The major race at Flemington Racecourse this weekend is the 2014 Turnbull Stakes, for which a detailed form guide and betting preview is detailed below.
This year’s $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) features a maximum field of 16 talented horses plus two emergencies and will run as race 7 at 4:20pm.
Five of those 18 are leading the betting markets with single figure odds through Ladbrokes.com.au, though none have reached odds-on favouritism quite yet.
Current $5 favourite is Kris Lees’ Lucia Valentina, the four-year-old mare is coming off one win and a fast-finishing seventh from her 2014 spring racing starts.
She won the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) by a length and a half at the beginning of September and even though she could only manage a seventh placing on her last start – the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) – she was just one length off a top-three finish.
She’s followed in the Turnbull Stakes odds by four other single figure hopes with Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) third Puissance De Lune ($6.50) running from gate two, Silent Achiever ($7) riding with Damien Oliver, defending champion Happy Trails ($7.50) with the rails run from gate one, and Stipulate ($8.50) sneaking in for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig after Crackerjack King was scratched.
That’s who the bookies are tipping to win but what does the race’s history and form have to say?
2014 Turnbull Stakes Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Turnbull Stakes winner was the Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails who carried 57.5kg from barrier 5 (of 16) with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle
- #2 Happy Trails ($7.50) is back this year but goes up to the 59kg top weight with Michael Rodd set to ride instead
- The Turnbull Stakes’ most successful trainer is Lee Freedman with six wins from 26 starters since 1983
- Race favourites have an average Turnbull Stakes record in recent years with just four of the past 10 saluting, the most recent of which was Green Moon (2012)
- Last year’s winning barrier (5) has been drawn by race favourite #16 Lucia Valentina ($5)
- Barrier five has produced three Turnbull winners since 1983
- The most successful Turnbull Stakes barrier during that time meanwhile has been eight with six winners which this year belongs to #12 Entirely Platinum ($15)
- Like most major races, drawing a barrier is crucial – since 2002, only two horses have won from a double-figure barrier
- The Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) is the key lead-up race to the Turnbull Stakes
- Two of those winners failed badly in the Underwood, Sphenophyta (6th) and Efficient (9th), proving the track shift from Caulfield to Flemington can be dramatic for horses
- This year there are seven horses backing up the Underwood with the Turnbull, with all but one failing to place
- They include Lidari (4th), Silent Achiever (5th), Super Cool (6th), Stipulate (7th), The Offer (9th), and Thought Worthy (10th)
- Happy Trails is the only entry coming off a successful Underwood run (2nd)
- Steven King is the second most successful Turnbull Stakes jockey with three previous wins and three minor placings and will be riding #1 Green Moon ($19)
- #13 Gris Caro (Group 2 Naturalism Stakes, 2000m, Caulfield, 20/09/2014) and #15 Brambles (Spring Is The Season HCP, 1700m, Flemington, 13/09/2014) are the only two last start winners in Saturday’s field, offering odds of $19 and $17 respectively
- Only five mares have won the Turnbull Stakes since 1983, which means #6 Silent Achiever, #16 Lucia Valentina and the two emergencies #18 Let’s Make Adeal and #19 Albonetti have their work cut out for them
- However if they win they’ll join the amazing batch consisting of Just Now, Let’s Elope, Sunline, Makybe Diva, and Devil Moon
- The horse with the highest Win Rate of the field is #12 Entirely Platinum (40%) followed by #8 Puissance de Lune, #13 Gris Caro, and #15 Brambles (38%)
- The best Place Rate then belongs to Gris Caro (75%) followed by Entirely Platinum (73%), Puissance de Lune (71%), and Brambles (69%)
- Those with the best Flemington track record are: #1 Green Moon (10-3-2-0), #11 Shoreham (10-3-1-0), #2 Happy Trails (6-2-0-1), and #3 Super Cool (6-1-1-0)
- Previous winners over the Track & Distance are then: #1 Green Moon (4-1-2-0), #2 Happy Trails (2-1-0-0), #3 Super Cool (2-1-0-0), and #7 Sertorius (1-1-0-0)
Races.com.au will publish our 2014 Turnbull Stakes tips shortly so stay tuned!
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