good job last week rating good time over the longer distance and being first-up. He’s back at the mile trip this week and should prove very competitive; it will be interesting to see what ranking he holds for the Inter Dominion if he wins again.” Final rankings for the Melbourne Inter Dominion series will be released next week. The stable have several runners engaged at Redcliffe this weekend. Representing the stable tomorrow (Friday) is Happy Feelings, Exceptional Mach, Heavens Hurricane and Imthe Golden Child with McMullen driving the quartet. On Saturday night, the stable starters are Always My Mate, Bells Beach House and Argyle Beach with Turpin driving the trio while taking a catch drive aboard Amajorjo for her father Tony. “Argyle Beach looks our best chance at Redcliffe across the weekend, she’s a classy mare with great speed and very consistent form,” Turpin said. “This mare will be making a trip to Sydney next year, we’re thrilled with the way she has performed for Ross (Patrick – owner).” She added. Since the 2013/14 season, Turpin has trained over 100 winners each term. Turpin has trained 11 winners while McMullen has driven 29 winners in Queensland so far this season. Chris Barsby

ACE Queensland reinsman Pete McMullen hopes to reclaim his former title when he heads to Globe Derby on Saturday night. One of two Sunshine State representatives in the Australian Drivers’ Championship, McMullen captured the inaugural edition in 2014. Missing the following year’s running in Tasmania, McMullen ventured back to South Australia in 2016, but was void of luck as local reinsman Wayne Hill took top honours. “I am looking forward to getting back there,” McMullen said. “I’m definitely hoping to claim the title back and return it to Queensland." McMullen sits third in the 2018/19 Queenslasnd State Drivers' Premiership, after claiming his first metropolitan title in 17/18.  McMullen was the youngest Australian driver to reach 1000 wins and is no stranger to drivers championships and invitationals. Most recently he won the 2018 Horsham Invitation Drivers Championship in March.  “These kinds of events are always great to be a part of as you catch up with drivers you haven’t seen in a while," McMullen said.  “We have a bit of fun with it during the night, but on the track it always gets pretty serious. “The locals (in Adelaide) have got an advantage as they know the horses and the form, but in saying that, when you get a great bunch of drivers together you have to respect them all.” McMullen has driven in 11,241 starts for 1,665 wins and 2,806 placings.  He'll be joined in the series by Kiwi-turned-Queenslander Adam Sanderson, who will represent the Sunshine State for the first time.  He currently sits sixth in the statewide premiership and cracked his first 100-win season in 2017/18.  Sanderson's major wins include the 2013 Group 2 Nursery Pace 3YO Fillies Final and, back-to-back Redcliffe Gold Cups in 2016 and 2017.  HRSA

As it stands, Glenferrie Hood is the premier Open class pacer in the Sunshine State right now. The recently crowned Albion Park Horse of the Year again dominated his rivals when leading throughout in the Stu Valentine Bloodstock Insurance Open Pace at Redcliffe last night (Saturday) defeating New Zealand Cup hopeful Alleluia and Bodhi Tree in the 1780m event. Handled by Albion Park Metropolitan Driver of the Year Pete McMullen, Glenferrie Hood rated 1:55.8 which is outside of the track record of 1:54.9 held by Tightrope. Possessing brilliant gate speed, the Christian Cullen – Niftey Franco gelding has now recorded back to back victories at the bayside circuit following his all the way triumph a week earlier. In fact, he has won 6 of his last 8 starts. Prepared by dual code trainer Wayne Graham, Glenferrie Hood isn’t among nominations for any upcoming interstate features with the Queensland summer carnival features his main target. “He’s a nine-year-old and while he’s going as good as ever, we’ll just stick with the little fish are sweet mentality and focus on the features in our own backyard in the coming weeks. His gate speed is clearly his best asset, it’s so crucial to the style of racing we have in this state and he’s won a heap of races because of it including his past two starts on the smaller track.” Graham said. The 2018 Queensland Summer Carnival starts on December 1 and ends on December 15, all three race meetings will be staged at Albion Park. Open class features include the Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprint, the $20,660 Christmas Cup and the Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup. Graham will head to his local thoroughbred track of Beaudesert this Tuesday when he saddles up Pitbull in the Spill The Beans @ Aquis Farm Benchmark 58 Handicap. Brooke Ainsworth takes the ride on the Myboycharlie gelding. Chris Barsby

