King of Leogrance

King of Leogrance will take his place in the TAB Turnbull Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Excitement builds for TAB Turnbull Stakes

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will host the most exciting race day so far this spring with TAB Turnbull Stakes Day on Saturday, highlighted by the $500,000 Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m). 

Racing’s big name horses, jockeys and trainers will step out at Flemington Racecourse as they finalise their preparations for the four greatest days on the Australian racing calendar, the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Headlining the TAB Turnbull Stakes is Verry Elleegant, the New Zealand-bred mare who has been transformed into a Group 1-winning star by trainer Chris Waller, and Lexus Melbourne Cup hero Vow and Declare for trainer Danny O’Brien. 

Waller is looking to win his fourth consecutive TAB Turnbull Stakes after victories by his champion mare Winx in 2017 and 2018, and Kings Will Dream in 2019, with the rejuvenated galloper also in the TAB Turnbull Stakes again this year. 

Last year’s AAMI Victoria Derby winner Warning will also line up in the TAB Turnbull Stakes alongside horses such as Finche and Surprise Baby, to be partnered by Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams. 

A golden ticket into the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup is on offer for stayers in The Bart Cummings (2510m), a Group 3 race which has attracted the likes of Schabau for Cup-winning trainer Robert Hickmott and Steel Prince, a top 10 placegetter in the ‘race that stops a nation’™ last year. 

There will be two virtual trophy presentations on Saturday - the first will be The Bart Cummings, with Bart’s son Anthony Cummings to award the trophy for the race named in honour of his legendary father.  The second will be after the feature of the day where the Chairman of Tabcorp, Paula Dwyer, will make the presentation to winning connections of the TAB Turnbull Stakes.   

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said TAB Turnbull Stakes Day is a wonderful dress rehearsal for the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“While VRC members and guests can dress up and order Flemington favourites to enjoy at home, the stars of our sport will hit the track as they warm up for major races in Cup Week,” Mrs Elliott said. 

“The question of which horse will make their mark on the Lexus Melbourne Cup will become even clearer on Saturday, with 28 Cup entrants among the fields, including Vow and Declare who will be ridden by champion jockey Damien Oliver.  

“It is also a day where we acknowledge the incredible life of Cups King, Bart Cummings. This year we celebrate 160 years of the running of the Cup, and it’s fitting that a race named in Bart’s honour will guarantee one horse their place in Cup history.” 

The nine-race card also features the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) with top-class sprinters Tofane and Santa Ana Lane doing battle up the famous Flemington straight, the Group 2 Lexus Rose of Kingston Stakes (1400m) for mares and the Group 2 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) for fillies bound for the Kennedy Oaks in just over a month.

While patrons can’t attend Flemington Racecourse due to COVID-19 restrictions, the race day experience can be replicated at home with delicious food and beverage hampers from our catering partner Peter Rowland Group, as well as others including The Big Group, Atlantic Group, food&desire and Libby Reid. Melbourne Cup Carnival options will be revealed soon.

For those looking to up the fashion stakes, men and women Australia-wide can enter the new Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn digital competition, and be in with a chance to win more than $170,000 in prizes including a brand new Lexus UX250h 2WD Sports Luxury plus a money can’t buy experience to the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The VRC’s digital racebook, filled with content on champions with races named after them on Saturday such as Paris Lane, Poseidon and Bart Cummings can be downloaded at on the race day.

Catch all the racing action from home via Channel 7, and RSN with race 1 at 12:05pm.

Everyone is also encouraged to support the VRC’s 2020 Pin & Win charity partner Very Special Kids by purchasing a 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup lapel pin, on sale from Thursday 1 October and available for purchase online here.