The 2015 Turnbull Stakes field has been released and a capacity field of 16 horses are set to contest the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on Sunday.
Happy Trails upset Puissance De Lune to win the 2013 edition of the Turnbull Stakes and he is set to carry the top weight of 59 kilograms under the set weights plus penalties conditions of the race.
The veteran gelding has missed the placings in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on August 8, the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), but he steps up to 2000 metres for the first time this preparation in the Turnbull Stakes.
Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist and Godolphin stayer Hartnell will both carry 57.5 kilograms in the Turnbull Stakes as they build towards the Melbourne Cup, while Preferment, Volkstok’n’barrell, Magicool, Dandino and Who Shot Thebarman will all carry 56.5 kilograms.
Rising Romance hit the line very strong to finish second behind Fawkner in the Makybe Diva Stakes and she gets into the race fairly well with 55.5 kilograms on his back – the same weight as Chris Waller-trained Weary.
Lloyd Williams-owned Amralah recorded his maiden race win in Australia when he claimed a dominant three lengths victory in the Listed Penang Trophy (1800m) at Morphettville on September 19 and he will carry 55 kilograms in the Turnbull Stakes.
Extra Zero finished a very close second behind Spillway over this same track and distance in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) earlier this year and he will get the chance to record a maiden Group 1 victory with 54.5 kilograms on his back, while Crown Oaks winner Set Square and Australian Oaks winner Gust Of Wind will both carry the same weight.
There were concerns that Alpine Eagle would not earn a place in the 2015 Turnbull Stakes field, but he has snuck into the race and he will carry 54.5 kilograms when he jumps from barrier 14.
Alpine Eagle started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing win in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on August 22 and he was far from disgraced when he finished sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Easily the best weighted horses in the Turnbull Stakes is consistent mare Royal Descent, who has been thrown into the race with 53.5 kilograms on her back.
Royal Descent finally ended her losing streak when she took out the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 and she maintained that form with a third place finish in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and another second place finish behind Kermadec in the Group 1 George Main Stakes.
Awesome Rock was included in the 2015 Turnbull Stakes acceptances, but he will require the scratching of one of his rivals in order to earn a start in the Group 1 event.