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Even 20 hours after achieving his greatest moment in harness racing, Paul Diebert, still hadn’t fully realised the enormity of what he did at Albion Park at 8.35pm on Saturday. “It still hasn’t sunk in. But when you are being contacted by people that didn’t even want to know me this time last week, well then you know something’s up. It’s all very humbling,” Diebert told Racing Queensland. “This is one of the best moments in my life and certainly my most memorable moment on a racetrack. It’s races like this that we all dream of winning. This is why we all work so hard - to achieve results like this,” Diebert said on his way to the Redcliffe Trots on Sunday. Ten years after first doing jog work for his family, 24-year-old Diebert, has driven the Grant Dixon trained Ohoka Punter to his firs Group One victory in the $100,000 Group One Garrards Sunshine Sprint. It was one of three Group Ones, a Group Three, and a Listed race that were competed for on the second night of the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. Diebert sat behind stablemate, favourite and eventual runner-up Colt Thirty One (Dixon) and then in the passing lane had enough sprint to win by 1.3m. Ohoka Punter’s sectionals were 26, 32, 27.8 and 27.7. He stopped the clock in 1:56.8 (mile rate 1:53.2) for the 1660m mobile. It was Ohoka Punter’s 27th win in 109 starts. He’s also placed 51 times and banked $1.17m in stakes. It was the 9-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding’s fourth Group One to go with his 2016 Blacks A Fake, and 2013 Victoria Derby (Melton) and Great Northern Derby (Auckland) victories. “He’s a great old horse who has been there and done that. He’s rising 10 now so he might be getting towards the end of it, which will be a shame,” Diebert said. “But he felt awesome on Saturday. He was jogging it from the 400m. I hope he keeps racing on next season, because the way he is going I think he can go close again in next Saturday’s Blacks A Fake,” Diebert said. Kevin Seymour, who co-owns both Ohoka Punter and Colt Thirty One with his wife Kay, told Diebert he would be a giant if he won on Saturday. “We had a few light-hearted words before the race and I told him he would be seven-foot tall and bullet proof if he could get ‘Punter home’ – and he did,” Mr Seymour said. “It was a fantastic drive and I honestly believe Paul is one of the most underrated drivers going around in Queensland. That was a lovely drive tonight and Kay and I are so proud of him.” Diebert said he was born into a harness racing family in the Riverina region in New South Wales. He said he got the bug from his grandfather and father and (Norm Diebert Sr & Jr). “They never wanted me to get into harness racing, but like I said I got the bug when I was in my early teens and haven’t looked back. I’m proud to be a third-generation member of my family that has taken up harness racing for a living,” he said. “I have worked for a few trainers since starting out in 2010 when I left school. I even left the industry and went to Thailand for a while. I’ve also worked for stables in New South Wales, Western Australia (2016-2017) and Queensland. “I’d worked for Grant previously and this time I’ve been back at his (Tamborine) stables since late last year. He’s a real pleasure to work for. You can see why he’s Australia’s top trainer. Grant leaves nothing to chance and gives a lot of attention to detail,” he added. After admitting he had a slow start to the season, Diebert has now driven 55 winners this season and just over $420,000 in stakes. He said he nailed his first winning drive behind the Shaun Snudden trained Chrissy Styx at Leeton on April 14, 2012. “I drove a double that day and I remember it well, but what happened on Saturday night I’ll never forget either. I just want to thank Grant and Mr and Mrs Seymour for believing in me,” he said. “There are so many other people who have been great to me as well. I just want to thank them all and let them know I’m grateful to everyone for making this happen. It’s taken a wee while, but now that I’m here I want to do it all again – starting this Saturday,” Diebert said. It was a night when the big guns stepped up. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Our Princess Tiffany ran them into the ground when winning the Group 1 TAB Queensland Oaks. An effortless 11.5m win was further bolstered by the fact she did it in track-record time for 3YO fillies (1.54.7 mile-rate) previously held by 2017 Oaks winner Shartin. “She cruised that tonight. She’s so fit and so well gaited. It was an absolute pleasure to drive ‘a machine’ like this. She has some gears,” said catch-driver, Kylie Rasmussen. The other Group One event – the $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup, went to another Kiwi raider, the Tim Butt trained and Anthony Butt driven Majestic Courtney. It was the Butts’ first Group One trotting victory at Albion Park since the legendary Take A Moment won the $200,000 Interdominion Grand Final in April 2001. “He’s a lovely horse who is still only four and has a bit to learn. We definitely think he will make a nice open class trotter one day,” butt (Tim) said.   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Cobbity Trainer, Craig Cross, believes the Kylie Rasmussen trained and driven Smart As Camm Be has Saturday’s $21,000 Redcliffe Oaks for 3yo pacing fillies at her mercy. “She’s a very smart horse, and not the current Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year for nothing. She has almost colt-like features. In fact I’d rate her the second best pacer in Queensland behind Colt Thirty One. It’s hard to see her losing. “Of course I’d like to win and anything can happen in horse racing, but someone has got to run second and I don’t mind being runner-up to a good one,” Cross said. Those comments were made in spite of Cross’s pacer, Senora Rapido, having won four of his five New South Wales starts since relocating from New Zealand in March. The Art Major filly has also drawn one inside Smart As Camm Be (5). “Kylie knows how to win Oaks races and also knows Redcliffe very well. Smart As Camm Be has also won 11 races. We will know we’ve been in a race. Chris (Geary) is driving my filly for the first time,” Cross said. “She is very capable and can get some of this, if not the Queensland Derby as well,” the 56-year-old added. Cross is no stranger coming to Queensland and taking home the spoils, but is yet to win a Redcliffe Oaks. The last two years he’s nailed the QBRED Triad 2&3-year-old Group events with First String. “Luke McCarthy drove First String to win his latest TRIAD at Albion Park in April. He’s driving him again at Menangle on Saturday in the NSW Breeders Challenge semi Final. “He (First String) might join some of my team here later in the Winter. Queenslander, Joe Taaffe is bringing Senora Rapido to Stephen Cini and Cristina Monte’s Alberton barn today (Thursday),” said Cross, who works a team of 35 in NSW. He said Senora Rapido had the breeding to make a nice pacer. “She is out of a Presidential Ball mare (Eyre To The Throne) who won three of her five starts and left a good Mach Three filly, who won a lot of races.” That