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C. Brown on the 2017 Turnbull Stakes form guide would call to mind for many Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown, but this Saturday at Flemington Racecourse it is country hoop Christopher Brown on Magicool who is after the upset win over Winx.
Two of the six rival horses taking on the world’s best mare for her first go at Headquarters in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) this weekend are at triple-figures.
Restricted-grade Skyfire ($301) prepared at Mornington by Amy Johnston is one in his black-type debut, and the rails-drawn Magicool prepared by Diggers Rest horseman Tony Romeo is the other $301 roughie shot in Turnbull Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
At his best as a three-year-old, the now six-year-old son of Fastnet Rock was matching it with the best young stayers including a fifth to Preferment in the 2015 Victoria Derby before his win in that winter’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m).
That was when the magic ended for Magicool however, the gelding failing to win since that elite level triumph in the sunshine state.
The galloper’s best result since was a seventh behind Red Excitement, who has form around Winx this spring, in the $100,000 Ashbury Handicap (1500m) at Canterbury last November.
Magicool’s two runs in 2017 have seen the out-of-form horse finish dead last.
He jumped at 300/1 at Flemington on September 16 when 14th behind Theanswermyfriend in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m), beaten over 12 lengths with Stan Tsaikos in the saddle.
Last time out former Kiwi jumps jockey Brown came on for the $100,000 Benalla Cup (2046) and Magicool was last past the post again, the race’s $101 outsider thrashed 17 lengths by the Archie Alexander-trained winner Lord Fandango.
On the back of that where do you go?
Into a clash with Chris Waller’s super mare Winx in a Group 1 of course.
Winx is out to extend her fairy tale winning streak to 21 straight this weekend in her first Flemington start and just her fourth Melbourne run.
The 13-time Group 1 winner is $1.18 in the Turnbull Stakes odds to salute for the likely record crowd on way to a shot at her third Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) triumph at The Valley in as many years.
There have been a number of recent blowout Turnbull Stakes results including Efficient (2009) and Happy Trails (2013) who both scored upsets at $26.
But a $301 Turnbull Stakes chance beating Winx?
The scenario is unlikely at best, but Brown dares to dream and is just happy to also be at Flemington under race conditions for the first time against the remarkable Winx.
“I am racing against Winx and I’m a 46-year-old and I’ve just come back to riding,” he told Racing Victoria this week.
“It’s a huge honour. You can’t really think about it. My family don’t really know what the hell is going on.
“She’s the best horse in the world but let’s face it, it’s just a race.
“You go out there and ride your race and what happens just happens.
“I’m not just going out there to go around and look pretty, because I don’t look pretty at all but I’m out there to win. Out there to try and see what happens.”
Brown, whose strike rate this season sits at around just six percent, believes Magicool is a genuine stayer and plans to try and “forget” Winx is even in the race on Saturday.
“I galloped him the other day and his sectionals were pretty good and he’s an out-and-out stayer,” he said.
“We have a game plan and we’re going out and going to do it. She’s probably the unbeatable horse in the world at the moment so we’ll just forget about her.
“You can’t just look over your shoulder all the time and wonder where she is.
“She’s going to go past us at some stage. You’ve got to be realistic about it.
“If she doesn’t, I’ll probably fall off.”
Check out the latest Turnbull Stakes 2017 odds on Winx now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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