The top three fancies for the 2013 Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November could have an early showdown this Saturday having been nominated for the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Also held at Victoria’s premier Flemington Racecourse, the Turnbull Stakes 2013 has in the past been a decent guide to the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Just last year Green Moon became the fifth horse in history to take out the Turnbull Stakes – Melbourne Cup double, and the first since the mighty mare Makybe Diva for her third Melbourne Cup win in 2005.
This year the form is there again with the horses occupying the first three lines of futures Melbourne Cup betting all nominated for the Turnbull.
The latest Melbourne Cup odds have Puissance De Lune as the $7 favourite.
Darren Weir’s European import will be out to prove themselves this weekend after their seventh to Cox Plate fancy It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Hot on Puissance De Lune’s heels then at $8 to win the world’s richest handicap is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente.
One of two Turnbull hopes for Waterhouse along with Glencadam Gold who won The Metropolitan in Sydney on this weekend last spring, Monsun stallion Fiorente was second in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The now six-year-old is out to go one better this year and looked on the right track winning the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley earlier in the month.
Third pick for the Melbourne Cup is then Chris Waller’s highly spruiked four-year-old Hawkspur.
The son of Purrealist is at $12 for November but is also the $7 favourite for the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
Winner of the Queensland Derby last year, Hawkspur resumed with a first-up win in the Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick before their fourth over the same track and distance (1600m) in the Group 1 George Main Stakes two weeks ago.
They will be in for a jockey change on the weekend too with regular rider Jim Cassidy opting to stay in Sydney to partner with Golden Rose winner Zoustar in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes.
Defending Turnbull Stakes winner Green Moon meanwhile is in the mix again as one of six chances for trainer Robert Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams.
There other most notable entry along with Green Moon, paying $18 to win the Melbourne Cup again in 2013, is $17 Melbourne Cup chance Sea Moon.
The Beat Hollow six-year-old has been disappointing in their two runs down under however finishing 12 (of 14) and 13 (of 14) in the Makybe Diva and Underwood this month.
Hickmott and Williams have also entered for – in order of their Melbourne Cup prices – Masked Marvel ($31), Seville ($51), Fawkner ($71) and Mourayan ($81).
Other leading chances for the ‘race that stops a nation’ among the Turnbull Stakes nominations include Mark Kavanagh’s Australian Cup winner Super Cool, last start Naturalism Stakes winner Mr O’Ceirin, and two other Chris Waller-trained hopes in his Makybe Diva Stakes winner Foreteller and Royal Descent last seen running second to Streama in the George Main in Sydney.
Also in the mix are the likes of David Hayes’ import Jet Away who is undefeated in Australia but yet to race since March and Naturalism Stakes runner-up Kesampour.
The full Turnbull Stakes 2013 nominations are detailed below with the final field and barriers out on Wednesday.
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2013 Turnbull Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 05/10/2013
|1||BIT OF HELL (IRE)||Mick Price||98|
|2||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||106|
|5||FIORENTE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||112|
|6||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||112|
|7||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|8||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||116|
|9||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||111|
|11||JET AWAY (GB)||David Hayes||106|
|12||KESAMPOUR (FR)||Peter G Moody||103|
|13||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||91|
|14||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||113|
|15||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||108|
|17||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|18||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||106|
|19||PAKAL (GER)||Mick Price||101|
|20||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||102|
|21||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||111|
|22||QUINTESSENTIAL (NZ)||John Sargent||106|
|23||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||110|
|24||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||110|
|25||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||113|
|26||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||107|
|27||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||112|
|28||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||113|
|29||TUSCAN FIRE||Dan O’Sullivan||102|
|30||WALDPARK (GER)||Anthony Freedman||109|
|31||WHISPER DOWNS||David Hayes||99|