By MICHAEL DUMESNY
AS the harness racing industry works through the difficult period of Covid19, it is business as usual at GD Lodge.
Based at The Lagoon 15 kilometres south west of Bathurst and right in the centre of a harness racing heartland, the team is headed up by prominent trainer Wendy Turnbull, who is supported by her hard-working team of daughter Emma and son Jason.
Through the current restriction of regionalisation, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, GD Lodge has been enjoying a consistent run of success at their home track.
One horse that has contributed more than his fair share of that success is Rock Bottom, a five-year-old by Bettors Delight, who was purchased from New Zealand by Wendy’s sister Gail Osborne.
Rock Bottom has been in career-best form and will line up again tonight in the Bling It On Pace (Race 4) and is looking to add to his already impressive tally of nine wins and 15 places from just 38 starts.
He will face a similar field to the one he tackled when third last week and his regular driver Jason Turnbull is quietly confident the gelding will run his usual honest race.
“I have no doubt he will be right in the mix yet again, he has been airborne this time in and just keeps stepping up to the plate every week,” said Jason.
“I’m in two minds as to what to do this week though.
“He has drawn outside a couple of really fast beginners and I’m just a bit worried that if I go too hard early, he won’t see out the trip.
“That aside, I see no reason why he shouldn’t figure in the finish again.”
Turnbull has also indicated once the current travel restrictions are lifted and he can return to Tabcorp Park Menangle, he will source a suitable race for Rock Bottom as he believes the horse is going a lot better than when he last took him down to contest a Saturday night metropolitan race.
“He is definitely capable of stepping up in grade, he proves that week in and week out by consistently clocking fast times at Bathurst and is always near the money,” said the young reinsman.
Jason, who will be chasing a significant 400th winner in the gig tonight, pointed out that while things hadn’t been ideal with the restricted racing, participants in the district were grateful that they had been able to continue racing at Bathurst.