From the Callers Box

January Edition

Welcome to 2022!

I’ve done plenty of thinking during the festive period about what to write about, but I’ve decided to scribble down some stats following the heroics of Shane Graham just prior to the break.

Put a circle around the Christmas Cup meeting and jot down one name.

Shane Graham

For the past two years, the skilled reinsman has made this meeting his own, he claimed his first five wins at a single meeting last month while the previous year he won four races at the same meeting.

And both times he claimed the Christmas Cup via One Change and Turn It Up, both ex-All Stars (Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen) students.

His quintet of winners at the Christmas Cup meeting included Scarlet Babe, El Aguila, Turn It Up, Italian Lad and No Doubt.

Vicki Rasmussen prepared all winners.

It’s the second time Rasmussen has prepared five winners at a single meeting, her maiden quintet coming at a midweek Albion Park meeting back in 2012.

But it was fresh territory for Graham, a former Australian representative at the 2017 World Drivers Championship in Canada.

Boasting over 2800 career victories, Graham joins an exclusive list of drivers who have achieved five wins or more at a single meeting in the Sunshine State.

So, let us break down the numbers.

Graham becomes just the 7th driver to achieve the feat at Albion Park, our metropolitan venue and home of harness racing in the Sunshine State, he joins Grant & Trista Dixon, Alan Donohoe, Peter Greig, Luke McCarthy and Pete McMullen.

Both Grant Dixon (twice) and Luke McCarthy (4) have done it multiple times at the famed Breakfast Creek oval.

But how many other Queensland drivers have achieved the feat?

I’m glad you asked! The answer is 21! 

Bill Dixon – twice – both times at Townsville.

Grant Dixon – 9 times – Albion Park (2), Redcliffe (3) & Gold Coast (4).

Trista Dixon – once – Albion Park.

Alan Donohoe – once – Albion Park.

Tim Gillespie – once – Rocklea.

Peter Greig – once – Albion Park.

Darryl Gross – twice – both at Townsville.

*Les Hartley – once – Redcliffe.

Garry Lefoe – once – Gold Coast.

John Manzelmann – once – Rockhampton.

Luke McCarthy – 4 times – all at Albion Park – a further 9 times in NSW.

Pete McMullen – twice – Albion Park & Redcliffe.

Mathew Neilson – once – Toowoomba.

Chris Petroff – once – Redcliffe.

Natalie Rasmussen – once – Gold Coast.

John (Jack) Rix – once – Townsville.

Brett Towns – once – Toowoomba.

Julie Weidemann – once – Rockhampton.

Lola Weidemann -6 times – Rockhampton (2), Townsville (2), Mackay & Rocklea.

Paul Zimmerlie – once – Mackay.

*Les Hartley was the first Queensland driver to achieve the feat, he did it back in 1961.

In total, 129 drivers throughout Australia have achieved this feat while champion Perth based reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is leading the tally, he has done it a remarkable 23 times!

Happy New Year everyone.

Until next time.

Chris Barsby