Picture: AAPImage/ David Clark
Picture: AAPImage/ David Clark

Greater Ipswich women lead way for Qld on track


Denis Smith

WITH the fundraising venture for research into ovarian cancer on the boil, here is a vital update.

As the second week of the Team Teal came to a close, the Queensland ladies were able to better the results of the previous week's 12 wins by claiming victory in 16 races.

Narissa McMullen led the way with five wins, highlighted by a Saturday night treble at Albion Park.

Claiming driving honours on the night, McMullen scored with Clarry in race one for Stephen Cini, Paravani in race three for partner Matt Elkins and completed the treble by race four with Garland Greene - again for Stephen Cini.

Kelli Dawson was able to record four victories for the week, including a Wednesday night double at Redcliffe.

Maywyns Jewel, a pacer that Dawson also trains was the first of her pair, with the second for her father Geoff Dawson behind Shereacts.

Chloe Butler - one of the 2021 Team Teal ambassadors - was able to drive three winners for the week, highlighted by a Tuesday double at Albion Park.

Scoring with a bold frontrunning display on Illawong Dreamtime for trainer Doug Lee, Chloe completed the double with a win behind Casino Tommy for trainer and father Jack Butler. Sisters Dannielle Veivers and Taleah McMullen each landed a pair of wins for the week to take the tally to 16 for the week.

The Queensland ladies are in second place on the national tally, with Kate Gath leading the charge for the Victorian team out in front.

With $200 being donated to ovarian cancer research for every win by a female driver during the six-week period, the ladies are quickly starting to build a strong total.

Note in the above, that Narissa McMullen, Kelli Dawson, Danielle Veivers and Taleah McMullen are all based in the Greater Ipswich footprint.

Driver's colours issue

AGAIN the disturbing subject of "driver's colours" as opposed to "owner's colours", or "trainer's colours" was put before a sport/industry meeting, under the banner of Botra (voice of the industry) and Racing Queensland at Albion Park on February 1.

RQ's revised start date for the trial was to be March 1. Please note this has been revised to March 20 to enable Team Teal promotions to be completed.

RQ will work with wagering and broadcast partners to increase wagering promotion of the sport, critical in the competitive racing and sport wagering landscape.

The initial trial will go for six months.

Following feedback from attendees, RQ agrees that owners or trainers' colours will be permitted to be worn in Group races.

Please note that the onus will be on owners and trainers to advise the RQ Racing Office of the preference to use owners/trainers colours in these races.

Further information on the promotion which was provided in previous correspondence is as follows.

Branding: Broadcasting of Queensland harness racing is almost exclusively via Sky Racing's primary channel SKY1, where it consists of race coverage only and has been developed in this manner to drive wagering. As such, by virtue of our leading drivers competing in over 15 races per week, our drivers are the sport's most visual asset.

From a branding perspective, drivers offer the best opportunity to develop enduring brands which can be marketed to generate followers and attract those who are currently outside the industry. Under the current scenario, this is difficult to achieve with drivers changing colours from one race to the next.

Wagering: The entry point for a majority of new punters today is via sports wagering i.e. Big Bash cricket, AFL or NRL.

We need to continue to offer new products, particularly ones that appeal to this market. Through the offer of driver statistics and performances we can arm punters with new information and provide alternative wagering products which will complement the traditional form of wagering on harness racing.

Future participants: Other than as a stable hand, the primary entry point into the harness racing industry as a participant for teenagers and young adults is as a driver. By developing brands for our drivers, we aim to offer heroes which the next generation (including pony trot participants) can follow and aspire to, no different to other sports such as AFL, cricket and NRL.

Presentation: Drivers' colours enable the product to be presented at its best, with silks tailored to fit and sulky, wheels and helmet to match making for a standard/consistent uniform which looks appealing and sleek.

As you can see from the above, our well meaning administrators have put the human occupants of the cart before the horse.

Whether they truly believe it to be fact, and their actions indicate the contrary, it is the horse which does the running in our sport.

Drivers are "bit players", whose most valuable skill, from a personal, or "heroic" perspective, should properly consist of having their "gluteus maximus" in the sulky which is attached to the best horse in the race.

Honour board

THE driver's leaderboard again has a hefty McMullen bias.

Pete five wins, Narissa five wins, Taleah three.

Only discord was Hayden Barnes, hanging in there, also on three.

Much better spread this week with trainers. Chantal Turpin and Darrell Graham were tied on a modest two winners apiece.

Most pleasing were Peter Greig and Steve Coombs, a winner apiece on their first week on our patch. Ipswich factor: 26/46.

Albion Park, February 19: Bee Gees Best (Pete McMullen for Ken Belford); Orlando Jolt (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Call Me Trish (Hayden Barnes for Tony Nutley); Unknown Son (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Goal Kicker (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).

Albion Park, February 20: Ideal World (Narissa McMullen); Blacks A Dance (Narissa McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Larry Lincoln (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Garland Greene (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Secret Agent Tycoon (Danielle Veivers for Ryan Veivers); Majordoit (Taleah McMullen for Tim Gillespie); Clarry (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Miss Ruby Sunshine (Hayden Barnes for Chantal Turpin).

Albion Park, February 23: Ill Be watching (Pete McMullen for Stewie Dickson); Aurora Rose (Grant Dixon for Peter Greig); Courageous Saint (Darrell Graham); Jingles Bromac (Narissa McMullen for Matt Elkins); Maywyns Courage (Kelli Dawson); Bondi Shake (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Gotta Moment (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).

Redcliffe, February 24: Adreniline Rush (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer); Voodoo Fella (Jordan Topping for Dave Russell); Faireachdainn (Lachie Manzelmann for Mitchell Dawson); Hurricane Hour (Nathan Dawson for Jason Carkeet).

Redcliffe, February 25: Cobbler Lane (Justin Elkins for Matt Elkins); Acqua Cruiser (Lachie Manzelmann for Steve Coombs).

Handy tips

SELECTIONS for Albion Park on Saturday night.

R1: Box trifecta 4-6-10: Ideal World (N McMullen)-Majordoit (T McMullen)-Bohannan (B Barnes).

R2: Quinella 4-7: Handsome Hero (B Barnes) and Clintal Do (A Sanderson).

R3: Quinella 1-8:Sunny Rice (A Donohoe) and Cool And Calculating (P McMullen).

R4: Quinella 1-8: Soho Tsunami (N Dawson) and Kensington Bill (M Elkins).

R5: box trifecta1-3-8: Larry Lincoln (H Barnes)-Royal Aurora (B Barnes)-Monster Catch (G Dixon).

R6: Quinella 1-2: Paravani (M Elkins) and Clarry (N McMullen).

R7: Quinella 1-3: Boomchuckalucka (P McMullen ) and Only In Rome (T Dawson).

R8: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Maywyns Courage (K Dawson)-One Off (G Dixon)-The Art Of infusion (B Barnes).

R9: Box trifecta 3-7-8: Torfino Mist (N Dawson)-Majestic Simon (C Turpin)-Garland Greene (N McMullen).

R10: 3-7: Dance In The Sun (P McMullen) and Captains Pick (G Dixon).

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