Parramatta edges Raiders (connection): Turnbull’s claim Banjo Paterson Cup

ON A WINNER: Amanda Turnbull guides Parramatta to victory on Sunday at Towac Park. Photo: NICK McGrath

ON A WINNER: Amanda Turnbull guides Parramatta to victory on Sunday at Towac Park. Photo: NICK McGrath

It could very well be the only time Parramatta beats Canberra this year.

Amanda Turnbull has guided Parramatta to this year’s Kents H Hardware Banjo Paterson Cup, edging pre-race favourite Supriya, the brown mare owned by a bevy of Canberra Raiders stars.

Although Jarrod Croker, Sam Williams, Elliot Whitehead, Luke Bateman, Shannon Boyd, Glen Buttriss and coach Ricky Stuart weren’t at Towac Park to witness the first Banjo Paterson Cup on turf, their pacer certainly made it worth watching.

Supriya set the early speed around the 1609 metre race and was flanker by Parramatta and two other pacers with rugby league connections.

Beetson, with Mat Rue on board, and Essbee Doubleyou – Nathan Carroll’s black horse named after code-hopping maga-star Sonny-Bill Williams – trailed the early leader, driven by Brad Hewitt.

It arrived and (Amanda Turnbull) got him and nick-named it Rooster, because she doesn’t go for Parramatta. - Owner Jenny Turnbulll

The quartet turned onto the home straight maintaining order, until the Parramatta began to run wide, with last year’s Banjo Paterson Cup winning driver Robbie Morris, on board Mojo Major, and Intransit joined in.

The trio found plenty of speed wider up the Towac Park straight, and duked it out over the course of the final furlong to complete the trifecta.

Amanda Turnbull and Parramatta edged Morris’ Mojo Major, with Intransit third.

It was Parramatta’s fourth win of the season, blue and gold fans will be hoping the Eels jag a few more than that.

“We purchased him from New Zealand and he was already named Parramatta. When Amanda said we were buying this horse and his named was Parramatta, I couldn’t get it,” owner Jenny Turnbull said following the victory.

“It arrived and she got him and nick-named it Rooster, because she doesn’t go for Parramatta. But he’s been great to us.”

It was the first race in the eight-race program where the victor came from behind to snatch the prizemoney, an impressive bounty of $8,400 for the Orange Harness Racing Club’s feature.

“I don’t usually stand up and get excited but it was lovely,” Jenny Turnbull added.

“They haven’t been coming from behind to win, it’s been hard. The leader has dug deep. But he’s a lovely little horse.”

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