Racing: Turnell back on form

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The Independent Online
ANDY TURNELL returned to one of his old hunting grounds yesterday to saddle his first winner over jumps in 200 days.

Newbury used to be Turnell's local track but this time he had to travel 233 miles down from North Yorkshire to win the Winterbourne Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase with Tree Creeper.

Despite the long losing run, Turnell is happy with the way things have gone since he left East Hendred and took up residence at Lynda Ramsden's old stables near Thirsk.

"I've got 15 Flat horses and 15 jumpers now. But we didn't have many winners last year as they mainly consisted of two-year-olds," he said.

"The owner of the yard is a patient man and he understands that this is a long-term thing."

Susan Williams, the winning owner, has been associated with Turnell and his late father Bob since the 1950s with horses including Successor, Tree Tangle and Country Member.

"We came here partly because Mrs Williams lives down here but also because it was a suitable race for Tree Creeper and Newbury is one of the finest tracks in the country," said the trainer.

It was indeed a suitable race, with Tree Creeper having only three rivals to beat and doing so comfortably.

Jockey Richard Johnson took his tally for the season to 51 with the victories of Churchtown Glen, Native Arrow and Upham Lord, teaming up with trainer Phillip Hobbs for the last two legs of his treble.

Timmy Murphy, who took a bad fall from Rupert Blues in the novices' handicap chase, gave up his ride in the last race after complaining of stomach pains.

He was later reported to have sprung a rib and has given up his four rides at Taunton today.