Milestones in waiting

22 June 2022

Like a champion batsman left on 99 runs at stumps in the middle of a test match, legendary Bathurst trainer Steve Turnbull was feeling somewhat the same when he headed back home after a busy day of racing at Cowra on Sunday afternoon.

It has been well documented for some weeks that Turnbull was on the cusp of training 4000 winners, and after Baxter Red won the fourth race to take him within one win of the significant milestone, those on course waited in anticipation, thinking they would be witnessing that special moment.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, leaving Turnbull and his family to wait for another day to celebrate the inevitable.
Tonight at Bathurst where the Turnbull name is almost regal, Steve will be looking to reach the mark and, ironically if it were to happen with Steve’s youngest son in the gig, it would also bring up an important milestone of 400 driving wins for twenty five year old Mitch.
Mitch has been driving for nine seasons now and was aware that he was getting near that number. But he was surprised to learn just how close he was.
“I guess I was caught up with the hype around Dad chasing 4000 winners and was not focused on my own scores,” said Mitch.
“In saying that, it was certainly in the back of my mind. And how unreal would it be if Stevie and I could combine with the same horse to achieve our respective feats.”
“Over the past few seasons, Dad has taken a step back from driving in races, giving me the opportunity to partner the majority of his horses.”
“And being able to drive his better horses has no doubt boosted my confidence as a reinsman and I am now reaping the rewards with a fair share of winners.”
Prince Parker is the first horse that Steve and Mitch will combine with in the opening race while Ripponlea (race 3) and Mach Daddy (race 5) follow on.
And according to Mitch, all three have each way chances.
“All are quoted at big odds in the early markets, but I still believe they are live chances. They are consistent and always give their best at the races.”
“If I were forced to single one out it would be Ripponlea. She has drawn well and is very honest.”