Gun up-and-coming harness racing reinswoman Amanda Turnbull combined with New South Wales trainer Dennis Picker for Group 1 glory today at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Turnbull steered the Picker trained filly Just Cala to victory in the Bettors Delight @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Final for three-year-old fillies over the runner-up Barynya and third placegetter Quick Draft.
Turning for home Just Cala eased off back of the two leaders, Nike Franco and Quick Draft which allowed Tasmanian Barynya access to the sprint lane.
While at first glance punters may have thought it was the wrong move by Turnbull, the young gun driver’s decision paid off in spades as Just Cala thundered down the outside to edge out Barynya at the line.
“In the run she was hanging a bit so I was a bit worried about her going into the sprint lane,” Turnbull said of her home-turn decision post-race.
“She was travelling pretty good though and she really found the line.”
Just Cala went a 1:58.6 mile rate and scored by 1.2 metres.
Quick Draft battled on well for third after sitting parked.
Nike Franco, which ran to the front early from a back-line draw for Luke McCarthy, got away with a cheap first half (63.6) but isn’t finishing her races off like we know she’s capable of.
She ran fifth behind fourth-placed Tuscan Breeze.
Picker said it was the biggest win of his career.
“Definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had anything to do with,” he said.
Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria