Trot Tactics: No let up from Pete McMullen
THE Pete McMullen story rolls on, with a new chapter every week it seems.
While PM has an incredible record in the win department, trotters as well as pacers, he broke new ground on Saturday night, piloting My Valerie to a clear victory in the Group 1 trotting feature, The Darrell Alexander Memorial.
The daughter of Majestic Son and Xena Hest sprinted strongly over the concluding stages to down the ruling favourite, Cyclone Lucky Seven (Luke McCarthy) in a rate of 2-01.8 for the standing start 2647m trip.
Given that the Pete McMullen/Chantal Turpin combination has a first rate record with the square-gaiters in bread and butter events, one thing may lead to another.
My Valerie (29 starts for 17 wins, 6 places and $112,000 in the bank) is trained at Menangle by Blake Fitzpatrick for Pat Driscoll, who races his trotters under the banner of Yabby Dam Farms.
Driscoll, who is currently putting together a high class training facility in Victoria, is the owner of a large band of high quality trotting broodmares and is also the principal of Haras Du Trotteur, a company which handles the importation of frozen semen from top line stallions in France.
PD has already expressed some interest in racing trotters in Queensland.
Pete and Chantal are ideally placed to provide that service.
TONIGHT'S main feature at Albion Park is the Queensland Pacing Championship.
The QPC is the opening event in the Australasian Grand Circuit for Pacers.
Former locals, the McCarthy family, who shifted from Bathurst NSW to Logan Village quite a few years back and proceeded to set benchmarks in the training and driving of major race winners before migrating yet again, this time to Menangle, have two runners in tonight's race.
John McCarthy will train and drive Monifieth, while Luke will drive last week's big winner, Bling it On; which is trained by his wife Belinda.
Luke's brother Todd will drive the Darren Elder trained Shannonsablast.
The QPC is just another race that is branded "M" with one or other member of Team McCarthy taking out eight of the last 10 runnings.
Back to back wins by Blacks A Fake (Natalie Rasmussen) may well have prevented total domination.
The Grand Circuit for pacers consists of eight "super races", and this season those horses and connections chasing fame and fortune will be competing for $4,600,000 all up.
In the last couple of years, the supporters of the traditional trotter have produced a similar series called the Trotting Masters .
This comprises five races for a total purse of $880,000.
As the wise man said, "a thousand mile journey begins with a single step".
Another wise man said here in Queensland in 1998 (the year when the trotter was re-introduced here in the face of much opposition): "a trotter is just another horse in your stable and should be treated as such".
They are still not being "treated as such".
The word we are looking for here is parity.
When the "Trotting Masters" are chasing $2,875,000, we will have parity, and harness racing will be the better for it.
AWAY in far off Canada late this week, our second shipment of young award winners, Danielle McMullen and Hayden Barnes, are capping off their "grand tour" of the land of the maple leaf with a drive apiece at Flamboro Downs, which is situated in Ontario.
The study/pleasure trip occupied a month and ex-pat Natasha Day (who is halfway round a five year learning curve in northern hemisphere harness herself) was the chaperone and tour guide.
No doubt DM and HB will have picked up some valuable pointers on the way.
No doubt also we will not hear too much about it.
Racing is a highly competitive business and trade secrets are just that.
HOW successful are you when stats issued at midday on Thursday are irrelevant at tea time.
We are back with Pete McMullen who left for Gold Coast at Redcliffe with season stats of 155 drives for 28 wins, 47 places and 15 fourths with a bank of $167,414 and came home having added another three to the win tally.
Things like this have happened in Victoria where they often have two meetings a day but not here.
Selections for Albion Park tonight. R 1: Quinella 1-2: Brigadier Bronski (B. Cockburn) and Trikala (S. Graham).
R 2: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Roger Ramjet (J. Rattray) - Bells Beach House (P. McMullen) - Artzone (T. Dawson).
R 3: Quinella 1-8: Floyd Mayweather (B. Cockburn) and Rykov Leis (J. Rattray).
R 4: Quinella 1-8: Lifesofine (R. Gorman) and Dentona (Luke McCarthy).
R 5: E/w 3: Adriatic Coast (I. Ross).
R 6: E/w 1: Beau Dandy (N. Dawson).
R 7: E/w 7: Philadelphia Man (G. Lang).
R 8: E/w 2: Hector Barbossa (n/a).
R 9: Quinella 1-2: Blue Eyed Suzie (P. McMullen) and Our Colorado (S. Graham).
R 10: Box trifecta 2-3-4: Change Of Mind (S. Graham) - Good Feelings (G. Dixon) - Murano (P. McMullen).
The leader board tells it all. With the best driving performance since the board was switched on, Pete McMullen pocketed 13 wins for the week. Training honours went to Pete's better half, Chantal Turpin leading-in five for the same period.
Gold Coast at Albion Park, October 16: Illdoitwhenimready (Pete for Chantal Turpin), Golden Times (Steven Doherty for Francis Weston), Armbro Tee Hee (Pete for John McMullen), Ona Happy Note (Pete for John McMullen), The Big Mach (Pete for Chantal Turpin).
Albion Park, October 17: Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Ken Rattray), My Valerie (Pete for Blake Fitzpatrick), Bronze Ecstasy (Amy Rees), Lifesofine (Rob Gorman for Rachel Scott), Livinthehighlife (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith).
Albion Park, October 20: Mattgregor (Pete for Chantal Turpin), Jessica Dale (Gary Whitaker for Ken Belford), Murano (Pete for Narissa McMullen), My Jellignite (Pete for Shane Sanderson), Im Jack Black (Adam Richardson for Tess Neaves), In The Frame Lombo (Pete for John McMullen).
Redcliffe, October 21: Nicoblake (Pete for John McMullen), Feelgood Factor (Nathan Dawson for Ron Sallis), Look My Way (Nathan Dawson for Gary Hancock), Crusader Hanover (Adam Richardson for Dean Weller).
Gold Coast at Redcliffe, October 22: Margins (Mark Dux for Phil Mitchell), Colada Rainbow (Pete for Allan Treadwell), Dalemm Diva (Barty Cockburn), Munroe (Pete for Chantal Turpin), Boom Boom Hall (Pete for Chantal Turpin).