Turnbull Stakes

Held in October, the Turnbull Stakes is a key build-up race before the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup.

It's a Group 1 race over 2000 metres and takes place at Flemington Racecourse. The total prize money on offer is $500,000. The 2019 version will be held on Saturday, 5th October at Flemington Racecourse.

Winx is the current defending champion having won the event in 2018 and 2017. So she'll be aiming for a record-setting third straight victory in 2019. This race has also been won by some of the best champions in Racing. That includes the likes of Makybe Diva in 2005 and Ajax during World War 2.

Turnbull Stakes History / Timeline

Over time, the Turnbull Stakes has been known as a few different names. Firstly, it started out as the Royal Park Stakes from 1865 until 1894. Then for a short period, it was named "September Stakes".

From 1898 until 1935, it was then called the October Stakes due to a race date change. In 1936, it was renamed again as the Melbourne Stakes for 11 years.

Finally, in 1948 the event was changed to its current name. Along with name changes, this race has bounced between the Group 1 and 2 categories. It started as Principal Race until the late 70s where it was classified as a Group 1.

For the 2006 event, it was a Group 1 race but switched back to Group 2 until 2010, then it was given Group 1 status again.

Turnbull Stakes Trivia

  • Since 1983, only two runners have won this event in consecutive years. The first runner was Vo Rogue in 1987 and 1988. Winx is the other runner as she won in 2017 and 2018.
  • Since 2015, Hugh Bowman has ridden a winner in 3 of the last 4 races.

Turnbull Stakes Records

  • Largest Priced Winners: Since 2008, Efficient and Happy Trails have both won this race at $26 odds.
  • Most Successful Jockey: Hugh Bowman, Greg Childs and Steven King have all ridden three winners at this event since 1983.
  • Most Successful Trainer: Since 1983, Lee Freedman has successfully trained five runners to victory in this race. The first win came in 1989 and his latest win was with Makybe Diva in 2005.
  • Time Record: The fastest time since 1980 is held by Elvstroem in 2004 with a winning time of 2:00:4.

Betting on the Turnbull Stakes

This event is a major race to watch for potential Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup runners. For example, Green Moon won this race in 2012 and went onto win the Melbourne Cup as well. The conditions of this race can generally help Group 1 runners of six years or older.

It's also a good idea to bet on barriers from 1 to around 7 as not many winners have come from the outside barriers.

An ideal lead-up race for this event should be the Underwood Stakes, which takes place at Caulfield two weeks prior.

Since 2016, the favourite has won three straight events and with Winx around, it's hard to back against her. She was at unbackable odds of $1.1 in 2018 and smashed the field in her 2017 debut.

This basically means head to head betting is off limits while she's around and exotic bets are more suitable at this stage. The field usually has 16 runners so a first four or trifecta is well recommended.

Turnbull Stakes Tips

  • Look for runners that are over 6 years old and have a good Group 1 record
  • Favour runners that have a short barrier draw as winning from an outside barrier is fairly rare at this event.
  • Bet on Winx until she retires!

Turnbull Stakes Winners

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2018 Winx Youngstar Kings Will Dream 2:01.6
2017 Winx Ventura Storm Humidor 2:02.0
2016 Hartnell Jameka Tally 2:01.0
2015 Preferment Royal Descent Set Square 2:01.3
2014 Lucia Valentina Lidari Brambles 2:01.8
2013 Happy Trails Puissance De Lune Fawkner 2:02.9
2012 Green Moon Seville December Draw 2:02.1
2011 December Draw Glass Harmonium Playing God 2:03.9
2010 Zipping Shocking Shoot Out 2:03.2
2009 Efficient Predatory Pricer Scenic Shot 2:01.6
2008 Littorio Master O'Reilly Zipping 2:02.4
2007 Devil Moon Scenic Shot Haradasun 2:03.4
2006 Sphenophyta Our Smoking Joe Aqua D Amore 2:01.9
2005 Makybe Diva Lad Of The Manor Confectioner 2:01.5
2004 Elvstroem Mummify Confectioner 2:00.4
2003 Studebaker Pentastic Strasbourg 2:04.0
2002 Northerly Dash For Cash Fields Of Omagh 2:02.3
2001 Sunline Universal Prince Primrose Sands 2:03.9
2000 Fairway Sunline Diatribe 2:02.2

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