A night to remember for Amanda Turnbull

Speak No Evil. Picture Stuart McCormick

Michael Howard

It was a night to remember at Tabcorp Park for Amanda Turnbull’s team as five-year-old Speak No Evil and four-year-old Catch A Moment served up bold front-running performances to not only take line honours but flag that bigger things were to come.

Speak No Evil held out the challenge of $1.60 favourite Our Princess Tiffany to win the Angelique Club Pace, blowing open the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown, which concludes with next Saturday’s $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific.

Earlier in the night Catch A Moment was stunning in winning the Alabar Vicbred Championship first heat by 34 metres, despite reinsman James Herbertson trying to keep the Art Major entire under a hold and fresh for next week’s final.

And the hits kept coming throughout the night.

Red Hot Tooth also produced an eye-catching margin win, saluting by almost 20 metres in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All, leaving in her wake some of the squaregating heads of state including Dance Craze, McLovin and Wobelee.

One race earlier, Mister Wickham wound back the clock to beat a talented field, replete with four Victoria Cup contenders, in the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, which proved a bruising battle that would see the contenders spread across the track in the dash to the line.

And that’s not to mention the two Group 2s, with Emma Stewart winning both The Big Screen Company Tatlow Stakes.

Act Now led all the way for reinswoman Jodi Quinlan to build a picket fence of victories for owner-breeders Bruce and Vicki Edward, winning the $50,000 Group 2 for two-year-old colts and geldings.

“He felt enormous when Michael (Stanley)’s horse (Soho Bollinger) was outside of him and he skipped away and was looking at the clerk of the course on the inside pricking his ears,” Quinlan told Trots Vision. “I’d really like to see him go when one does really test him and see what he can really do. He did that pretty comfy tonight.”

And the Stewart stable’s flex was even more significant in the two-year-old fillies Tatlow Stakes, where the trainer filled the first six places, including the winner Ladies In Red for reinsman David Moran (pictured).

“There’s not much of her, she’s got it all, she can tough it out, she’s got very high speed,” Moran said. She’s going to make a very nice racehorse.”

Which will be music to the ears of Lauriston Bloodstock’s Bill and Anne Anderson, who not only enjoyed success in the Tatlow Stakes but also with Speak No Evil’s win in the aforementioned Angelique Club Pace.

“They’ve got a wonderful breed and some really nice horses at the moment,” Turnbull said.

She was rapt with Speak No Evil’s performance, having initially been concerned how the four-year-old had trialled in the lead-up.

“We wanted to come last week because it was only over the mile, but her trial wasn’t quite good enough, so we just stuck at home and got a bit of work into her,” Turnbull told Trots Vision.

“It was a little bit of a worry being first up over the 2200, but she handled it good. She was a different horse again tonight, she knew it was race night, she was a lot more relaxed and a lot better to handle, so she knows what she’s doing.”

Speak No Evil won by a short half-head from Rock N Roll Chapel, who sat leader’s back throughout and almost won in the closing strides, while No Win No Feed pipped Our Princess Tiffany for third, with the latter failing to make ground in the straight after sitting in the breeze for a tick more than the last lap.

It makes for a delicious entrée to next week’s Benstud Queen Of The Pacific, which carries not only the Group 1 status and $100,000 purse, but will also decide the inaugural winner of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown. For the first time, the horse who scores most points in the series takes home a $10,000 bonus.

Turnbull confirmed Speak No Evil will be there and it could also be a big night for Catch A Moment, who will take some topping when he backs up in the $30,000 Alabar Vicbred Championship final after tonight’s blazing win.

“We’ve always had really high hopes for him and he’s been thereabouts all the time,” Turnbull said. “Now he’s grown into himself, he’s a big fella and looks amazing, and he’s putting it on the race track too.”

He certainly impressed reinsman James Herbertson tonight.

“To get behind a horse like that is really something else,” Herbertson said. “And to be still trucking like he was at the finish, he still had another gear left, pretty incredible.

“I was trying to get him to go as slow as possible, because he’s got the race next week. To be able to get home in 27.7, the way that he did it, it’s pretty crazy.”

Torrid Saint will also advance to the final on a high note, having won the night’s second heat for trainer Julie Douglas and reinsman John Caldow.

The night’s other standout winner was Maajida in the DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic, with the classy filly swoop with a long, strong run to win by five metres and reaffirm that she was again at the head of her class for trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Greg Sugars.