by Duane Ranger
Win or lose at Albion Park on Saturday night, Chantal Turpin, is in for one sentimental last drive.
That’s because the Patrick Estate horsewoman will get behind family favourite, Argyle Beach, for the last time.
“Sadly this will be her last race. I just had to have one last drive behind her, because she has meant so much to me and my family. My little girl (Rylee 3) plays and gets on so well with her.
“She’s such a lovely mare. I don’t want her to go but we all know that she has reached her mark now and it won’t be easy against the free-for-allers. We were also well aware that she would be going to the broodmare’s paddock next season,” Turpin said.
The rising 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare will hit the broodmare's paddock in peak condition, having won her last two Saturday night starts at Albion Park.
She's now won 20 of her 57 races and placed in 19 others for $132,729. The mare won four of her 14 starts in New Zealand before arriving in Australia on February 1, 2018.
Her owner, Ross Patrick, who has been a long-time client of the Turpin family, called the shot on Argyle Beach's retirement.
"We are fine with the decision even though she's not going to be around. The good thing, though, is we might be able to race her babies one day," Turpin said.
Five starts ago on June 30, Argyle Beach, beat a quality field in the Rising Stars Heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle. She won by more than 11 metres that night, and in doing so recorded a personal best 1:52.1 mile rate.
On Saturday the bay mare and Turpin's husband, Peter McMullen, got up by a nose and went 1:52.8.
"That was a gutsy win. She really dug deep late and did extremely well to get past the favourite. I think Chantal wants to drive her before we retire her," McMullen said moments after winning Saturdays $14,000 Brisbane Riverview Hotel Open Pace.
Argyle Beach nutted Major Cam right on the line, stopping the clock in 1:56.3 for the 1,660m mobile. Her sectionals were 26.5, 28.6, 28.7, and 29 flat.
Turpin was delighted with the win and was hoping for a good draw again on Saturday night. Last week the mare drew one.
But it was from barrier seven where her most memorable win for Turpin came.
“She’s been amazing and won some real nice races for us. I think her win at Marburg this year at Easter was probably one of her best. She set a track record that day,” Turpin said.
That’s when Argyle Beach paced the 2,900m stand (four-plus laps) from her 20m handicap in 3:38.9, which equated to a slick 2:00.6 mile rate on the grass.
“We’ve got about 36 in work and this mare would be in our top five ability-wise. As for her nature and friendliness she would be tops.” Turpin said.
Argyle Beach was bred by Kiwis - Tony Irwin (Wyndham), Ian Stewart (Bluff), and Maurice Stevenson (Christchurch).
Turpin also paid a tribute to her husband for not only winning three races at ‘The Creek’ on Saturday, but for his work ethic.
“He puts in some long hours which allows me to be a mother. He’s also sacrificing being a father too, so I’m real pleased that his hard work is paying off. He’s had a good season and deserves the wins he gets,” Turpin said.
“I’m also proud of Jake too,” she added.
By that she was referring to her younger brother and the Brisbane Broncos NRL star, who won the match with a last -econd try against the North Queensland Cowboys last Thursday night.
As for McMullen his two other wins came behind the Craig McKinnis trained Ballerina Couru in race eight, and then two races later he won the feature trot behind the Wayne Graham trained Empire Bay.
However the racing highlight of the evening came when the David Thorn trained and Jim Douglass driven Expensive Ego blitzed her 10 rivals in the Group One $100,000 Albion Park Gold Final for 2yo-olds (who were bred in Queensland).
“He absolutely cruised that. He still had some left in the tank at the end too. David has done a great job with this horse. He has a star on his hands,” Douglass said.
The brilliant son of Rock N Roll Heaven has now won all five of his starts and heads home this week where he will prepare for the Group Two $50,000 APG Gold 2yo Final on his home track at Tabcorp Park Menangle, on August 31.
Saturday’s ridiculously easy 29.5m triumph was his second Group One victory at Albion Park. The gifted brown colt also nailed the Group One $100,000
Egmont Park Stud QBRED Triad for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings on July 20.
Expensive Ego was bred by Doug Lyon in Queensland.
He sold him for $27,000 to Rodney Dale at last year's
APG Yearling Sale in Brisbane. He is currently owned by Jason Grice.
Racing Queensland webnews August 13