filly was Senora Rapido’s older half-sister, Kate’s First, who was a Group Two winner, who won 21 of her 60 starts ($341,723), and also paced a 1:50.3 mile. Senora Rapido’s quickest mile rate to date came when wining at Penrith on May 2 in 1:56.5. That’s 0.9 of a second slower that what Smart As Camm Be recorded in her 2yo TRIAD final last July. That was Smart As Camm Be’s last race as a 2-year-old. Since then she has won five of her eight starts this season. Up until her last start seventh n the Victoria Oaks Smart As Camm Be had won her last six races in a row. And the gifted daughter of Cammibest signaled a big warning to her 10 Redcliffe Oaks opponents at the Albion Park Trials on Tuesday when recording her fastest ever mile rate. Rasmussen drove her to a head victory over Lincolns Girl, pacing the 1,660m mobile in 1:58.3 with a 1:54.7 mile rate. Her sectionals were 28.5, and 29.8, 28.7, and 27.8. Australia’s top trainer, Grant Dixon, must also be taken seriously in Saturday’s 2,040m mobile. The Tamborine horseman has three in the Oaks. They are the Dixon drive last start winner, For All We Know (1), the ultra-consistent Adam Sanderson drive Eternal Promise (2); and the Paul Diebert driven Ark Me (8), who follows out Eternal Promise.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Any weanling that can survive a deadly disease, and then not long after, rebound from almost being drowned in the wake of Cyclone Debbie deserves his place in Saturday’s Group One event at Redcliffe Paceway. Gold Coast trainer Shawn Grimsey said it was a miracle that Storm Gilbert was still alive. After fighting back from the brink of death on three or four occasions, the Roll With Joe gelding will now line up from gate five in the $100,000 Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Two-Year-Old Pace. The 1780m mobile is the first Group One event of 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Harness Carnival. Nathan Dawson will drive Storm Gilbert. Grimsey co-owns and bred the strong-willed bay with his wife, Michelle. He said trainer (himself) and horse were only now just starting to get on, after a tumultuous relationship. “He’s been through so much and shouldn’t be here. I love his fighting spirit and he’s finally developing into a nice pacer. He has been a stroppy buggar though. He took a while to learn how to pace,” he said. “We have never really got on. We did not have much mutual respect for each other early on, but he’s warmed to me a bit more now – and vice versa. “He does get on well with Michelle though. I blame the horse and she blames me. I’ve learnt to keep a bit more calmer with him these days.” Storm Gilbert is the youngest of two foals out of the Grimseys’ seven-win Real Desire mare, Vitesse Heiress. Abut eight weeks after being foaled at the Grimseys’ Littlehaven property in Tamborine (November 8, 2016), Storm Gilbert’s troubles started. Firstly, he suffered from a case of the ‘rattles’. “It took almost a month of treatment and on a couple of occasions he should have died, but instead he showed an amazing will to live,” Grimsey said. “Then when the Queensland floods came through in March 2017 he was barely four months old and we put him in the driest paddock we had. As it got worse he became trapped and had to swim to survive. The water was so deep it was well over our walker. “To survive that was quite amazing especially after what he had been through. We all thought he would have been a weak horse after all his medication, but he has displayed great resilience and a will to live.” Fast forward just over two years and the 46-year-old horseman said he was just pleased to have his     horse fit and ready to line up in a big race, after earlier losing the services of another 2-year-old, the talented Xaviers Hurrikane “He’d won two of his four starts and placed in two others before breaking down in April. That was more bad luck. He will come back a better 3-year-old,” Grimsey said. Storm Gilbert has recorded a fifth, third, and fourth in three stars in May and June. Grimsey reckons he’s now developed enough to run a place. “I can’t see the one outside us (Governor Jujon) getting beaten. He’s a very nice colt. That pacer aside, I don’t think there’s any other horse in the race with any more ability than my fella,” he said. “Surprisingly he’s not a weak horse. I thought his immune system might have suffered a bit, but he’s bounced back well and is as strong as ever. “He’ still leaning though and will also make a better 3-year-old. It’s just a great honour to have a horse that you own, bred and train start in a Group One race, so early in his career.”   Duane Ranger  for Racing Queensland

Prolific Queensland owner-breeder, Kevin Seymour, described Colt Thirty One’s gutsy 1:52.9 mile rate victory at Albion Park on Saturday as the best of his 28 wins. It was also a personal best time, and in doing so the reigning Queensland Horse-of-the-Year went past $500,000 in stake money. Then immediately after watching the C6 and faster $13,000 pace with Seymour and his wife Kay, the Brisbane couple announced that the tough son of Mach Three and Charm Personified (by Perfect Art) would stand at Egmont Park Stud when he retires. “He’s only four, but that is the plan when he does eventually end his racing career. That was a phenomenal win, the best I’ve seen from him. Even better than his Victoria Derby win at Melton last year. “I always thought he would make a decent 5-year-old open class pacer, but he’s now doing things at four I never expected him to do. I think he will hold his own against the guns here at the Winter Carnival. “He’s going as good as he ever has and Grant’s got him in the best condition of his life. He’s come back extra this time in so retirement is still a wee way off yet,” Seymour said. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Colt Thirty One had to be good to win on Saturday. Even though he was a hot $1.30 favourite Dixon still had to sit back and bide his time from the widest second row draw over the 1,660m mobile. “To sit near last and then make a move two-wide and then three-wide without cover for most of the last lap was astounding. He did it all on his own. “And over the mile and he was still running on at the end. That’s the toughest performance I have seen from him. He’s really starting to come back to form now. This is his first year in open company and we are so proud of him. We now just have to be careful not to break his heart.” Colt Thirty One had 3.8m to spare over Lincoln Road and Hayden Barnes in Saturday’s Silks Trackside Marquee Pace. He stopped the clock in 1:56.5 with 27.2, 30.5, 28.3, and 27.4 sectionals. The talented bay entire has now won 28 of his 41 starts and placed in eight others for $500,592 in purses. “He’s now doing things as a late 4-year-old that I never expected. He’s the best horse we’ve had with Grant,” Seymour stressed. Seymour said he would race through until next month’s Winter Carnival and then the Seymours and Dixon would get together to discuss the horse’s racing future. “I don’t want to look too far beyond the Winter Carnival, but he’s proved he can win down south and the way he’s going he would be a worthy Queensland representative no