Turnbull Stakes Day Wash-up

Sydney racing has developed a (well-earned) reputation for small fields and lack of pace in their races such that many “look” like the traditional boat races.
It was great to see some long overdue jockey initiative rewarded in a couple of big races on Saturday. The unbeaten Proisir, the latest of Gai’s over-hyped “superstars” was $1.28 in the Spring Champion Stakes as a warm up to dominating the Caulfield Guineas, Cox Plate, Derby, America’s Cup, etc. That famed conservative judge, Richie Colander#, had declared that Proisir was a 10 lengths superior horse to the also unbeaten 2nd favourite, It’s A Dundeel. In fact (and hopefully, in jest), he had questioned whether the New Zealander, It’s A Dundeel, was up to metropolitan Saturday class and proposed that Proicir may actually be better than reigning Cox Plate favourite, Pierro. On Crio’s Racing column, many of us queried whether Proisir, being a son of famed sprinter Choisir, might be a risk to run out 2000m (this despite compelling evidence of another son of Choisir winning 2 Derbies at 2000m – in India!). It was generally agreed by the astute correspondents to Crio’s Racing that Proisir was the lay of the day.

So the the race. Proisir, which was expected to either lead or get a cosy run up behind pacemaker, sorry stablemate, King Of Olympia, dwelt slightly at the start and settled further back than was expected. While this was happening, it took some time for the stablemate to find the lead and control the tempo. In a field of only 7, Proisir balanced up in 5th with it’s A Dundeel last and stalking. James McDonald, the latest NZ whiz kid, decided that he was a dead duck if he allowed the race to turn into a sprint home and took off on It’s A Dundeel before the turn. In doing so, he whipped around Proisir, putting the favourite in a pocket and ensuring that it turned into a true staying test. Both horses wandered around in the straight but the tactical manoeuvre It was reminiscent of some of Shane Dye’s rides in his heyday, and It’s a Dundeel duly proved too strong for Proisir at the line.

In the preceding race, the Craven Plate, the favourite elect at $2.50 was the Lloyd Williams trained, sorry owned, stayer Mourayan, ridden by Hugh Bowman. As is traditional in Sydney, one of Gai’s, Herculian Prince, took up the running and the favourite camped on its backed as they cleared out from the rest of the field rounding the turn. This was where Bowman decided to up the tempo. He surged Mourayan up to Herculian Prince and wound up the stayer to break the leader’s will. This was a risk/reward strategy as, just when he had overcome the leader, it looked like he was a sitting duck for the now closing pack. However, being the strongest stayer in the field and now in full flight, Mourayan fought off all-comers to beat Gai’s more fancied runner in Western Symbol by a head.

The other major Sydney races ran true to form with Gai’s favoured horses leading unchallenged and kicking to the line to win both the Epsom (Fat Al) and Metropolitan (new Cups favourite Glencadam Gold). No doubt her stable is in career best form but BEWARE her horses when they get to the big races in Melbourne over the Spring Carnival. They will be spruiked to the heavens and, despite several successes (More Joyous, Descarado, etc), there have been more flops over the years.

In Melbourne, a great day’s racing at Flemington for what is now labelled as Melbourne Cup Preview Day – apparently no-one has heard of the Turnbull Stakes. The well-weighted Green Moon didn’t get many favours in running but proved too strong at the line and is now to be aimed at the Cox Plate. Personally I don’t think he’s quite up to that but the Mackinnon Stakes might suit. Stablemate Seville turned in a cracker Caulfield Cup trial and is now a live chance. Ethiopia ran home well and both December Draw and Voila Ici were honest. Southern Speed beat only one home so something must have been amiss there.

Others showing welcome return to form were Mosheen and Maluckyday while Bel Sprinter is to be avoided at Flemington. He definitely prefers some cover and to roll off a bend.

Who else do you suggest to follow or sack out of Satruday’s racing? Have your say and find us a winner!

# Colander: a filter to retain larger pieces while smaller pieces and liquids pass through or; a bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforations for draining off liquids and rinsing food


  1. Magnificent ride G Mosse to win the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp

  2. Good summary. I liked the way Seville went to the line with her neck fully extended. A good chance at Caufield

  3. Winchester finished on well in the Turnbull. Could be good in the Caulfield or Melb Cups at good odds. Was looking for more ground.

  4. Have we seen any Derby prospects?

  5. Definitely It’s A Dundeel. They reckon Philippi is heading that way too but didn’t think that race had any I’d want to be on. I see Gai is persisting in aiming Proisir at the Cox Plate. Don’t understand that at all. She has declared Pierro and also has More Joyous in it. Would have though Caulfield Guineas then AAMI Vase a better option for Proisir. Maybe even a freshen up for the Emirates with no weight?

  6. Is Hvaastan in the hunt?

  7. Budge,

    Some of Australasia’s best stayers have won the Metrop in years gone by. The four winners prior to Sat were The Verminator, Herculian Prince, Speed Gifted and Newport. Personally, I think the Arrowfield Stud Pattern Racing Panel should look at downgrading the Race,. It’s just not a Group One any more.

    Maluckyday had an unlucky one. He’s back (ish), but I feel the imports might have his measure.

    The Turnbull exposed Seville as a serious contender in my opinion. The only way is up for him. I ended up settling on Sneak A Peek and will follow up. Rekindled Interest has lost what ever he might have had, and perhaps Southern Speed peaked too early.

    Zydeco was good in the Edward Manifold, and Full of Spirit ran a huge race in the Blazer.

    It’s A Dundeel was good, and staying is obviously his game, but can he keep winning? Not much here in my opinion, and waiting for something from NZ to emerge.

    Lost on the day, but I don’t like change.