Victoria Derby-winning three-year-old Colt Thirty One was crowned Queensland Harness Horse of the Year at the 2018 UBET Queensland Harness awards in Brisbane on Sunday.   The award capped a night of accolades for trainer Grant Dixon, who was again recognised as the Queensland Trainer of the Year. The Dixon stable also picked up the Queensland Trotter of the Year title with Our Overanova. Nathan Dawson was crowned Queensland Driver of the Year and Concession Driver of the Year following a highly successful season in which he steered more than 200 winners statewide. Pete McMullen was also recognised for winning his first Metropolitan Drivers’ premiership. The Kevin and Kay Seymour-owned Colt Thirty One also picked up the award for Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, while Group 1 winning juvenile Smart As Camm Be won Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Filly or Mare of the Year. Bodhi Tree capped his remarkable return to the racetrack and to form by winning the Aged Pacer of the Year award. Kevin and Kay Seymour’s Solid Earth Pty Ltd also won the awards for Owner and Breeder of the Year. The dam of Colt Thirty One, Charm Personified, was named Queensland Broodmare of the Year. Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the awards night was an important opportunity for the industry to join together and celebrate all they had achieved in the past season. “Racing is a 24/7 industry and it’s not often participants get the time to stop and celebrate their achievements, which is why nights like these are so important,” he said. Mr Parnell thanked the night’s major sponsors UBET for their continued support of the harness racing code in Queensland. “Without sponsors such as UBET nights like these would not be possible. We must also thank UBET for their generous $120,000 sponsorship of this year’s Winter Carnival, which allowed Racing Queensland to offer bonuses to attract some of Australia’s best horses and participants to Queensland,” he said. Racing Queensland also wishes to thank individual award sponsors: Albion Park Harness Racing Club, Marburg Pacing Association, Redcliffe Harness Racing Club, Kevin and Kay Seymour, RadioTAB, QRIC, Garrard’s Horse and Hound, Australian Pacing Gold (APG), Ladies In Racing, McGarry Equine Veterinary Services, Seelite Windows and Doors and Sky Racing.   2018 UBET Queensland Harness Award Winners   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year GLENFERRIE HOOD Albion Park Harness Racing Club Metropolitan Drivers Premiership PETE MCMULLEN Albion Park Harness Racing Club Metropolitan Trainers Premiership GRANT DIXON Albion Park Harness Racing Club Owner of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L Albion Park Harness Racing Club Mare of the Year VILLAGE WITCH Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year CALCAVADO Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Drivers Premiership NATHAN DAWSON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Trainer Premiership GRANT DIXON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Concession Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Mare of the Year SPLASH OF GOLD Marburg Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year LIVING FREE Marburg Harness Racing Club Drivers Premiership MATT ELKINS Marburg Harness Racing Club Trainer of the Year DARREL GRAHAM BOTRA Rising Star – Male MITCHELL DAWSON BOTRA Rising Star – Female ALEX CAIN BOTRA Centurion Medal Trainer GRANT DIXON, DARREL GRAHAM, CHANTAL TURPIN, JACK BUTLER BOTRA Centurion Medal Driver   NATHAN DAWSON, PETE MCMULLEN, GRANT DIXON, ADAM SANDERSON   Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Award - Male NATHAN DAWSON Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Award –  Female DANNI-ELLE MCMULLEN Redcliffe Pegasus Award presented by Lin and Laurie Feehely NOEL & CHRISTINE DENNING & FAMILY RadioTAB Queensland Concession Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Garrard’s H&H Queensland Owner of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L QRIC Queensland Breeder of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L QRIC Queensland Broodmare of the Year CHARM PERSONIFIED APG Queensland 2YO Pacer of the Year SMART AS CAMM BE Queensland 3YO Pacer of the Year COLT THIRTY ONE Garrard’s H&H Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year BODHI TREE Ladies In Racing Queensland Filly or Mare of the Year SMART AS CAMM BE McGarry Veterinary Services Queensland Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Garrard’s H&H Queensland Trainer of the Year GRANT DIXON Seelite Windows and Doors Queensland Trotter of the Year OUR OVERANOVA UBET Queensland Harness Horse of the Year COLT THIRTY ONE   Racing Queensland

