Young driver Jordan Topping keen to show her new skills

Jordan Topping is one of Queensland’s 2023 Team Teal ambassadors.

Emerging Queensland reinswoman Jordan Topping says a recent trip south of the border to drive at Tamworth has given her a “spark” for the 2023 campaign ahead.

The 20-year-old enjoyed her best season yet in the sulky in 2022, collecting 28 winners, which was more than her first duo years in the bike combined.

Topping was one of many Sunshine State participants who made the journey south to the New England region for their annual Tamworth Carnival recently. 

While the keen young driver did not find her way into the winners enclosure on the big Golden Guitar Final night, she says the experience will greatly benefit her driving skills back home.

“It was different, the racing down there is much different to what it is here compared to Brisbane,” Topping said.

“The tracks are different to Albion Park, Marburg and Redcliffe.

“It was a real eye-opener.

“It was good as we stayed only 10 minutes from the track, instead of driving over an hour as we do here in Queensland.”

Topping had two engagements on the Golden Guitar feature program, taking a drive in the consolation for the big race as well as one in a later event.

In the second of the two drives, she was able to run into third with the Dan Russell-trained Malibu Dream at the massive odds of $ 126.

“To be in those sort of races – while it is not as big as our winter carnival up here in Queensland – it was still a privilege to drive in the consolation race and those sort of races,” she said.

“The whole point of it was to just to go and learn a few different things.

“You can drive at these tracks as much as you want in Brisbane, but going somewhere different, hopefully the trip away can spark me up again.

“It really opened a few eyes for me now while I am out on the track.”

Topping has going through a baptism of fire in the driving ranks in Queensland.

In August of last year, she claimed her maiden metropolitan winning drive when she urged home Glenledi Commander for trainer Ryan Veivers over 2318 metres.

Just hours earlier she was tipped out of the cart in the main arena at Ekka in front of thousands of onlookers.

Racing Queensland’s Senior Harness Racing Manager David Brick said Topping’s introduction to the metropolitan winning ranks underlines her determination.

Jordan Topping driving a winner last week at Redcliffe.

“Jordan is an up-and-coming driver here in Queensland,” Brick said.

“The first time I was introduced to Jordan was the day she was tipped out while she was driving last year at the Ekka and then she went on to drive her first metropolitan winner later that evening.

“That probably speaks to what she made of as a person.

“We are looking forward to her growth as a driver up here in Queensland for many years to come.”

After picking up 28 winners last campaign, Topping is hopeful of building on that again in 2023.

“I feel like the end of last season was my best season yet,” she said.

“The start of it was probably a bit slow but I am hoping this season can be a bit better and stronger again.

“Hopefully I can be bigger and better again this year.”

Topping will have an added incentive to drive winners over the next six weeks.

Taleah McMullen and Topping will lead the ladies as Queensland’s 2023 Team Teal ambassadors, both donning the Team Teal silks.

The annual Team Teal campaign is back in 2023, with six weeks of fund-raising initiatives across the Queensland harness racing industry to help aid ovarian and other gynaecological cancer research.

From February 1 to March 15, the Queensland harness racing industry will unite to raise funds, with $200 to again be donated on every occasion a Queensland reinswoman drives a winner in the Sunshine State.

In conjunction with WomenCan, Team Teal donations will support the Australian and New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group’s education and prevention program – Survivors Teaching Students – bringing ovarian cancer survivors into the classroom of medical students to share their experiences.

The funds will provide support for patients to access gynaecological cancer clinical trials, particularly in regional and remote areas, ensuring women have access to the best available care, irrespective of where they live.

In addition to the winning donations – which are being co-funded by Racing Queensland, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, and the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club – all Queensland reinswomen will wear teal-coloured pants to highlight the campaign.

Tabcorp has also confirmed that it will contribute a further $200 for every triumph by a reinswoman around the country throughout the Team Teal campaign. 

Topping has three drives at Redcliffe’s “Triangle” track on Wednesday evening as the campaign commences for 2023.

By Jordan Gerrans