matter where he races. “Grant’s a family man and doesn’t like to travel away too much, however I think this horse could persuade him to campaign him outside of Queensland. “Grant told me he was still giving at the line. He was quite ecstatic really – really delighted with the win.” Seymour believed that being a son of Mach Three would help Colt Thirty immensely when it was eventually time for the entire to stand at stud. “He will make a great sire. My objective is to stand a high quality son of Mach Three at stud (him), and a top-line son of Bettor’s Delight. We will announce the latter one later. “Regardless of what’s in store for Colt Thirty One on the racetrack, his progeny will be around for many years to come,” Seymour said. “I think he will put Queensland on the map as a stallion as well,” he added. Meanwhile, it was a night for the McMullen family at ‘The Creek’ on Saturday. Siblings Narissa, Dannielle and Peter drove six winners on the 10-race programme. Narissa won behind the horse she owns, trains and drives in race five – Tom Me Gun. She also saluted behind the Mark Rees trained Karinya Mully and the Ron Sallis trained Maybetothemax in races seven and nine. Younger sister, Dannielle, was successful behind the Stephen Cini trained Clarry in race two, and then half an hour later triumphed behind the 4-year-old mare her partner Ryan Veivers trains – Getoutnwalk. Older brother Peter, aka ‘Leader Peter’ won the last race thanks to a perfect front-running steer behind the Bill Crosby trained Slippery Jade from the two gate.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

When tough Brisbane Broncos hooker, Jake Turpin, needs to draw on some inspiration and success, he looks no further than top Queensland horsewoman, his sister, Chantal McMullen. “Chantal works so hard training her team of horses and she’s the best Mum ever to my beautiful neices, Olivia and Rylee. I can see why she is successful, because she is the hardest worker I know,” Jake says “She is also married to one of the best drivers going around (Peter McMullen). Chantal is my inspiration to succeed. My motto has always been ‘give it a crack!’ Don’t do anything half-hearted – and they certainly don’t do that." The 22-year-old spoke to Racing Queensland not long after returning from a gritty 8-2 away win against the NZ Warriors in Auckland on Saturday (May 25). Since making the Queensland Under 15 team while attending St Edmunds College Ipswich in 2011, the humble ‘country boy’ from rural Queensland has escalated into one of the toughest and most fearless hookers in the NRL.“ I’ve never been big, or even fast for that matter, but Dad (Tony) always told me ‘the bigger they are the harder they fell’. If you go in half-hearted that’s when you get injured,” Jake said. “Growing up Dad always did the horses with Chantal and Mum Karen would take me to all my footy games. Mum and Dad have always taught us that if we are going to do anything then give it 101 per cent. “I was always the little kid who really tore into his tackling. I gave it my all, no matter how big or small they were. That still very much applies.” Turpin said harness racing was without a doubt his second favourite sport. “When I’m not playing league I always like to flick the Tv on and watch my family race. I’ve grown up around the horses and I’m slowly trying to convince my team-mates to get involved,” he said. “Some of them now look for the Turpin and McMullen name when the trots are on. I’d actually like a few of us to get a ‘Broncos horse’, perhaps a Kiwi import. “I Know ‘Birdy’ (Jack Bird) could be keen and I’ll try and get some of the others along to the track when and if I can. I know quite a few of them seem interested anyway.” Schedule and time allowing Turpin said he would more than likely be attending Queensland’s Winter Carnival at Albion Park in July. “I’d like to be there, especially if my horses are running at the time – and I think they will be. I think Watch Pulp Fiction is being targeted for the Carnival and Mattgregor is just on the way back, perhaps trialling this week,” he said. Turpin said he was never one to rush and muck the boxes or do feed-ups when he was young. “I’ve been around them all of my life. I still love them, but I was never too excited about doing it for a full-time job. I’m not sure what would have happened if I never got that Melbourne Storm (five-year) contract when I was 15,” he said. “Footy has always been my number one sport. Harness two. Our parents gave Chantal and I a great country life and the best possible platform to do what we wanted in life. “Chantal and I have always tried to do our best by our family and make them proud. We will never forget the hard yards they put in when we were growing up.” Turpin said he would like to pass similar guidance through sport to young league players, especially promising young hookers. “I remember when I was young and a Broncos fan, so now I’d do anything for the kids. They are the future of our game. If I can sign an autograph and makes someone’s day, then it puts a smile on my face too,” Turpin said. *Racing Queensland wishes to thank the Brisbane Broncos for their assistance with this article. Jake Turpin’s player bio can be found here:   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Queensland will have three representatives lining up in the prestigious Group One $150,000 Lazarus Victoria Oaks for the 3YO pacing fillies at Melton on Saturday night. The Sunshine State boasts the favourite and second favourite Belle Of Montana ($1.30) and Smart As Camm Be ($6), and $151 outsider, Betamerica. Belle Of Montana is owned by former Ladbrokes chief, Dean Shannon (Montana Park Pty Ltd); Smart As Camm Be is trained and driven by Kylie Rasmussen, and owned by Pam Smart and her son Chris; while Shannon Price and Raboki Pty Ltd own Betamerica. They have drawn one, six, and 10 respectively. Rasmussen was not perturbed by Smart As Camm Be’s wide draw. “The outside of the front row isn’t the worst possible draw for her because I think she prefers to win her races from back in the field. “Obviously the one-horse is the filly to beat, but if we can get a nice trip and can get one go at them, she has the gait, will, and ability to get close to the favourite – if not beat her,” Rasmussen said. Those comments came three days after Smart As Camm Be waltzed to an easy victory as the $1.50 favourite in the second Victoria Oaks heat at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on Saturday. The Cammibest filly also drew six that night and stopped the clock in 2:43.1. Her mile rate for the 2,240m mobile was 1:57.2. The Barry Purdon trained and Zachary Butcher driven Belle Of Montana beat Miss Streisand by half a neck in her first heat. The $1.20 NZ-based ‘hot-pot’ drew nine and won in 2:39.9 with a slashing 1:54.9 mile rate. “We can only focus on what our filly can do and not what the others have done, but I do know how good Barry’s filly is. “My girl travelled and settled in very well. She will be a lot stronger this week because she has adjusted to the surroundings well. This is her first trip away and I’m very proud of her. She can win,” Rasmussen said. Smart As Camm Be has now won 11 of her 13 starts and