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NSW owner and breeder sold on Queensland racing

By Duane Ranger

New South Wales dairy farmer John Polson has two pacers nicknamed ‘Dumbo and Mouse’, but he said it was a no-brainer having them bred and raced in Queensland.

“Mouse’, aka Big Wheels, gave me my first ever Listed victory in Queensland last weekend,” Polson said.

“I farm and live in Taree and have never bred or owned a big winner on my own before - it was a huge thrill.

“I’ve been struggling in the drought and it’s been tough, I will continue to breed and race all my horses in Queensland because your State Body seems to care more for grass root breeders like me.

“If it wasn’t for the bonuses on offer up there, and your brilliant QBRED Triad scheme, fellas like me just wouldn’t be able to survive.

“Winning those sorts of races means that newcomers like me can carry on breeding there.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of what’s happening up there, I wouldn’t want to breed or race anywhere else.”

The Chantal Turpin-trained and driven Big Wheels beat stablemate Justa Little Bit by 1.1 metres in Saturday’s $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2YO Colts & Geldings Final.

“I was screaming at the TV all the way down the home straight hoping Chantal could hold out her husband (Peter McMullen),” Polson said.

“I’ve been hypo for so long now wanting to get to the track, so I let it all out.

“It was so exciting, I couldn’t contain myself - I’ve only ever bred two horses and this is my biggest win.”


Big Wheel’s full-brother Blacksadance (five wins) was an unlucky fourth in the feature QBRED pace of the night – the $50,000 Triad Final for the 3YO Colts & Geldings – won by Governor Jujon.

“They aren’t the prettiest brothers in the world, in fact I’d say they are quite ugly,” Polson said.

“Dumbo has big ears so his nickname was obvious, and that’s why we called the other fella ‘Mouse’.

“They are both by A Rocknroll Dance, and I always liked great racehorses from the USA.”IMG-6282.JPG

He said had it not been for NSW trainer David Thorn, he would not have come across Washington Lass.

“He found her for me and started this great trip for me,” Polson said.

“I’ve owned horses before and bred a couple with friends but this was my first solo venture - I’m still very raw, but am learning as I go.

“All I know is that Chantal and Pete are so good with my horses, they have developed them beautifully.

“I can’t speak highly enough of them, I wouldn’t want my pacers in any other stable.

“The progress they have made in recent times has been unbelievable.

“The staff also need a big pat on the back too because they do the hard yards handling them every day.”

The siblings are out of the 2006 Washington VC New Zealand mare, Washington Lass.

She had 10 races in New Zealand for 10 starts and four placings, coming to Thorn’s barn in July 2011.

“She was quite a nice pacer, she won second up for us at Menangle as the $1.60 favourite and then went on to win eight more races and $53,000, before we retired her in July 2015,” Polson said.

“She could have gone a lot further, but she was a ‘roarer’, and in the end we had to have her operated on.

“She would have been a much better racehorse had she not had throat and breathing problems.”

He said because he had raced a horse with Turpin before, Polson decided to send Washington Lass north where the weather was kinder on her lungs.

“She won three races up there, including her first two at Redcliffe,” Polson said.

“She never reached her full potential as a racehorse because of her breathing problems, and for that reason I always thought she would make a nice broodmare.”

Washington Lass has left three foals, the last a Sunshine Beach brown yearling colt who is also being prepared by Turpin and McMullen.

“He’s a lovely little fella as well, but his feet aren’t the best and Chantal said he was a work in progress,” Polson said.

“We didn’t have her (Washington Lass) served last season, but she’s now back in foal to Sunshine Beach again, because he’s a stallion which really attracted my eye.”

Albion Park


Big Wheels and Turpin led early and never relented in Saturday’s 1,660 mobile, chalking up his second straight win in six starts.

He’s also placed three times since making his debut third at Redcliffe Paceway on April 15.

The brown gelding stopped the clock in  2:00.5 (mile rate 1:56.8), with sectionals of 28, 31, 29.6, and 28.4.

“It’s up to Chantal and Pete what happens next with the horse; I leave all the decision-making to them because they have done such a wonderful job for me,” Polson said.

“I was so looking forward to getting up there last weekend and watching our horses run, but COVID ruined that - I’m going insane here, I have to get out!

“Hopefully I can get up for the rest of the Triad races at the Winter Carnival in July, I can’t wait.”