Before Some Excusesomewhere had even crossed the finish line at Albion Park last Friday, he had a new stablemate. Prepared by husband and wife team of Pete McMullen and Chantal Turpin, the former New Zealand pacer is raced by Craig Whiteoak and the trio has combined again to bolster their stocks. Some Excusesomewhere has looked sharp since arriving in the Sunshine State winning two of his five starts and looks destined to return the winners circle a little more often judging by the ease of his latest victory. Starting from a trick second-line draw over the 1660m, McMullen positioned him nicely in the moving line before easing three-wide entering the back straight and then allowing him to stride freely over the concluding stages. The winning margin was a widening 18.5m while stopping the clock at a respectable 1:54.2. “It was a good performance and he felt really strong in the final half, I had no hesitation in letting him slide down the back and he quickly put them away passing the 400m peg. He certainly looks like he’s going to get through his grades with little fuss.” McMullen said. Purchased from the Canterbury stables of Mark Jones, the Patrick Estate couple has enjoyed good success over the years buying from this stable with the likes of Mattgregor and Croft Bay doing good jobs while handy maiden Morroch Bay looks like being a handy money spinner. Naturally, the latest addition to the stable also hails from the Jones team. Itz Major Look, a last start winner at Oamaru has been purchased by Whiteoak and will join his stablemate in Brisbane. The three-year-old Art Major – Itz Got The Giggles gelding scored his maiden victory at only his second start in impressive fashion when rating 2:04.4 for the 2600m standing start event. Starting favourite, he led throughout and scored comfortable while finishing off in 57.2 seconds. “He looks like a progressive type and should do a nice job; I thought there was plenty of merit in his victory last start because a number of rivals had a look at him mid-race. “We’ve had some luck with some of Mark’s horses and he believes he’s an up and comer.” McMullen scored his maiden Albion Park Metropolitan Drivers Premiership last season and continues to lead the way this term with 6 winners after the first month.   Chris Barsby

Queensland harness participants have thrown their support behind Racing Queensland’s drought relief effort, with drivers and trainers offering to donate a portion or all of their driving fees and percentages at Saturday night’s Albion Park meeting. Recently crowned metropolitan premier driver Pete McMullen has led the charge, contacting Racing Queensland last week to get the initiative started. It comes as Queensland clubs from across the three codes get behind the #BetOnBirdsville campaign, with Racing Queensland to donate 50% of wagering revenue raised on the Birdsville Carnival (Friday and Saturday) to the QCWA Drought Appeal. Racing Queensland Harness Development and Strategy manager David Brick said it was another example of the generosity that exists within the entire racing industry. “Forms to donate part or all of drivers’ fees or training percentages will be on offer at the Albion Park Raceday office on Saturday,” Mr Brick said. “I would encourage all participants to give what they can to assist people who are doing it tough in regional areas.” A number of industry participants have thrown their support behind the drought appeal in recent weeks. Thoroughbred participants Desleigh Forster and Emma Smith raised close to $40,000 at a charity fund raising event last weekend, while South Australian trainer Michael Hickmott auctioned  5% share in his Birdsville Cup runner Unbreakable. The auction facilitated by Magic Millions raised $2000 for the QCWA appeal.   Racing Queensland

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

Quality open class performers Glenferrie Hood and Hughie Green are warming up nicely for the upcoming winter carnival features. The two pacers locked horns in an Albion Park trial yesterday (Tuesday) over the sprint distance of 1660m and did what was required for their respective connections. Glenferrie Hood, handled by Pete McMullen led throughout and scored by 1.5m defeating Hughie Green who raced without cover in the five horse workout. The time was 1:59.4 for the 1660m. Splits were covered in 29.9, 32.7, 28.9 and 28.3 seconds. The Wayne Graham trained Glenferrie Hood has not raced since he finished second behind Frankie Rocks in a time of 1:52.2 on March 3. Hughie Green was resuming after going amiss last season and has not raced since finishing at the rear of the field in the Listed $25,540 Wondais Mate at Albion Park on June 24. With a raft of open class features throughout the Brisbane winter carnival, connections will have plenty to consider. The main event is the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park on July 21. Chris Barsby