banked $148,135. The Stanmore horsewomen also brought her stable star, Lilac Flash, to Melbourne as a travel companion last week. However, that black Bettor’s Delight gelding proved to be more than just a travel mate. The 5-year-old notched up his 19th win in 52 starts ($142,231) in a $20,000 M1 to M2 Pace on Saturday. The $3.30 second favourite drew nine and won with a blistering 1:51.6 mile rate for the 1,720m mobile. He has drawn four in the $24,000 Captain Sandy Free-For-All at 7.30pm on Saturday. But all the attention will come two races later at 8.30pm when Australia and New Zealand’s best fillies will do the business. Price, who owns the American Ideal filly, Betamerica, couldn’t believe her brown pacer was paying more than $150 to win the coveted Oaks. “I thought her run last week was a cracker and I can’t believe that she is one of the outsiders in the field. She will need luck on her side but I am very happy with Larajay Farms’ performance with her so far this season,” Woolloongabba-based Price said. Betamerica is trained by Jess Tubbs and will be driven by Greg Sugars. He will start from three on the second row this week after finishing a close-up head second in the third heat behind the $2.60 favourite, Kualoa. TAB’s opening odds for Saturday’s 2,240m mobile are: Belle Of Montana $1.30, Smart As Camm Be $6, Kualoa $7, Two Times Better $21, Miss Streisand $23, Enchanted Stride $23, Victoria Brew $34, Tangoingwithsierra $51, Wellsaidlucy $71, Vena May $81, Swimsuit Edition $126, Betamerica $151, Single Tree Road $151.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Hot favourite Escalera ($1.35) didn’t let favourite backers down when winning the second annual $25,000 Listed Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series Final at the Marburg Showgrounds on Sunday. But it was a 75-year-old horseman, who has been training standardbreds for more than half a century, that epitomised the Marburg Pacing Association's (MPA) biggest day of the year. Purga trainer, Denis Smith, first climbed into a sulky back in 1964. Nineteen years later the MPA was established. “It’s a great day out and there should be more like it. Who said they couldn't win from back-marks on the 700m Marburg track? I wish they were all like him," Smith said. He was referring to his 5-year-old Down Under Muscles gelding, Northern Muscle, whom he steered to a 4.2m victory over stablemate, Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson) in the second event. "It was great to train the quinella, but I wish they were all like this fella (Northern Muscle). He's the best of the six I've got in work. He’s amazing really because he’s overcome a hock problem which couldn’t be cured. It was bred in him. He's so tough and never stops trying," Smith said. Northern Muscle had to be good to win from his 40m back mark on Sunday. Not only did he have to get around the entire field, but he had to negotiate 12 bends as he trotted the 2200m Nationwide Boring Handicap in 2:55.7 (mile rate 2:06.2). “To go that time on the small track he had to be better than average. His sire won Group races here and his grand-sire (Muscles Yankee) was one of the best going around in America at his peak, so he has good breeding. I think that's where he gets his toughness," Smith said. The punters obviously knew Northern Muscle's potential. He paid $5 to win in what was his 14th career victory ($53,916) since making his debut, ironically at the Marburg Easter meeting two years ago. He was bred and is owned by Kathryn McLachlan. The obvious highlight on Sunday was the Darrel Graham trained and driven Escalera’s ridiculously easy 15.3m win over the Graham Dyer trained Goalkicker (Lola Weidemann) in the feature event. Half-a-neck back in third was the Graham trained second favourite, My Ultimate Romeo (Adam Sanderson). “I always thought he might be tough to bowl from the nice draw (2) and the punters seemed to agree as well. That was a big effort to do what he did around this little track and still win with a 2.02-minute mile rate. "He's got good manners and he's a tough little fella. I wanted to run them off their feet and that's how it worked out,” Graham said. “I love coming here. It’s great to win grassroots racing events like this with a good little horse,” he added. Graham said he would now attack the Queensland Derby and a couple of Country Derbies with the talented three-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight. It was Escalera’s seventh win from 16 starts. He's also placed four times and banked $45,292 in stakes. He is owned by Tumby Park Limited and was bred by Dr Charles Roberts of Woodlands Stud in New Zealand. The talented bay gelding led from the outset and paced the 2200m stand in 2:46.8. His sectionals were 29.3, 31, 30.1, and 30.1. The other highlight of the meeting was the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Argyle Beach's very easy 27.9m win in the $11,000 Stanley Road Construction Diamond Series Final. An aggressive drive by McMullen saw the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare work hard for the lead from her 20m handicap with two laps remaining, and then at the 400m the duo said goodbye. That was her 17th win ($99,764) for owner Ross Patrick. "She's just a beautiful little mare who you can put anywhere in the race. You can make a move with her and she always gives. We all love her," the man nicknamed 'Leader Peter' said.   Duane Ranger for 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

“Pressure? What pressure? I’m too old for pressure. I’m even too old to get excited these days,” joked Australia’s number one trainer, Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman was referring to his champion four-year-old pacer, Colt Thirty One, when asked how he felt when the TAB opened him $1.05 to win Saturday night’s Listed $25,000 QBRED 4YO Triad Final at Albion Park. "I don't take any notice of what the TAB says. If it I did I'd be a wreck. All I worry about is having my horses spot on come race-night, and so-far Colt Thirty One has done everything we have asked of him this preparation," 46-year-old Dixon said. Colt Thirty One, who is Queensland’s best pacer and the state’s current Horse-of-the-Year, has drawn three on the second line (10) in Saturday’s 2,138m mobile. However, the way he won his trial at Albion Park on April 2, he’d still be at minuscule odds, even if he drew 20. "That was his first hit-out since late January and Trista (Dixon) drove him confidently. It was what we needed going into Saturday night,” Dixon said. Dixon initially sat parked with the son of Mach Three before letting him loose down the back straight the last time. The pair then strolled up the home straight to win by an increasing 7.9m, under a hold. The winning time was 1:58.8 with a 1:55.1 mile rate. His sectionals were 28.6, 30.8, 28.7, and 27.1. “That was a nice run. He’s fit and ready to race. I’ll see how he progresses throughout autumn and winter and then take it from there. I’m not one to look too far ahead,” Dixon said. “Potentially this fella is up there with Majestic Mach as the best I’ve had.” That’s a big call considering Majestic Mach won 35 of his 94 starts, including four Group One