2019 TAB Turnbull Stakes winner Kings Will Dream (Image: Racing Photos)
Chris Waller holds the key to Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington as three of the first four placegetters from last year's race clash this weekend.
Waller-trained Kings Will Dream memorably defeated stablemate Finche to complete an amazing return to form at the elite level, having been nursed back to health after going amiss in the 2018 Cox Plate.
A month later fourth-placed Vow And Declare would win the Lexus Melbourne Cup for trainer Danny O'Brien.
That trio all features in Saturday's TAB Turnbull field as Kings Will Dream and Vow And Declare are among the six G1 winners in the 15-horse field.
Waller has four acceptors, including likely race favourite and four-time G1 winner Verry Elleegant, who was fourth as favourite in the G1 George Main Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago.
The TAB Turnbull is the lone G1 race on Saturday's Flemington program, which is supported by three G2 races and the $500,000 G3 The Bart Cummings (2510m), which crucially provides the winner with ballot-free exemption for the $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3.
Waller could also have as many as four starters in The Bart Cummings, however, Shared Ambition is a dual acceptor for the $750,000 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday while Kinane is second emergency.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Carif, who was runner-up in the G3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and G3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) during Cup Week last year, was scratched shortly after the release of acceptances having drawn barrier 18 in The Bart Cummings and will remain in Sydney for the Metropolitan.
Carif is currently 42nd in the elimination order for the Lexus Melbourne Cup and needs to win another Stakes race between now and AAMI Victoria Derby Day (October 31) to enhance his chances of making the field.