Turnbull Stakes Tips & Preview 2023

Turnbull Stakes Tips & Preview


Looking for Turnbull Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2023 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.


It is the Hong Kong galloper, Romantic Warrior, that is the $2.05 favourite for the Turnbull Stakes with BoomBet ahead of the last start Maybe Diva Stakes (1600m) placegetter, Osipenko, at $5.80 while his stablemate from the Chris Waller yard, Soulcombe, is at $7 and alongside the the UK galloper, West Wind Blows. 

There are 16 contenders (and two emergencies) in action for the $750,000 Group 1and the Maher/Eustace stable have four of those runners. Right You Are ($15.80) is the leading hope of that quartet, while the 2022 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner, Gold Trip, is at $19.20. Francesco Guardi splits that pair at $17. El Patroness has been a firmer and is at $19.60, while Uncle Bryn heads the rest at $26. 


Romantic Warrior has had the 14 career starts for 10 wins and is five from six at the distance with a narrow runner-up performance behind Golden Sixty his only miss at the 2000m. The Danny Shum-trained galloper was too smart for the Japanese contenders in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m) last year, winning that prestigious Group 1 by nearly five lengths. 

He toyed with the likes of Prognosis and Dubai Honour in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) two starts ago. Dubai Honour had previously dominated Australia’s best, including Anamoe, during the Sydney autumn. Romantic Warrior is unbeaten fresh and gets the steer from James McDonald. 

West Wind Blows has been a consistent performer in Group-level races in the UK and was runner-up in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and 3rd in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, trailing only behind Paddington and Emily Upjohn.

Best of the local hopes in the market is Osipenko. The four-year-old settled handy in what was a slowly run Makybe Diva Stakes and was briefly held up at the 300m before producing the fastest last 200m to land two lengths off the winner. He was a winner at his only go over the 2000m and gives the impression that he wants the trip. 

Uncle Bryn boasts the best last start benchmark figures of any runner in the race by going 13.4 lengths faster than standard to claim the MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on September 23. He spiked by being ridden more forward that day and stays under notice for that effort. Berkeley Square did it tough in the run and was 4th. The 2022 Melbourne Cup (3200m) placegetter, Emissary, was 5th. He will need a solid tempo and a track with some give in it to be a threat. Goldman led in that race before fading late. 

Three runners come out of the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and they are Soulcombe (4th), Right You Are (5th) and Bank Maur (9th). Soulcombe went 8.1 lengths faster than standard and is capable of raising the bar, as is Right You Are. Both contenders were second up. Right You Are was five weeks in between runs but stuck on well. 

Gold Trip and El Patroness are other fancies in the market. Gold Trip gets back to Flemington for the first time since winning the Melbourne Cup last year and produced the fastest last 400m and 200m at Moonee Valley when fresh, finishing 4th behind Young Werther. He was undone by the dismal tempo up front, while he also carted 62kg. 

El Patroness is one of two emergencies in the race and will rise from the 1400m to the 2000m if she can secure a run. The five-year-old has been a big firmer since markets opened and was an impressive 3rd behind Amelia’s Jewel when resuming. 


Romantic Warrior is world class and the only question mark is over his fitness with the Cox Plate his main target. Trainer Danny Shum expects him to be at 85-90% of his peak and that might be good enough. Form ahead of Dubai Honour is a big tick and that horse was too good for the best of the locals in his two starts in Australia. On that basis, I find it very hard to go against the favourite and it is worth noting that he continually produces figures that stack up favourably. Of the other contenders, I wouldn’t mind seeing Goldman sneak into the field. He is the second emergency and worked hard to lead in the Uncle Bryn race before fading late into 6th position, beaten three lengths. Third up at his last preparation, the Waterhouse/Bott galloper spiked six lengths on benchmark figures to defeat Soulcombe by nearly three lengths at Flemington over the 2600m. He will strip fitter for this and can stay on well with the 55kg, should he gain a start.