The punters are coming for the Joe Pride-trained...
As predicted the champion mare Winx has scared off the bulk of potential rivals in Saturday’s Turnbull Stakes 2017 field facing just six other horses on way to win number 21 on the trot.
The Victorian Racing Club (VRC) enjoys an early Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival boost on the weekend with Chris Waller opting to give his 13-time elite level winner Winx her Flemington debut in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The Turnbull Stakes marks the six-year-old’s fourth Victorian run and Winx is set to start at a nearly unbackable price in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au facing such a small field.
Drawn a treat in barrier two, Winx reunites with Hugh Bowman once again, the jockey having put her through her paces in blistering piece of Flemington work down the straight on Monday morning.
Flemington and the ‘straight six’ look to hold no fears for the Hall of Famer who is on way to a record-equalling third win in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) later in the month.
Winx is out to hand Waller with a second Turnbull Stakes success after the win of Preferment (2015) two years ago, while Lucia Valentina (2014) the season prior was the last mare to win the set weights plus penalties clash.
Last year Hartnell saluted for the punters as the odds-on favourite in Turnbull Stakes betting, Winx all but guaranteed to do the same on Saturday.
The only foreseeable danger that could score the upset should something go disastrously wrong with Winx is the Darren Weir-trained Humidor.
The Turnbull Stakes clash is the Teofilo five-year-olds first encounter with the world’s best mare and Weir knows he, and the other runners, are likely chasing second at best.
Humidor however does hold the Flemington advantage being a dual Group 1 winner at the track thanks to victories in the autumn’s Australian Cup (2000m) and the incredible three and a quarter-length success over Hartnell in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) last time out.
Lindsay Park have accepted for Zoffany stallion Ventura Storm, coming off a sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes as a $51 roughie and after his first win since Group 1 win over the mile and a half in Italy a year ago.
Five-time Melbourne Cup winning horseman Lloyd Williams and his head trainer Robert Hickmott are dually represented in the Turnbull Stakes field with stablemates Assign and Sir Isaac Newton drawn in barriers six and seven respectively.
The stable has prepared two past Turnbull Stakes winners with Zipping (2010) and subsequent Melbourne Cup champion Green Moon (2012).
Assign is second-up after a disappointing 14th of 15 runners in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) at the start of the month, while Damien Oliver’s mount Sir Isaac Newton is out to improve on a sixth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
All runners in the Turnbull Stakes this year are guaranteed prize money and those set to run sixth and seventh for $10,000 look to be the rails-drawn Magicool and 61-rated Skyfire.
2017 Turnbull Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 5 (3:15pm) – 07/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x42212x681||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||4||59kg||114|
|2||1x1111x111||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||57kg||132|
|3||01121x5x76||VENTURA STORM (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||5||56.5kg||106|
|4||x9210x71x0||ASSIGN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||6||56.5kg||104|
|6||14407x5x86||SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||7||54.5kg||104|
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