Chris Waller’s Melbourne Cup-bound four-year-old Preferment is one of four final acceptors in the Melbourne major at Flemington Racecourse on Sunday representing his Sydney trainer in the Turnbull Stakes 2015 field.
Running as Flemington Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEST), this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) has attracted a capacity field of 16 plus a single emergency in Awesome Rock.
Four come from the five-time Sydney Premiership winning stables of Waller including Zabeel stallion Preferment who is heading towards a two mile run back at the track on the first Tuesday in November in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Runner-up in the Rosehill Guineas during the autumn, Preferment comes off a Randwick win from September 19 in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) when carrying 58kg ahead of his return to Flemington where he won the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last spring.
Hugh Bowman stays aboard the progressive stayer who will relish the drop back to 56.5kg as he looks to go back-to-back for four-year-olds in the race following the success of Lucia Valentina (2014) last year.
Waller’s other headline hope is the 2015 Caulfield Cup-bound mare Royal Descent drawn even wider in gate 13 with jockey Glen Boss aboard shooting for his first Tunbull Stakes success.
The former ATC Oaks winning daughter of Redoute’s Choice is now a six-year-old and was last seen running a half-length away second to stablemate Kermadec in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) over the Randwick mile a fortnight ago.
The other two Waller-trained runners are Sydney Cup runner-up Who Shot Thebarman in gate four with Blake Shinn booked for the ride and out-of-form French import Weary who Craig Newitt has the mount on.
Along with Preferment the other last start winner in the Turnbull Stakes field this year is the Robert Hickmott-trained import Amralah who took out a black-type in Adelaide over 1800m on September 19 with 58.5kg on his back that drops to just 55kg on Sunday.
The Turnbull Stakes weights are led by the Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails with 59kg, a weight last carried to victory by the great Lloyd Williams-raced Zipping (2010) five years ago.
Good Journey eight-year-old Happy Trails was last seen running just three quarters of a length away fifth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) over the track and distance he returns to this weekend.
The Flemington mile is also where Happy Trails recorded two of his three Group 1 victories winning the 2012 Emirates Stakes and the 2013 Turnbull Stakes before adding last year’s Mackinnon Stakes at the track over 2000m to his record in what is his most recent victory.
Last year’s winning trainer Kris Lees has a chance of back-to-back Turnbull victories having accepted for 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist on Sunday.
The former German-trained Monsun stallion hasn’t won a race since his success in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last November and jumps from gate two in this with Brenton Avdulla aboard.
Coming off better lead-up form than Protectionist’s George Main eighth in Sydney are the likes of the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell drawn wide in gate 15 and Rising Romance prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.
James McDonald rides Authorized gelding Hartnell who is looking to become the first Turnbull Stakes winner to jump from a double digit gate since Makybe Diva (16 in 2007).
Winner of the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) over the mile and a half at Rosehill back in March, Hartnell’s last start was a first-up fourth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) that he is out to improve on when making his Melbourne debut in the Turnbull.
Rising Romance is a former New Zealand-trained Group 1 winning mare who has the outside alley to overcome but who ran a close second in the Makybe Diva last time out when beaten only a neck.
Check out the full Turnbull Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below then visit Ladbrokes.com.au quoting the limited time only promo code SPRINGBONUS to enjoy up to $700 in bonus bets on the house this season!
2015 Turnbull Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 7 (4:10pm) – 04/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x62307x605||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Dwayne Dunn||3||59kg||112|
|2||41x6857x08||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2||57.5kg||114|
|3||167x2114x4||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||15||57.5kg||112|
|4||21x0628x01||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||10||56.5kg||109|
|5||113213×705||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan||TBA||8||56.5kg||109|
|6||618411×000||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||James Winks||1||56.5kg||101|
|7||5x6624x008||DANDINO (GB)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||16||56.5kg||104|
|8||03x5442x75||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||4||56.5kg||109|
|9||226x122x62||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||17||55.5kg||110|
|10||30082×2490||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||9||55.5kg||107|
|11||36211x0x01||AMRALAH (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||12||55kg||103|
|12||227228×254||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||11||54.5kg||102|
|13||111x230x25||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||Luke Currie||7||54.5kg||103|
|14||4x1141x98||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||John Sargent||Craig Williams||5||54.5kg||104|
|15||x3x1112x26||ALPINE EAGLE||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||14||54.5kg||104|
|16||0x7433x132||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||13||53.5kg||112|
|17e||343x034x30||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||Chris Parnham||6||53.5kg||90|