The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is the headline act at Flemington on Saturday afternoon and a capacity field of 16 stayers (and two emergencies) have accepted for the 2000m event worth $750,000. Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior headlines the field, with Simon & Ed Crisford bringing West Wind Blows over from England. Throw in some Australia’s best up-and-coming stayers and the 2023 Turnbull Stakes looks set to be a cracking edition.
2023 Turnbull Stakes odds
Romantic Warrior is without a doubt the class animal in the field and online betting sites are not taking any chances, enlisting the Danny Shum-trained runner as a +120 favourite. Fellow international West Wind Blows is on the second line of betting at +550, whilst the Chris Waller-pair Osipenko (+600) and Soulcombe (+700) are the only other runners at a single figure quote.
2023 Turnbull Stakes speed map
Unless second emergency Goldman gains a start, there is no real known leader in the Turnbull Stakes. The likes of Smokin’ Romans, Right You Are, and Spanish Mission will all look to hold a prominent position, as will race favourite Romantic Warrior. With a host of runners looking to slot in midfield, there could be a few trapped wide in running, so those with low barriers could prove to be smart betting plays. Soulcombe, Duke De Sessa, and Lunar Flare will all be the ones making their runs from the rear of the field.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2023 Turnbull Stakes.
2023 Turnbull Stakes Preview & Form
No matter how good the horse is, first-up over 2000m in Australia is always a tough ask, so on that note, we are taking on Romantic Warrior.
Soulcombe was a smart winner of the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) first-up and was taking off ground off the likes of Alligator Blood, Tuvalu and Duais when finishing fourth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m). The step up to the 2000m third-up looks ideal, and despite not running a drum in any of his three starts at the trip, he still looks like a great play. The four-year-old from Chris Waller’s barn, who has a win and a second to his name in two runs at Flemington and was drawn favourably in barrier two under Craig Williams, will be given every chance to claim his first Group 1. Soulcombe is armed with a strong turn of foot for a stayer, and if he is anywhere near his best, he looks like the one who will spoil the Romantic Warrior party.
Romantic Warrior is a genuine superstar. However, at +120 first-up in Australia, he is just not a betting prospect in a cracking edition of the Turnbull Stakes. He hasn’t been seen since finishing second as a -500 favourite to Russian Emperor in the Group 1 Chater Cup (2400m) on May 28, but his win in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) over multiple Australian Group 1 winner Dubai Honour indicates he may just blow this field away. From barrier 11, there is a chance he gets caught three or four wide and exposed a long way from home, but if Romantic Warrior puts his best hoof forward, then he is easily the one to beat.
West Wind Blows brings genuine Group 1 staying credentials into the Turnbull, having chased home the likes of Passenger, Paddington and Pyledriver leading into his Australian campaign. Osipenko has been running on nicely without threatening in recent starts, whilst Francesco Guardi, Gold Trip and Right You Are will be looking to hit their straps ahead of the Caulfield Cup.