events, between March 2012 and September 2017. He also placed 20 times, paced a 1:53.9 mile and banked $796,397. Colt Thirty One has so far won 23 of his 35 starts, placed in seven others, sprinted a 1:53.2 mile, and has banked $453,345. Both pacers were bred and owned by Kevin and Kay Seymour. "He's a bit of a dud isn't he. Not much at all really," joked Seymour. Then he switched to serious mode. "The reason he's done so well is because Grant has managed him perfectly. He's only four and he’s looked after him and not over-raced him. He once told me that to get a good long-term open grade horse you have to take your time with them. "For that reason I think Colt Thirty One will make a nice grand circuit horse one day and Grant should have a top Free-For-Aller for several years to come. “Mr Feelgood is the best horse Kay and I have raced and Colt Thirty One is the best that we have bred.” Colt Thirty One is seventh of nine foals of out of the 2000 maiden Vanston Hanover mare, Charm personified. His older sister, Charming Allie (by Mr Feelgood) recorded a 1:53.9 mile and won 18 races and $266,329. She also nailed four Group Two races and ran second in the Group One $75,000 Queensland Oaks in 2014. Colt Thirty One won his first Group One at Albion Park on July 15, 2017 when he was too smart in the $100,000 QBRED 2YO Triad Pace. He also won the QBRED 3yo Triad a year later under Group Two conditions. Colt Thirty One also cleaned up a quality Victoria Derby three-year-old field at Melton's Tabcorp Park on January 27 last year. That race was worth $200,000 pocketing his owners a cool $114,000 for that win. He also placed in the Breeders Crown 2 and 3yo Finals in 2017 and 2018. Dixon has won Queensland Horse-of-the-Year previously with Majestic Mach and the 1990 Jeremy Laurence black colt, Jeremy Lee (22 wins and $216,971). "I was working for Dad (Bill) when he trained Speed Ace (1991 Speed King gelding). He was Queensland Horse-of-the-Year as well. He won 15 races ($130,274)," Dixon said. Dixon is currently Australia's top trainer with 187 victories - 31 clear of second-placed Emma Stewart. He also sits fourth on the national driving premiership with 118 wins behind Chris Alford (228), Greg Sugars (138), Ryan Warwick (123).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Queensland’s best juvenile filly of last season will vie for her 10th consecutive win in Saturday night's $50,000 Group 2 QBRED Three-Year-Old Fillies Triad Final at Albion Park on Saturday- the Group Two Q-Bred 3yo Fillies Triad Final. Thirty-two minutes earlier the 'boys' will also compete for $50,000 in the only other Group 2 race of the evening - the QBRED Colts and Gelding Final. There are also four other Listed $25,000 events on the 10-race card. “If she (Smart As Camm Be) performs well on Saturday, and there’s no reason why she won’t, then we may take her for a quick hit and run mission to the Victoria Oaks in a couple of weeks,” her Stanmore trainer/driver, Kylie Rasmussen said. “It all depends on flights and what her owners have to say,” she added. The Group One $150,000 Victoria Oaks will be run at Melton’s Tabcorp Park in a fortnight (Saturday April 27). Sadly for Smart As Camm Be’s 12 opponents, the brilliant daughter of Cammibest and Too Smart For You (by Famous Forever) has drawn (3), and looks set to lead them all the way over Saturday's 2,138m mobile. She's also in mint condition. “She’s never been better. She took a wee while to come back from her spell, because she did suffer a little setback early in the season when a virus went through the barn. “But now she is bigger and stronger than she ever has been,” Rasmussen said. Last July Smart As Camm Be won the equivalent 2yo Triad Final as the $1.80 favourite. She drew six in that $100,000 Group One event and got up by a neck with a sizzling 1:55.7 mile rate. Smart As Camm Be has won all four of her starts this season at Albion Park on February 26, March 19, March 27, and April 2. Don't expect to get a big win dividend this time around either. Her win prices so far in 2019 have been $1.20, $1.22, $1.08, and $1.30. “She trialed well in February too and has got stronger with each run since then. She had a great 2-year-old season but it took it’s toll on her. She suffered from bone chips in her knee and we had to put her out for a fair while to recover (July 21-February 12). “I’m just so pleased she’s a healthy horse and is now back to where we want her to be. I think she can only get stronger as the season develops. If her 3-year-old season is as good as her 2-year-old one, then we’ll be rapt,” Rasmussen said. The slow start to the season was largely why Smart As Camm Be by-passed the Group One $200,000 New South Wales Derby in Sydney on March 2, in preference for Group racing in the ‘Sunshine State’. “She just wasn’t ready – and now she is,” Rasmussen said. Last year's Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year, had a brilliant first-up season in 2017-2018. She won five of her seven starts from March 27 until July 21 - the last five in a row. As well as her QBRED victory, Smart As Camm Be also won the $25,000 Listed Classic Q-Bred Breeders Classic. Rasmussen will be looking to emulate her feats of 2010 and 2011 with her former female star, the 2007 Famous Forever mare, Forever Gold. She won the Q-Bred 2yo Fillies Final in 2010, and then the following year nailed the QBRED 3yo Fillies Final and the prestigious Group One Queensland 3yo Oaks. “The (Group One) $75,000 Queensland Oaks (July 13) is her main priority after this month," Rasmussen said. Smart As Camm Be has so far won nine of her 11 starts and placed in one other for $105,560. “I’m working a team of about 30 at the moment and this girl is up there with Lilac Flash and Mr Kalypso as the best of them,” said Rasmussen.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Jake Davis not only drove his first winner at Albion Park on Saturday night (April 6) but he also kept up a family tradition dating back a couple of decades. Davis and his father Leigh made the 970km journey from their Browns Creek stable near Bathurst, to campaign six horses in Queensland. They were rewarded for their efforts when Studleigh Kristen, despite facing the breeze for much of the 2138m Pace (Race 11), careered away for a dominant victory over Call Me Yours and Caesars Astrum.  Travelling to Albion Park is something the Davis family have done since Jake’s grandfather, Ray, started racing standardbreds in Queensland a couple of decades ago. “Dad drove the 13 hours to get here with the team the week before last and I arrived here on Thursday night after the races. I will head home again next Sunday to do my main job on our dairy farm,” Jake said. The 26-year said he had been driving for almost a decade. “That was about the time when Dad last campaigned horses up here. He drove them back then. I’m over the moon. Tonight was my first drive at Albion Park and I loved it." Jake said. “I won’t forget the night in a hurry. It’s something I wanted to achieve when I knew we were coming up here. The team will stay for about four or five weeks, depending on how they go." Davis had two drives at Albion Park on Saturday. He finished a close-up second behind Rays Choice in the third event, and then thanks to a very confident drive he steered Studleigh Kristen to victory in the final event. “I don’t mind sitting parked with her. About 70 per cent of the time I’ve sat in the ‘death seat’ and she's gone on to win races. She’s as tough as old boots and can stay all day. I was delighted with that performance. She felt the winner a long way from home,” Davis Jr said. Studleigh Kristin drew six of seven and settled last early before Davis sent her to sit parked at on ‘Alan Border Field corner’ the first time. That's where they remained until the home straight. Davis then gave the mare some rein and she left them to it winning by an increasing 9.7m. She paced the 2,138m mobile in 2:37.2 with a 1:58.