Rising star Narissa McMullen. Picture: Racing Qld
Rising star Narissa McMullen. Picture: Racing Qld

Flying sisters in amazing form

“WHEN you’re hot you’re hot” is the only way one could describe the success level of the Glamorganvale based “Team McMullen’’ in recent weeks.

Narissa, 25, and her younger sister, Taleah drove half the card (four winners) at Albion Park on Saturday night – and in doing so they raised $800 for “Team Teal” and ovarian cancer.

The elder sibling was literally on fire and so was trainer Stephen Cini.

Narissa said her combination with the Alberton horseman had blossomed in recent seasons. “I’m just happy to be supporting such a good cause and raising some much needed awareness for ovarian cancer,’’ she said.

“It’s also great to win races for Steve as he has been my number one supporter from the beginning of my driving career. I owe him for a lot of my success.’’

The night’s effort reflected a great season so far with the human element boasting individual stats of John (trainer only) of 408 starters for 35 winners and 73 placings for earnings of $215,298.

Driving scores were Narissa (465 drives netting 65 wins and 125 placings for $461,038), while Taleah has been round on 366 occasions for 45 wins and 80 placings banking $278,659. Things happen in a hurry as the flying sisters added another three wins to the pot at Redcliffe on Thursday, making the preceding figures inaccurate, but in a nice way.

Figures questioned

AN excerpt from the Courier Mail’s report on the interim financials for Racing Queensland contained the following news.

“It’s been a solid first half year result on the back of Eagle Farm’s return and being more commercial in non-TAB conversions and our carnival innovations,” RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell said.

There has been a 14 per cent increase in the number of TAB races run in the state, most notably in the harness code (up 22.6 per cent).

While the raw figures look strong, there is a potential black hole looming for RQ with the performance of the Queensland arm of wagering partner Tabcorp.

UBET turnover fell by $101 million in the first half of the year, continuing a downward trend. The merger with Tabcorp is yet to realise the benefits for the Queensland TAB that were initially forecast. To this point, there has been a safety net in place, where Tabcorp has paid a “top-up fee” making up for any shortfall of an agreed amount with RQ when the merger with UBET was done.

Last year’s top-up was $15.6 million, meaning at the current rate RQ could have a potential $25 million shortfall to make up next year, as the top-up agreement expires in December. Tabcorp is due to release its half-yearly report this week, which is expected to show a softening of wagering figures across the board.

Examination of the relevant media release which quotes greyhound turnover up by 4.4% and an increase in TAB races of 9% as opposed to harness turnover up by 0.1% and TAB races increased by 22.6%, does not appear to compute.

Perhaps a more detailed review of the accounting procedures might reassure the doubting Thomas’s.

‘Hurricane Harness’

IT is the cyclone season and the weather in North Queensland is unsettled as per the norm.

As it is an election year there is also a chance of disturbance in the political climate.

What started as a mild whirlywind, fuelled by reasonable requests, is about to become “Hurricane Harness”, as the soldiers of North Queensland trotting move to remind the current government that it is elected to serve all the people of Queensland.

While we are still a democracy, sitting members should be firmly focused on the ballot box.

To Thuringowa Electorate office.

“Hi Aaron. As requested twice previously we wish to arrange a meeting to discuss the enclosed correspondence received from Adam Wallish. The purpose of this is to gain and understanding that the Minister supports the comments enclosed in the below from his Racing Queensland representative and is the view of the current Government. I understand our members have made contact also with Coralee and Scott’s offices (other sitting Labour members) to arrange the same.

Thus far all members have not received feedback, this is concerning as I can only assume Labour does not want to meet with us and has no substantial or factual information to bring to the table.

Further information has now surfaced that supports our cause and I wish to bring this to your attention. However if I do not gain feedback I can only assume that Scott, Coralee, yourself and the Labour Party are not interested and do not see this as a beneficial project for the region. One item that concerns me is that on one hand Racing Queensland and the Government in their meeting with us focus on profitable accountability for this industry. However on Thursday last week announces another $250000 race for the winter carnival that will place added pressure on the industry with no gain what so ever for the industry. Given also the added stakes with no extra meeting to derive income from added in this and future calendar year doesn’t really match the blueprint being placed before us at our meetings. On top of this the added show circuit with no income you have to wonder is the Government and RQ serious?

Handy tips

Selections for Albion Park tonight.

R1: Box trifecta 1-4-8: Platinum Roulette (T Lethaby)-Sabrage (B Barnes)-Jumping Jolt (J Elkins).

R2: Box trifecta 8-5-4: Colonel Joy (C Geary)-Big Bang Leonard (J Callaghan)-Urban Girl (N McMullen).

R3: Quinella 6-8: Hard To Hear (T Dawson) and Bumper (K Rasmussen).

R4: E/w 2: Huntaway (K Rasmussen).

R5: E/w 1: Nifty Studleigh (T McMullen).

R6: Quinella 1-2: Clintal Do (D March) and Tulhurst Ace (A Richardson).

R7: Box trifecta 1-6-7: The Bus (K Rasmussen)-Thatswhatisaid (B Barnes)-Random Task (N Dawson).

R8: First four 1-3-6-7: Reign On Me (P Diebert)-Justabitnoisy (L Weidemann)-Springbank Eden (N Dawson)-Quietly Spoken (N McMullen).

R9: E/w 1: Just One Good One (R Gordon).

R10: Quinella 2-3: St Kilda Beach (G Dixon) and Whitehaven Lass (P Diebert).

Honour board

IT’S musical chairs on the leader board this week, reflecting the Team McMullen whitewash. Leading trainer John McMullen with four winners and no one else in sight. Taleah McMullen best driver on five wins. Narissa McMullen right up close on four.

Most pleasing was Babole Nere, for Danielle Fitzgerald with Paul Diebert in the sulky. Ipswich factor: 20/40.

Albion Park, February 14: Beaudacious (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen), Sir Semper Fidelis (Paul Matis), Huntaway (Kylie Rasmussen for Alex Johnstone), B Mac C (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen), Hard To Hear (Trent Dawson).

Albion Park, February 15: Urban Girl (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini), Blade (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini), With Authority (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen), Dream To Share (Adam Sanderson), Quietly Spoken (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini).

Albion Park, February 18: Monorail (Pete McMullen for Lisa Bahr).

Redcliffe, February 19: Guts (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen), Guptas Cullen (Hayden Barnes), Eulo Flyer (taleah McMullen for Dale Belford).

Redcliffe, February 20: Wheres Seggy (Taleah McMullen for Chantal Turpin), Tulhurst Kate (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell), Bambole Nere (Paul Diebert for Danielle Fitzgerald), Starzzz On High (Taleah McMullen for Merv Hieronymous), Targaryen Hanover (Paul Diebert for Stephanie Graham), Beach Goddess (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis).