Diamond Creek’s Daniel Turnley, 62, is dreaming ‘The Impossible Dream’ with $201 chance Ingenuity in the Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup (515m) series at Sandown Park.
A hobby trainer with only two greyhounds, Turnley is running where the brave dare not go in a glorious quest to reach the unreachable star!
A winner of five races from 31 starts, Ingenuity faces a David and Goliath battle against Australia’s best sprinters. However, Turnley says he hasn’t been ‘thrown to the wolves’.
Ingenuity (Dec ’17 My Bro Fabio x Macey Blue) contests a Cup heat as an $18 chance on Friday night and comes up against a hot field including superstar Hard Style Rico.
“He’s no slouch… He’s had a few setbacks but is now on the up,” Turnley said. “If he leads that field on Friday night, I think he’ll go close. I couldn’t have him any better, but obviously Hard Style Rico is the one to beat.”
A senior safety officer at Melbourne Airport for the past 38 years, Turnley has only been training greyhounds for six years.
“My father had greyhounds in my younger days, and I regularly talked about getting involved in the sport with my wife,” Turnley said. “But it was all too difficult due to shift work and family commitments.”
However, in February 2018, Turnley decided to purchase two 10-week-old pups in a package deal for $5500 – one of which is Ingenuity.
Greyhounds are now a family affair in the Turnley household, with wife Kim, son Benjamin, 26, and daughter Linda, 28, all chipping in to help.
And they have played a more integral role in recent times after Turnley punctured a lung and fractured two ribs.
“It was around 5am on Melbourne Cup Eve and I tripped down the stairs while going out to walk the dogs,” he said. “I ended up in the Royal Melbourne Hospital for two nights.”
Turnley returns to hospital today for surgery but says he won’t be missing Ingenuity’s race. “I’ll be watching the race from my hospital bed on my phone.”
So, what would be Turnley’s reaction if Ingenuity won his Cup heat? “We’re up against the big league, but I’d be over the moon.”
And what about ultimately winning the ‘world’s greatest greyhound race’ and its $435,000 first prize? “It would be incredible; it would be the impossible dream!”