IT’S fair to say the Turnbull family has been the dominant force at Parkes Paceway for the past three decades.
A.D., Greg, Wendy, Steve, and Amanda have all won multiple trainers and drivers’ premierships at the track and this year Nathan could join the ranks.
When A.D. and Greg were on top, Steve was just an irregular visitor, preferring to “dodge” his father and brother.
But nowadays he and his children win more races than most at the Central West venue.
Last Friday night, Steve proved why he has been at the top of the game for so long when he pulled off a feature double, winning both heats of the New South Wales Breeders Challenge at Parkes.
Pas De Cheval won the two-year-old fillies’ division after pinging out fast from gate five and she was never headed thereafter.
In what is somewhat rare these days, Steve drove the filly himself and proved that he is still one of the state’s best reinsmen by rating the classy youngster perfectly to score by a widening nine metre margin.
Just half an hour later Steve’s youngest son Mitch enjoyed a comfortable lead with Baxter Red in the colts and geldings’ division, and they were never in danger of defeat.
“Pas De Cheval went super,” said Steve. “She can be a bit of a handful but she settled really well right from the outset and was able to run away from them in great style.
“I feel that she will be suited in the better races when they run along a bit, and she will keep improving with that style of racing.
“Baxter Red was rated perfectly in front by Mitch.
“He is a tough and strong big fellow that loves getting up and going in his races and the way the race was run on the smaller track was just ideal for him.”
Tonight will be a busy one for Steve as he has eight runners engaged at the Bathurst meeting although he will only be aboard two of them.
Im Desirable is his first drive in the opening race, the outsider of his three runners in the race.
“Amanda’s horse (Perfect Cut) will be hard to beat but I am confident that my other two, Mach Daddy and Major Bracken will both run well,” he said.
- MICK DUMESNY