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Glamorganvale-based harness racing driver Taleah McMullen took out the Garrards-Marburg Young Driver's Series last Sunday. The series, run over two meetings and four rounds, is designed to showcase emerging driving talent in the greater Ipswich footprint. Such events require considerable talent - genuine ability to consistently drive good races throughout the series - and secondly, to be able to establish a viable working arrangement with the horse in the short time allotted for the preliminary. Taleah is a member of the Beryl Dawson harness dynasty. In a short time as a licencee, Taleah has amassed stats of 456 drives, resulting in 31 wins, 96 placings and a bankroll of $172,293. In this instance, however, we should look at Taleah as an individual. In a Driving Championship, there are only three factors: Driver, horse and opposition. Family connections become irrelevant. It was a great effort. Marburg highlights IN a rare day at the "Burg” there was only one "odds-on” favourite, Montana Chief - winner of the first race. On the same program there were four training and or driving doubles achieved. Depending on one's position in the pecking order, a race day double can be a big or insignificant milestone in a harness career. Tony Jenkins, who has trained for more years than he might want to remember, led in a career first with Cutmearinhalf and Eulo Flyer. Jack Colley-Presnell drove Eulo Flyer and Springfield Spirit, Kay Crone trained Daveys Gift and Dollarbill, and the David and Andrew Millard combo took out the last two races with Diamonds From Heaven and Our Diamond Edition. It was a day to remember. Marburg races next Sunday, with Sky Channel coverage, and TAB van on course. All the traditional country harness attractions will be offered with a full run-down next Saturday. Paying the price THE following message from Breeders Owners Trainers and Reinspersons puts us in the picture regarding the destination of the $2 million mentioned below. Far be it for Botra to consult with the majority of the sport's participants on this matter. "Dear industry participants, Following on from the Racing Queensland (RQ) decision of yesterday to allocate $2 million to Harness Racing from the Point Of Consumption Tax, the contemplated industrial action is now on hold as further talks with RQ are proceeding regarding prize money allocations from this funding, therefore it is business as usual for now and a further update will be issued in the coming days.” Dan Costello, BOTRA Racing Queensland has revealed how prizemoney increases for harness racing will be distributed to the industry, following the announcement of a $2 million stakes increase on Tuesday. Highlights of the prizemoney increase are listed below. QBRED enhancements: A new look QBRED scheme where horses will be 'QBRED For Life' has been introduced. The offer includes enduring returns for all eligible QBRED horses of any age during their racing career. $10,000 First win bonus in Queensland at any age upon winning a race with a stake value higher than $4,500. $7,500 Second win bonus in Queensland in any subsequent racing season following the First Win bonus being won, providing a race stake value higher than $4,500. Further enhancement to the QBRED Cash component of the scheme. The new scheme will commence from September 1, 2019. However, for the 2018/19 season the 2YO bonus will increase to $10,000 effective immediately. Further details on the mechanics of the new scheme, including sustaining fees, will be discussed with industry prior to implementation. Trainers' Percentages (effective December 1): The trainers stakes percentage will increase by 2.5% (from 5% to 7.5%) to help support the important role trainers play in the industry. Importantly, this increase will be on top of existing stakes levels to ensure owners are not negatively impacted. This will also bring Queensland in line with other states. Trotters' Bonus (effective December 1): A $2,000 first-win bonus will be paid to the owners of any trotter upon its first win in Queensland, subject to the horse being trained by a Queensland trainer. This initiative complements RQ's strategy to grow the active racing population of trotters in the state which in 17/18 resulted in a growth in trotting races of 14%. General Prizemoney Increases (effective December 1): $1,000 increase for all 'Band Penalty' races. Restricted Penalty' races at Redcliffe increased to a minimum $3,500. Career Penalty' Races at Redcliffe and Albion Park lifted to a minimum $5,000. Now the piece that all the participants who provide the base for the Queensland Harness Pyramid have been waiting to hear. "In addition to these initiatives, RQ will continue to convert non-TAB product to TAB where possible and work with stakeholders to expand racing opportunities for hobbyist participants.” Yes, there's nothing for the hobbyists. The roll out of these initiatives (with the exception of the QBRED enhancements) will commence from tonight's Albion Park Race meeting, which features the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-6-8: The Diplomat (J. McCarthy)-Dance For Glory (R Morris)-Beau Cishlom (D McMullen). R2: Box trifecta 4-7-9: Mafuta Vautin (D Graham)-Casino Tommy (B Barnes)-Majestic Major (G Dixon). R3: Box trifecta 1-2-5: Everything (G Dixon)-My Ultimate Fella (N Dawson)-Ranfurly Rulz (J McCarthy). R4: Quinella 1-9: The Space Invader (N McMullen) and Under Worked (J McCarthy). R5: Quinella 4-13: Lincoln Road (A Barnes) and Mr Kalypso (K Rasmussen). R6: E/w 7: Lisa Lincoln (T Dawson). R8: Box trifecta 1-8-13: Bohdi Tree (L Cain)-Raka Rolla (J McCarthy)-Frankie Rocks (G Dixon). R9: Box trifecta 1-5-6: Our American Princess (R Morris)-Our Millward Maizie (K Rasmussen)-Elienark (G Dixon). R10: Quinella 1-2: Rich Virgin (T Dawson) and Colt Thirty One (G Dixon). Honour board Nathan Dawson dominated his sulky-sitting rivals this week, posting six wins for a rate of 300. On the hardworking trainer's side of the board, Ron Sallis and Darrell Graham could not be separated, finishing the week on three winners apiece. Most pleasing was Tony Jenkins' training double at the home venue. Ipswich factor: 23/42. Redcliffe, November 23: Springfield Spirit (Sheree Tomlinson for Ron Sallis); Oozinville (Nathan Dawson for Greg Franklin); Rainbow Styling (Nathan Dawson for Tayla Gillespie). Albion Park, November 24: The Space Invader (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Gangster Boy (Taleah McMullen for Ryan Veivers); Dance for Glory (Nathan Dawson for KerryAnn Turner); Opononis Bliss (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Marburg, November 25: Montana Chief (Darrell Graham); Cutmearinhalf (John Cremin for Tony Jenkins); Springfield Spirit (Jack Colley-Presnell for Ron Sallis); Daveys Gift (Adam Richardson for Kay Crone); Eulo Flyer (Jack Colley-Presnell for Tony Jenkins); Dollarbill (Taleah McMullen for For Kay Crone). Albion Park, November 27: Montana Chief (Darrell Graham); Havana Moon (Pete McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Lethal Star (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); The Boys GNP (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Illawong Dreamtime (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee). Redcliffe, November 28: Mo Jarney (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig); Tell The Future (Kelli Dawson for Ross Fletcher); Concentration (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Fortes In Fide (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Wee Jimmy (Jack Rees for Mark Rees). by Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

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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