RICH RESULT: Steve Turnbull picked up second place in Australasia’s richest two-year-old colts and geldings event, the Australia Pacing Gold Final (1,720 metres), at Melton on Friday. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 070315pbtrots4PACING
BEING runner-up has never felt so good.
The Lagoon’s Steve Turnbull scored second place with Atomic Red ($67) in Friday night’s Australia Pacing Gold Final (1,720 metres) at Melton with only unbeaten talent The Storm Inside ($1.20) beating him to the richest two-year-old colts and geldings prize in Australasia.
The result at massive odds in the $322,000 feature was especially pleasing for Turnbull given Atomic Red had to miss his home Gold Crown Carnival with a foot abscess.
The Lagoon’s other contender, the Ben Settree trained San Domino, also had a race to remember as he produced a strong run to the line for fourth.
Emma Stewart’s two contenders got to the front at the green light, The Storm Inside crossing to the pegs with Our Little General initially caught three-wide before working into the death seat.
As the bell sounded Three Of The Best veered sharply away from the outside line and it forced him to race three-wide at the head of the field alongside the Stewart runners.
Turnbull took the opportunity to slide in behind Three Of The Best, but remained three-wide with cover up until the final corner.
San Domino, with Mat Rue in the gig, sat behind Turnbull.
With 100m to race, The Storm Inside was nudged clear with two licks of the whip from Greg Sugars and went on to win by two lengths.
Atomic Red and San Domino both finished strongly from out wide in the battle for the minor places.
Turnbull’s chance managed to remain a head clear of Weona Sizzler ($23.90) on his inside to score himself the $60,000 second-place cheque.
The mile rate was 1:55.6.
“From that draw I knew I’d need a bit of luck. He got some, but he still had to do a lot of work. It’s unbelievable,” Turnbull said.
“The death seat wasn’t there for me to take because the horse there was pulling hard. I thought there might be a bit of trouble when the field squeezed up and then one horse in front of me popped out. I went behind him around the back, but he [Atomic Red] was still doing plenty of work.
“Matty’s horse [San Domino] sounded like it might go straight past me at one point and I wasn’t sure if he’d beat the horse on my inside [Weona Sizzler], but he just kept fighting them all off.”
In another positive result for Bathurst-trained runners, Bernie Hewitt’s Mammals Magic ($4.80) came within a half-length of knocking over $1.40 favourite Our Celebrity in the Des McQueen 2YO Classic (1,720m) earlier in the meeting.
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