"TROT TACTICS" 29/09/2018..
We are yet again reminded of our own mortality, as two more, former masters of the light harness craft have left us, bound for "that big race track in the sky"! Two totally different men, from opposite ends of the training spectrum. Both were owners, one a full blown and flamboyant professional, the other, for the time he lived at Ebenezer, the most successful hobbyist I have ever known. They shared only one similarity, and that physical, both were tall. In personality, poles apart. One a born salesman, friendly and gregarious, the other, silent, solitary, slow to trust others. One, the salesman, a good learner, combining and applying the horse skills absorbed in this and another country,to put a product on the track with his own unique signature. He could delegate tasks, and was a good teacher, attested to by the very successful dynasty that he founded. The other, of high intelligence, "pushing the envelope", from the day that he graduated from horse breaker to trainer, taking nothing for granted, applying his own techniques if he found the traditional methods to be wanting.
Both men came from humble beginnings. The professional born, raised and working in the Ipswich area, related to the O'Sheas of Rosewood, went to western Queensland working for time on renowned Hormet Bank station. He returned to Ipswich and was introduced to trotting by a veteran of the show circuit in Aub Kennoway. It was the start of a lifelong love affair. The hobbyist, a boy refugee from war torn Europe to New Zealand where he became a farm hand in the dairy industry, later taking on the breaking and education of harness horses and progressing to training and driving. Both were in their early 80's at the time of passing.Who were they?
"Hollywood" John McMullen had a huge impact on on Brisbane harness. He was an active exporter of horses to the United States, taking stock to the major tracks and racing them successfully there before selling on at a good price. Here in the sunshine State he campaigned such good ones as Viking Reign, Alba Wings (Qld Derby), Toliver Bye Bye, the list goes on. Perhaps his most significant performer here was The Aircraft, dominant from the "ten across the front" mobile start format on the new 1000 metre Albion Park track in the mid 80's. Often rated unbeatable, his supporters pounded the bookmakers unmercifully causing many to abandon the trots as a venue. A memorable quote from John McMullen, which perhaps indicated his personal view on punting, was, "First prize to the pay-up fee is the best odds on any racecourse". As the accepted pay-up fee at that time was 1/2% of first money the odds were 199 to 1 !! His personal stats as a trainer tell it all. Starters 4952..winners 734 placings 1261 for earnings of $2,386,973. No slouch as a driver either, his efforts producing 509 wins and 789 placings, the bank $1,551,892..
Albert Willem "Slim" Dykmann was a well known identity in NZ prior to coming to Queensland,through the deeds of his star trotter, Scotch Tar. A gelded son of pacing sire, Tarport Coulter, Scotch Tar raced for 8 seasons , starting on 87 occasions for 29 wins and 10 placings, maintaining a high profile among the square gaiters, and banking $140,920 AUD in the process.Slim settled at Ebenezer south of Ipswich and commenced to weave his magic there, first rising to notice through the deeds of Natty Jack, a winner of 20 races on the "old" Southport track. It was, however his skill with mares that bought him fortune here. Top of the tree was the 'iron legged"Happy Haldon starting on 196 occasions for 62 wins 52 placings ,sitting death seat and grinding her opposition into the ground, while earning $290,000. Diamond Hunter, with 11 wins under two minute rate from her total of 17, and $71,000, an Australian high point at the time. Then came Hike Along. A massive 32 runs as a 2yo in a total of 60 starts which netted $68,000 from 15 wins and 19 placings. At stud, 11 foals,7 winners , 4 of which earned in excess of $100,000. Slim Dykmann. No dynasty, just the sharp and lasting memory of a man who knew what he was doing, and did it incredibly well!!
Check the font page for Monday's TAB meeting at Marburg. It's all there!! Meanwhile, in a disrupted week, Adam Sanderson joined Nathan Dawson at the top of the leader board for drivers, posting four wins apiece with rates of 200. Darrell Graham kicked back to top the trainers stat, leading in three of the best. Most pleasing, Jacob Wallace, trained one, drove two, and has his foot firmly on the ladder.
Resultsville Albion Park 21/09.. Flash Under Fire (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen).. Franco Totem (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham).. Raesawinner (Nikki Chalk for Tess Neaves).. Got The Goods (Trent Dawson).. Just Seduce Me (Narissa McMullen).. Miss Kenny (Adam Richardson).. Albion Park22/09.. Vettel (Trent Dawson).. Bet Im Special (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes).. Goodtime Stride (Nathan Dawson for Anthony Gorman).. Glenferrie Hood (Pete McMullen for Wayne Graham).. Hot Rod Heaven (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie).. Mr Meddle (Hayden Barnes).. The Next Star (Brittany Graham).. Redcliffe 23/09..Hot Dogma (Matt Elkins for Ross Fletcher).. Stevie Dee (Jacob Wallace for Darrell Graham).. Jeter (Gary Whitaker for Brett Cargill).. Albion Park 26/09.. Ivanov (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly).. Spring Campaign (Jacob Wallace).. Much Bettor (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney).. My Mastercraftsman (Adam Sanderson).. Maywyn courage (Kelli Dawson)..My Ultimate Fella (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith).. Albion Park.. 27/09.. Lots More Grins (Hayden Barnes for Wayne Davis).. He Gets It (Nathan Dawson for Rod Hinze).. Stevie Dee (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham)..