Mystic Journey looks to follow in Winx’s footsteps by winning the TAB Turnbull Stakes on Saturday (credit: Racing Photos)
The $500,000 Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is one of the strongest guides to the spring majors in Melbourne, and this weekend will be run as part of a fantastic nine-race card at Flemington.
Australia’s new glamour mare Mystic Journey will look to follow in Winx’s mighty footsteps by winning the TAB Turnbull Stakes, with many anticipating Mystic Journey’s first attempt at 2000m to be a winning one. Other nominations for the feature race include multiple Group 1 winners Avilius and Hartnell, leading Lexus Melbourne Cup fancy Finche and stablemate Kings Will Dream, and the eye-catching Mr Quickie.
The undercard is just as exciting as the feature race and one race that has garnered great interest in recent years is the $500,000 Group 3 Lexus Bart Cummings (2500m). The race offers ballot exemption from the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) and is one of only five races to do so.
Among 25 entries for this race include Sydney Cup winner Shraaoh, New Zealand gallopers Te Akau Caliburn and The Good Fight, the Lloyd Williams-owned King of Leogrance, and Surprise Baby, Paul Preusker’s popular stayer who missed direct entry into the Cup when a narrow second in The Andrew Ramsden.
The race holding the most number of entries is the $175,000 Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) for three-year-olds with 27 nominations, many of which are aimed at the $2 million AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).
Headlining nominations is Lindsey Smith’s AAMI Victoria Derby Trial winner Adelaide Ace, with possible competition from Byerley Handicap winner Huntly Castle and Robbie Laing’s Taj Rossi Series Final winning-colt Fabulanski, a son of 2013 AAMI Victoria Derby winner Polanski.
The $175,000 Listed Poseidon Stakes (1100m) has been brought back from 1400m and attracted a strong line-up of 22 nominations including Group winners Dubious, Anaheed, I Am Immortal and the speedy Brooklyn Hustle.
Superstar sprinters Santa Ana Lane and Sunlight have been nominated in the $300,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) while the $300,000 Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) has attracted 23 fillies including last-start Listed winners Bonvicini and I Am Eloquent.
While this Saturday presents as a thrilling preview to many of the spring majors, it is also an opportunity for trainers to unveil some of their new-season two-year-olds in the Listed Darley Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m).
Nominated for the $175,000 event is Mildred and Divine Caprice, the quinella from the first two-year-old race of the new season in the Darley Spring Preview at Flemington. Joining them are two runners nominated from the Godolphin yard in Jerle and Unblushing.
The race day is the first time racing fans can rally around jockeys as they vie for a $50,000 prize as part of Racing Victoria’s Star of the Saddle challenge, with riders accruing points throughout the day.
Also new on TAB Turnbull Stakes Day is the official operation of digital ticketing options for owners. The VRC is proud to be the first race club in Australia to offer digital ticketing which aims to give all Flemington owners seamless access to the racecourse and VRC members areas.
Racegoers will notice a valuable addition to the VRC racebook, with Vince Accardi’s daily sectionals data now exclusive to the VRC on every Flemington raceday via the racebook.