“BORDER TROTS” 31/05/2021..
Again, sad news. This week we record the passing of A. D. (Tony) Turnbull, who left us due to complications arising from a stroke, suffered some five days earlier. He was 91.Turnbull’s span in the sulky went from May 1947, when he was successful with the mare Knockout, on the tiny 5 laps to the mile Katoomba Showground circuit, to Fairfield, where What Can I Say pulled the Legend home for AD’s last win on 29th of July 2002. It is possible that AD Turnbull may have been the last living trainer/driver to have driven at Harold Park in both the “day time” (before night racing), and the “night time” (after lighting was installed in 1949). Tony Turnbull won many NSW Western Districts premierships from his Lagoon - Bathurst base, his driving skills in the horse truck being at least equal to his race driving exploits. Along with his brother Joe, AD ran “LOYAL” Stud, standing the immaculately bred Tasmanian, Loyal Raider, who was followed in his turn by the USA import, Hondo Hanover. Turnbull Brothers chose both stallions on the premise that a mare which produces a nearly perfect score with her progeny is the one likely to produce a stallion prospect. Horses, which this writer saw race while still living in Sydney, included Lachamfer, Group Nine, Radiant Group, and, of course, the stable superstar, Hondo Grattan. The winner of two Inter-Dominion Grand Finals, retired with stats of 116 starts for 58 wins, 16 seconds and 17 thirds, for a bank of $215,443. All his siblings, and there were quite a few, showed a consistent liking for racing on the “clockwise” or “right handed tracks.
Little “Hondo,” it seemed, knew in what direction the real money was, and ran accordingly.
Tony Turnbull did it all in harness racing. It was a lifetime love affair, sometimes blighted by family tragedy, but enduring to the last. He was the ultimate trier and the consistent winner! Every time the tape flew back, or the mobile drew away the blue with red hoops and red cap were going for their life. Very hard nosed, a super tough reinsman in an era of small tracks where it was shaft over shaft, and the inside shaft often rubbing on the high running rails of the time. He asked no quarter and gave none, and provided a moral example in all facets of his life. He is gone, and in his going took much of the fabric which made harness great. He bred and trained good and ordinary horses, but they all got their equal chance. He is gone, but he should be remembered as the man who “raised the bar” in Queensland Harness. In his forays North in the early years oF night trotting, AD took too much horse and driver to beat him. The locals had to raise their game to survive! He is gone, but he must NEVER be forgotten!!
This same week, there is a great sadness at the loss of Sir Lew Edwards, Treasurer, and Racing Minister in the Joh Bjelke Petersen era. Starting his working life as an electrician, Edwards then switched direction to successfully study medicine, and later entered politics as a Liberal. Where, you might ask, is the relevance of this to harness racing. In a more enlightened age, the Queensland Government owned the “tote”, and it was under the banner of the Treasury. By extrapolation, The Treasurer was “Minister For Racing” !
When it was mooted that the Greyhounds and Harness Racing would share a facility at the Ipswich showground, with the upshot for harness to be a 600 metre (with dog track inside) track similar to that at the old Gold Coast circuit, “Stevens Trotway”, at Queen Street Southport. The project failed after several three way meetings. The original President of the Marburg Pacing Association Brendan Sheehy, and this writer met Dr Edwards, in order to ascertain why no concensus could be achieved between the codes. Dr Edwards, did not mince matters, pointing out that, at the three meetings held, the dogs were totally cooperative and amenable to the move, while harness was equally obstructive, demanding a position as prime tenant to the Show Society while having the right to sub-let the greyhound facilities to the Ipswich Greyhound Club. At the third meeting, Dr Edwards exercised his Ministerial prerogative and Ipswich Harness departed from the Showgrounds for good. In the course of our discussion, the Minister was asked why the two minor codes were continually under fire from the gallops in regard to distribution of funds. The gallops claiming that dogs and trots were subsidised. Dr Edwards then explained to us, that he looked on the three codes of animal racing as three brothers in one family, with an age gap between the oldest brother (Gallops) who had been a long time in a long established and very lucrative business. He took the view that the oldest brother, on the strength of family ties, should be prepared to give support to his younger siblings in their ventures until such time as they could stand on their own two feet.
Lew Edwards was all those things his titles and achievements suggest, he was Knighted for his contribution to “Expo 88”, but, above all that, he was a family man, and easily recognisable as a man of the people he represented. He had a good memory for faces. I only met him on two occasions, but I passed him a great many times on my way to the races. Me in the old truck, Lew Edwards driving the Ministerial “Jag”. Up would go the hand, and the grin would light up the face. It was the MARK of the MAN. If he is not missed, then nobody is missed!
(italics).Adam Crocker holds on to claim TAB Trot Rods crown
27 May 2021 | Jordan Gerrans
Experienced Queensland driver Peter McMullen loves to go fast and win. So, a series like the exciting TAB Trot Rods at Redcliffe suits his personality and racing style perfectly. It was fitting 'Leader Peter' could claim the second edition of the series in 2021. McMullen and stable newcomer Adam Crocker were the clubhouse leaders going into the final round of heats on Wednesday evening at Redcliffe and while they all tried across the final 10 heats, they could not knock over the scintillating time of 63.8 seconds, set seven days prior.