Queensland harness racing reinsman Pete McMullen added his name to the time honoured “Noel Smith Memorial” honour roll when he narrowly took out the 2018 edition of the Decron Horse Care Horsham Invitation Drivers Championship on Monday afternoon. McMullen started the day aboard the Alan Donohoe trained Gunnrneedabigerboat which battled on gamely for sixth place after being posted three wide for the entire journey. Young NSW driver Chris Geary took out the race with the very smart, Emma Stewart trained, 3yo colt Liftntorque ($1.40 fav.) which led all the way over the 1700 metre sprint trip to score by 8 metres in a rate of 1:54.5. The Queenslander gained maximum points in the second leg of the championship with the Jeff Tarbone trained, 4yo gelding Bettor Than That (NZ) which led from go to whoa in C0 class 2200 metre contest. McMullen piled on the points again in round three, when the Barry Finnis trained, 4yo gelding Bee Gees Bandit ($1.70 fav.) led all the way to capture the C1 race by 10 metres in a rate of 1:57.7. As the starters lined up behind the Pryde’s EasiFeed mobile for the last heat of the Invitation, it was a duel in two between McMullen and Victorian veteran Gavin Lang who had finished third, second and second with his three drives, to decide who would take out the Horsham crown. Chris Geary won the C2/3 event as expected with $1.50 fav. Emain Macha for Naracoorte owner-trainer Greg Scholfield but all eyes  eyes were on Yankee C J (Lang) and The Big Show (McMullen) to see who would be first to cross the finish line. Lang looked to have his 5th Horsham title in the bag, until Yankee C J  ducked in badly when the plugs were pulled allowing McMullen and The Big Show to pass them by. It was McMullens second time as a competitor in the “Noel Smith Memorial” - in the three race series of 2010 he notched up a trio of fourth placings to finish in third position behind the NSW winner Jim Douglass. While the glory went to Pete McMullen there were a host of winners on the day, thanks to the generosity of  Decron Horse Care, Carbine Chemicals, Pryde’s Easifeed, Finn Tack, Hyland Racing Colours, Zilco, Bertocchi Smallgoods, Oringi Protection Wear, Mustad Australia, Fly Veils by Design, GrafxInc., Roma Pocock, Harness Breeders Victoria, Tabcorp Park Melton, Victorian Trainers & Drivers Association, Albenz Park, Claire Weston Photography and Riverspa Apartments Moama. Hoofnote: Western Australian horseman Ryan Warwick who was a last minute withdrawal from the 2017 Horsham Invitation, had one of those days it’s best to forget. Warrick took the dreaded wooden spoon back to Western Australia after his first drive galloped wildly in the scoreup, finished near the tail with a couple of roughies in the second and third rounds, then had to pull out of the contest with broken gear on his best chance of the day. Anthony Logan

Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova proved triumphant in the Listed $25,500 Lucky Creed Open Pace at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) in the most dramatic circumstances. The mobile start 2680m mobile start feature was packed with action, largely owing to the fall of race favourite Bling It On at the home turn. The millionaire pacer was handled for the first time by stand-in driver Mark Jones and was making his move wider on the track before being checked by Watch Pulp Fiction and then falling heavily. Driver Pete McMullen was later suspended for three weeks. Having his first start since being unplaced in the Miracle Mile back on February 25, the Craig Cross trained star was taken off the gate at the start and settled towards the rear of the field while the pace was genuine throughout. Hokonui Ben led the event and repelled challengers from both Ideal Scott and Alleluia before giving ground quickly with a lap remaining. Driver Chris Petroff was later suspended for six weeks. Entering the back straight on the final occasion, Ideal Scott held a narrow lead from his stablemate Avonnova while Alleluia, Joys A Babe, Watch Pulp Fiction and Bling It On sat just off the pace. With many feeling the pressure at the top of the straight, Bling It On looked set to unleash his trademark sprint before coming to grief. Bling It On quickly got to his feet before being attended to by officials before then being sent to the Gatton University for further analysis on his knees. Sadly, his Brisbane winter carnival is now over. At the finish, Avonnova lasted by a 1m from Alleluia while Joys A Babe finished a neck away in third. The mile rate was 1:57.3. “It was tough performance but a race filled with drama, it got a bit crazy at the home turn.” Winning driver Shane Graham said. It was back to back victories in the Lucky Creed for the Ian Gurney trained free-legged star after winning last year in a nail biting finish over Ultimate Art. The ten-year-old Art Major gelding has now banked more than $900,000 in prizemoney and is exempt from ballot in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. Next week, the Listed $25,500 Wondais Mate will be staged over the 1660m. Hoofnote; Driver Shane Graham was suspended for two weeks for his drive aboard The Charging Moa from the $15,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final, race two on the program. Chris Barsby

Exciting harness racing four-year-old Mattgregor will have his connections thinking across the weekend. The speedy pacer will start favourite in Sunday’s $15,540 Kevin & Kay Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final after drawing gate three but there’s plenty more at stake than just the prizemoney. Prepared by husband and wife team of Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Mattgregor will again be handled by concession reinsman Hayden Barnes this weekend. But connections are toying with the idea of heading to Melbourne next weekend to contest the Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at Tabcorp Park Melton. “It’s something we’re strongly considering but we have to get through his race this weekend in good order firstly, this race fits his schedule nicely and it’s quite doable given we can fly him down a few days before the event.” McMullen said. Back in February, Mattgregor qualified for the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle in Sydney and finished a creditable 5th behind champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus in a time of 1:49.0. Mattgregor started from gate 10, the extreme outside and was beaten less than 10m but managed to record the best closing splits of the event. The rangy gelding resumed with an easy victory on Tuesday afternoon when leading throughout in his heat while recording a time of 1:58.6. In-form mare Summertime Lizzie won the other heat in a time of 1:55.0 and will start to the immediate inside of Mattgregor on Sunday. “We were very pleased with his hit-out on Tuesday; he had a very easy time of it in front and just sprinted from the top of the straight. It wasn’t a taxing run and he’ll be ready for a big effort this weekend. “It was also Hayden’s first race drive behind him and he’ll know a lot more about him following that race so they will both be better for the run. Obviously Summertime Lizzie commands respect, she’s won her past four starts and recorded very good time so we won’t take her lightly. “The Melbourne race is a good option because there isn’t a great deal coming up for him during the winter carnival, we’ve got a 4yo race and then basically he’s in the deep end with the open class performers if we want to chase the decent prizemoney. I’m happy to race against the best.” No decision will be made until after the weekend. But connections have made contact regarding the availability of flights. Chris Barsby

Exciting Queensland pacer Mattgregor is ready for another big test this weekend. Fresh from his excellent effort in the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire two weeks ago when fifth behind champion pacer Lazarus in 1:49.0 after drawing the ten hole, he gets another chance at cracking it in a feature harness racing event. On Saturday night, the fresh faced four-year-old takes on seasoned rivals in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at TABCORP Park Menangle. His rivals include last year’s Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me, Tiger Tara, Hug The Wind, Aztec Bromac, Major Crocker and Tact Tate among others. Amazingly, Mattgregor is still assessed as a C5 MO, meaning he is eligible for much easier races. Mattgregor is the veteran of 14 career starts to date but has won 8 of those starts. But connections don’t feel out of place in the open class feature. “He deserves his chance and he’s drawn much better this week compared to his past couple of starts so we’re optimistic about his chances. His latest run in the Chariots was the best run of his short career to date; we were absolutely delighted with the effort.” Co-owner Karen Turpin said. The Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding will immediately return to Brisbane after the weekend for a deserving break before being set for the winter carnival at Albion Park. During his Sydney campaign, Mattgregor scored an easy first-up victory in a career best time of 1:51.6 before a slashing second behind Dashofluck in the Paleface Adios Stakes while finishing fifth in the Chariots of Fire at his most recent start. Prepared by Karen’s daughter Chantal Turpin and her husband Pete McMullen, Mattgregor continues to develop and looms as a serious future prospect which has his connections excited. “The main aim for this southern campaign was to give him his chance to contest the Chariots and he did himself well in that series, this is obviously a very strong race this weekend but we’re in with a chance. We think he’ll be mixing at this level in time to come. “The kids have done a great job in Sydney and it’s been a great learning experience for them, it would be nice to end the stint with a big race victory this weekend. “All the family will be there on Saturday night, Jake has the weekend off before the footy season starts next week and he’ll be trackside to cheer on his horse. I’m really looking forward to the night in so many different ways.” Mattgregor is raced by Denis Golinski, Karen Turpin and her son Jake. Jake Turpin is a contracted NRL player with the Melbourne Storm. Chris Barsby

