I’m Blue Double Dee
It might have been a run-of-the-mill winter fixture and rather ordinary on the scoreboard with just a single driving win against her name, but Wednesday's meeting at Bathurst was nevertheless quite memorable for Amanda Turnbull, along with her family.
The Lexus of Dubbo Pace, the night's fast-class event, was the final race for I'm Blue Double Dee, a veteran of 163 race starts over seven honourable seasons which saw him earn in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.
He's been a favourite of Amanda, her mother Jenny who raced him, and race goers right around New South Wales and Victoria who appreciated his consistency and honesty. He gave his best every time he fronted up, and his grey colour ( which turned to near-white as he aged) made him even more distinctive and popular.
It was quite fitting that his final start should be at Bathurst, where he first raced as an early two-year-old, back in February 2010, having been purchased from Kevin Newbound's draft at the previous year's Gold Crown Yearling Sale. And there was an appealing symmetry in his finishing third in his farewell run, just as he'd done on debut.
His career stats read as follows: 163 starts, 27 wins, 20 seconds, 27 thirds, for earnings of $253,659.
That's a win strike rate of one in six, and a place at almost every second start. And when you consider that he finished fourth on a further 25 occasions, there's no denying his consistency.
His most important wins were the Edgar Tatlow Stakes, at Harold Park, in his first season of racing and the race Amanda nominates as his most memorable win, the 2014 Mildura Cup (Group Two), when he was six.
I'm Blue Double Dee won in every season he raced, with his 4YO and 5YO terms producing 6 and 7 wins respectively. In the current season, his sole win came back in late January, at Junee.
He's won at 11 different tracks, and been something of a Cups specialist, collecting the Pacing Cup and Dubbo City Cup at that western centre, along with the Cherry Festival Cup at Young, the Presidents Cup at Penrith and the Banjo Paterson Cup at Orange.
And he's well remembered for his wins at Goulburn, Parkes and Junee in the Tom Hewitt, Henry McDermott and Allan Harpley Memorials, races honouring great country figures, won by a genuine bush champ.
Drivers to have won on I'm Blue Double Dee are Amanda, Steve, Mitchell and Craig Turnbull, Amy Day, Ashlee Grives, Kerryann Turner and Brendan Barnes.
The Jet Laag son was bred to several mares last season, but they didn't go in foal, so his future will be as a riding or show horse when a suitable home is decided upon.
And that name?
Well, the blue-roan colt was purchased just after Amanda Turnbull returned from an invitational driving series, at a time when Dexter Dunn was becoming a headline act across the Tasman .
Dexter has gone on to bigger and better things since that time - he dominated at Bathurst while competing in the World Driving Championship last year - and while the colt named for him didn't quite reach those dizzy heights, he's been a class act year upon year, and the kind of horse anyone would be proud to own.
Enjoy your retirement, "D.D."