Day At The Track

Amanda grabs another Oberon Cup

04:14 PM 20 Jan 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Amanda Turnbull
Amanda Turnbull

The Oberon Cup, feature event at the annual Oberon Community Night harness racing meeting at Bathurst, might have to be renamed "Amanda's Race" following last Friday's edition at Group One Feeds Paceway.

Amanda Turnbull scored her fourth successive win in the race, and her fifth in the last seven years, when leading throughout with the classy Mouse In The House ($2.20 favourite), trained by her father Steve.

First up since a fine third behind Kept Under Wraps in the Breeders Challenge 3YO Final last June,  the promising Four Starzzz Shark gelding was given a nice trail behind Stormont Czar from the outset, but when a number of challengers loomed out wide turning for home, his driver was confronted with the decision to wait for the sprint lane, or come away from the markers.

She chose the latter, and then somehow found the narrowest of gaps to aim at, bursting through near the line to get up in a thrilling finish, with just a metre and short half head margins back to Condagen, which used the sprint lane she'd vacated, and Saloon Passage, which had worked forward to the death seat.

At the presentation, a clearly chuffed Amanda Turnbull admitted she was unaware that she'd now won four successive Cups, and five of the 15 contested since the race began back in 2002.

And while it mightn't rate as highly as winning streaks by Washakie - five successive Treuer Memorials - and three successive Inters for "Blackie" and  "Sandy", the race is nevertheless a prestigious country feature, and it's a driving record that she's entitled to be proud of.

Mouse In The House took his earnings past the $100,000 mark for his proud connections. Part-owner John Dwyer paid tribute to the Turnbulls for the success they've enjoyed so far, and indicated that the horse will now be aimed towards the Chariots Of Fire at next month's Miracle Mile carnival.

Amanda further made it a night to remember, by driving four of the eight winners at the meeting.

Star Writer ($2.00 favourite, for her father) trailed the leader and finished strongly to score easily in a C2 sprint; Left Neglected ($1.90 favourite, for brother Nathan) led throughout in C3-C5 class for successive wins at the track; and her own runner Eye See Diamonds, a clear favourite, led throughout in a C0 sprint, the half-sister to Two Eye See scoring her third win from six starts, all this season at three.

The very large crowd at the meeting were unanimous that they'd seen a future top liner in action, following a dynamic win by Match In Heaven ($1.40 favourite, Paul/Blake Fitzpatrick) in the first of two 3YO sprints.

He cleared last-start winner Fouroeight at the start, settled in the middle stages, then scooted away in a brilliant 27.6 final quarter, against a strong headwind which had troubled runners all evening, for a mile rate of 1:56.7, easily the fastest of the meeting.

A son of Somebeachsomewhere, out of a $100K-winning Artsplace daughter of champion racemare Under Cover Lover, he was first up on Friday, after winning three of his six starts at two and several close placings behind the champion juvenile Our Waikiki Beach, which co-incidentally resumed with a Menangle win earlier that afternoon.

Blake Fitzpatrick said after the race that it was unclear whether the colt, a real speedy type, would head to the Victorian Derby heats, or wait for his hometown Derby, the final to be run on Miracle Mile day on Sunday, 28 February.

His return bouts with Mark Purdon's star will be worth the wait.

Other winners at the meeting were: Old Jack Cambo ($3.10 favourite, Wendy/ Emma Turnbull, in C0 class), sprinting over the top of his rivals; Village Witch ($7.80, Josh Powderly/Jason Grimson, in C2 grade), taking an inside run to come clear for an easy win; and Imthevillagestar (Russ Reynolds/ Robbie Morris, in the second 3YO sprint), his first win at start ten, and the sole Oberon-trained winner on "their" night.

In the annual horse-versus-humans novelty race, Steve Turnbull's Cruisinonthe Big Ern was too slick for the two-man relay of Kurt Booth and Tyler Hughes, to maintain Steve's winning streak in that race that stretches back even further than Amanda's record.

Auctions and raffles during the evening raised approximately $3,000 for this year's nominated charity, Ronald McDonald House, in another wonderful demonstration of the spirit that makes chilly Oberon one of the warmest communities anywhere.

by Terry Neil

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: