THE cork on the champagne bottle was waiting to pop for some time and finally on Saturday night Steve Turnbull was able to celebrate his 4,000th training victory at Parkes Paceway.
After three runner-up results for the trainer from The Lagoon across the week's Bathurst and Young meetings he was eventually able to snare the magic moment with two-year-old You Cannot Hide, who was on debut.
Making the victory in the Vale Fred Bateson Pace (1,660 metres) all the more memorable was the fact that Turnbull's son, Mitch, was able to bring up his 400th driving win at the same time.
Mitch Turnbull had plenty of time to deliver an emphatic salute from the driver's seat as You Cannot Hide cruised to a 15 metre win.
Turnbull said sharing a milestone success with his son was a wonderful moment.
"It's pretty good to finally get it. There were a number of second placings in there where they ended up getting just beaten by a neck or so, but it ended up alright in the end," he said.
"It was great to see Mitch be able to get that one and it meant a lot to him. It really couldn't have worked out better. It was a real good salute from Mitch too."
Turnbull is the first harness racing trainer in Australia to reach the 4,000 mark.
There's been a stack of talented runners in between Turnbull's first ever winner Radiant Group and his latest victor You Cannot Hide, most notable being Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion champion Smooth Satin, but what makes the trainer the most proud is the success his entire family has enjoyed across that stretch alongside him.
"My first trained winner was Radiant Group, who went on to win quite a few races. He was a good old horse. He won his first start at Blayney," he said.
"The Inter Dominion and the Miracle Mile was unbelievable but being able to just be consistent every year was really good too. You have your highs and lows but we've still been able to get a decent tally of wins at the end of every year.
"I've had some great staff over the years and the family have been wonderful. Jenny has been a great backbone all the way through, all the kids are driving and they're still all around. It's been really good."
Saturday's win for You Cannot Hide was an exciting way for the Turnbull duo to bring up their milestones.
The Betting Line juvenile got away soundly from the back row and Mitch managed to duck to the inside of a three-horse tangle, initially settling at the back of the running line.
Turnbull then worked hard to get his runner to the death seat with a sustained three-wide move.
You Cannot Hide, racing as a $1.90 favourite, was still a cut above his open-age rivals as he kicked clear down the home straight to beat Rogue Attitude ($31, Stephen Dowton) and Bellrivergirl ($4, John O'Shea).
"The problem was that he was only a two-year-old having his first start. He had showed me a lot of ability but there can always be a bit of trouble around the first turn there - and there was," Steve Turnbull said.
"He was lucky enough to miss all of that and once he got around he went real good."
Mitch Turnbull said wasn't focused on his own milestone on the night.
"It's unreal. We've been busting to do it all week," he told Michael Dumesny post-race.
"We've come close a couple of times. Just getting that 4,000 for dad was all that I cared about."
It was a great way to end an evening that had started out in dreary fashion for Mitch Turnbull, who had missed out on several opportunities to claim win number 400 earlier in the meeting.
"I missed the first couple of races because of two flat tyres in the truck," he said.
"I wanted to get here because I had a heap of drives later in the night, and this bloke's been working good after his trials. He got the job done well."
The next major milestone in Turnbull's sights is the 2,500 victories in the driver's seat, with his current tally being 2,388.
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