Turnbull Stakes 2023

Distance: 2000m | Conditions: Set Weights| Rail Position: 9m| Track Condition: Soft 6

Group 1 Racing in Melbourne continues this Saturday with running of the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington over 200om. Hong Kong raider Romantic Warrior continues to dominate the headlines as he makes his way out here for the first time, but it’s a strong field so he’s got his work cut out. There’s been some rain around across the week but the track should still play fair, as it usually does. Let’s try and find the winner.


Speed Map

Hard to know where the speed comes from in this year’s edition. We’ve seen West Wind Blows take up the running in the past and I think we may see it here with Right You Are rolling forward from the outside. Romantic Warrior should have no troubles getting to the second pair back while Osipenko, Uncle Bryn and Berkeley Square all sit closer too. There’ll be a solid group at the back hoping to get a crack with the likes of Soulcombe and Gold Trip most likely to run on.


Key Runners

1: jockey silksRomantic Warrior (11)

Romantic Warrior is the best Hong Kong has to offer, and carries some genuine world-class form with him, comfortably beating the likes of dual Australian Group 1 winner Dubai Honour. He could come out and blow this field away but for mine, he’s a touchy betting prospect. Hong Kong horses have a terrible record in Australia,  recording just one win from 47 attempts in our Group 1’s, and he’s $2.20 first-up. Also queries on his soft ground form. Certainly still the one to beat.

2:  jockey silksGold Trip (18)

Eye-catching run first-up and is right on track for the Caulfield Cup. Resumed over 2000m at the Valley with the big weight, and really got into his work late to finish 1L fourth. Strips fitter, will relish the cut out of the ground and can go close. Big support in early betting.

3: jockey silks Smokin’ Romans (17)

Last year’s winner of this but has done nothing since. Price says it all

4: jockey silksFrancesco Guardi (7)

Is ticking over nicely and looks like he’ll be cherry ripe for the Cups. Did enough first-up, then stuck to the task in the Makybe Diva latest. Ready for this trip now and seems way overs at $21.

5: jockey silksWest Wind Blows (8)

European galloper with genuine Group 1 credentials. Has form around Passenger, Piledriver and Paddington, is versatile and will appreciate the big open straight of Flemington. First-up in Australia is always a query, but gets Jamie Spencer coming across to sit aboard. Big watch.

6: jockey silksEmmisary (5)

Building into the prep nicely and ran on well in the Naturalism last time out. His best will come over further. 

7: jockey silksOsipenko (6)

Another one who’s had a nice prep, and has done everything right without a win. Was held up in the Makybe Diva latest, come back around the heels of Mr Brightside and finished off with some cracking sectionals. Has also banked a win over 2000m in the Frank Packer. Will be in the finish.

8: jockey silksUncle Bryn (1)

Was an easy watch for Uncle Bryn backers in the Naturalism latest. It’s a big step up here, but he has plenty of ability and if he brings it all together could certainly go close here. 


9: jockey silksBerkeley Square (14)

Going well but probably not up to this level.

10: jockey silksBank Maur (4)

Has been $51+ in both his runs back and has run accordingly. Can’t entertain him here.

11: jockey silksSoulcombe (2)

Notched another win first-up over 1700m, and then was taking ground off them in a gutsy Underwood performance. Big tick for 2000m, rock hard fit and his turn of foot should have him near abouts.

12: jockey silksDuke De Sessa (12)

Hard to know what to make of Duke De Sessa. He showed promise in the Doncaster before failing to make an impact in the Memsie, but it had it’s positives too. Hasn’t been seen since which isn’t ideal but could run another bold race. Rain a big tick.

13: jockey silksSpanish Mission (10)

Was poor in the Makybe Diva. Can’t have here.

14: jockey silksEl Bodegon (9)

Seems to have put the cue in the rack since his third in last year’s Cox Plate. Has been near last in everything so unbackable here.

15: jockey silksRight You Are (16)

Has come back in good order after a cracking Autumn campaign. Stuck to the task in the Underwood to finish 2L fifth. Gate makes things tough but he’s honest and will lap up 2000m.

16: jockey silksLunar Flare (15)

Looking towards the Melbourne Cup.


Betting Strategy

Despite the queries, there’s enough to suggest Romantic Warrior comes out and blitzes them. Gold Trip is also worth consideration

2 units on Romantic Warrior

1 units on Gold Trip each way

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