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Turnbull Stakes runners 2015 – top 5 contenders for Flemington feature


Douglas Whyte riding Alpine Eagle heads to the barriers in the Australian Guineas

The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is worth $500,000 and is set to be run on Sunday, October 4, 2015, to avoid a clash with the AFL Grand Final.

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With futures markets for the Flemington feature set to be released in due course, we have decided to take a look at the top 5 contenders so punters can take advantage of the fixed odds markets as soon as they become available.

Here are the top 5 contenders:

CONTRIBUTER
Having recorded five wins and three placings from eight starts over 2000m, it would be fair to say that Contributer is a strong chance in any mile and a quarter race he contests during the spring. With trainer John O’Shea looking to target the Cox Plate with the talented son of High Chaparral during the spring, it’s fair to assume he will tackling the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before reaching his ultimate aim. Regular rider James McDonald is calling this horse the best in the country, and considering McDonald clearly gets to ride most of the best, punters should take notice and follow him in everything over the upcoming spring carnival. His turn of foot appears to be superior to anything else in the country, and if O’Shea can get him back in the same condition in which he prematurely left the autumn carnival, it’s hard to see any horse beating him with equal luck.



FAWKNER
Leviathan owner Lloyd Williams will no doubt be targeting spring carnival riches with his stable star again, but the main question is, will he use the Turnbull Stakes or Caulfield Stakes (2000m) as the main lead up to his grand final. The son of Reset finished 3rd in the Turnbull in 2013 before claiming the Caulfield Cup, but then won the Caulfield Stakes before finishing 2nd in the 2014 Cox Plate. Fawkner can be competitive in anything he contests but his sensational record at Flemington may see him aimed at the Turnbull. With the uncertainty of his lead-up race, odds would have to be generous to entice an early punt.



HAPPY TRAILS
If you’re having an early crack at the Turnbull, you have to include Flemington 2000m specialist Happy Trails. The Paul Beshara-trained son of Good Journey finished 5th in the 2012 Turnbull, won the race in 2013 and was most unlucky when trying to go back-to-back in 2014. He subsequently won the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington which was a consolation prize for his unlucky runs in the Turnbull and Cox Plate. He is probably most certain to tackle the race given Beshara’s previous training patterns, so at least punters are likely to get a run for their money. Happy Trails has won three Group 1 races at Flemington and was also placed in the Australian Cup (2000m) during the 2015 autumn.



HARTNELL
Another from the strong Godolphin camp who could use this race to springboard into the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup. The son of Authorized was brilliant in his first Australian campaign when putting in an eye-catching run in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), followed by wins in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) before disappointing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) where he was found to be lame and showing a poor recovery rate. I can see him following a similar campaign with the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m) being on the agenda.



ALPINE EAGLE
The Tony McEvoy-trained youngster has the X-Factor and can be a major spring carnival player. A son of High Chaparral, out of a Zabeel mare, we certainly haven’t seen the best of him yet despite looking awesome when claiming the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield and then being unsuited dropping back in distance to finish 2nd to Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m). McEvoy is eyeing off the Caulfield Cup with the talented youngster and a start in the Turnbull Stakes looks a likely option.





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Turnbull Stakes runners 2015 – top 5 contenders for Flemington feature

The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is worth $500,000 and is set to be run on Sunday, October 4, 2015, to avoid a clash with the AFL Grand Final.

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