As a result of their triumph, driver McMullen and trainer Chantal Turpin, Peter’s wife, win a swag of prizes on top of their prize money already earnt.A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the owners of Adam Crocker with the fastest time throughout the series, thanks to Otto Tuza. The winning trainer, Turpin, will also receive an Otto Tuza two-horse angled and fully enclosed horse float valued at over $21,000. “Certainly, I love to go fast, so this series probably suits me,” McMullen said. “It has been a great night of racing and a great series all around. “I am pretty excited about taking out the series and being about to take that beautiful float home. “I need to thank Gary the owner of Adam Crocker for letting us have this horse and letting us go in this series.”
The four-year-old pacer, Adam Crocker, has been a star since moving to Queensland, registering three straight wins to put his career tally to six victories from 28 starts. Adam Crocker has won his first three starts for McMullen and Turpin, two at Albion Park and now one up at Redcliffe around the triangle. Adam Crocker has seen plenty of Australia in his short career, racing and being trained in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and now Queensland. He has South Australian-based owners, who have long had an association with the leading Queensland stable of McMullen and Turpin. Following the TAB Trot Rods series, McMullen expects Adam Crocker to go through his classes in the Sunshine State and then potentially be sold to the USA later on. On top of claiming the 2021 Trot Rods crown, it was another successful evening for McMullen at Redcliffe on Wednesday, driving three winners.(close italics) “Petes” lifetime win driving figures ,as of late last week, stood at, this season 105 and, lifetime 2219. Where are they now or next week. We don’t know, but somewhere north of where they are now!
A summary of Pete’s big week by Darren Clayton. (italics). Pete McMullen was unstoppable over the weekend, draining winners from all over the track to solidify his position atop both state and national leader boards. ‘Leader Peter’ broke new ground on Thursday at Redcliffe, when scoring a maiden-breaking win with Misstrepo in the opening event on the card. The win was McMullen’s 100th driving success for the season and the talented reinsman became the first driver in Australia to hit triple figures this season. A lean day at Albion Park on Friday was soon cast aside when McMullen again was able to secure a new personal record at Saturday night’s metropolitan fixture.
Steering home five winners on the 11-race card, it was the first time that Pete has scored a quintet of victories at the one meeting. The last time a driver had been successful with five wins at a single meeting was in January 2017 when Trista Dixon secured the feat. The first of the McMullen five came courtesy of the evergreen Maywyns Best for trainer Graham Dwyer. Benefiting from the scratching of Turn It Up, the 11-year-old was never in danger once in front when cruising home to an easy victory in a 1.52.1 mile-rate. Coming back to earth with a thud at his next drive aboard Mister Diamond who finished at the tail of the field, it was the only blemish, as McMullen won aboard each of his next four drives. Wins came aboard Lombo Heaven leading all the way, Betterthandiamonds who led throughout, Looking Fabulous who was game in a tough victory and a stylish win from a 50-metre handicap aboard the trotter Majestic Simon. Three of the winners were trained by Pete’s wife Chantal Turpin, with the other provided by Craig McKinnis. Not content to put the cue in the rack with five metropolitan winners, McMullen then backed it up with a treble at Marburg on Sunday with wins aboard Adrenaline Rush, Shesfeelinprecious and Royal Princess. Overall, Pete drove 14 winners for the week with trebles at Redcliffe on Wednesday and Marburg Sunday, a double at The Creek on Tuesday to match his big Saturday night quintet and a lone victory at Thursday’s Redcliffe fixture. (close italics)
Just because Pete was sidelined by the QRIC panel mid week doesn’t keep the McMullen name off the top of the driver’s totem pole. Pete already had five in the can before the sin bin loomed, but sister Narissa McMullen swept on bye to post 7 victories for the week. The trainers ended in a triple dead heat, with Chantal Turpin, Peter Greig and Ron Sallis all putting the polish on three winners apiece. Most pleasing, the trotter,Jansson, trained by Mal Charlton with Steve Doherty in the cart. Ipswich factor 27/59..
Resultsville.. Redcliffe..24/05.. RocknRoll Dude (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis).. Shes Miss Devine (Pete McMullen for Graham Dwyer).. Specialandiknowit.. (Steven Doherty for Mal Charlton).. Fire Me Up ( Pete McMullen for Tony Turpin).. Albion Park.. 25/05.. Jansson (Steven Doherty for Mal Charlton).. Awaywego (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin).. Kensington Bill (Matt Elkins).. Raani (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).. Cautivar (Narissa).. Coppice (Narissa for Steve Cini).. Redcliffe.. 26/05.. Teachers Pet (Nathan Dawson for Peter Greig).. Sir Bulski(Nathan Dawson for Tim Gillespie).. She Got bling (Pete McMullen for Richard Hutchinson).. Pago Pago (Pete McMullen for Peter Greig).. Barkway Arnold (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen).. Yep Got Chooks (Trent Dawson).. Virgil (Narissa McMullen for Grant Dixon).. Albion Park 28/05.. Miss Mia (Adam Sanderson for Peter Greig).. Soho Tsunami (Justin Elkins for Chris monte).. Bit coin (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).. Another Statement (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price).. Thankheavenforgirls (Nathan Dawson for Dale Belford).. Princess Faith (Chantal Turpin).. Charming Charlotte (Chantal Turpin).. Albion Park 29/05.. Jumping Jack Jimmy (Danielle Veivers for Mark Rees).. It Aint The Money Narissa McMullen).. Redcliffe 30/05.. Quick Step (Angus Garrard for Darrell Graham)..