The 2011 Turnbull Stakes final field and barrier draw has been released with 14 gallopers set to face off in the Flemington feature this Sunday, October 2.
Five horses dropped out of contention from nomination stage for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) with:
- Crowd favourite Alcopop
- The Peter Moody-trained King’s Rose who was accepted for the 2011 Epsom Handicap at Randwick on Saturday but has since been scratched from the field with fitness issues
- The Robert Hickmott-trained Spring Cups fancy Midas Touch
- Fellow Hickmott-trained Mourayan who goes to The Metropolitan 2011 on Epsom Super Saturday
- John Thompson’s Hill Stakes hero Trusting set to start The Metropolitan favourite on Saturday
Meanwhile, the horse that is set to start the Turnbull Stakes 2011 betting favourite is the Mark Kavanagh-trained European import December Draw.
Short-priced ante-post favourite to win the upcoming $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 following a solid win in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17, December Draw is out to maintain their unbeaten record at Flemington having won their three starts at the track since debuting for Kavanagh back in May.
December Draw is out to further stake their Caulfield and Melbourne Cup 2011 claims in the Turnbull Stakes on Sunday and has drawn barrier eight with Michael Rodd to continue their association.
With both Midas Touch and Mourayan out, trainer Robert Hickmott is left with three chances to go back-to-back in the Turnbull Stakes following Zipping’s win in the race last spring.
Hickmott will be represented by:
- 57.5kg topweight Efficient, winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup and 2009 Turnbull Stakes, in gate 13
- Galileo grey Linton who drew ideally in barrier two
- Imported four-year-old At First Sight who is drawn in gate 11 and who comes off an eye-catching second to December Draw in the Naturalism Stakes
Representing the mares on Sunday in the 2011 Turnbull Stakes are:
- Shamrocker (barrier 12) – Danny O’Brien’s Australian Guineas – AJC Derby winner looking to improve on their poor early season form including their 13th place finish beaten 15 lengths by Lion Tamer in the Underwood at Caulfield on September 17
- Absolutely (barrier 14) – Michael Kent-trained AJC Oaks winner comes off a sixth to King’s Rose int he Group 2 Stocks Stakes over the Moonee Valley mile, hasn’t raced at Flemington since February but the distance will suit
- Southern Speed (barrier three) – South Australian raider has form at Flemington having won the Group 3 Mittys Vanity (1400m) here during the summer, looked in great form when second in the Underwood last-start
Other drawcard contenders in the Turnbull Stakes 2011 Field include:
- Playing God (barrier five) – Group 1 winner back home in Perth, has a nice Flemington record having run third in the Australian Guineas and Australian Cup here during the autumn, comes off a fifth in the Underwood from a wide gate carrying a big weight, drop 1.5kg here and will be closer to their peak
- Precedence (barrier seven) – Bart Cummings’ Cups-bound Zabeel six-year-old, seventh in the Underwood last start, drops in weights also and extra distance here is closer to their preferred, don’t rule out
- Glass Harmonium (barrier one) – Michael Moroney’s classy import hasn’t finished worse than fourth in their six Australian starts, second go at Flemington after a first-up second to Littorio here in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 3 and will have come on after their Underwood Stakes fourth where they fired too early but boxed on well
- Rekindled Interest (barrier 10) – Jim Conlan-trained Cox Plate hope is in great form coming off a win in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), no issues with the distance having won the AAMI Vase over 2040m at the Valley in October
See below for the Turnbull Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2011 Turnbull Stakes Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||57X0X591X0||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||13||57.5kg||116|
|2||293621X5X4||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||Luke Nolen||4||56.5kg||110|
|3||X13322X245||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||5||56.5kg||110|
|4||318X025X67||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||7||56.5kg||109|
|6||2X41312X80||SHAMROCKER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||12||56kg||110|
|7||60X2312X24||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||1||55.5kg||110|
|8||455515X241||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||Dwayne Dunn||10||55.5kg||109|
|9||X58208X721||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes||Hugh Bowman||9||55kg||98|
|10||X23245X062||AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||11||54.5kg||106|
|11||412X0X0X03||RAFFAELLO||Patrick F Ryan||Dean Yendall||6||54.5kg||100|
|12||2X63321X56||ABSOLUTELY||Michael Kent||Corey Brown||14||54.5kg||105|
|13||698X11X211||DECEMBER DRAW (IRE)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||8||54.5kg||105|
|14||11723X0042||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Craig Williams||3||52.5kg||103|