Turnbull wins her first Newcastle Oaks

11-07-2018 by admin

TALENTED: The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull added the Newcastle Oaks to her long list of feature race wins when guiding Neon Sign to victory in the three-year-old fillies feature on Friday night. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 021515ctrots2PACING
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THE Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull demonstrated once again why she is the leading female driver in New South Wales when taking out the Newcastle Oaks for the first time on Friday night.

Turnbull had to work to keep Neon Sky in stride after she found the lead in the $12,720 three-year-old fillies feature as she threatened to go wayward.

But Turnbull did not worry for long as the Art Official x Im Against The Wind filly which was purchased from New Zealand went on to post a commanding win.

Neon Sky took out the 2,550 metres Newcastle Oaks by 6.9m over Belinda McCarthy’s Miss Irish Rose.

“She didn’t know what to do when she got to the front, but once the other one came next to her down the back, she was fine,” Turnbull said.

“The distance was the only worry. I didn’t know how she would handle it.”

Having recently relocated from Shepparton to Menangle Park to further her career as both a trainer and driver, Turnbull knew Neon Sky was a strong chance of winning the oaks.

After six starts in New Zealand, Neon Sky placed second in her debut run for Turnbull. That runner-up finish came amongst good company at Menangle in a race where the victor rated a flying 1:52.4 – an effort which saw Neon Sky the $2.20 favourite on Friday night.

There were plenty of moves in the opening stages of the Newcastle Oaks, with three rivals spending time in front before Turnbull pushed on into the lead with Neon Sky after going from barrier four.

Initially Neon Sky skipped out to a 1.5 lengths lead over stablemate Our Millwood Maizie, but she then went a little roughly.

But Turnbull was able to retain front spot and as Merrywood Ruby rolled up on her outside as the bell sounded, Neon Sky was travelling comfortably once more.

With 700m to go the gap between first and second was half a length, but as Neon Sky put her foot down that quickly ballooned.

Turnbull’s filly was three lengths in front heading into the final bend and after balancing in the straight, it was clear it was game over for her rivals.

“Neon Sky is off and gone in the oaks, she’s about 15 metres in front,” declared the race caller.

The favourite peeled off splits of 27.7 and 27.6 seconds in the run home to win in a 1:59.9 mile rate ahead of Miss Irish Rose ($4.80). Nathan Jack picked up third with Turnbull’s second runner (Our Millwood Maizie, $3.70).

As of Sunday evening, Turnbull had driven 73 winners in NSW for the season.

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