Win at start 50 for Sir Monty

By Jonny Turner

An autumn and winter of longtime maidens breaking through for success continued when Sir Monty scored at Addington on Sunday in his 50th attempt.

The five-year-old’s gate speed helped driver Sam Thornley secure him a sweet trip in the trail before he sprinted up the passing lane to win the Bev Little Memorial.

By recent standards, breeder-owner-trainer Gavin Turner didn’t have to be too patient.

Sly Tricks broke through in his 85th start recently, while Santeria made it win one in her 64th start late last month.

Sir Monty beat both to the winning post when winning in his 50th start at Canterbury’s harness racing headquarters.

Turner admitted he got a bigger thrill out of the win for his horse, rather than anything personal satisfaction he may have gained from his Addington victory.

“I am just pleased for the horse, he is a pleasure to have around and he tries his guts out,” the trainer said.

“It has been a long time between drinks but it is good to get one at Addington.”

Turner’s last training victory was his first, with Rollin Thunder back in 2016.

The trainer has held a licence since 2015 after learned his trade helping out Dave Thompson.

Sam Thornley not only drove the perfect race behind Sir Monty, the reinsman encouraged Turner to press on through the winter with his horse.

“He hadn’t been going bad races, he ran eighth in his last run but he didn’t go too bad.”

“He had had a run of tough draws.”

“He went good in the wet at Orari and then Sam suggested that I bring him back to race through the winter.”

“I am not much of a wet weather trainer but I decided to give it a go.”

Sir Monty is the only horse Turner has in work and he works him in the afternoons after he is finished work.

“I just hope it doesn’t take another fifty starts to get another one.”

“But I will keep going with him, these Sunday meetings are good for a horse like him.”

Incredibly, Turner bought Sir Monty’s dam Rosie’s Rocket as a riding horse for his daughter.

She has turned into a broodmare gem with six of her seven foals to have made it to the races making it to the winner’s circle.

Turner has bred and raced the last four of those foals.

He also has a youngster by Royal Aspirations to come through his ranks.


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