The 2013 edition of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is set to be one of the most star-studded races in the history of the event; with 31 horses included in the nominations for the $500,000 race that will be run at Flemington on Saturday.
A staggering fourteen Group 1 winners have been nominated for the event and with a capacity field of only 16 runners (plus four emergencies) a number of leading contenders for the Caulfield Cup look like they will miss out on earning a start.
The Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams is set to feature heavily in the race; with Fawkner, Green Moon, Masked Marvel, Mourayan, Sea Moon and Seville all included in the nominations.
Williams has confirmed that Fawkner, Sea Moon and Green Moon will remain in Melbourne this weekend while Masked Marvel and Seville are expected to head to Sydney for the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) and Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) respectively.
Sydney Cup winner Mourayan was nominated for both the Turnbull Stakes and Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) in Melbourne but is also entered for both the Metropolitan Handicap and Craven Plate in Sydney.
Gai Waterhouse (Fiorente and Glencadam Gold), Mick Price (Bit Of Hell and Pakal), Chris Waller (Foreteller, Hawkspur and Royal Descent), David Hayes (Jet Away and Whisper Downs) and Peter Moody (Kesampour and Manighar) are the other trainers that could have multiple runners in the field.
The 2013 Melbourne Cup betting market will likely be shaken up after the Turnbull Stakes as the top three in betting markets – Puissance De Lune, Fiorente and Hawkspur – are all set to meet for the first time during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Fiorente will be looking to record his second straight victory, after his fast-finishing win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, while Hawkspur will be looking to bounce back from his defeat in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and will Michael Walker on board for the first time.
Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune will have the opportunity to record his first ever win at Group 1 level after finishing a narrow second in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and seventh in the Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Other interesting Turnbull Stakes nominees include: Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi, Pat Carey-trained Ethiopia, Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails, classy four-year-old Super Cool and the New Zealand-trained trio of Quintessential, Sangster and Silent Achiever.