Taihape Sunset has been getting better with each run and that rise shows no sign of slowing following Sunday’s convincing win at Dubbo Paceway.
The five-year-old went into the Gilgandra Windmill Final (1720m) as a raging $1.10 and delivered in style, capping off a dominant day for Bathurst-based Amanda Turnbull.
Turnbull had five drives at the eight-race meet and won four of those, including victories in the Gilgandra Cup and Windmill features.
“It’s been a pretty easy day because they’ve all drawn well but it’s been good,” she said.
“A super day.”
While Mrs Browns Boy showed all his class and made it nine straight wins with victory in the Gilgandra Cup, Taihape Sunset was just as impressive.
Another of Turnbull’s Kiwi recruits, Taihape Sunset came to Australia earlier this year with one win from seven starts.
He’s shown signs of progress since arriving and Sunday’s win in the Windmill Final, less than a month after dominating his heat at Dubbo, was arguably his best performance yet.
Leaving from gate three, Turnbull pushed to the lead early while Jogalong Dee ($20.20), trained locally by Brad Peisley, kept the pressure on from second spot while fellow Dubbo hope Big Bill ($9.20) was third.
The field stayed in the same order as the bell sounded for the final lap but down the back the Steve Jones-trained Siotada ($12.10) began a charge forward three wide.
Murray Sullivan got Siotada up to second but Turnbull, who said she went into the event with confidence, was in complete control and had time to have a glance over her shoulder as she hit the bend for home.
The champion driver barely had to do a thing in the straight as Taihape Sunset streaked away to win by 9.4m in a milerate of 2:01:2.
“We had a good run but he went well and I didn’t have to push him much,” Turnbull said.
“He didn’t have much confidence when he came over but he’s had a few good runs and a couple of wins so now hopefully he’s right.
“He’s a lot stronger. He was very weak when he came over but he’s getting stronger and getting there.”
Siotada was second while Brett Hutchings’ Red Hot Jerry ($30.40) ran home well for third.
The win completed a Turnbull-trained-and-driven trifecta while she also drove Oh I Am The One ($2.20 favourite) to victory for father Steve earlier in the meet.
There was one local winner on the day with the Barry Lew-trained Karloo Jonno ($4.70) taking out the day’s second event, the Gilgandra Motor Garage/ Rohrs Timber and Hardware Pace (2120m).
The 4.9m win, achieved with Mat Rue in the gig, was the second of the gelding’s career and came in start number six.