McMullen duo Peter and Chantal will be looking for two sought-after pacing victories in Sydney next month. The Patrick Estate harness racing team are currently in Sydney, aiming to qualify New Zealand imports Mattgregor in the $200,000 invitational Chariots of Fire and Watch Pulp Fiction in the Miracle Mile. Although the races aren't until February, driver and co-trainer Peter said despite Mattgregor's lack of race starts, the gelding was showing plenty of potential to race in the biggest four-year-old race in Australasia. He raced last week at Menangle as favourite, winning by a solid three metres, taking his tally to eight wins from 12 starts. "It was nothing special, but hopefully that gives him enough to get into the lead up to the qualifying races,” Peter said. "He hasn't had a lot of race in him yet and we haven't seen the best of him yet.” Both Mattgregor and Watch Pulp Fiction will both need to qualify for the invitational feature races which will test the best horses in their category. If Watch Pulp Fiction doesn't make the qualifiers for the Miracle Mile, Peter said they would aim to enter him in the Bohemia Crystal, held during the same meet. "We've only had him about a month... it's a bit out of reach but we're hoping he can make the Miracle Mile,” he said. The duo have trained some 54 winners this season, putting them squarely in second place on the trainers board behind the black and white army of Grant Dixon. And in the driver's seat, Peter holds a solid third place on the state drivers table with 55 wins, 46 seconds and 40 third from 363 starts. If the two lead horses don't finish in the top two for their qualifying races, Peter said the experience and connections from New South Wales which will add to their southern venture. "We're looking to expand a little, broaden the horizons and the other horses we took with us,” Peter said. "They're all nice horses, they're the best of our bunch in Queensland, but its stronger racing in Menangle. "But if we can make new connections from the horses and broaden our stable at home that would be great.” The McMullens have spent the last couple weeks in Menangle, based at the track in the lead up to the Chariots of Fire and Miracle Mile. By Rob Williams Reprinted with permission of The Gatton Star

Young couple Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen will call Sydney home for the next couple of months. The emerging force in the harness racing training and driving ranks are spreading their wings to Menangle with a big team this week. They will be based on course at Menangle preparing their team from the state of the art training facilities. And they will arrive this week. “We’ve been talking about making a run at Menangle for some time and now it’s time for action. We’re renting one of the barns for the next two months at this stage and depending on success, it could be longer.” Turpin said. Currently, the young couple sits second in the Queensland state trainers premiership title with perennial force Grant Dixon leading the way by a clear margin. They have prepared 52 winners for the season to date. Spearheading their Sydney assault will be a pair of talented ex-kiwi pacers in Watch Pulp Fiction and Mattgregor. Watch Pulp Fiction arrived in Australia last month and was responsible for an excellent first-up effort in the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup when fourth behind recently retired star Avonnova before winning easily against moderate opposition on Saturday night. The Art Major five-year-old will be set for a number of events at Menangle during the upcoming Miracle Mile carnival. Connections paid a hefty price for the richly talented entire and have even nominated him for the Victorian summer carnival features, the Victoria and Hunter Cups. Mattgregor is a speedy four-year-old that has built an imposing record of 7 wins from 11 starts to date; all victories have come at Albion Park. The Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding scored an impressive victory at the trials on Friday afternoon in a time of 1:55.3 at Albion Park while finishing off in a sub 27 final split. “They’re the two main stays of the stable right now; we’ve got high hopes for both pacers and hopefully they can step it up a gear during this campaign. Obviously it’s going to be much harder for both of them but they deserve their chance. “Their main asset is their speed, both are very fast horses. The style of racing in Sydney is vastly different compared to what we’re used to up here but we think they will fit in quite nicely given the right luck. “We have a number of M0 type horses that have raced through their grades up here and they deserve their opportunity to win their M0 down here for the better prizemoney. At this stage, we’ll have about 10 horses coming down while another bunch will come down in the coming weeks.” McMullen returns from a recent two week driving suspension. The third generation horseman currently sits third in the state driver’s premiership behind Shane Graham and Grant Dixon with 55 winners to date. Stable foreman Hayden Barnes will continue to operate their Patrick Estate stable while they campaign in Sydney. The Turpin/McMullen team head south tomorrow (Tuesday). Chris Barsby

