Turbo charged to carry a family's hopes
Father and son team Peter and Davy Traynor are no strangers to the big time. After all, Lodgefield Jack was a Derby finalist back in 1999, while his dam Lodgefield Lady was an Oaks finalist in 1990.
Both men recall with delight those great nights and also the occasion in 1992 when Lodgefield Gold and Lodgefield Lady finished first and second in the Cox Cup final at Newbridge.
Peter Traynor is 89 years young but still helps out with the dogs and is in the kennels each day. "I'm half blind and have arthritis in both knees but I love the dogs. I won't be able to go to Shelbourne on Saturday night but I'll get a live commentary on the phone.
"I've been going racing since 1935 when my dad had two dogs. The Lodgefield prefix comes from a dog of that name I bought 50 years ago for a fiver, which in those days was a week's salary. He had brilliant early pace and I've always had a leaning towards early paced dogs.
"Turbo's dam Lodgefield Dawn is out of Bypass Penny, which is a sister to the Derby winner Bypass Byway. I got her as a present from my friend Paddy Darcy. Dawn is a very difficult bitch once she goes two weeks in pup and her two daughters are just the same. They won't eat or drink".
Most of the hands-on work is now undertaken by Peter's son Davy, who took over training duties three years ago. It had been suggested that Lodgefield Turbo might be given to a professional trainer to be prepared for the Champion Stakes and Derby but it didn't proceed and Davy has done a fine job. Davy always had a lot of faith in this dog, which is now closer to his fourth birthday than his third.
"We are not hard on our dogs in their early days and we put them away for four months every year. I have always had great faith in Lodgefield Turbo.
"He actually broke the 550-yards record at Newbridge in an unofficial and I expected he would break the 575 record at Shelbourne the night he won in 30.95," he said.
"We fancied him for the Cox Cup at Newbridge but he drew six in the first round and he was turned over at the bend.
"I actually entered him for the Champion Plate but Declan Carey rang me and asked me would I run him in the Champion (Stakes). I said to go ahead and he justified the decision last Saturday. He's in great form this week and I wouldn't be surprised if he improves a bit further.
"Listen, we know that Ollie Bray's Paradise Madison dog is a great tracker and he showed it last Saturday night. But it is terrific to be in the final and we're going to enjoy it win, lose or draw".
Peter and Davy Traynor operate the Lodgefield Kennels in Sallins and have the joint-favourite Lodgefield Turbo for Saturday's Townview Foods Champion Stakes final.