The Turnbull family keeping a racing tradition in Tact

13 February 2016 | Michael Howard
Tact Tate's connections celebrate winning the 4YO Bonanza at Melton.

Tact Tate's connections celebrate winning the 4YO Bonanza at Melton.

The events of April 12, 2014, set a foundation that has an owners' syndicate’s more than a good hope of winning tonight’s Form 700 Chariots Of Fire.

On that day, almost two years ago, Im Blue Double Dee won the Group 2 Mildura Cup, claiming a $33,000 share of the prize, his biggest haul among a career that spanned 143 starts and yielded 27 wins among 70 placings.

The $245,649 career prizemoney gave owner Jennifer Turnbull more than a little joy, a pay-off that continues today.

“(Im Blue Double Dee) started the (ownership) ball rolling,” Jennifer said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to buy some nice types because of Dexter (his stable name).”

Jennifer and her husband, Steve, have enjoyed a long and successful training career, which included champion Smooth Satin, winner of $1.5 million in stakes including the 2001 Chariots Of Fire.

They return to Menangle tonight for the great race's 2016 staging, this time with Jennifer having a healthy share in Tact Tate, the exciting Victorian four-year-old that lit Tabcorp Park Melton last week when it won a hotly contested bonanza.


The night was Tact Tate’s coming out party, having won despite a step up in class, just reward for Victorian trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull, daughter of Jennifer and Steve.

It was Amanda’s influence that lured Jennifer in.

“Amanda called and said I’ve got a good one, reckon you should get a share,” Jennifer said.

“She liked him from the word go. We are extremely proud of her. She just doesn’t stop.”

Tact Tate joined Amanda Turnbull’s camp after 11 starts across the Tasman, which had yielded three wins in largely modest stakes.

In Amanda’s care the four-year-old gelding won from its first three starts in Victoria, then was spelled for almost four months before returning at Shepparton and again saluting.

Last Saturday’s victory in the Nestle 4YO Bonanza at Melton followed, where Amanda handed up to an aggressive Mark Purdon, then used the sprint lane to account for Purdon’s $3.10 favourite Itz Bettor To Win.

“We spelled (Tact Tate) for a while then he come back and made the step up nicely,” Jennifer Turnbull said.

“I’ve been in the trots all my life and you get excited just to have something you can nominate for these races. We had no expectations, just hoped to have a good run and we got it.

“Another gentleman who had a five per cent share in the horse was in tears after it won he was so excited.

“I’ve not been in a lot of syndicates, but it is so lovely to see that and share the success. Watching people get that excited at the trots is lovely and what it’s all about.”

That shared experienced will only be elevated tonight when the proud group of owners heads to Menangle for the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire.

“We have a harder draw, but you never know what might happen,” Jennifer said.

“It is so exciting just to get that far. There are no expectations except to have a good day and hope everything goes well.”

Tact Tate is one of many horses heading north of the border in pursuit of success tonight, when many trainers, drivers and owners will have their fingers crossed, and a few their dreams released.


Race 1

12 Smudge Bromac (trainer David Aiken and driver Josh Aiken)

Race 2

7 Stunning Grin (Vince Vallelonga and Anthony Butt)

Race 3

6 Fernco Bobby G (Glenn Douglas and Luke McCarthy)

7 Almost El Eagle (Steven Duffy and Nathan Jack)

Race 4

2 Nike Franco (Dean Braun and Luke McCarthy)

10 Betabcool (Amanda Turnbull)

12 Juliette Bromac (David Aiken and Josh Aiken)

Race 5

2 Five Star Anvil (Adam Kelly and Zac Phillips)

Race 6

5 Cold Major (David Aiken and Josh Aiken)

7 Major Crocker (Vince Vallelonga and Mark Purdon)


4 Cruz Bromac (Dean Braun and Luke McCarthy)

10 Tact Tate (Amanda Turnbull)

12 Wingara (2nd emerg Peter Romero and Nathan Jack)

Race 8

12 Egodan (Beau Tindale and Gavin Fitzpatrick)

Race 9

3 Highview Ember (Peter Salathiel)

6 Nimble Jack (Glenn Douglas and Robert Morris)

9 Oh Jonny B Good (Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack)

Race 10

7 Emmanuel (Matt Craven and Todd McCarthy)

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