Racing Queensland was saddened to hear the passing of astute horseman John ‘Hollywood’ McMullen early Thursday morning aged 81.
McMullen was a skilled trainer/driver before concentrating on breeding his own stock with good success.
His silks of red jacket with white sash are fondly remembered during the halcyon days.
Based behind Albion Park at Nariel Street since 1978, McMullen was constantly spotted by motorists using Sandgate Road swimming his racing team in the Breakfast Creek.
Using a row boat, McMullen felt the training technique of swimming helped his charges in many ways including respiratory while taking pressure off their legs.
Occasionally, he would drop the odd crab pot in the creek while undertaking his training regime.
His on-track battles at the famed Brisbane raceway with the likes of Kevin Thomas and Darrell Alexander were legendary.
McMullen was a pioneer in opening the market to North America.
He was nicknamed ‘Hollywood’ owing to his frequent American visits during the 1980’s.
McMullen prepared a string of top performers including Viking Reign, Alba Wings, Rameses, Parading, Toliver Bye Bye, Pleasant Fury, Maker Reign, Monty Reign, Sona Fury and Spirit Of Reign among others.
Alba Wings won the 1984 Queensland Derby defeating Area Code while Viking Reign finished third behind Another Bart and Rowleyalla in the 1988 Australian Derby.
His two sons John Jnr and Chris also followed in their father’s footsteps and have built strong reputations while his grandchildren Peter, Narissa, Dannielle and Taleah all currently drive.
Only last season, Peter landed the Albion Park Metropolitan Drivers Premiership.
McMullen built very strong friendships with many visiting horseman including the legendary Graeme Lang and Brian Hancock (Mr Inter Dominion).
The funeral will take place next Wednesday (September 26) at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on 28 Chalk Street, Lutwyche commencing at 1pm.
A celebration of life will follow at Albion Park.