Lisdoonvarna will be the stable flag bearer for Amanda Turner at Randwick and the trainer is hoping the consistent mare can prove a worthy advertisement. Turner and Mauro Poletti dissolved their partnership late last year in the hope a revised business model would attract more clients. “A lot of people thought we didn’t outside horses because we were training in a partnership and bought a lot of our own horses,” Turner said.
“I’m hoping things will start turning around. It is very difficult to get outside horses away from these big trainers. “The virus at the moment doesn’t help either because people are spending money elsewhere.”
Turner has 14 horses in work at Warwick Farm and “room for at least half a dozen more” with four-time city winner Lisdoonvarna at the current star. She made good ground for fourth when she resumed on a heavy track at Warwick Farm last month and Turner was hoping the Kensington circuit would present similar conditions for Saturday’s TAB Handicap (1400m).
It was rated soft on Friday but with drying winds, Turner is unlikely to get her to wish, although She has found a positive in Jason Collett’s decision to stick with the mare after riding her first-up. “Jason was very happy with her and thank goodness he’s taken the ride again which says a lot to me,” Turner said.
“It’s a soft six at the moment and unfortunately the wind around is not going to help either. I just hope it’s soft enough for her.”
Turner has been involved with horses most of her life and worked for New Zealand trainer Laurie Laxon during his heyday.
She looked after the 1988 Melbourne Cup winner Empire Rose and fondly remembered the huge mare, who would take six or seven months to trim down to her racing weight.
“She was 17.2 (hands) and she would come in from the paddock just over 700 kilos, that’s how big she was,” Turner said. “I was very fortunate at Laurie’s to have a lot to do with all the Group horses”.