Turnbull Stakes

Turnbull Stakes

Group One Betting Guide
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Location: Flemington Racecourse
Prize Money: $1,000,000
Distance: 2000m

THE Turnbull Stakes is run in early October and is one of the main races that sets the scene ahead of Melbourne’s spring.

The Turnbull Stakes is considered one of the most important races of the Spring Carnival. It is a major lead-up race into the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup and past winners of the race have gone on to win the biggest race in Australia.

Makybe Diva, Efficient and Green Moon took out this race en route to Melbourne Cup wins while Winx recorded a win in the race before winning a third-straight Cox Plate.

2021 Turnbull Stakes Odds

Incentivise wins Makybe Diva Stakes
Can Incentivise add a Turnbull Stakes win to his impressive resume thus far? (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Following his win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes, the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise is a $2.70 favourite for the 2021 Turnbull Stakes.

Group 1 winners so far this spring Verry Elleegant ($4.40) and Mo’unga ($8) looks to be his main rivals, with the NSW runners expected to run a bold race as usual in the Turnbull.

Colette, Sir Dragonet and Delphi head the remainder of the market.

2020 Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is a $10 chance with online bookmakers.

Best bookmakers for the Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes is one of the key Group 1 races leading into the big three of the Melbourne spring and the bookmakers treat the event with the respect it is due.

Turnbull Stakes odds are up at least a month in advance of the race date and any bookmaker that doesn’t have a market framed by then isn’t worth your cash.

United States Sport Table

Sport Table

Turnbull Stakes race history

The Turnbull Stakes was promoted to Group 1 level after champion mare Makybe Diva won in 2005 — the same year it won the Cox Plate and her third Melbourne Cup.

The 2000m race is for four-year-olds and over at set weights and after being first raced in 1865, there have been plenty of short and long-priced winners.

In 2013, Happy Trails scored an upset win over the Melbourne Cup-bound Fawkner and Puissance De Lune, but there have been many favourites win also.

Horses such as Elvstroem, Northerly, Sunline, Winx, Verry Elleegant and Doriemus have all used the Turnbull Stakes as a stepping stone to bigger wins later in the carnival and punters see this race as a big form guide to those major races.

With such a good form-guide reference, betting in the Turnbull Stakes is vital to making money during the Melbourne Spring Carnival in futures markets and this year’s race promises to provide that once again.

2020 Turnbull Stakes result


1stVerry Elleegant ($5.00)
2ndToffee Tongue ($14.00)
3rdFinche ($2.10)

Past Turnbull Stakes winners

  • Heading into the 2020 Turnbull Stakes, all eyes were on the Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant en route to a crack at the Caulfield Cup. Having his first sit on the legendary mare, Mark Zahra steered Verry Elleegant to yet another Group 1 win. Having settled in the second half of the field Zahra had to begin the mare’s run 800m out from home and as she has shown throughout her career, Verry Elleegant managed to find a way to win, despite the need to sustain a long run. Rank outsider Toffee Tongue and the well supported Finche managed to fill out a Chris Waller-trained trifecta, with just 0.2 lengths seperating the three stablemates.
  • After being severly injured during the 2018 Cox Plate, many had Kings Will Dream retired. Instead, he got off his deathbed and produced a performance for the ages when holding out Caulfield Cup favourite Finche to help build up a redemption campaign to run in the 2019 Cox Plate. Kings Will Dream’s successful Turnbull Stakes run win was Jye McNeil’s first Group 1 victory as a jockey.
  • The 2018 Turnbull Stakes was all about the wondermare Winx and she duly delivered, just. After getting right back and finding traffic entering the straight a win was looking beyond the mare but those who doubted her looked foolish as Winx found daylight and hit the line like a steam train to record yet another Group 1 win en route to a fourth tilt at the Cox Plate.
  • Winx made her Flemington debut in the Turnbull Stakes in one of the most dominating performances in the race’s history. Balancing up nicely at the jump Winx always looked comfortable and once she decided to win, the race was over. The second placed Ventura Storm wasn’t even in the photo on the line, such was the dominance of the mighty mare.
  • Hartnell had the unfortunate luck of confronting Winx more often than not over the course of his career but the Godolphin champ made the most of the Winx-less field here. Settling just off the speed under James McDonald, Hartnell was produced at the top of the straight and quickly put away his rivals which included subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Jameka.
  • In one of the more spectacular wins you will see in Turnbull Stakes history, Hugh Bowman provided Preferment with an A-Grade ride to take out the race. Coming into the straight the horse was last and looking like an also-ran but under a bustling ride from Bowie the horse kicked it up a gear and began to surge at the 400m. It looked like it could have been too little, too late but the horse found again in the final 100m to topple Royal Descent in the final strides.
  • In a wide-open Turnbull Stakes field it was Lucia Valentina who produced enough when the race was on the line. In a three way go heading towards the 200m, Lucia Valentina fought tooth and nail towards the line to get the neck out on the line to win ahead of Brambles and Lidari. Lidari was later disqualified from the race.
  • Gun runner Happy Trails recorded his second Group 1 victory in spectacular fashion at Flemington. Almost unsighted coming into the latter stages of the race, Happy Trails found a late split and surged to the line to topple Puissance de Lune and Fawkner in a finish that saw five horses separated at the line by less than a length and a half.

