The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Melbourne Cup-bound Surprise Baby is the early Turnbull Stakes 2020 betting market mover out to defeat the favourite Verry Elleegant in Saturday’s feature race at Flemington.
Heading the racing action at HQ this weekend is a star-studded edition of the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) featuring 15 quality staying types heading towards the spring majors.
One of the best-backed to take out the Turnbull this weekend is the Paul Preusker-trained Surprise Baby ($6) to be ridden by last year’s Melbourne Cup winning hoop Craig Williams from the inside alley.
The well-bred son of Shocking ran an eye-catching fifth in the ‘race that stops’ a nation last spring and is the current $9 second elect trailing only the flying Russian Camelot ($8) in the all-in Melbourne Cup odds this season.
First-up Surprise Baby ran out of his skin to finish runner-up behind the now Waller-trained veteran Humidor in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley.
Humidor franked that form going on to place second to Russian Camelot at Caulfield in last weekend’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Surprise Baby meanwhile has his second-up start in the Turnbull and looks a genuine winning hope with 57.5kg at set weights plus penalties.
Trainer Chris Waller has dominated the recent Turnbull Stakes results preparing four of the past five winners with: Preferment (2015), dual champion Winx (2017, 2018) and Kings Will Dream (2019) last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The master Sydney-based horseman returns in 2020 saddling-up four horses in the Turnbull Stakes field including the favourite Verry Elleegant at a current quote of $4.40 to continue the stable’s success.
The multiple Group 1 winning daughter of Zed has had four Flemington runs for two minor placings, but has strong form over the 2000m (7:3-2-0).
First-up she took out Randwick’s Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) before going down when fourth to stablemate Kolding at the same track over the mile second-up in the Group 1 George Main Stakes.
Getting a little lost on the rails that day, Verry Elleegant is after atonement heading to Melbourne on Saturday and the punters look willing to forgive the gun five-year-old who should relish getting out over further.
Occupying the third line of Turnbull Stakes betting at $7.50 is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained All-Star Mile runner-up Superstorm looking to return to his best after two failed runs this prep.
After a disappointing ninth over 1100m at Caulfield fresh when still only 1.85 lengths beaten on August 29, the Sebring four-year-old ran 12th after a ride and luckless run in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) behind The Everest-bound Behemoth.
Going straight from 1400m to 2000m could prove either a master move by his WA-based trainers or a flop with only time to tell.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies are then the Hawkes Racing-trained Master Of Wine ($8) coming off a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at the track from September 12 and the other best on show for Waller Finche ($9).
2020 Turnbull Stakes Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x421x395x9||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||10||57.5kg||113|
|2||6x32050x30||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jye McNeil||8||57.5kg||109|
|3||4132x415x2||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||Paul Preusker||Craig Williams||1||57.5kg||108|
|4||1x755633x7||WARNING||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Billy Egan||7||56.5kg||103|
|5||555112×235||DALASAN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jamie Kah||3||56.5kg||103|
|6||311x114x04||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Michael Rodd||4||56.5kg||106|
|7||349x211x2x||KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR)||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||14||56.5kg||103|
|8||2x1x1311x9||AKTAU (GB)||Michael Moroney||Daniel Moor||5||56.5kg||100|
|9||0x42212x14||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||9||55.5kg||115|
|10||1x07511x00||OCEANEX (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Dean Yendall||13||55.5kg||105|
|11||80x4549x76||HARLEM (GB)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Jamie Mott||11||54.5kg||107|
|12||34x51257x3||FINCHE (GB)||Chris Waller||Ben Melham||15||54.5kg||110|
|13||2x122x33x2||DJANGO FREEMAN (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Luke Nolen||6||54.5kg||98|
|14||154x122x90||SUPERSTORM||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||12||53.5kg||104|
|15||x622221x58||TOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||2||53.5kg||100|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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