Bathurst trainer Steve Turnbull was stoked to watch on as Isobel Ross and Amanda Turnbull piloted two of his “lovely mares” to the quinella in Sunday afternoon’s Kevin & Kay Seymour Ladyship & Lady Drivers Pace (1609 metres) at Orange’s Towac Park.
In the fourth of Orange Harness Racing Club’s Carnival of Cups showcase meeting Ross saluted on board Bid For Red at $4 odds in a mile rate of 2:00:6, with Amanda Turnbull finishing second on $2.25 favourite Art Series.
The win was Turnbull’s second of the afternoon, earlier on Amanda steered $1.35 favourite Firestorm Red to victory in the Parkview Hotel Three-Year-Old Pace, also over 1609 metres.
“They are both lovely mares,” Turnbull said.
“Amanda’s had no luck but when she caught her breath down the straight she sprinted well. The other filly, she seems to race better up front although I didn’t think she could sit the death (seat) and do it.
“I’m over the moon with both of them.”
As Turnbull said, Ross found herself in the death seat – outside the leader, so named because it often brings the undoing of horse’s chances – after starting from the front row, but the four-year-old proved strong enough to hang on and seal a gutsy win.
Art Series was a tick under two metres behind in what was essentially a race of two come the final stages, Neil Day’s Better Than Grange ($12) ran third but was a lengthy four metres further back.
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Turnbull also made a point of saying how pleased he was for Ross, not just because of her superb drive but also because the victory is a feather in her cap in a way, considering it came in a race restricted to female drivers.
“That’s right, it was good for her. They’re good races these, you don’t get any handicap and it’s good prizemoney too,” he said.
“[Ross] hasn’t actually done a lot of driving for me, she usually works with Amanda but they seem to run really well for her.
“It’s hard to fill Amanda’s shoes but she’s doing a really good job.”
Outside Steve’s two victories the early races had proved fruitful for the entire Turnbull family.
Nathan Turnbull opened the meeting victory by steering $4 favourite Hit The Track to victory for Josh Turnbull in the first, the Visit Orange Three-Year-Old Pace (1609 metres), although they missed out in the third.
That race, the McCarron Cullinane Final (1609 metres) was the first of the afternoon’s series deciding runs, with Gemma Rue training the quinella.
Mat Rue steered Mymatepog ($2.50 favourite) to a 1.3-metre victory from Ichiba Newy ($7.50), Amanda Turnbull drove that one.