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Queensland Harness Racing Wrap - July 26

26 July 2021

Aq-iVf-Q.jpegCatch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.


Despite limited opportunities over the years, it was somewhat of a surprise to learn that top freelance reinsman Anthony Butt had driven just two Group 1 winners at Albion Park since 2001.

Claiming the 2001 Trotters Inter Dominion with Take A Moment, Butt’s next Group 1 winner at The Creek would come in the 2019 Queensland Trotters Cup with Majestic Courtney.

Fast forward to the 2021 TAB Constellations Carnival and Butt has been able to add a further three wins at the elite level to his resume with victories in the Sunshine Sprint, another Queensland Trotters Cup and the Queensland Derby.

Across the three big nights of the Albion Park segment of the Constellations, Butt has really gone about highlighting why he has reached the pinnacle of the sport worldwide.

Complementing his Group 1 glory, Butt also added the Rising Sun Consolation, the Group 3 South East Derby and a Band 5 pace with Tommy Lincoln on Blacks A Fake night.

Not only did he score some decisive victories, Butt also went mighty close in other races - beaten a head in the Group 1 The Golden Girl and a head in the Group 1 The Rising Sun.

Taking driving honours on the biggest night of the Constellations, Butt claimed a treble of victories, two of those at Group 1 level.

Starting the night with victory, it was Tommy Lincoln to get the ball rolling, leading throughout from gate two to claim the opening race of the card.

The next win came aboard the Rickie Alchin-trained Tough Monarch, a horse that he has previously had success aboard and ironically defeated in the 2019 Trotters Cup when driving Majestic Courtney.

Moving up three-wide to get outside the leader, Tough Monarch proved to be too classy and too strong for his rivals in scoring a smart victory.

In landing the Group 1 double for the night, Butt claimed the Queensland Derby with a perfect drive aboard American Dealer.

Allowing the colt to settle, the pint-sized pacing machine was sent forward with two laps to travel and taking control at the 2000 metre marker, was never in danger thereafter, with close to two metres to spare over Captain Crusader and over six metres clear of the third-placed Krug.

The Carnival has been a huge success for Butt, with the results slightly soured when earning the wrath of stewards in the Blacks A Fake for causing interference to King Of Swing.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 7:13 PM


D: Anthony Butt
D: Luke McCarthy
D: Blair Orange

1.4 metres. 140 centimetres. Just under half a length in the old scale.

It is not that far but that margin also meant the difference of $155,625 in prize money.

Breaking it down further it amounts to approximately $1,111.60 per centimetre.

That was the difference that Rockin Marty experienced by placing in the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake.

On both occasions the David Hewitt-trained and Brad Hewitt-driven five-year-old was charging home down the outside to make a closing raid.

Just a short-half-head away in the Sunshine Sprint, the gelding was buried in the run in the Blacks A Fake after retreating from gate six in the early stages to find the pegs.

When the gap opened in the stretch, ‘Hollywood’ Hewitt cut the lines and Rockin Marty exploded and was making an amazing amount of ground on them.

However, the post came too soon and the pair would have to settle for a barnstorming second.

Having always shown plenty of ability, the gelding claimed the scalp of Lochinvar Art as a three-year-old in the New South Wales Breeders Challenge.

Placed in all three starts at Albion Park on his northern campaign, the trip might just be the tonic in seasoning Rockin Marty for the future.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 8:14 PM


D: Blair Orange
D: Brad Hewitt
D: Luke McCarthy

kcxbHkgg.jpegTHE MILESTONE
Amazing Dream created a pair of memorable milestones with her deserved victory in the Blacks A Fake.

The mighty Tailamade Lombo was the last mare to claim the Queensland Pacing Championship as it was then known, back in 2000.

On that occasion the race was held at Gold Coast and in similar fashion, a highly fancied star had started on odds-on favourite in the race.

In 2000, it was Courage Under Fire that tasted defeat at the hands of one great mare and 21 years later it was King Of Swing that had to settle for minor money behind another great mare.

There were also three local drivers competing in that event in the year 2000 that also went around in 2021 - Grant Dixon, Luke McCarthy, and Shane Graham.

In claiming the passing lane victory, Amazing Dream also smashed a long-standing class record over the mobile 2680-metre trip.

The four-year-old mare's record at the distance was previously held by Lilydale, set on May 1, 2004, when pacing the trip in a 2.01.4 mile-rate.

Amazing Dream’s 1.55.3 rate on Saturday obliterates that record by 6.1 seconds.

Meanwhile, the overall mares record at the trip was previously held by Dancing Navajo in a rate of 2.00.4, set in February 2005 and it has 5.1 seconds carved off the mark.

Amazing Dream went within a head of clean sweeping the Constellations in the three events she contested with three Group 1 victories after only being that far away in the Group 1 The Golden Girl.

As it stands the million-dollar mare is the only dual Group 1 winner of the 2021 TAB Constellations.

It’s fair to say that the Queen has dethroned the King - at least for bragging rights in the Sunshine State in 2021.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 8:45 PM


D: Pete McMullen
D: Adam Sanderson
D: Brendan Barnes

AwayWeGo-QBRED-Triad-Final-C-G-2-1.jpgTHE WILDCARD
Washington's Lass has become a broodmare gem since retirement and on Saturday night, another of her son's scored Group 1 glory.

From three foals to race, the mare has now produced three winners - Blacksadance, Big Wheels and Awaywego.

With victory in the two-year-old colts and geldings QBRED Triad on Saturday night to Awaywego, Washington's Lass claimed successive victories in the race by her progeny following on from the 2020 victory by Big Wheels.

All three are trained by Chantal Turpin and husband Pete McMullen has been at the reins for both Group 1 victories.

Awaywego had faced the starter on three previous occasions heading into Saturday’s feature, having scored a win and a pair of placings.

Starting from gate 10, the race was thrown into chaos in the early stages with firstly Class To The Max breaking gait before a backwash of interference resulted from I Am Sparta going off-stride and hampering Teddy Disco and Torque To the Music.

Forced to move wide to avoid the scrimmage, McMullen took the initiative to press around the field to sit outside the leader.

With a 28.5 second third quarter, Awaywego loomed up to put the leader away as they turned for home and soon after forged his way to the lead.

Fighting gamely despite the hard run when parked, the gelded son of Sunshine Beach fought off the fast finishing Speak The Truth with the luckless Dangerzone claiming third.

The win made it a double for the Turpin and McMullen team to go alongside their victory in the JC McMullen with Uncle Shank, making it successive victories in the event.

Not only was it another win for the stable, but it was also back-to-back wins in the Group 3 event for loyal stable client Ross Patrick, who also owns the 2020 winner Will The Wizard.

AWAYWEGO Next Racing

The big races may be in the rear-view mirror, yet the show goes on and the week will once again kick-off with a Monday evening meeting from Redcliffe.

Three meetings will be held at The Triangle, with Monday joining the regular Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon fixtures.

Tuesday from The Creek, a 10-race card is scheduled with the highlight being the QBRED Triad two-year-old Consolations for both the fillies and the colts and geldings.

Both divisions look wide-open and several horses can be ready to step forward to claim the victory.

Complementing the Tuesday fixture will be the regular Friday night card and then metropolitan racing on Saturday night.

It will be seven straight days of harness action in Queensland with Marburg also joining the schedule with a Sunday afternoon meeting.