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Amajorjo Back From The Brink

Talk about sweet satisfaction.

That’s how Haigslea trainer Tony Turpin was feeling following the victory of his veteran performer Amajorjo after he scored a stunning first-up victory in the Stu Valentine Bloodstock Insurance Pace at Redcliffe on Saturday night.

Destined for retirement earlier this year following an injury to his offside front suspensory, the speedy performer appeared set for a life of leisure.

But the kind nature of the animal shone through and forced the hand of Turpin.

“He’s a beautiful old horse with a very kind nature; after some time out in the paddock, he looked so good and I decided to have him scanned again to check on the injury and he actually healed really well so I put him back into work and went from there. I like tinkering around with a horse or two but I honestly thought he was done following the injury earlier in the year.” Turpin said.

Working a team of one, Turpin dabbles as the maintenance chief at Albion Park and works his stable star before heading to work each morning.

And given the issues facing the famed Breakfast Creek oval, Turpin has had plenty of extra time to put the finishing touches on Amajorjo as he neared his return to the racetrack.

Resuming since May 5, Amajorjo ($3.40) was kept safe by punters and led throughout for driver Narissa McMullen in the 1780m event to beat Frankie Rocks ($6) and Bodhi Tree ($3.30 fav) in a time of 1:55.1.

He recorded sectionals of 28.3, 29.9, 27.9 and 29.9 seconds.

The track record belongs to Tightrope at 1:54.9 – set back in 2016.

“I was quietly confident of a forward showing, we know he’s capable at his best and his recent work indicated he was pretty close to the mark. I took him over to Marburg for some serious work recently and he worked really well.

“The intention was to lead because he goes well in front but I was concerned about his lack of race fitness but he actually gave Narissa a really good kick at the top of the straight.

“I swim him, that’s part of his routine and he can get pretty keen in his work but overall he’s great to deal with. He’s a really kind horse, great with the grandkids and a pleasure to have around.”

The Art Major rig is raced by Turpin’s wife Karen and has won 19 races overall.

Amajorjo has now won two races for Turpin since taking him over from his daughter Chantal and the dual Albion Park winner will now be set for the Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprint on December 1.

“Yeah, it’s on the radar and he looks suited by the conditions so we’re aiming that way, whether it’s staged at Albion Park or Redcliffe because he’s proven at both tracks now.

“He won his first start for me against some pretty handy horses at Albion Park and again the other night, he beat some in-form types so that gives me confidence going forward.”

It was a good night for the family after Chantal prepared a training double at TABCORP Park, Menangle with Watch Pulp Fiction and Bull Market both proving successful.

Both winners were handled by Adam Richardson.

Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | November 5