Past Turnbull Stakes winners list

Turnbull Stakes Past Winners
Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2020 Verry Elleegant Mark Zahra Chris Waller
2019 Kings Will Dream Jye McNeil Chris Waller
2018 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
2017 Winx Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
2016 Hartnell James McDonald John O’Shea
2015 Preferment Hugh Bowman Chris Waller
2014 Lucia Valentina Kerrin McEvoy Kris Lees
2013 Happy Trails Dwayne Dunn Paul Beshara
2012 Green Moon Craig Williams Robert Hickmott
2011 December Draw Michael Rodd Mark Kavanagh
2010 Zipping Nicholas Hall Robert Hickmott
2009 Efficient Nicholas Hall John Sadler
2008 Littorio Steven King Nigel Blackiston
2007 Devil Moon Corey Brown Mark Kavanagh
2006 Syphenophyta Danny Nikolic Lee Freedman
2005 Makybe Diva Steven King Lee Freedman
2004 Elvstroem Nash Rawiller Tony Vasil
2003 Studebaker Stephen Baster John Hawkes
2002 Northerly Greg Childs Fred Kersley
2001 Sunline Greg Childs Trevor McKee
2000 Fairway Darren Beadman Jack Denham

Turnbull Stakes Past Winners Pre 2000

Turnbull Stakes Past Winners Pre 2000
Year Horse
1999 Sky Heights
1998 Aerosmith
1997 Marble Halls
1996 Doriemus
1995 All Our Mob
1994 Redding
1993 The Phantom Chance
1992 Naturalism
1991 Let’s Elope
1990 Better Loosen Up
1989 Super Impose
1988 Vo Rogue
1987 Rubiton
1986 Just Now
1985 Lacka Reason
1984 Al Dwain
1983 Chez Nous
1982 Birchwood
1981 No Peer
1980 Amarla
1979 Dulcify
1978 Lefroy
1977 Salamander
1976 Denise’s Joy
1975 Analight
1974 Leilani
1973 Australasia
1972 Sharif
1971 Igloo
1970 Arctic Symbol
1969 Fileur
1968 Galilee
1967 Star Belle
1966 Tobin Bronze
1965 Craftsman
1964 Sir Dane
1963 Sometime
1962 Aquanita
1961 Blue Lodge
1960 Aircraft
1959 Mac
1958 Pandie Sun
1957 Syntax
1956 Pushover
1955 Redcraze
1954 Rising Fast
1953 Petrograd
1952 Aldershot
1951 Morse Code
1950 Comic Court
1949 Comic Court
1948 Beau Gem
1947 Sea Monarch
1946 Bernborough
1945 Lawrence
1944 Counsel
1943 Amana
1942 Great Britain
1941 Panka
1940 Ajax
1939 Manrico
1938 Ajax
1937 John Wilkes
1936 Prince Quex
1935 Cardinal
1934 Hall Mark
1933 Middle Watch
1932 Viol D’Amour
1931 Viol D’Amour
1930 Amounis
1929 High Syce
1928 Highland
1927 Royal Charter
1926 Manfred
1925 Fujisan
1924 Whittier
1923 Whittier
1922 Tangalooma
1921 Tangalooma
1920 Eurythmic
1919 Night Watch
1918 King Offa
1917 Lanius
1916 Greencap
1915 Lavendo
1914 Aleconner
1913 Mountain Princess
1912 Lady Medallist
1911 Flavian
1910 Captain White
1909 Iolaire
1908 Pink ‘Un
1907 Subterranean
1906 Ellis
1905 Gladsome
1904 Gladsome
1903 Wakeful
1902 Strata Florida
1901 Haymaker
1900 Hautboy
1899 Mora
1898 Bobadil
1897 Ayrshire
1896 Resolute
1895 Hova
1894 Fortunatus
1893 Vakeel
1892 Donation
1891 Marvel
1890 Megaphone
1889 Prince Consort
1888 Mentor
1887 Carlyon
1886 Trenton
1885 Trenton
1884 David
1883 Legrand
1882 Darebin
1881 Sweetmeat
1880 Progress
1879 First King
1878 Warlock
1877 Robinson Crusoe
1876 Tocal
1875 Robin Hood
1874 Dagworth
1873 Don Juan
1872 King Of The Ring
1871 Warrior
1870 Tim Whiffler
1869 Peeress
1868 The Barb
1967 Warwick
1866 Volunteer
1865 Volunteer
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