By Duane Ranger
In a COVID-19-free world, Chantal Turpin said she would like to celebrate her 1,000th training victory about this time next season.
The brilliant Patrick Estate horsewoman closed within 100 winners of the landmark when she notched up her 900th career winner at Albion Park on Tuesday.
The milestone came via 3-year-old filly, Miss Ruby Sunshine in race six, with her husband, Peter McMullen, doing the driving.
Miss Ruby Sunshine has now won three of her 12 starts (six starts for Turpin), and placed in four others since making her winning debut at Albion Park on November 26 last year.
“It’s pretty amazing to reach 900 wins and it would not have been possible had I not had good staff, team, and of course family that have been behind me over the years,” Turpin said.
The 28-year-old’s father, Tony, played a huge part early on developing her from a top Mini Trots driver into a teenage trainer, and then ultimately into one of Australia’s best horsewomen.
“I started training when I was 18 and I was still at Dad’s, and then Pete and I went out on our own when we were 20 - It’s been a family milestone more than just mine,” Turpin said.
At the rate Turpin is knocking off winners, she could achieve the 1,000-win mark next season – providing COVID-19 doesn’t play a major role.
“This time next year would be a dream,” Turpin said.
In her own right, Turpin has driven around 400 winners, but said getting to the 500-mark was not as important.
“There’s no way that’s attainable next year, I enjoy training,” Turpin said.
“Peter is the stable driver and when I asked him if he had anything to say about the 900, he said I should be praising him.”
Turpin’s 900th success comes almost a decade after she trained her very first winner, that being Acehigh Fella, whom she drove to win by half-a-neck at Albion Park on May 10, 2010.
Her favourite moments however, was far more recent.
“I think my biggest training win to date was when Pete drove Mattgregor in the Be Good Johnny Sprint late last year (December 7, 2019),” Turpin said.
“But I can’t forget my favourite moment, that was when Majestic Simon won this month’s (March 7) Group Trotting Series.”
Her younger brother, Brisbane Broncos hooker Jake, was stoked with his sister’s achievement.
“I’m very proud of her, it doesn’t surprise me though knowing how hard she works at home,” Jake Turpin said.
“She’s a great Mum too and we are all proud of what she and Pete have achieved.”
Turpin is still second on the Queensland Training Premiership with 64 wins, behind the first-placed Grant Dixon with 141 and third-placed Jack Butler with 60.
50 Wins In Seven Months For Garrard
Just over half an hour after Turpin nailed her 900th win, 16-year-old concession driver Angus Garrard notched up his 50th win of the season behind the Darren Weeks trained Anychance in race seven.
It was the 16-year-old’s 60th career victory since nailing his first winner behind his father Darren’s trained Kylie Bromac at Albion Park on June 28 last year -10 days after first being permitted to drive.
“It’s all a bit unbelievable really, I never thought I’d drive 50 winners in my first full season, let alone do it with five months left,” Garrard said.
“I can’t thank all of the owners and trainers that have supported me enough and I’d also like to thank all the people who have given me advice along the way.”
He said he had already had some personal highlights in his nine months of competitive driving.
“I’ve been lucky enough to get drives on some very high quality horses this early in my career,” Garrard said.
“Pacers like Speech is Silver, Bodhi Tree, Anychance, Invincible Loxton, Big Bang Leonard, Sole Ambition, Subtle Delight are unbelievable to sit behind.
“I’m really looking forward to driving on Saturday nights after I turn 17 in June.”
Garrard was always destined for a bright future in the sulky, he was one of the best mini trot drivers to have come out of Queensland with 100-plus winners and three Miracle Miles in 2013, 2016, and 2018.
Garrard is 10th on the Queensland Open Driving Premiership, two wins behind ninth-placed Brendan Barnes.