Queensland harness racing envelope – Harnesslink
Catch up on this week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, courtesy of Darren Clayton.
THE GIFT THAT CONTINUES TO GIVE
Last Thursday at Redcliffe proved to be a moment of pride for Trent Moffat with the victory of two-year-old race leader Shadys Cullect in the opening race on the map.
This momentous victory was Shadys Cullect’s first career victory and provided Moffat with the unique feat as the winner’s breeder, owner, trainer and driver.
Seeing that first win to be an elusive goal, Shadys Cullect had placed in six of his previous 11 starts heading into Thursday’s assignment.
Starting from the third barrier, she certainly seemed to have found her chance to break through and the punters agreed, sending the daughter of I have to go to the cullect as odds favorite.
With one shot in mind, Moffat made a bee line for the front once the rover cleared the ground and turning into the back straight the first time had the filly in front.
Controlling the tempo, the duo ran flawlessly in the finals to register the easiest of wins with a margin of victory of over 20 meters.
In addition to the first place money, Moffat also pocketed the QBRED $ 12,000 first-time win bonus for performance, with the win proving to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Shadys Cullect hails from Moffat’s Revivalist mare, with this mare purchased by Moffat with program funds in 2014.
Moffat was one of 10 junior drivers selected to participate in media training and financial planning activities made possible by Kevin Seymour, which also included a donation of $ 15,000 to purchase a racehorse.
Revivalist was Moffat’s selection and she would win eight races and an additional $ 80,000 in stakes after her purchase.
Now in the breeding barn, Revivalist continues to deliver, along with his first foal Shadys Delight, a five-time winner who got both his first and second QBRED bonus win.
Shadys Cullect is the second foal, while Moffat also has two other fillies from Revivalist, one by Hurricane Kingcole and another by Gambler Ohoka.
Congo Line claimed his first victory in Queensland for coach Greg Elkins in his third start since joining the Calvert-based mentor.
For his owners and herders, Peter and Lesley Medhurst, this might just be a case of what could have been, with Congo Line’s maternal family coming to a halt with his arrival.
The Medhursts bought Congo Line’s dam Highview Congo as a young horse and being a well-bred filly they believed she would join their group of selective broodmares once her racing career ended.
After a first victory at the age of two, Highview Congo took just one more victory in 45 attempts before entering the next chapter of his life.
Sent to the breeding barn, the second foal from Highview Congo was his first to do the track, a filly by Modern Art which to date has won eight covers and races under the name Beat The Drums.
Two years later, she would give birth to her third and last living foal, a foal by AAuckland reactor.
Now gelding and racing as Congo Line, the four-year-old has been able to achieve five career wins in just 15 starts, with four more places to his name.
Based in South Australia, Peter and Lesley have a long association with Queensland coach Elkins and Congo Line is the latest of their team sent to the Sunshine State to develop their racing potential.
After making a costly mistake at the start of its first outing in Queensland, Congo Line was subjected to the outside draw embargo.
On Friday’s third start for Elkins, that meant Congo Line would start from barrier seven on the flying mile, a task that wasn’t easier with the last start, Redcliffe Derby rider General Montana on the ground and ready to start indoors.
Recaptured as the field was cleared, Congo Line settled close to the rear as General Montana ran a sizzling 26.8 second first quarter to find the pickets.
Taking a step in the 500m, Congo Line was sent around the pitch by Justin Elkins to present himself strongly to the leader as the peloton made their way home.
Finishing strong in the home stretch, the four-year-old had the momentum to pull off an elegant victory and set a new personal mile best of 1.54.5 with the win.
Having bred enough horses over the years to know that there are plenty of disappointments to contend with along the way, Congo Line might just be the shining star of the maligned Highview Congo.
With over 300 career wins behind the wheel, Leonard Cain added a first career to his name after Oaxacan Dream’s victory on Saturday night.
Returning to mare training in May, the four-year-old daughter of Big Jim has now provided Cain with a pair of milestones.
Her victory on July 9 was Cain’s first training success, when she succeeded via the passing lane on the 1,660-meter course at Albion Park.
Owned by Summit Bloodstock, the Fleur De Lil Trust and Cain Bethany Manga’s partner, Oaxacan Dream started a prohibitively expensive favorite in the mare qualifying pace on Saturday night.
Taking full advantage of the inner barrier, Leonard took control in the early stages and from there he caught up with me if you can from the front.
Her opponents were unable to catch her, however, as she returned home to register a 1.55.4 mile rate with a header to spare on the line, as Ajay Breezy Rose made a desperate lunge that ultimately failed.
The victory, the third in Cain’s training career, was his first Metropolitan victory, and by all indications it will be far from the last.
Oaxacan Dream is a royal bred mare who has now had seven starts under Cain’s care and has yet to miss a top three with four minors sitting alongside three wins.
Oaxacan Dream’s grandmother is Oaxaca Lass, a mare who has been a wonderful producer in the breeding barn following a very successful racing career.
Oaxaca Lass has a piece of Queensland history, as the only filly to win the Queensland Derby when she won the 2002 Blue Ribbon Feature.
THE WILD CARD
While Pete McMullen is a clear leader in the State Drivers title, there is a battle further back in the top 10 that will perhaps carry more bragging rights than first place.
Pete’s three sisters, Danielle (Veivers), Taleah and Narissa, hold the 10th, 9th and 8th posts of Prime Minister respectively.
After scoring a brace at the Redcliffe meeting on Thursday, Taleah jumped to 63 wins for the season to lead the charge for the three McMullen drivers.
With Dannielle currently serving a suspension, her current tally is stuck on 59 wins, so she was unable to increase that number throughout the weekend.
With Narissa being passed, the oldest of McMullen’s three daughters had a solid book Friday and Saturday night to seek to regain her position.
After three standings on Friday, Narissa is expected to look to Saturday to cash in and move up the ranks of her tally of 62 wins so far in the 2021 season.
Placed in two races aboard Midnight Man and King Triton, there was only one more opportunity to move at least tied with Taleah.
Taking the wheel aboard Subtle Delight for trainer Don Hancock, Narissa had driven the gelding six times, including a victory in 2019 in a round of the Australian Female Drivers Invitation Series.
Moving away from the stakes in the early stages of the eight-field, Narissa had Subtle Delight in the running line as Sabrage set a consistent tempo up front.
Racing a wide and fast run, Subtle Delight dominated the top to claim his 23rd career victory and his second win of the season.
The victory meant the week ended with Taleah and Narissa tied with 63 wins for the quarter, four ahead of Dannielle.
So, as Pete continues to soar to the top, the real battle seems to only heat up.
The week started off with a 10-race card from Redcliffe on Monday night.
Monday’s game runs alongside the regular Peninsula meetings, with Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon also being hosted by the Redcliffe Club.
Albion Park will run a regular week with three meetings held on Tuesday afternoon, Friday evening and Saturday evening.
The highlight of the week will be the APG Brisbane Sales Series final for two-year-old coaches, with Group 1 glory given to the winner.
The two round winners were Cat King Cole and I Am Sparta, with star filly Cat King Cole already having a firm grip on the trophy.
By Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland