Day At The Track

Amanda Turnbull can't wait to drive again

12:46 AM 02 Dec 2010 NZDT
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Amanda Turnbull
Amanda Turnbull

She is one of the most talented young harness racing drivers in New South Wales however Amanda Turnbull is feeling frustrated that she is still on the sidelines and unable to get back into the sulky after fracturing her pelvis in a nasty fall at Bathurst in October.

Her father Steve is hoping Amanda will receive some good news from her doctor later this week and a comeback could soon be a reality.

"It's been a very tough time for her and she is climbing the walls at home desperate to drive" Turnbull said.

"She has a pretty important meeting at the hospital today (Wednesday) and that should give us a pretty good understanding at where her recovery is at."

After finishing third on the NSW Drivers' Premiership last season, Turnbull made a stunning start to the season and was hoping to improve on last season's effort. Steve is confident that once she is back driving the winners will start to flow again.

"She made me look like a mug when she got hurt because I haven't been able to drive as many winners as she could on the same horses and I have got no doubt she will make me look like a mug when she comes back by driving plenty more winners. She has told me to make sure they are all fit and ready to go when she is back.

"Amanda had to return back for some tests two weeks after the fall and they were very happy with the progress she had made and ruled out any operation so hopefully she gets some good news later this week and can start her physiotherapy."

Turnbull has been attending the races on crutches but according to Steve that is only a precautionary measure for the time being.

"She has been using the crutches but she really only needs them when the ground is a bit uneven, so there is no doubt the injury is healing and at home she has been getting around without them and moving pretty well."Turnbull was thrown from Herbert John in the score up of a race on Wednesday October 20.


New South Wales trainer Bill Dawson could not have been happier after his stable star Special Albert drew the front line in Saturday night's Group One Treuer Memorial at Bankstown.

Special Albert has been racing in graded company lately and because of his high assessment has been drawing poorly and Dawson could not hide his excitement after drawing barrier two in the $100,000 race.

"It was the first time I had raced him in a random barrier draw race for a while but it was a big relief to see him draw so well" Dawson said.

"I haven't had much choice of late in terms of races he could compete in and because they were all drawn on class he has been getting well acquainted with the outside fence but on Saturday night he gets his chance to go forward at the start and we will be using the gate for sure."

Dawson believes the smaller Bankstown track will play into the hands of Special Albert compared to Newcastle and Menangle where he has done a lot of his recent racing.

"He works around my place on a small track and handles it beautifully."

"The biggest bonus for a horse like him on a smaller track is that the good horses don't have as long to attack you before a corner comes up whereas at Menangle they have two straights of 350 metres which gives the good horses plenty of time to get at you."

While Dawson acknowledges it will not be easy beating Blacks A Fake and Washakie he is confident that Special Albert will give a good account of himself.

"I would be absolutely crazy to think I was going to just turn up at Bankstown on Saturday night and win but I will go to the races knowing that he is at his best and will run a great race."


As a trainer Martin Herbert has won two of Bankstown's three biggest races. He's won the Schweppes Cup and the time honoured Carousel and would love to add the Treuer Memorial to that list on Saturday night with Franco Nester but after drawing barrier seven is realistic about the his chances.

"He's drawn the inside of the second row and isn't drawn behind a fast beginner so not everything has gone to plan" Herbert said.

"However he has got Josh Willick as his driver and he is very good at getting off the inside especially at Bankstown and you don't see Josh getting dragged back to last on the fence very often."

Herbert could not be happier with Franco Nester currently and not only has be been pleased by his recent efforts on the track but his track work around Bankstown this week has been as good as ever.

"I have been very happy with his on track performances because recently at Menangle he was clocked running his last half in 54.4 and of the 95 horses that raced at the meeting he was the second quickest behind Special Albert who is a real sprinter.

"But at home this week is where he has been going so well, we have clocked him running 27 second quarters around Bankstown so I am confident that he is ready to run a great race on Saturday night."

Herbert is hoping Franco Nester handles the class rise to Grand Circuit company because he plans on heading towards the 2011 Inter Dominion in Christchurch if he can."

Saturday night is his first run against the very best and it is going to tell me a lot about which direction we are headed in over the next six months but he won't have to win to please me. If he can run in the first four or five it would tell me that we are going the right way and I would love to get back to my old home in New Zealand and take Franco Nester with me for the Inter series next year."me for the Inter series next year."


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