HE watched his grandfather and his father win Miracle Miles with the likes of Hondo Grattan and Smooth Satin.
Yet Nathan Turnbull grabbed a race even his father Steve was unable to win when his talented colt Better Be The Best scored the grittiest of wins in tonight’s Group 1 $200,000 Slingsby Holdings NSW Derby.
It was no easy ride for Turnbull either as he worked hard to find the front with a lap to go and had to withstand a late challenge from Naturally Gifted (Cameron Hart) before scoring by a head in a 1:53.6 mile rate. Rocknroll Hammer (Chris Geary) finished 11 and a half metres further back in third place.
“Pinch me, is this really happening?” grinned Turnbull as he returned with the star colt, who now boasts two Group 1s and nine wins from just 13 starts.
“He’s had a super week and being in the retention barn didn’t seem to bother him one bit.
“He ate up well and really wasn’t fazed by anything.
“Dad (Steve) wasn’t able to win this race with Sox (Smooth Satin) but I just can’t believe we’ve actually done it.”
Nathan explained that Better Be The Best caught his eye at the yearling sales because he had ‘spunk’ and stood out from the rest of the youngsters.
“And I just had to have him,” he said.
“And he’s given us a great ride and he just continues to amaze us.
“We burnt so hard early so I was pretty worried that it set the race up for a swooper to come and get us.
“Naturally Gifted did get to us but my bloke simply decided ‘not tonight’ and fought back to get the job done.
“I’ve had so many thrills already with this horse . . . I just hope it continues.”