  8. Turnbull Day is Lloyd day – doesn’t always transpire that they kick on. Check his record.
    MaLuckyDay!! -Don’t fall in to backing Hawkes horses at shorts….though All Too Hard just might be a blow out if someone can put pace into the Guineas.

  9. Budge,

    Zydeco won her second start over a mile. By Zabeel from a Thousand Guineas winner, she’s the Oaks filly I reckon.

  10. Dasher

  11. Dazzler

  12. Crio,

    Do you mean Shader or Razzled?

  13. David Downer says

    Good one Budge,

    Don’t get us started on old mate R.Colander#. There’s a fine line between being a self-anointed “battler” and “man of the people” – and a buffoon. Guess which side of my equatorial line he’s on.

    I generally dislike wrapping Lloyd, but his horses are obviously flying at the moment.

    Mourayan’s win was a ripper. Impressed the way he gutsed it out and refused to get headed. Gives you confidence he won’t leave anything in the tank. Lloyd has penned him as his number one pick in the Cup so far. But as Crio refers, Team Williams has previously been in a strong position at this point , just prior to everything going amiss.

    I was surprised to see R.Hickmott at the Turnbull presentation ceremony too. Couldn’t remember what he looked like. Half expected him to pull off the mask and reveal Lloyd himself.

    I do still query Green Moon heading to the Cox Plate. Seems more a Caulfield Cup hope to me if Pierro remains in one piece at the Valley.

    One of the internationals I’ve been banging on about for months, Gatewood, lines up in the Herbert Power this week. I’ll be looking to get on when markets open.

    Glencadam Gold is the one that’s come from nowhere. I’ve been wary of Gai’s spruiks since my more serious teenage interest in racing (Electronic Caulfield Cup circa ’95 hello, plus many many more), but she has finally planned more strategically for Melbourne in recent years – and you can’t deny GG’s bold front-running style. Still, if Gatewood wins impressively this week and gets his ticket in the CC, he’ll be the one I’m on.

    Currently I’ll be working my CC doubles around Gatewood/G.Gold into Mount Athos. Happy that Lloyd is potting Mount Athos as a false favourite.

    And I should have taken Seville each-way when you whispered sweet nothings in the ring too, Budge!

    Am not giving up on Hvasstan just yet re the Derby. Big bullocking type, went quite wide, was a bit unbalanced, still a bit green. A few them went over the line together though didn’t they. Might be another formline superior – It’s A Dundeel as Budge mentions, the obvious one, but maybe something in NZ to float over yet as per Elvis’ musing.

    Baluch still going well against the boys from an Oaks perspective. Will keep following her.

    Looking forward to the Heath this week. I hope More Joyous accepts for the Toorak with her big weight of 60kg. Looking at the Noms, the race needs her! No Moment of Change?


  14. Moment Of Change is injured and out for the rest of the Spring.
    What about the run of Union Gap behind Pronto Pronto? Probably the best Derby trial seen in Melbourne to date.
    On reviewing Turnbull Stakes, thought both Ethiopia and Sneak A Peek finished off nicely.

    Anyone see the Arc? Think the Japan horse sprinted too quick for his jockey. Not sure who got most tied up coming to the line- horse or jockey, Winner was a brilliant ride.

  15. David Downer says

    Yes I (somehow) stayed up for the Arc. The final whistle at Southampton v Fulham did sound just as the gates opened at Longchamp.

    The finish was a bit Black Caviar Diamond Jubille-esque – but the reverse result.

    The favoured raider from a foreign land, driving through wet ground, exhausted on the post, with a French mare storming home late. And it did almost look like the jock stood up a la Nolen at Ascot. But from what I’ve read, it seems Orfevre, despite its brilliance, is a bit of a headcase known to shirk and jerk at the most inappropriate of times. A couple of strides from the post in the Arc would qualify as such! He was bloody home for all money!

    Camelot finished down the track which has now thrown further questions over the quality of the Euro 3yo’s this season. He may have come a cropper on the very soft ground. O’Brien still considers him the best horse’s he’s trained. This puts him ahead of So You Think, Rock of Gibraltar, Yeats, High Chapparal, Dylan Thomas, Galileo et al… hmmm

  16. Would have liked to see an aerial shot of the last 200m of the Arc. Jockey appeared totally unbalanced and Orfevre hit the running rail crossing the line I reckon. When he swooped on them it looked like he was going to win by 4 lengths.

  17. Maybe Gai should have sent Proisir across?

  18. I see Gai and Singo are still sorting out whether More Joyous runs in the Toorak. Like most women in his life, it appears that Gai struggles to rein Singo in. Would have thought that the program would have been set in stone ages ago once the Cox Plate was identified as the main goal. Then again, there was even talk of her running in the Melbourne Cup. Either way, if More Joyous were mine I wouldn’t be sending her around with 60kgs 2 weeks prior to a Cox Plate unless she desperately needs the run. If she runs she probably wins anyway but at what cost?

  19. Only 8 starters for the Caulfield Guineas. Looks like Pierro turns it into a trot and canter.

  20. Jimmy Cassidy now confirmed as rider for Glencadam Gold in both Cups – where Jimmy goes controversy is never far away!
    When Tommy Berry was dumped, Bossy jumped off Southern Speed to chase the ride on Gai’s horse. Meantime, Nash Rawiller now booked for Southern Speed and Glen Boss without a mount!

  21. Budge- a friend who is an owner has declared Glencadam Gold for the Melbourne Cup.Any thoughts?

  22. I suggest your friend check himself in to a clinic. Not that Glencadam Gold can’t win (it is favourite at the moment) but a lot of water to go under the bridge yet. We haven’t even seen the main imports. Too far out to make any bold declarations. Interesting that J Cassidy now has the ride. He loves to lead in his races (a la Might And Power) but so do a lot of the imports. May not get as cosy a run as he would like.

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