The Sunshine State is glowing following the victory of talented mare Im Norma Jean in the Listed $25,500 Hygain Golden Guitar Final at Tamworth tonight (Thursday).
Bred and raced by devoted supporters of Queensland harness racing in Jeff and Leann Wallace and prepared by the their long time trainer Peter Greig, the proven feature race winner was expertly handled by leading reinsman Pete McMullen.
It was a ‘pure’ Queensland victory.
The former Gr.1 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final winner was listed as an emergency for the event after finishing third in her heat earlier this week but secured a start following the scratching of Tuesdays Fella.
Starting from the inside gate, McMullen made sure the speedy beginner was right on the gate at release point before leading quite comfortably and running through the lead time of 26.4 seconds.
The Modern Art – Lets Rocknroll mare travelled kindly in front and covered the first half of the final mile in splits of 31.1 and 29.5 seconds.
Entering the back straight, Im Norma Jean increased the pressure and left rivals gasping when opening up with an extended margin.
The third quarter was timed in 28.1 seconds.
In the home straight, Im Norma Jean ($3.30) held a comfortable margin over a gallant The Bus ($3 fav) while Ashark ($19) also made good late ground to pick-up third place.
The final section was covered in 29.8 seconds.
The winning mile rate for the 1980m event was 1:57.8.
“I got away with a fairly easy time early and that proved the difference, she’s a good quality mare and feels like a monster when she leads in her races so it worked out really well and quite lucky to gain the start.” Winning driver Pete McMullen said.
Other Queensland trained runners also raced well with Goalkicker (4th), Majordoit (5th) and Tell The Linesmen (8th).
The victory of Im Norma Jean is the third for the Queensland trained runners in the Golden Guitar following on from Tiger Island (2012) and Goldplay (2014).
Congratulations to the Wallace family, Peter Greig and Patrice Madden plus Pete McMullen.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | January 24