A Brisbane harness racing syndicate has been formed to purchase exciting New Zealand pacer Pulp Fiction for a hefty six-figure sum. The syndicate, constructed by leading trainer Chantal Turpin features several of her best clients and now they’ve joined forces to race the Art Major – Joys Underworld stallion. Turpin prepares a strong team at Patrick Estate, west of Brisbane with her husband Pete McMullen, one of the state’s best drivers. Amongst the ownership group is Ross Patrick, Dave Murray, Denis Golinski, John Manzelmann and Jake and Karen Turpin. The deal was negotiated through respected south island bloodstock agent Geoff Gibson-Smith. Pulp Fiction will arrive at the end of the week and be set for the upcoming Queensland summer carnival open class features including the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park on December 17. “It’s very exciting to have a horse of this quality join our stables and we’re really looking forward to the challenge, the summer open features are the obvious early target although we haven’t confirmed what races we will hit or miss with him.” Turpin said. Previously prepared by Riversdale horseman Tony Stratford, the five-year-old raced during Cup week at Addington where he finished 6th behind brilliant mare Dream About Me before finishing 7th behind Chase The Dream in record time. Pulp Fiction has put together a very tidy ‘CV’ which includes 12 wins and 8 minor placings from 33 starts to date while amassing more than $100,000 in stakes. His biggest win to date came via the 2014 Riverton Cup. “He profiles really well and he’s proven he can compete with some very good horses, I think his speed will be his biggest asset when racing here in Australia. The opportunity to buy this horse came about quickly and we didn’t hesitate to grab him, he arrives on a very good mark for a horse of this quality. “It’s great that we got the support from the owners, that’s the most important part of setting up a stable and we’re always looking to expand. Having a horse like this in the stable and performing, well hopefully that will build our profile a little more. “Obviously we’ll be keen to have him competing in some of the better races both here and south of the border, in fact, we plan on having a good quality team of horses in Sydney at Menangle early in the New Year.” The young couple prepare exciting four-year-old Mattgregor, a winner of 7 from 11 to date. by Chris Barsby

Shane Graham and Pete McMullen have been selected to represent Queensland in the Australian Drivers Championship to be held on October 22 at Globe Derby in Adelaide with each driver aspiring to not only take the 2016 title but continue Queensland’s unbeaten run in the harness racing series. The inaugural Australian Driving Championship was conducted in 2014 with Pete McMullen claiming victory while in 2015 Grant Dixon took the honours and Shane Graham finished third. Each driver was presented with their driving attire for the series by the Racing Queensland Harness Racing Board Member Margaret Reynolds and Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes at a special presentation at Albion Park on Saturday October 15. Shane and Pete earned their selections by finishing first and second respectively in the 2015/16 State Driving Premiership.  Shane finished second in the 2015/16 National Drivers Premiership behind Victorian reinsman Chris Alford while Pete McMullen finished fifth nationally with a career best 198 winners. Best wishes to both Shane Graham and Pete McMullen for a safe and successful campaign. The fields for the Australian Drivers Championship Series will be declared Tuesday afternoon October 18 by Harness Racing South Australia. Racing Queensland

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