Skyfire Late Turnbull Stakes 2017 Entry to Face Winx

October 3, 2017

Skyfire Late Turnbull Stakes 2017 Entry to Face Winx

Connections of 61-rated Mornington galloper Skyfire could take the gamble of running for prize money behind champion mare Winx in the 2017 Turnbull Stakes this Saturday at Flemington Racecourse.

Winx

Winx is out to extend her wins to 21 straight in the Turnbull Stakes 2017 at Flemington this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

Racing Victoria extended nominations until Tuesday morning for this year’s Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), after low early entries for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival feature.

The Chris Waller-trained dual Ladbrokes Cox Plate champion Winx scared away the bulk of horses that could previously have had the Turnbull Stakes in mind as part of their spring preps, as the mighty six-year-old prepares for her 21st consecutive turf triumph.

The inclusion of Winx in the Turnbull Stakes field is likely to see the number of final acceptors dwindle from the current 12 entries, with plenty keen to avoid a clash with the $13.47 million earner.

Winx has been taking on relatively healthy fields of rivals this campaign including the seven rivals she easily accounted for when defeating subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper home in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 16.

Saturday she will head south for the first time since her historic eight length victory over that spring’s Turnbull Stakes champ Hartnell in the 2016 Cox Plate.

Prior to that she faced just two rivals – Black Heart Bart (2nd) and He Or She (3rd) – in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).

Winx’s only other Melbourne run was her maiden Cox Plate victory in 2015, when punters could get the now Hall of Fame inducted daughter of Street Cry at a generous starting price of $5.

The Turnbull Stakes will be her maiden Flemington run, but the bookies are taking no chances and Winx is at $1.20 in pre-field betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

The genuine roughie and surprise late entry meanwhile is restricted-grade galloper Skyfire, a six-year-old son of Testa Rossa who is to date untested in black-type class.

Trainer Amy Johnson and connections at Rockmount are hoping that there is a high attrition rate giving Skyfire a chance to secure a minimum $10,000 in prize money, which is paid down to eighth place in the Turnbull Stakes results.

That is enough to nearly double the $5,500 final payment to get Skyfire into this year’s Turnbull Stakes field giving Skyfire his second biggest payday.

A winner of three of his 28 starts, the horse took out $12,500 when breaking his maiden status at Bendigo back in December of 21, but hasn’t secured more than $9,670 in a single race since.

Last time out Skyfire contested a Benchmark 78 at Mornington over 2025m on September 30, finishing a length back fifth behind Sin To Win as a $41 roughie.

The only other official Turnbull Stakes entry holding a rating of under 100 is the now Tony Romeo-trained Magicool (84).

There was talk of excluding Skyfall from the Turnbull Stakes but Racing Victoria’s Operations Manager Paul Bloodworth said the decision to allow the horse to run should he be paid up for stood.

Winx, with a 132 rating, will no doubt take home the $300,000 first prize, while the Darren Weir-trained Makybe Diva Stakes winner Humidor is tipped to run second claiming $90,000 for his trouble.

To back Winx to win the Turnbull Stakes 2017 at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.

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