WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TURNBULL STAKES
$500,000 set weights and penalties 2000m
A watershed race for horses heading to the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup
SOME OF THE NOTABLE WINNERS: Comic Court (1949-50), Rising Fast (1954), Redcraze (1955), Tobin Bronze (1966), Galilee (1968), Leilani (1974, Denise’s Joy (1976), Dulcify (1979), Vo Rogue (1987-88), Super Impose (1989), Better Loosen Up (1990), Let’s Elope (1991), Naturalism (1992), Sunline (2001), Northerly (2002), Makybe Diva (2005), Efficient (2009) and Green Moon (2012)
* Turnbull-Caulfield Cup double since 1984: Elvstroem (2004), Northerly (2002), Sky Heights (1999) and Let’s Elope (1991)
* Turnbull-Cox Plate double since 1984: Makybe Diva (2005), Northerly (2002), The Phantom Chance (1993), Better Loosen Up (1990)
* Turnbull-Melbourne Cup double since 1984: Green Moon (2012), Makybe Diva (2005) and Let’s Elope (1991)
* Makybe Diva claimed Turnbull-Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup treble and Northerly the Turnbull-Caulfield Cup-Cox Plate treble
* Topweight Happy Trails will be running in the race for the fourth successive year. He won the race in 2013 and either side ran fifth in 2012 and 14th last year.
* There are 11 Group One winners in the field but Alpine Eagle, a horse chasing his first Group One win, is the early favourite.
* The trainers of the past five winners are all represented by a runner this year.
“I would be very disappointed if he didn’t run in the first three,” Happy Trails’ trainer Paul Beshara said.
“We couldn’t really have her any better,” said Rising Romance’s co-trainer Tom Dabernig.
“It will be a little short of his best but I want to see him finish the race off and give us a good platform leading into the Caulfield Cup,” trainer Kris Lees on last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.
Lucia Valentina won in 2014 third-up after an impressive Tramway Handicap win and a closing sixth in the George Main Stakes.
Happy Trails won in his fourth start of his 2013 spring campaign and is fourth-up again on Sunday.
Green Moon was successful in 2012 at his third start of the campaign, coming off a close second in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
December Draw’s 2011 victory came at his fourth start of the campaign and was his third-straight win of the preparation.