1000 winners mark for McMullen
GLAMORGAN VALE based reinsman Pete McMullen etched his name into the history books at Albion Park on December 30.
The third generation horseman became the youngest person in Australia to drive 1000 winners following his success aboard Ezi Days in the Sports Today on 4BC Open Pace in a time of 1;53.6.
McMullen is 23 years, four months, and 18 days old.
Star horseperson Amanda Turnbull claimed her 1000th winner at Peak Hill back in June aboard Forever Texas at the age of 24 years and four months.
The previous record was held by Western Australia's Morgan Woodley who was 24 years and eight months.
Other young guns who reached four figures early in their career include Luke McCarthy (25 years, one month and two days) in December 2007, Kerryn Manning (25 years, eight months and seven days) in March 2002, Gary Hall Jr (26 years, seven months and 17 days) in March 2009, Greg Sugars (26 years, eight months and seven days) in June 2011, and Chris Alford (27 years, five months and 26 days) in November 1995.
McMullen was hopeful of setting the record last Saturday night but the meeting was abandoned owing to some wild storm weather, leaving him agonisingly posted on 998 winners.
But the record would belong to McMullen.
Heading into Tuesday's meeting, McMullen had a book of seven drives on the 10 race program.
"This is unbelievable, a wonderful feeling and a record I'm very proud of because this country has produced some outstanding drivers," he said.
"It's great to be in that bracket of elite drivers. There are so many people I want to thank but most of all my parents, my grandfather and my wife Chantal, your support has been amazing."
Cullens Jewels was victory number 999 after leading throughout in the second event while the magical moment arrived in race eight when Ezi Days scored.
The record adds to a huge list of accomplishments that McMullen has achieved this year following his marriage to long-time partner Chantal Turpin.
They include winning the inaugural Australian Drivers Championship at Globe Derby in Adelaide, plus driving recently retired champion Im Themightyquinn during the Brisbane winter carnival.
McMullen will travel as the reserve driver for his country in the World Drivers Championship which will be staged in New South Wales from February 21 - March 1, where he will rub shoulders with the some of the greatest drivers in the world.