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were: 32.1, 30.5, 28.2, and 28.1. It was the Kenneth J 6-year-old mare's 11th win in 83 starts. She's also placed 22 times and banked $69,666 in purses. "She's a lovely, tough mare, who always gives her best. We paid $3,000 for her at the Sydney Yearling Sales. As a 2-year-old she wouldn't steer straight and Dad wanted to get rid of her, but there was no way Pop (grandfather) was going to let him do that," Davis said. "She started her career as a 3-year-old and has consistently been in the money since. She is always well backed. I think she will do well up here," he added. Davis Senior and Studleigh Sonny won at Redcliffe Paceway on Thursday, three days after Studleigh Stride and the same driver ran second at Albion Park (Monday). The Davis’ originally housed their horses at John McCarthy’s property, but these days they park up at Peter McMullen and Chantal Turpin’s barn at Patrick Estate. “We love it up here and our horses have already performed well with two firsts and two seconds from four starts. We also have another 12 horses at home, mostly yearlings and 2-year-olds, I have to get back and tend to,” Davis said. One of the other highlights on Saturday was the running of the Jack Waltisbuhl Memorial. His family on-course to watch the Darrel Graham trained and Kylie Rasmussen driven $38.50 outsider, Platinum Roulette, get up and win. Mr Waltisbuhl raced horses in the 1970s and 1980s and  enjoyed multiple successes with Penny Express, Bulltossa, and Fiery Tan. He raced and won at tracks all over Queensland including Amberley, Redland Bay, Lawnton, Capalaba, Cleveland Showgrounds, Redcliffe Showgrounds, Kedron Park, Rocklea and of course Albion Park.    Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

It was a moment that New Jersey horseman, John McDermott, had been longing for from the moment his champion pacer and stallion, Hurrikane Kingcole, left him in the USA three years ago. Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owner and former trainer was in the Toowoomba region on Monday (April 1), and specifically came to Queensland to visit his beloved mate who is standing at Egmont Park Stud in Biddeston. He also attended the Albion Park Trots and the Redcliffe Sales on Saturday and Sunday. “Of course I shed a tear. I’m almost shedding a tear now - a day just later - just thinking about it," McDermott said. “It was a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. You know I couldn’t sleep some nights thinking about my best friend. I was so worried about how he would look now. Everyone who knows me will tell you I love my animals. “I didn’t have to worry about a thing though did I?. What beautiful, healthy condition he is in! All my fears were allayed. Peter and Leann (Bell) have done a wonderful job with him. He’s exactly how I hoped he would look. I can’t thank them enough. “And you know what? He knew me. It was like old friends meeting up after such a long time. Forever mates reunited. It’s truly a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” McDermott said from the Sunshine Coast. Hurrikane Kingcole was a $10,000 yearling sales purchase. The son of Cam's Card Shark and Blazing Yankee then went on to win 14 of his 49 starts and earned $582,807 in an injury-plagued career.. His lifetime mark was 1:47.3. His crop of 2-year-olds are just starting to hit the ground running now in Australia, but McDermott loved the horse from the moment he saw him at the sales. “If you thought I loved him at first sight, try now. I remember the moment the hammer went down and we got him for a bargain $10,000. Then the phone rang at home and I was told (my dog) ‘King Cole’ had just died," he said. “’King Cole’ was my best friend back then. My 16-year-old Great Dane. From that moment on I believe the dog’s spirit moved into that yearling. That’s why he’s called Hurrikane King Cole and that’s why this horse has long been my best friend." He also explained that the term ‘Hurrikane’ came from his mother and his son. “Kane is my son. He’s 22 now. He was named after my mother’s maiden name which is Kane. Kane’s sister nicknamed him Hurrikane one day and it stuck," he said. McDermott said when he bought Hurrikane Kingcole the colt was a bit fat. “He was like a tubby little school kid and then within months he blossomed into the wonderful racehorse and now the striking stallion he is today. It’s just a shame he was injured and sick throughout his career," he said. “If he had been raised in Queensland he could have been anything. Your fresh air would have been amazing for him, but instead he was always cooped up back home recovering in boxes. “Sadly we only got to see glimpses of him at his very best because of his immune system issues, as well as his breathing difficulties." Apart from reuniting with his old mate again for the first time in three years, McDermott said one of the other highlights ‘Down Under’ was visiting Albion Park with Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owners and lifetime friends, Scott Mangini and Carl Garafalo (pictured). “Yes I am an emotional kinda guy, but it completely blew me away to see Hurrikane Kingcole’s name in large letters along the back-straight," he said. “That was touching. What a great place to visit. It was so good to see so many young ones in their twenties having a great night out at the races. We could learn a thing or two from you guys back home." The day after the trots McDermott and his mates were under-bidders on Lot 35 at the  Redcliffe Yearling Sale - a Hurrikane Kingcole - Too Smart For You colt. “We really liked him too but had to let him go at $47,000. That was also a great day out. It was so heartening to know that he produced the top lot and there were eight others by him at the Sale," he said. “When he raced his gait was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. His front leg stood so far out beyond his nose when he was in full gear, it was ridiculous. “He was the reason I got up every day to go to the barn. l loved his personality. He was such a pleasure to be around. He liked us. He was just a happy-go-lucky horse – just awesome. It was so good to see him again." And that wasn’t owners bias either. One of North America’s best reinsmen also agreed Hurrikane Kingcole was something special. “He is the fastest and most powerful horse I’ve ever driven. His gait was effortless and sitting behind him was awe inspiring,” said Yannick Gingras. Now Hurrikane