Warriors colours in winners circle
By Michael Guerin
Warriors fans may have a new harness racing stable to cheer for.
Because trainer Simon McMullan has based his stable colours on the New Zealand Warriors league teams jersey and they were in the winner’s circle for the first time at Cambridge on Thursday night.
McMullan is a mad Warriors fan and wanted his colours to resemble they iconic blue with red, green and white V jumper and once you see the resemblance it will stick with you forever.
Once the 34-year-old got the new colours the only issue was he didn’t have a horse to carry them as he is no longer a fulltime trainer.
Enter great mate and former training partner Steven Reid.
“I am only doing the horses part-time now as I spend a lot of time flying horses overseas for IRT,” says McMullan.
“I am loving it and Richard Cole (IRT boss) has been great to me.
“I have been up to Hong Kong with horses and the UK. Its a wonderful lifestyle and you’d be surprised how well the horses handled it.
“We have nearly no issues, they handle things like turbulence and even the loading and off-loading really well.
“So my main job as well as looking after them is making sure they get plenty of fluids and food, mainly roughage.”
While he loves his new role McMullan also loves horses, and his colours, which brings us back to Reid.
“Steven was training old Take The Monarch and I needed a horse to wear the colours so Reidman said I could take him over.
“I also have and a maiden called Busy Canooldling, who I think will win one soon, and I work in with Reidman.
“He has been great about looking after my two when I am away flying and then we work in together when I am back.”
Take The Monarch is like the inconsistent Warriors of old rather than the Andrew Webster-trained side, with some doubts over how hard the eight-year-old tries.
But he secured the perfect run in the hands of Tony Cameron on Thursday night to win Race 8, downing two of Luk Chin’s trotters in Voronov and Mazeppa.
“It was cool to get a win in the colours, it is great seeing them out there,” says McMullan.
For those who like weird coincidences, it was Take The Monarch’s first win since March 3 this year and guess what? That is the night the Warriors beat Newcastle in the opening game of their season to start their amazing renaissance year.
Yes, you are right, that is a very odd.
Apart from Warriors fans and a jubilant McMullan the other big winners at Cambridge on Thursday night were the Blanchard stable and the Butcher family.
Trainers Peter and Vaughan Blanchard trained their 20th winner of the season when they landed a double with Patrick Mahomes (named after the American Football superstar) and Always B Stunning, so they have equaled their previous best year in 2021 with a week of the seasonn to go.
And the Butchers were all cashing in on their home track, David training and driving Romeo Foxtrot to win, Zachary driving two winners and Benjamin one, with Whitfield winning at 31-1 for local trainer Rodney Frampton.