Winx has an excellent chance to join the list of Turnbull Stakes winners and this is a race with an honour roll that is the equal of just about any Group 1 event in Australia.
Wakeful, Ajax, Bernborough, Comic Court, Rising Fast, Tobin Bronze, Galilee, Leilani, Dulcify, Vo Rogue, Super Impose, Better Loosen Up, Let’s Elope, Naturalism and Doriemus have all won the Turnbull Stakes and the recent history of the race has been just as strong.
We have taken a look at the modern history of the Turnbull Stakes and selected the ten best horses to have won the race since 2000.
Sunline – 2001
Sunline suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Fairway in the 2000 edition of the Turnbull Stakes, but there was no denying her in 2001.
The market suggested that it would be a race between Sunline and Universal Prince and that proved to be the case, but the great mare proved too good late and she claimed her tenth Group 1 victory.
Northerly – 2002
Northerly is right up there with the toughest horses in history and that tenacity and will to win was on full display in the 2002 edition of the Turnbull Stakes.
Dash For Cash came at Northerly late, but ‘The Fighting Tiger’ was simply impossible to get past and held-on for another Group 1 victory.
He went on to win both the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in 2002!
Elvstroem – 2004
Elvstroem went into the 2004 Turnbull Stakes as a clear favourite and he stamped himself as the horse to beat in the Caulfield Cup with a comfortable win over of Mummify and Confectioner, while both Makybe Diva and Northerly missing the placings.
Elvstroem went on to complete the Turnbull Stakes/Caulfield Cup double and he finished an incredible brave fourth behind Makybe Diva on an unsuitably wet track in the 2004 Melbourne Cup.
Makybe Diva – 2005
Makybe Diva was always an outstanding stayer, but it was during 2005 that she stamped herself as a weight-for-age superstar.
She beat Lad Of A Manor to win the 2005 Turnbull Stakes and she never lost another race – taking out both the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in typically impressive fashion!
Littorio – 2008
Weekend Hussler went into the 2008 Turnbull Stakes as an odds-on favourite, but he was one of the first horses beaten and it was Littorio that finished over the top of Master O’Reilly and Zipping to claim a maiden Group 1 victory.
Littorio was plagued by injury throughout his career, but when he was right he was a genuine star and he went on to claim another Group 1 win in the 2010 The BMW before he finished his career with his incredible victory in the 2011 Makybe Diva Stakes.
Efficient – 2009
Efficient went into the Turnbull Stakes as a $26 chance and he hadn’t won a race since his triumph in the 2007 Melbourne Cup, but he flashed home late to score a third Group 1 victory.
He didn’t have another race start for almost two years and he never won another race, but he did finish a close second in the 2012 Sydney Cup as a nine-year-old!
Zipping – 2010
It is fitting that stablemates and now Living Legends compatriots Efficient and Zipping won the Turnbull Stakes in back-to-back years.
The 2010 Turnbull Stakes was one of only two Group 1 events that Zipping won during his racing career and he beat a star-studded field that included Shocking, Shoot Out and Typhoon Tracey to do so.
He went on to finish second the in the 2010 Cox Plate and fourth in the Melbourne Cup before he was retired following his history-making fourth straight win in the Sandown Classic – the race that is now known as the Zipping Classic.
Green Moon – 2012
The Turnbull Stakes is often considered a key lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup, but Makybe Diva and Green Moon are the only horses to complete the double since 1991.
Green Moon held-off stablemate Seville to deliver Lloyd Williams yet another victory in the Turnbull Stakes and he went on to win the one that really matters for Macedon Lodge – the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Happy Trails – 2013
The 2013 Turnbull Stakes was packed full of Group 1 winners and Happy Trails went into the race as a $26 outside, but he ran down favourite Puissance De Lune to claim a second Group 1 victory.
Happy Trails was narrowly denied the Cox Plate by Shamus Award three weeks later and he went on to record another upset Group 1 victory in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes.
Hartnell – 2016
It is normally Hartnell that is chasing home Winx, but it will be Winx that follows in Hartnell’s footsteps in the Turnbull Stakes.
Hartnell went into the Turnbull Stakes as a dominant favourite following outstanding wins in the Chelmsford Stakes and the Hill Stakes and he lived up to that favouritism with an excellent victory.
The dominance of that win that a number of punters believe that he could challenge Winx in the Cox Plate, but that wasn’t case and he finished seven lengths behind the great mare before he went on to finish third in the Melbourne Cup.