Kingcole is starting to make his mark as a sire in both hemispheres. His son and daughter Hurrikane Emperor and Hurrikane Empress are really making a name for themselves against the best company in North America. Hurrikane Emperor is the current New Jersey Horse-of-the-Year. They are both trained by McDermott. “I live in both New Jersey and Florida depending on the season, but have to be back in New Jersey on April 7 for our Stakes season. Believe me these two pacers are something special. They have competed and won against the best and you will hear a lot more about them this season. They have a lot of their father’s traits. “Also down here Vic Frost speaks highly of his Hurrikane Kingcole 2-year-old, Frost en Ice. That is a huge compliment. “I tell you Hurrikane Kingcole is the greatest bargain going, both back home, and Down Under. I just know his offspring will do well. “But I’ve leased him to Kevin Seymour, and he knows I want my old buddy back. I think it’s a 10-year lease, but Kevin is a great guy and he told me 'HKC' would be coming home to me one day. “That news made my day. I hated saying goodbye to him again,” McDermott said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Fake Left’s ghost was well and truly hovering around Albion Park last week. The 1992 Little Brown Jug winner has been dead since 2001, but that didn’t stop two of his progeny winning races three and six on Thursday’s seven-race card. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Saint Kilda Beach and the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Timeless Appeal won by 2.8m and 5.2m respectively. It was their fifth and second career wins. However, Fake Left’s co-owner and prominent Queensland businessman, Kevin Seymour said the two pacers came about simply because he suddenly remembered he had the straws several years after freezing them. “We forgot we had a couple of straws tucked away and when we realised that we still had them we decided to make the most of them and impregnate Kelly Major (by Art Major) and Talented Tess (by Grinfromeartoear). That's how both Saint Kilda Beach and Timeless Appeal came about in 2015,” Mr Seymour said. "I'm just glad that we remembered the straws because it's quite remarkable to think that his frozen semen is still producing winners some 18 years after his death.” Seymour described Fake Left as a super sire and an even better broodmare sire. The Canadian bay, who stood in Australia for the first time in 1993, was also a quality racehorse, who recorded a 1:51.4 mile. All-up he had 51 starts for 17 wins,14 placings and $314,417 in prize money. By the end of the 2010-2011 season he was the only Australian-based stallion to have sired three millionaire pacers. They were three-times Interdominion champion and multiple Group One winner, Blacks A Fake (72 wins and $4.75m); dual Miracle Mile winner, Be Good Johnny ($48 wins and 1,656,489) and Miss Galvinator (60 wins and $1,148,446). Be Good Johnny had 16 classic wins, plus multiple Cup winners while Robin Hood recorded 11, and Safari 10. “I think he will be the leading broodmare sire here for many years to come. He has already proven that. There are no more straws out there that I know of, and sadly these two fillies are the last we will see by Fake Left,” Mr Seymour said. “He was an awesome stallion. He was very good to us and thankfully his memory will live on for many years to come yet.” Saint Kilda Beach is the first of three foals out of the two-win Art Major mare, Kelly Major. Timeless Appeal is the eldest (of four foals) out of the one-win Grinfromeartoear mare, Talented Tess. As for Fake Left, he was the 1989 son of the super sire Cam Fella (by Most Happy Fella) and was the second of five foals out of the 15-win ($164,845) 1977 Albatross mare, Madam Madusa. He sired 20-plus sub-1:50 milers. As a 2-year-old the colt won five times and placed in four races. It was as a three-year-old that in the words of his owners - "he's finally developed into the kind of horse we expected him to be" - after winning six races in the Midwest just prior to competing in the prestigious 1992 Little Brown Jug.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

With seven nice drives at Albion Park on Saturday driver Brendan Barnes should inch closer to what will be his best season in the sulky. The talented 21-year-old is currently 15th on the national driving premiership with 78 wins and 126 placings from 440 drives (just over $512,000 in stakes). "I drove some nice horses when I worked in Sydney for a couple of years and managed to get 82 winners one season. I'm on track to beat that, which is very satisfying. It’s been a good season. I’m rapt," Barnes said. Last weekend Barnes drove three Jack Butler-trained standardbreds at the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival in New South Wales.  They were 2yo Pet Rock filly, Cut From Rock; 7yo Framework trotting mare, Spirit Walker; and 5yo Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, Rock With Sam. "It was an ordinary trip to be fair. On the Friday Cut From Rock went amiss in the third heat of the Gold Tiara, and then on Sunday Spirit Walker did well to finish second after galloping in the Trotters Cup. “But the Smooth Satin Cup (on Saturday) didn’t go our way. I hit a wheel with Rock With Sam and we finished last, and for that I copped a seven-day suspension - starting this Sunday,” Barnes said. But you can’t keep a good man down for too long, and the Morayfield State High School old-boy should embark on his week-long holiday with some good results on his home track on Saturday night. Barnes labelled the Ron Wells trained Smiling Armada (2) in race four as his best drive of the night. Ironically all six of his other drives are for Logan Village trainer, Jack Butler. Here’s what he had to say about the seven: Race 2: The Jack Butler trained ZARA'S DELIGHT (9): “She’s a nice little mare who won well for my brother (Hayden) here last Friday. One on the second row is not too bad a draw for her. If she can get some luck she will be running on." Race 3: The Jack Butler trained MACH SAM (3): “He has dropped back in grades the last couple - where he's drawn six both times. He has a bit of gait speed and could reach the front. If he can get there, or get a good sit from three, he can go close. He won by a big margin at Redcliffe a few (four) starts back." Race 4: The Ron Wells trained SMILING ARMADA (2): "This gelding has good gate speed and is a good front-runner. He comes into this race with a nice last start placing (third) on the track last start. II think he's an each-way bet in this. My best drive on Saturday." Race 5: The Jack Butler trained CASINO TOMMY (2): "He's also drawn well and has consistent form. He is racing a lot better recently. He's a fence horse and it might be hard to get across from two.  He will need luck, but could be thereabouts." Race 9: The Jack Butler trained MANDY KRIDEN (1): “She doesn't really have a lot of gate speed and can get a bit rough in her gait. She has been racing well of late and if she can get one last go at them she has the sprint to win. She has a lot of speed. A last quarter specialist." Race 10: The Jack Butler trained GEE UP NEDDY (9): "He's drawn one on the 10m line and he won't get much room back there. If he can get in the running line he will be flashing home though." Race 11: The Jack Butler trained PAY ME INTEREST: “Consistent pacer who is good enough to get some of it from the widest second row draw. Runner-up on this track in his last two starts."   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Gold Coast businessman, Greg Mitchell, loves his current Queensland-Trotter-of-the-Year, Our Overanova so much, he’s now gone and bought her little half-sister. “I’ve been keeping close eyes on the family, and this horse, for a while now. Her name is Smokey Nova and she is a grey 5-year-old Monkey Bones mare. Like Our Overanova, she will be trained by Grant Dixon at Tamborine. She will have her first Queensland start next week," Mitchell said. “I also tried to buy her older (Pegasus Spur) half-brother Flyanova from New Zealand a while back, but he failed the vet test. It will be nice to have another grey trotter going around, but we bought her primarily for breeding purposes. Anything else she does is a bonus." In June 2013, Mitchell (G.M.S. Racing) paid $14,000 for the then named one-win Monarchy gelding, Overanova. He has since gone on to so far win 53 of his 140 starts and $406,509. The son of Monarchy is a Listed Classic and Group winner, and he also holds two track records at Albion Park. The 140-race veteran went a 1:59 mile rate when trotting 2:41.8 for the 2,138m stand on September 19, 2015. Then just over two years later (December 16, 2017) he went a 2:00.3 mile rate when setting a new mark of 3:20.8 for the 2,647m standing start. The bay gelding started from 40m behind that night and just got up by half-a-head. The 9-year-old's fastest mile is 1:56.2. "He's still toughing it out off long marks. He's a quality trotter who has put plenty of smiles on our faces. Hopefully 'Smokey' can win a few for us as well, but don't think she will be ever as good as him. However, if she leaves us some nice foals one day then Sharon and I will be happy," Mitchell said. “Our Overanova has been so good to us and we absolutely love him. That’s why I have bought this mare, so I can always have a part of his family with us. He’s special,” said Mitchell who has also imported other top-liners like Devil Dodger and Alleluia." Our Overanova is the third foal (of eight) out of the five-win 21-year-old brown Sundon - Kayla Novander mare, Kayla Nova. Smokey Nova is foal six. She was exported to Australia from New Zealand as an unraced 2-year-old in November 2015. The striking grey had her first race in Australia at Ballarat on Boxing Day 2016. She has now had 30 starts for one win one (Ballarat, October 2017) and four placings. She finished ninth at Tabcorp Park Menangle in her last start on March 5. "I've been watching her race in New South Wales and Luke drove her last start. I spoke to him and then Shannon (Hoffman) put her on the market," Mitchell said. "I gave him $6,000 for her." It’s not the first time Mitchell has imported a grey mare from New Zealand. “My wife Sharon loves grey horses and now lightening has struck twice. In 2015 (June) we bought Millicent from New Zealand. She's not from the same family as 'the Novas', but she is also by Monkey Bones and out of a (three-win) Gee Whizz II mare, Black Onyx," Mitchell said. When he bought her, Millicent had won five races in the South Island. When she retired in September 2016, the newly named Sharon’s Millicent had won 16 of her 87 starts, placed 18 times, and banked $99,675. "I named her after Sharon because of her love of greys. We are now breeding from that mare and we have a rising 2-year-old Brylin Boyz bay colt and a Majestic Son weanling bay colt," Mitchell said. “She missed to Majestic Son this year," said Mitchell who has owned and bred standardbreds for 12 years. Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Seventy-six lots will be up for grabs at Sunday’s Garrard’s sponsored Redcliffe Yearling Sale, but the annual sale will be much more subdued than the previous 11 sales at Redcliffe Paceway. The mid-day auction will be staged just seven days after an incident which saw horseman Gary Whitaker and his two children injured at the track. Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said there would be an opportunity for attendees to keep the Whitaker family in their thoughts. “We did think about postponing it but after a lot of consultation we have decided to go ahead,” Mr Ring said. "Gary and his family are part of our harness racing family. Gary has bought at the sales previously and is a quality horseman. "They will be on our minds not only on Sunday, but everyday, and we wish Gary and his two children a speedy recovered.” He said his thoughts were also with Gary's wife Joedy, who had been brave throughout the ordeal. He wanted others to display that same braveness by seeking help. "It's been tough for a lot of people, especially those who witnessed the accident. Some members are struggling with this and have sought counselling,” Mr Ring said. "I strongly recommend that everyone takes up the counseling on offer. It needs to be addressed so the thought of it all doesn't come back to haunt people in years to come.” As a result he said there would be no racing at Redcliffe this week – but possibly next week. Ring termed Sunday’s auction as one which was lower on numbers than last year, but higher in quality. "It’s one of the best catalogues we have had. We are expecting buyers from other States. We have a half-brother to Queensland's best juvenile filly of last season, Smart As Camm Be. He is by Hurrikane Kingcole and is Lot 35,” he said. "He's just one stand-out. There are many more - and unlike the APG Sales, all out bidding starts at $1.” He also liked the look of Lot 50 – a colt out of a Down The Catwalk mare named Catwalk Beauty (2004 brown P B Bullville mare). He is by Mr Feelgood. Ring was proud that a strong selection of stallions would be represented, such as represented in the catalogue such as Bettor’s Delight, Somebeachsomewhere, Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter, Roll With Joe, Well Said, Mr Feelgood, Grinfromeartoear, Changeover and Cammibest and the emerging sires Sweet Lou, Hurrikane Kingcole, Heston Blue Chip, Pet Rock, A Rocknroll Dance, Warrawee Needy, Sunshine Beach, He’s Watching and Follow The Stars. The sale also features half-brothers or half-sisters to a host of classic winners including Pub Blitz, Cha Ching Chaching, Smart As Camm Be, Bonnie Jujon, Wicked Style, Jack Malone, Celtic Cruza and Mathilda Diventa and progeny of the top race mares Too Smart For You, Catwalk Beauty, Cullen’s Jewel, Montana Tess, Bangkok Dancer and Riverboat Royce. "The big incentive about this Sale is that yearlings are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series with a minimum $100,000 prize money for two-year-olds in 2020 and the 3YO Sale Classic in 2021,” Mr Ring said. “They are also eligible for Q-Bred, Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge.” The Sale will be run in conjunction with Darren Ebert and Co. Auctioneers and Agents.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

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