An amazingly talented final field of 16 plus three emergencies will battle it out for Group One supremacy in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes this Saturday at Flemington Racecourse.
Due to jump as Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEST), the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is the feature race of Turnbull Stakes Day on October 4.
Happy Trails will have an easy rails run as he vies for back-to-back Turnbull victories after drawing the inside barrier under Michael Rodd.
Trainer Paul Beshara is confident the seven-year-old can defend his title after showing he was back to his best getting within a head of winner Foreteller in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) last start despite it being just his third time back following an injury-enforced break.
“He’s going really well and he’s a stronger horse, the six months that he had off did him the world of good,” Beshara told Racing Victoria.
“He was on the rail last year and it didn’t bother him, that’s why you put these good jockeys on.”
The Adelaide-based trainer said Happy Trails was ‘on par, if not better’ than when he won the Turnbull last year.
But it is Roger James’ Silent Achiever that headlines the field after drawing barrier seven under Damien Oliver.
The Group 1s Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and The BMW (2400m) winner has failed to place in his last three starts, but money is coming in for the six-year-old mare at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Robert Hickmott-trained Green Moon, winner of the 2012 Melbourne Cup, is another leading contender for the Turnbull but will have to overcome a wide start from barrier 14.
The eight-year-old isn’t heading in on the best form but did manage a second placing in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on the same Flemington course back in March, just half a length off 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
However his last two starts resulted in middle of the field finishes in the Group 1s Queen Elizabeth (2000m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Kris Lees’ Lucia Valentina has drawn the good fifth barrier under Kerrin McEvoy and will also benefit from a 53.5kg set weight, over five kilos lighter than Green Moon and Happy Trials.
The Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) winner didn’t perform as well on his last start in the Group 1 Geo Main Stakes (1600m) but Lees was happy with her track run earlier in the week and believes she’ll handle the good ground well.
Gai Waterhouse will be represented by early 2014 Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer, which Ladbrokes.com.au is offering $11 for.
The six-year-old gelding will have to overcome the wide barrier 15 under Tommy Berry at Flemington on Saturday.
Other final acceptors for the 2014 Turnbull Stakes include the Peter Moody duo Lidari (11) and Brambles, who’ll enjoy a run from barrier three under Luke Nolen, while Nigel Blackiston missed out on the field by two places with Let’s Make Adeal, who is listed as an emergency runner.
Check out the entire 2014 Turnbull Stakes final field and barrier draw below, then open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account and back a winner.
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2014 Turnbull Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 7 – 4:20pm (AEST) – 04/10/2014
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||5990x427x6||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||14||59kg||113|
|2||x57412x582||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Michael Rodd||1||59kg||113|
|3||349359×086||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||4||57.5kg||107|
|4||63440×7514||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||13||57.5kg||110|
|5||1x63111x59||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||15||57.5kg||110|
|6||8x11114x45||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Damien Oliver||7||57kg||116|
|7||x235443x67||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Ryan Maloney||16||56.5kg||105|
|8||x12720x633||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2||56.5kg||111|
|9||3x7190x544||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Steven Arnold||11||55.5kg||103|
|10||43x16x09x0||THOUGHT WORTHY (USA)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||9||55.5kg||95|
|11||x755324x97||SHOREHAM||Saab Hasan||Chris Symons||12||55kg||99|
|12||2x1114x182||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||8||55kg||104|
|13||27x128x671||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens||Ben Melham||6||55kg||101|
|14||1x1155x083||CRACKERJACK KING (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||19||54.5kg||103|
|15||111×408821||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3||54.5kg||105|
|16||F2x3013x16||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||5||53.5kg||108|
|17e||2x0x623x17||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||10||54.5kg||104|
|18e||x87477x960||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||James Winks||17||52.5kg||99|
|19e||22x726x134||ALBONETTI||Sue Jaensch||Dean Yendall||18||52.5kg||85|