Exciting ‘hobby’ newcomer making welcome impression
THERE'S nothing like a new face in the hobbyist department of the Ipswich harness racing footprint.
Even better if they get points on the board early.
Last week we mentioned that Megan Gee was a new arrival. From first impressions of trainer/driver and horse gained at the last Marburg meeting, she appeared likely to be a success.
Gee has not wasted any time with Viewbytherock, qualifying for the "Marburg To Albion Park" final at the Showground last Sunday.
A very impressive run in the death seat throughout resulted in the gelded son of RocknRoll Hanover and the Mach Three mare Highview Babe, with Gee in the sulky, take out the final at Albion Park last Saturday night.
Megan, 37, was born at Blacktown, west of Sydney. Her father later trained pacers at Eastern Creek.
Gee, meanwhile, had her first equine stint in Queensland, spending some years riding trackwork at Beaudesert and Gympie before heading to South Australia where she first sat in a sulky, having rejoined her father, then training at Port Wakefield SA.
A precedent for early success was set with Megan saluting at her first race drive behind Fourstarzzz Art at Port Pirie.
Sookin Up was a prolific winner.
A later 12 month stint in Victoria resulted in Black And Tan and Who Runs The World getting the biscuits.
Having rocked up in our neck of the woods, with some 80 driving wins under her belt, the lady has plans to make south east Queensland her harness home.
Significantly, she has chosen the bottom end of the Brisbane Valley for her home base, living in Fernvale and stabled at "Team Graham's" property.
As locations go, that area provides some 70% of the Ipswich region winners.
Just look out for the pink jacket with "rainbow" disc.
Valuable service for Marburg
REMEMBER last year and the "My High Expectations" service raffle.
Troy Williams and Darren Reay are gearing up to go again. They are keen to support the Marburg Pacing Association with a service.
The boys are hot to trot as reports of three of his first crop (yearlings) currently on their first prep are very encouraging in deed.
No blistering speed yet but very good gaited and all brains. It sounds just like dad.
I can vouch for that, as I did two early preps on the horse and he was all trot, make no mistake.
Currently, thanks to Northern Muscle's owner Kathryn Mclachlan, we have two on the ground, and two coming, and could not be happier.
Ring 0408 352 478 for details of tickets.
IN the great South East, driving milestones have been achieved in the last week.
Chris Barsby had this to say about Lola Weidemann, Pete McMullen and Angus Garrard.
Just recently, Lola Weidemann surpassed 3000 career victories. The milestone moment was reached at a nondescript Sunday night meeting at Redcliffe aboard Pretty Compact in the final event on the program. But in many ways, the victory had gigantic ramifications.
With over 3000 career victories, Weidemann now sits clearly at the top of the list of female drivers in the state while only Grant Dixon has more wins with over 4600 and still climbing. Only Kerryn Manning has more wins in the country as a female with close to 4000 wins to date.
Weidemann is a highly respected figure within the industry and her skillset was on full display on Saturday night with her winning drive behind Kid Montana in the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace.
At the same meeting, third generation horseman Pete McMullen registered his 2000th victory following the thumping win of exciting rookie pacer Uncle Shank in a time of 1:54.8 in the Burwood Stud Pace.
Uncle Shank is prepared by Pete's wife, Chantal Turpin.
By reaching the 2000 win club, McMullen achieved the feat by becoming the youngest driver to do so in the country.
McMullen is 28 years and 10 months old. It backs up his record as the youngest driver to reach 1000 wins after he eclipsed the record which was then held by Amanda Turnbull. McMullen is the son of John and Jennette McMullen and the Grandson of the late "Hollywood John" McMullen.
The young talent within the state keeps coming with Angus Garrard stamping himself as a genuine star in the making.
Last week at Redcliffe, Garrard brought up his maiden century in his first full season of driving when the Donny Smith trained Arbit Major scored in the Stevie Redback Pest Control Pace. It was part of another winning treble for the recently turned 17yo.
Garrard now becomes the youngest driver in Australian harness racing history to register 100 wins in a season.
They are phenomenal success stories, all with many chapters yet to be written and similar in many ways but strikingly different in others.
The common bonds are talent and determination.
IN yet another very modest week Pete McMullen went on his super successful way scoring on five occasions in the sulky.
Wife Chantal Turpin was top trainer, leading in three winners.
Battlers were to the fore in the most pleasing department. Monterey Jack (Chris Geary) for Colin Knox, Major Grandeur (Pete McMullen) for Nicole Hanrahan, Chang (Pete McMullen) for Matt Wright, and Wannago (Nathan Dawson) for Jason Carkeet. Ipswich factor: 15/57.
Albion Park, July 10: Blacksadance (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Indefensible (Trent Moffat for Kay Crone); Our Bondi Beach (Justin Elkins for Greg Franklin).
Albion Park, July 11: Viewbytherock (Megan Gee); Uncle Shank (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).
Redcliffe, July 12: Maffioso Girl (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Chang (Pete McMullen for Matt Wright); Western Showgirl (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).
Albion Park, July 14: Havana Moon (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson).
Redcliffe, July 15: Monterey Jack (Paul Diebert for Colin Knox).
Redcliffe, July 16: Go Joe (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Major Grandeur (Chris Geary for Nicole Hanrahan); Betterthanspraying (Narissa McMullen); Bustnfeelzgood (Taleah McMullen for Merv Hieronymus).
SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.
R1: Box trifecta - 2-4-7 El Gran Senor (S Graham)-Roll One Over (L Cain)-Sabrage (C Butler).
R2: First four - Classie American (G Dixon)-Sole Ambition (L Manzelmann)-Subtle Delight (J Elkins)-Lilac Flash (K Rasmussen).
R3: First four - Major Cam (D Weeks)-Cruz (L Cain)-Colt Thirty One (G Dixon)-Speech Is Silver (K Rasmussen).
R4: E/w 1: Escalero (N Dawson).
R5: Quinella 2-8 - Culture King (L Cain) and Deecaesar (S Hewitt).
R6: Quinella 5-13: Governor Jujon (G Dixon) and Gleneagle Warrior (S Graham).
R7: box trifecta 1-8-11 - Love My sister (C Geary)-Fame assured (G Dixon)-Eternal Promise (A Sanderson).
R8: Box trifecta 2-4-9 - Ginatiano (A Sanderson)-A Rainbow Diamond (C Turpin)-Hunza Valley (R Gorman).
R9: First four 6-9-12-14: Galleons Victory (L Cain)-Justabitnoisy (L Weidemann)-Majestic Simon (C Turpin)-Northern Muscle (P Diebert).
R10: E/w 1: Blackwhiteandblue (R Alchin).