We’ve written extensively over the past few months about the McMullen harness racing clan, and expressed our view that the descendants of Hollywood John and their relations by marriage like certain members of the Turpin and Dawson clan are so red hot that they might as well be sizzling.
Well just take a bloody look at the race replayed above – a lowly C5-C8 pace at a shitty Friday meeting run three days before Christmas on the 22nd of December – and take a look at Taleah Mcmullen’s drive on Bull Market, a $27.70 outsider in the race.
Now Bull Market is a pretty fair horse, and has won a string of races running mile rates of between 1:54 and 1:56 during its career, but never faster and the quickest time it has run this season was a mile rate of 1.54.4 when it held up early and sprinted home hard, which is the way that the horse has always raced best.
Which puts a red flashing light on this run and on Taleah McMullen’s drive because after driving Bull Market hard out of the gate to cross and lead the youngest member of the crooked clan didn’t rein back and restrain when she hit the front as she could and should have when no other horse was challenging her for the lead, but instead kept the pedal to the metal and ran some of the most ridiculous early sectionals ever seen in a race of this class run at the Creek.
Lead time 3.3.
First quarter 25.4.
Second quarter 28.6.
First section 57.3.
First half 54 seconds flat.
To give you an idea of how crazy these times are I will take you back to the Group 1 Sunshine Sprint of 2014, the premier sprint race on the Queensland harness racing calendar.
It was won that year by I’m The Mighty Quinn, one of the best pacers seen in Australia during the past decade, and it ran a track record that night.
These were Quinny’s times for the first half and a bit.
Lead time 3.2.
First quarter 28.0.
Second quarter 28.3.
First section 59.5.
First half 56.3.
Absolutely incredibly the restricted grade horse Bull Market – who was not attacked or pressured by any other runner – has run 2.2 seconds faster over the first 860 metres of the race than one of the greatest pacers of the 21st century, and has run its first half 2.3 seconds quicker than the champion did on the night that it broke the track record in a time that still stands as the record today.
Of course Bull Market hit the wall and punctured at the 600 metre marke – what horse wouldn’t? – and was swallowed up by the favorite Bodhi Tree, the horse that sat behind it with the perfect suck along and went on to win the race.
And who drove Bodhi Tree?
Taleah’s sister Narissa McMullen of course.
And who trained it?
The second favourite in the race The Charging Moa lived up to its name by charging home from the back of the field off the hot pace and running a narrow second.
Who drove it?
Taleah’s brother Pete McMullen of course.
Who trained it?
Wayne Graham, the father of Shane Graham who was earlier this month arrested by police and charged with match-fixing for allegedly rigging harness races.
Go figure will you?.
Can you smell that stench? It’s coming from the Creek.
The stewards called Taleah McMullen in after the race to explain her actions. She was accompanied to their room by her sister-in-law Chantal McMullen, her brother Pete’s wife and like her hubby one of the hottest workers in the business.
This what was said.
I don’t know what to say.
I couldn’t even if I’d wanted to, cos I’m blowing too hard.
I just ran the first 60 of the 100 faster than Usain Bolt.
Editor’s note: the original version of this story stated that Grant Dixon was the trainer of Bodhi Tree. This was clearly incorrect and has been amended, and I apologise to both Mr Dixon and Mr Greig for any offence or embarrassment that may have been caused.