McMullan brings up century
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Simon McMullan reached a special milestone at Alexandra Park on Friday night, bringing up his 100th win as a trainer courtesy of Commander Cathy in the DMI Plumbing Mobile Pace (1700m).
“I am pretty rapt to get the hundred tonight, that was awesome,” said McMullan, who trains in partnership with Steven Reid.
“I thought she was super. She copped a bit of bad luck in the run and she went really well.”
McMullan initially kicked off his training career in partnership with Reid in 2014 before he moved back to Christchurch to spend time with his ill father. He trained in his own account for three seasons before he moved back north to Pukeokohe to renew his association with Reid last year.
“It has been great training with Reidman,” McMullan said. “I love being back where I am.
“I never left his place intentionally, it was more that my old man was sick, so I had to go back home to Christchurch and unfortunately he passed away.
“Last year Steven asked if I wanted to come back and to be honest I couldn’t wait to get back.”
While his family’s involvement has historically been with thoroughbreds, it soon became apparent to McMullan that he would be too big to be a jockey, so he elected to pursue harness racing instead.
“My grandfather, Bill McMullan, trained thoroughbreds and was also caretaker at Riccarton racecourse,” McMullan said. “I have always had a family interest in horses, but I was too big to be a jockey, so I got put in the harness side of things and never looked back from that, I loved it.
“I started off with Brent Lilley and he was an amazing teacher, he taught me a lot. He got me a job with Brendon Hill and he was great as well. From there I had an association with Steven Reid and I have been at Reidman’s for near on 15 years all up.
“I had a big stint with Graham and Paul Court as well and that was great, they were very good to me. When I was training on my own account, I had their help as well.
“I also worked for Doug Gale for nine months, you learn a lot from all of those great trainers along the way.”
Reaching 100 wins was a great thrill for McMullan and he said the next thing he would like to achieve would be winning his first Group One.
“My long-term goal would be to get a Group One win,” he said. “Easy On The Eye ran second in the New Zealand Free-For-All and a couple of the others have run placings along the way, but I haven’t been able to get that Group One win. That’s the next goal for me.”