Steve Turnbull may have turned 62 last Friday, but just two days later he proved he can still mix it with the best of them when driving five winners at Dubbo Paceway.
The Turnbull family dominated proceedings at the 10-race meeting but it was Steve who starred, much to his own delight.
“They tell me I’m too old so I’ll be able to give it back now,” he laughed.
“I’ll get a bit of mileage out of this.”
As the patriarch of the incredibly talented and successful Turnbull family, Steve is often taunted by relatives and friends about his veteran status.
But it’s all done in good fun and out of respect, and Sunday’s driving showed why he’s so highly-regarded by so many.
Two of his wins came with horses he trains himself, while he also drove two victories for daughter Amanda, and one for son, Josh.
One of the most impressive wins came with his own five-year-old gelding, Bradness Eldefuego.
One that sometimes battles for consistency, Bradness Eldefuego was at his best on Sunday and ran home in a winning milerate of 1:58:4, the fastest of the 10-race meeting.
Prior to that, he had followed a win at Menangle with a ninth-placed finish at the same track.
“He’s been up-and-down and didn’t have a lot of luck (last start),” Turnbull said.
“He’d raced well before that but got caught wide and didn’t get the run but he’ll be right now.”
Another of the eye-catching winners was Now Eye See, the Amanda-trained filly which won the Agriweld Western Districts Harness Association Oaks (2120m).
The three year-old hasn’t missed a placing in five starts but, more impressively, Sunday’s win came in her first start in roughly 18 months.
“It looks like she’ll go on to bigger and better things,” Steve Turnbull said after driving the $1.30 favourite to a 2m win.
“It was her first run back in 18 months. She had a few problems as a two-year-old but it looks like its fixed now and she ran well. She should go on to better things.”
The veteran Hey Porsha was the other Steve-trained-and-driven winner, scoring career victory number 12 in start number 98.
He also guided Amanda’s Cullens Desire to victory in his NSW debut, taking out the day’s opening event by 3.5, while he drove $32.10 outsider Glenferrie Crest to a 1.7m win in the Downbytheseaside Woodlands Stud Pace (1720m).
“Everything went into place,” Steve said, trying to explain his impressive record at Dubbo.
“I grew up on half-mile tracks and I don’t seem to have as much success at tracks like Menangle as I do on the smaller tracks.”
Mitch and Jason Turnbull also drove winners on Sunday.
Nathan Hurst, Robert Harris and Mat Rue were first past the post in the three races not won by Turnbulls.