Day At The Track
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Was history created at Albion Park on Tuesday? During the eight race program, the four McMullen siblings took away half the program with Pete, Narissa, Dannielle and Taleah all tasting glory. The ‘awesome foursome’ are the children of John and Jennette McMullen. Both sides of the family are steeped in harness racing history and the McMullen name is synonymous and a constant at all race meetings staged in south-east Queensland. But today is the first time that all four siblings have landed a winner at the same meeting. It started with the eldest of the siblings, Pete taking the Changeover @ Burwood Stud Pace with Our Delight who scooted the sprint lane to run down Miss Mia in a time of 2:01. Our Delight is trained by Pete’s wife, Chantal Turpin. It was the maiden victory for the Bettors Delight filly that is raced by her breeder, Tony Turpin – Pete’s father-in-law. Up next, Dannielle guided Ima Top Tycoon to victory in the Seymour Group Pace when defeating Ned Pepper and Might And Main in a time of 1:55.8. Ima Top Tycoon is prepared by Ryan Veivers, partner of Dannielle. Narissa then stepped up and took the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace when leading all the way with former New Zealand pacer Tom Me Gun in a stunning time of 1:55.5 for the 2138m distance. It was his first local start and the Courage Under Fire gelding is raced and trained by Narissa. In the final event of the day, Taleah shot through along the sprint lane with Waste Of Time to take the UBET Pace in a time of 1:58.5 defeating Famous Shoes and Modernday Falcon. Waste Of Time is prepared by big sister Dannielle, the veteran gelding scoring his first win since May last year. And just for good measure, cousin Nathan Dawson also scored at the program when Tell The Linesman took the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Pace. Dawson currently leads the Queensland Drivers Premiership with 156 winners. Scanning the record books, this feat has never been achieved before on a Queensland racetrack and when digging a little deeper, it may be a first across the nation.   Back in 1989 at Yarra Valley, three sisters in Rosemarie Weidenbach, Gaita Pullicino and Rita Burnett all steered winners at the meeting. The Turnbull clan holds a record where they finished in the top five placings in an event at Bathurst back in 1988. The record of the first 5 place getters in a race driven by members of the same family belongs to the Turnbull’s after Cindy Rixon (nee Turnbull) beat home her father Tony and brothers Steve, Craig and Greg in the Family Hotel Pace. So, it may well be history that was created at the famed Breakfast Creek oval. And it’s not the first time history has been created in the Sunshine State after the father/son combination of Greg and Matt Elkins scored a deadheat victory last year. Chris Barsby

The McMullen siblings all found their way to the harness racing winners’ enclosure last weekend. It was the first time that all four have driven winners on the same day. Taleah, 16, the youngest of the quartet started the ball rolling with her victory aboard Hachem at Kilcoy on a dual-code race day on Saturday afternoon while the older siblings all tasted success at Albion Park later that night. Peter, 26, landed a treble at Albion Park with victories aboard The Charging Moa, Munroe and Wattlebank Flyer while Dannielle, 21, steered Secret Smile and Narissa, 23, took the winning driving aboard Ivanov who deadheated in the final event. Naturally, proud parents John and Jeanette were thrilled with their kids’ efforts. “It was a good day at the office; they’re good kids who work hard.” John stated. The McMullen name is steeped in harness racing tradition,  “Hollywood John’’ McMullen, the kids grandfather, is a pioneer of sending Australian horses to America while being an inductee of the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame. “Hollywood John” is an Albion Park icon and prepared many top flight pacers from his Breakfast Creek stables, adjacent to the track, stables he has occupied since 1978. The McMullen siblings all possess natural ability in the race bike and graduated through the mini-trotting ranks. Pete is the youngest Australian driver to reach 1000 winners while he had the honour to drive one of the greatest in Im Themightyquinn for trainer Gary Hall Snr a few years back during his Brisbane campaign. While Pete is firmly established as one of the state’s leading drivers, his younger sisters are quickly carving their own names as forces to be reckoned with and all possess impressive individual stats. Again tonight (Wednesday) at Redcliffe, the McMullen clan will be fierce competitors when all four of them line up against each other in two races on the program. In the opening event, the Power Up Lawn Mowers Pace over 1780m, Taleah (Lynchman), Pete (Turbotufftalk), Narissa (Hammerhoff) and Dannielle (Andiamo El Ferrari) will look to battle it out before clashing again later. In race five, the Stevie Redback Pest Control Pace over 1780m, Dannielle (Ima Top Tycoon), Narissa (Annas Best), Taleah (Midnight Bender) and Pete (Levi Jade) will again chase success. Both Pete and Narissa have driven in excess of 100 winners this current season while Dannielle has enjoyed her best season to date with over 65 winners. Taleah, in her maiden season of driving has landed 4 winners to date (Stonebridge Royal, Weedons Express, Kaanapali & Hachem). But don’t expect any chances to be given tonight, all four McMullen siblings possess a steely determination and victory will only provide bragging rights at the next family get together. by Chris Barsby

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