Imagine realising a lifelong dream.
Well, for Tony and Karen Turpin, that dream is set to become a reality this weekend when their two children Chantal and Jake step onto the big stage in their respective codes.
Chantal is chasing a victory with her richly talented pacer Mattgregor in the Listed $25,540 Egmont Park Stud Mr Feelgood Open at Albion Park on Saturday night, the opening night of the 2018 Racing Queensland winter carnival.
The following day, Jake will make his NRL debut at hooker when he steps out for the Brisbane Broncos against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Stadium.
The 21-year-old is in his maiden season with the Broncos after spending the early part of his career with the Melbourne Storm learning under the watchful eye of champion rake Cameron Smith.
“It’s going to be big weekend, exciting and stressful all rolled into one I guess. Bear (Mattgregor) is the stable favourite and the kids have done a great job with him since we bought him unraced from New Zealand a few years ago while Jake has been working towards this moment for a very long time, we’re so excited for him because he’s sacrificed a heck of a lot.” Tony Turpin said proudly.
Mattgregor possesses all the skills and speed to be a future topliner and this campaign has been geared to see him springboard to the next level which see him compete regularly against the best pacers in the country.
He has shown glimpses of brilliance throughout his career to date including some terrific efforts in features at TABCORP Park, Menangle and Melton.
The hulking five-year-old was unplaced last week when resuming from a freshen-up in the Wondais Mate when finishing seventh behind Glenferrie Hood in 1:52.2.
If successful, he will be exempt from ballot for the main event during the winter carnival, the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship on July 21.
Mattgregor will start from gate nine, two off the second-line in the 2138m mobile start feature and takes on the likes of millionaire pacer Ohoka Punter, Frankie Rocks, Our Triple Play, Anychance and Hughie Green among others.
“He will be better this week but he probably needs to be against this opposition, there looks like there will be solid pressure in this race and that will suit him.
“We know he’s got the ability to go with the good ones but we just need some luck, if he gets it he’ll be right there with them.”
While a strong support crowd will be trackside on Saturday night, an even bigger support crew will heading to Robina on Sunday afternoon for the rugby league.
Following some strong form in the Intrust Super Cup competition for the Redcliffe Dolphins, young Jake has been granted a huge opportunity while Queensland State of Origin representative players sit out.
“I suppose it’s been a long time coming but opportunities at this level can’t be taken for granted, he’s worked his butt off and we’re super proud for him and this moment.
“He’s had some setbacks with injuries along the way but that’s all part of the journey and I’m sure he’ll relish the moment. We’ll have a number of family members and friends at the game cheering him on.
“Hopefully, we’ll be there cheering on another winner, imagine if the big horse can get the job done on Saturday. Wouldn’t that be something?”
Mattgregor is raced by Jake and Karen Turpin along with Denis Golinski.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | July 5 | Photo by Dan Costello