The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Chris Waller’s brilliant Hall of Fame mare Winx could face up to 11 rivals in her Flemington debut on Saturday as the headliner among the Turnbull Stakes 2017 nominations.
Chasing her 21st consecutive turf triumph and her incredible 14th elite level win, the six-year-old daughter of Street Cry will be tested in the closing stages of the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) when racing down the famous Flemington ‘Straight Six’ for the first time.
Jockey Hugh Bowman believes the superstar is actually better the Melbourne way of racing, despite Winx having officially had just the three starts in Victoria, and has no confidence fears ahead of the Turnbull Stakes.
Waller gives the Flemington racegoers their first taste of Winx magic as the champion heads towards a shot at a third straight victory in Moonee Valley’s Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) on October 28.
Hartnell won last year’s Turnbull Stakes on way to his second behind Winx in the Cox Plate quinella, which the mare won by a record eight lengths.
Waller prepared the previous year’s Turnbull Stakes winner however with Preferment (2015), so the master trainer has tasted success in the set weights plus penalties clash.
Winx will carry 57kg in the race and was last seen defeating Happy Clapper in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 16.
Happy Clapper franked that form winning last Saturday’s Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) under the top weight, which bodes well again for Winx this weekend.
She is already odds-on in the pre-field Turnbull Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $1.20 for the win, Winx out to be just the second mare to take out the race along with Lucia Valentina (2014) since Devil Moon scored the upset in 2007.
There are two other last start winners along with Winx featured in this spring’s Turnbull Stakes nominations with the Darren Weir-trained Humidor and the 2017 Caulfield Cup-bound Harlem for Lindsay Park.
Humidor is the $5.50 second elect in futures Turnbull Stakes betting and the only other galloper under double-figures for the win.
The five-year-old son of Teofilo enjoyed a runaway three and a quarter-length victory at the Flemington track last time out, upsetting Hartnell in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
The former Kiwi-raced gelding is now two-from-three at Flemington ahead of Turnbull Stakes Day and also has outstanding 2000m form boasting three wins and a second from four runs at the distance.
He should eat up the extra metres off his lead-up mile success, getting out over 2000m for the first time since beating home last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in the Group 1 Australian Cup at Flemington back in March.
As for Harlem, he occupies the third line of all-in Turnbull Stakes markets at $13 having taken out the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 23.
The galloper has been to Flemington just once before for a third as a $41 roughie in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) during the autumn and is on way to the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half on October 21.
Other notable Turnbull Stakes nominations that could take on Winx on Saturday include Abbey Marie who scratched out of the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) last Sunday and the Godolphin-raced Tally out to improve on a Naturalism Stakes seventh last time out.
Check out the full Turnbull Stakes 2017 nominations below, the final field and barriers along with updated markets at Ladbrokes.com.au out on Wednesday morning.
2017 Turnbull Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|2||x42212x681||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||5||Darren Weir||2||59kg||114|
|4||01121x5x76||VENTURA STORM (IRE)||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||4||56.5kg||106|
|5||x9210x71x0||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||5||56.5kg||104|
|6||384x386x51||HARLEM (GB)||H||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||6||55kg||103|
|7||x031x270x0||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||7||54.5kg||101|
|9||14407x5x86||SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GB)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||9||54.5kg||104|
|10||0x0D71x000||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||8||Robert Hickmott||10||54.5kg||101|
|11||1x8400x725||ABBEY MARIE||M||5||Michael Kent||11||52.5kg||102|
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