By Tony McMahon
When fuelled by commitment, purposefulness and determination, those qualities have been known to strike lethal results often equating to race winners - they are said to be the sweetest victories of them all!
This Saturday at Emerald’s meet, these qualities will once again be put to the test when the Lyn Sullivan owned and trained Tales Of Epsilon chases victory.
Mind you, it is not for the want of trying as the three-year-old has contested 15 races for just three placings.
However, at Emerald in the Maiden over 1300 metres, Lyn’s gelding is placed to advantage.
Tales Of Epsilon ticks the three censor boxes that are crucial to winning – feed them right; work them right and place them right.
“Well he’s eating all right and Wally Welburn reckons his track work is right and he seems to be placed okay in the Emerald race - it would be pretty special to win with him that’s for sure”, Sullivan said.
That’s understandable, as Tales Of Epsilon was the last horse Lyn’s late husband Dick Sullivan bought with her at the Magic Million Ready To Run Sale at the Gold Coast in 2018.
Dick Sullivan, a highly respected Gracemere businessman and stalwart of both harness and thoroughbred racing in Central Queensland, died suddenly from a heart attack last September at age 78.
Dick was Lyn’s soulmate and horses were their life.
“We were married for 55 and a half years, it was a good innings and a great one”, Lyn reminisced.
At a packed Callaghan Park, where the celebration of Dick Sullivan’s life took place, Tales of Epsilon with Wally Welburn astride followed the funeral procession down the straight.
It was a poignant moment as Tales of Epsilon - under Dick’s green, white hoops and armbands with a tangerine and quartered cap - trotted past the winning post.
In her innermost thoughts, Lyn vowed that she would carry on her husband’s wishes and when the time was right, she would rekindle their winning desires and train Tales of Epsilon again.
That she did a few months later, and now Lyn and Tales have a special bond as they float the 20 kilometres from Gracemere to Callaghan Park to do track work.
“Tales is a gentleman which is good because I’m no spring chicken, he is the only horse I have and that’s enough,” Sullivan said.
“It’s one step at a time but I’d like to continue on with him and maybe when he’s finished get another one later - we’ll see.”
In 1979, Lyn Sullivan was one of the first women harness racing drivers to be licensed in Rockhampton and in the ensuing 20 years she drove dozens upon dozens of winners at the Paceway.
“I won something like 34 races driving Wallidicea and then there was Royal Emblem winning 27 and quite a few others who I drove winning 10 or 12 races,” Sullivan recalled.
“Dick and I loved the trotters however when I had a bad accident driving when I was 55, Dick said that’s it you are not going to get hurt again.
“That’s how we got involved with racing and breeding gallopers.”, Lyn explained.
Since the transition in to the world of the thoroughbreds some 20 years ago, Lyn has trained her fair share of winners under the ownership of her late husband and herself.
Outwardly, Lyn was very composed when put to the test to pinpoint Tales of Epsilon’s Emerald race prospects.
A lifetime of intimate involvement as a professional working horsewoman has taught her the perils of over expectation.
“I suppose it is in the lap of the Gods”, she said pointing skyward.
Tales of Epsilon will be under the lap of jockey Girish Goomany who ticks another box having already won three races this week.
Sentiment and a myriad of well wishes will ride with him this weekend.