Day At The Track

Just the right tonic for injured Craig

06:02 PM 09 May 2019 NZST
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Abbey Turnbull with Lights and Music’s trainer Colin Godden and his wife Michelle,Harness racing
Abbey Turnbull with Lights and Music’s trainer Colin Godden and his wife Michelle

Some harness racing fans were calling it divine intervention, but a young lady with a bright future certainly also helped with the outcome.

While Craig Turnbull is recuperating in a Melbourne hospital from serious injuries, his 20-year-old daughter Abbey provided the best medicine with a driving double at Shepparton on Wednesday night.

"I rang dad as soon as I could, and he was pretty proud. I was told he may have had a little tear in his eye with my news, but he probably won't admit to that!" a jubilant Abbey said.

"It was my first-ever double so it was an exciting night. And to make it even more special was that the first winner was actually one of the horses trained by dad."

Abbey opened her winning account with Kissing Game (Santana Blue Chip USA - Kiss And Fly (Pacific Rocket USA) in the Shepparton BMW Pace. Then just one hour later, she landed the money with Lights And Music (Jet Laag USA - Computerize NZ (Stand Together USA) in the Hunter Rural Pace.

Kissing Game, sent out a warm favorite at $1.60, was driven forward early by Abbey and despite doing the work outside the leader, looked the goods a long way from home.

"I was really pleased with her and the even tempo of the race suited her nicely," Abbey said.

The first leg of a winning double for Abbey Turnbull, with (from left) by Aunty Cindy Rixon; part-owner of Kissing Game, Geoff Baker; stable helper Sue Terry and Bendigo reinswoman Tayla French

Eleven-year-old gelding Lights And Music continued with his consistent form for Abbey, with the pair seemingly having a real affinity.

Abbey has now tasted success with the old-timer in three of his past five starts.

"He's enjoying racing and I was probably a bit stiff in not winning another on him when we were an unlucky third," she said.

Craig Turnbull, a son of the legendary A.D. (Tony) Turnbull, of Bathurst, is in hospital after being seriously injured in a stable accident at his Tatura training property recently.

A young horse at a tie-up rail swung around and kicked into Craig who had just returned from working another of his team. His wife Rebecca Cartwright ran to his aid and the injured horseman was taken to Shepparton Hospital before being air-lifted to the Alfred in Melbourne.

Craig has had surgery on a lacerated spleen and has four broken ribs, with 17 breaks in total.

"Dad is obviously in a fair bit of pain, but today had his first walk on his own," Abbey said.

"He's been told that when he's allowed to return home, he won't be doing anything for at least three months," she said.

"We have received lots of offers of help and Aunty Cindy (Craig's sister) has thankfully come down to lend us a hand from Pheasant's Nest, near Sydney."

As well as being number one "caretaker" trainer for her injured dad, Abbey is busy studying osteopathy at university.

Osteopathy is best described as a hands-on form of treatment for the whole-body including muscles, bones, joints and all other tissues including organs and the nervous system.

Abbey spends one day each week at Bundoora in Melbourne.

"Fortunately, I can do the rest on-line at home. I'm in my second year of a five-year course and I love it," she said.

"So, with my university studies and a team of 14 horses at the moment, I don't have a lot of free time. But it will be all good when dad is well enough to come home."

Abbey said the family had been overwhelmed by well-wishers and thanked everyone for their kind thoughts.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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