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Lady drivers paint Albion Park teal

By Duane Ranger

Cancer researchers would have been delighted after watching the state’s best female drivers display their prowess at Albion Park on Saturday. 

Female reinswomen won half the card (five races) and in doing so raised $200 per win for the annual ‘Team Teal’ campaign which runs throughout February and early March.

It’s the third year in a row the female drivers in Queensland have donned the teal strides.

And it was the women who dominated early on Saturday evening nailing a $794.60 quaddie in races two, three, four and five.

Chantal Turpin trained and drove Argyle Beach to win the second event; and then 33 minutes later Narissa McMullen steered the Peter Greig trained Parisian Rockstar to a 1.1 metre victory.

Trista Dixon drove the Grant Dixon trained Aqua Miss to win race four; and then at 8.08pm Kylie Rasmussen trained and drove Lilac Flash to win race five – the feature open class pacing event.

The first three home all paid $5 to win, while the latter returned $6.50.

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It was a good night for Dixon. She also won the eighth event behind the Grant Dixon trained $13 shot, Southern Alps.

Asked to comment on ‘Team Teal’, Kylie Rasmussen said should would do everything she could to raise money for cancer sufferers.

“We are all affected in some way or another. I’ve had no relations or close friends die from ovarian cancer, but my Aunt did have breast cancer. It’s so sad and I personally am so pleased to be doing this," she said.

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“It was a nice feeling when the horse won, and then knowing $200 would be going to such a worthy cause. It’s a great idea."

Patrick Estate trainer, Chantal Turpin, also said she was proud to be wearing the teal colours.

“It’s a good cause because it affects a lot of women, and I’m only too pleased to help out. It’s also great motivation to do even better,” Turpin said.

Turpin’s only win last night came in the second event behind the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare, Argyle Beach.

The Somerset horsewoman was so happy with that 4.1 metre victory she will now take her to New South Wales this week alongside her 16-time winner ($136,666), Mattgregor.

"She's earned her trip to go south and have a go at the Ladyship Mile (March 2). Mattgregor will race in the Newcastle Mile on Friday night. More will come down later, including Watch Pulp Fiction," Turpin said.

Turpin was rapt with Argyle Beach saying “she’s really flying at the moment,” but she will be retired from racing in May.

“She’s been a great little horse and won real well this time. She will be let down in May so she can prepare for the next breeding season when she will be served by Betting Line,” Turpin said.

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Argyle Beach and Turpin sat second last early before joining the three-wide train down the back the last time. They then loomed up at the 300m and ran away to an easy victory over Sir Julian and claimer, Stacey Weidemann.

The mare paced the 1660m mobile in 1:56.7 (mile rate 1:53.2). Her sectionals were 26.2, 29.9, 28.5 and 28.9.

It was the Ross Patrick owned mare's 14th win in 40 starts. She has also placed 14 times and banked $81,404.

"That was her quickest mile rate yet and she did it pretty easy. I'm going to miss who when she retires," said Turpin who works a team of 36.

Meanwhile Racing Queensland, Albion Park and the Redcliffe Harness Racing Clubs will continue donate the $200 to the Women's Cancer Foundation every time a female driver salutes the judge.

The reinswomen are wearing teal coloured pants, while leading drivers Kylie Rasmussen and Narissa McMullen are donning specially-made ‘Team Teal Silks’ as ‘Queensland’s Ambassadors’.

The Queensland Teal Campaign ends on March 9 when the Albion Park HRC hosts the 2019 Australian Female Drivers Championship. It will feature the best female drivers from across the country.

The Team Teal concept was created by Duncan McPherson OAM, who lost his wife Lyn to ovarian cancer in 2010.

Racing Queensland has raised more than $60,000 since 2017. The Women’s Cancer Foundation target is $250,000.

Extensive results and race videos from last night’s meeting can be viewed here.