Amanda Turnbull’s first winner as a trainer at Charlton on Monday with Highview Conall was her 991st victory in the sulky.
If Amanda can bring up nine more winners in the next four months, she will become the youngest ever driver to reach 1000 wins.
“That would be pretty special … I can’t believe it,” she said when told how close she was to setting a new record.
The former Bathurst-based reinswoman, who is 24 years, four months and four days old, now splits her time between her former home base interstate and her new hometown in Shepparton with partner Nathan Jack.
Despite the trip back home taking six-and-a-half hours, Amanda has been clocking up the kilometres to help her father – NSW’s leading trainer Steve Turnbull.
Amanda, who leads the NSW state drivers’ premiership with 160 wins, drove 203 winners last year – achieving the double ton after a frenetic final month in the sulky.
“When I got close with a month to go and was pushing towards the 200, that last month was really hard,” she said.
“We just kept on pushing and it got down to the last week, but we got there in the end.”
Now Amanda wants to help her father reach the 200-win mark.
Steve has trained 158 winners this season from 909 race starts and Amanda is eager for him reach 200 winners after he got so close last season, winding up on 199.
“We’re going to be trying to get him over the 200, so I’m still living half here and half there,” she said.
“Shepparton’s perfect really because it’s only a six-and-a-half-hour trip from here.”
If Turnbull can become the youngest driver to reach 1000 wins she will relegate Western Australia’s Morgan Woodley to second position. Woodley reached 1000 wins when he was 24 years, eight months and seven days old in August last year.
Other young guns who reached four figures early in their career include Luke McCarthy (25 years, one month and two days) in December 2007, Kerryn Manning (25 years, eight months and seven days) in March 2002, Gary Hall Jr (26 years, seven months and 17 days) in March 2009, Greg Sugars (26 years, eight months and seven days) in June 2011, and Chris Alford (27 years, five months and 26 days) in November 1995.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)