Turnbull Stakes Preview – The Carnival awaits

“What’s better than beating Collingwood by ten goals? Beating them by five points.” – George Harris


Greetings All,


There would have been plenty of Eagles and the anti-pie fraternity that would have shared George’s sentiment after the 1979 Grand Final.  A game which shared another similarity like last week’s classic.  In that game the Pies also had five on the board to zero leading by 28 points at the 20 minute mark of the second quarter.


What differed was the Eagles gradually turning the tables last week whereas 39 years ago Jezza put Harmes in the guts and the Blues belted five through before halftime to take a one point lead into the break.  Both games also featured a miracle from the boundary, mired in controversy.  No matter what the decision Dom Sheed’s drop punt from the boundary will live in Grand Final folklore just as Wayne Harmes chase and slap all those years ago.


Plenty like me may not have been enamoured with either of the combatants last week, but what a show they turned on for us.  The Pies played such a brave game all year always taking the game on despite the challenges they faced through injury.  Nathan Buckley shone through on the day with his grace in defeat, plus with has stature as a leader of his club not only consoling his players but also his cheer squad after all their work was shredded before the game.  He might not do everything right by me but he does it right for his club.


Their conquerors had no less hardship than the Pies through the season losing arguably their two best players in Natanui and Gaff, they barely skipped a beat with both their replacements in Vardy and Sheed doing mighty jobs in the big one.  They were worthy winners just as the Pies would have been if that shot did not go through.


Now we look forward to 2019 with the horse trading in full swing.  The Lynch move to Richmond is an indication of all that is wrong with the system.  First of all that the best free agents are all choosing top ranked teams to go to, destroying competitive balance.  Then that the Gold Coast chose to take the priority pick rather than matching the offer compromises the integrity of the draft.


Let the Carnival begin


The horses of greater interest to me will be dashing around fabulous Flemington and Royal Randwick this weekend with the Turnbull Stakes meeting giving a great lead in to the upcoming classics.  Saturday be highlighted with Winx on show as she prepares for a record breaking fourth Cox Plate.


A quick review of last week’s predictions where on Friday Night two of the shorties got home while anyone on Trap for Fools was a hard watch.  Nature Strip compounded in the Moir, but found a nice quinella in the top four selections.  Great runs from both Vidorra and Brave SmashOohood finally broke through in the Flight, Miss Fabulass is well worth sticking with.  Turns out Hartnell does have a zest for racing winning the Epsom and finding the trifecta in the top four picks while the selections for the Metropolitan were not around the mark.  Then we attacked Sunday with the top picks winning three legs of the quaddie (Native Soldier, Smart Melody, Furrian) and delivering the said Quaddie with Homesman as second pick in the Underwood.  Hope some of you followed the first four paying $8K+, not one of my bet types unfortunately.  What can we do this week!


Royal Randwick


The Sydney meeting is an important one for the 3yo with the sprinters contesting the Roman Consul which often finds key players for the Coolmore during the Flemington carnival and the Spring Champion Stakes where Derby contenders and winners can often be found.   Will need to be circumspect with tips and form with rain of biblical proportions to be dumped.  Keen to see the performances of Spin (R6, #8) and Ef Troop (R6, #5) in the Roman Consul, Dixie Blossoms (R8, #1) should be getting close to her peak 3rd up in the Angst.  Also watch for Yulong January (R1, #3) in the opener, the Maher-Eustice combination pick their target races very well and not many of them head north just for a holiday.


Race 7 – Spring Champion Stakes (G1, 2000m, 3yo SW)


Going to apply the Maher-Eustice theory here with the lightly raced Visao (8) as the selection, has some serious opposition to contend with though.  None more so than Thinking Big (1) an impressive winner of the Gloaming, reckon he has the vanquished in that race covered.  Aramoyo (4) was not in the Gloaming and won the Spring Stakes in Newcastle very well with Greysful Glamour franking the form on Saturday.  D Oliver has chosen to miss Melbourne to ride Dealmaker (5), trained by CJW must command respect.  Mickey Blue Eyes (5) is in good form and Frankly Awesome (12) might be just that.


Selections – 8-1-4-5




A terrific program highlighted by the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes plus three Group 2 and a Group 3 event.  A few to follow on the support card.  Will leave the babies alone in the first, keen to see Yulong January (R2, #5) undefeated and stepping up to city grade.  Eckstein (R3, #6) has run well here although the favourite Plein Ceil (R3, #4) looks well placed in the third.  The fourth sees the three year olds stretch out to 1800m on trial for the Derby, the Weir pair look strong interesting to note Cloak (R4, #6) was scratched from Sydney for this.


Race 5 – Turnbull Stakes (G1, 2000m, SWP)


The timing is right to give Winx (2) three weeks into the Cox Plate, the set weight and penalty conditions give her opposition the best chance to notch a victory over her.  Grunt (1) is the horse most likely, they have never clashed and his record at this course is outstanding.  Reckon he is better than Humidor who ran her to a half-length in the Cox Plate, doubt he will handle Moonee Valley so this his chance.  This will be her biggest test – she keeps on passing them.  Kings Will Dream (4) rates next best closing hard against Grunt (1) last start, just think his main aim is a couple of weeks away.  Ventura Storm (8) should be fitter third up and chased the champ home in this race last year.


Selections – 2-1-4-8


Quaddie Time


The rest of the program makes up the group races and the main Quaddie, it opens up with a wide open Gilgai where every runner has a chance and tempting to go the field.  Like Bons Away (R6, #9) from the outside draw down the straight.  It is followed by The Bart which also provides the winner a free ticket to the Melbourne Cup, CJW selected this option for Avilius (R7, #1) to get that ticket.  Will drive the two quaddie strategy one with a couple of extras and another with Avilius one out.  The fillies go around in the third leg where we will go wider but DKW has a strong hand with Amphritite (R8, #5) and Krone (R8, #2).  As per usual we will skinny up the last leg for the mares.  Tough to narrow down – top pick Invincibella (R9, #3).


Quaddie 1 – A bit wide


Leg 1 – 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11

Leg 2 – 1, 6, 7, 10

Leg 3 – 2, 4, 5, 15

Leg 4 – 3, 9


192 Combinations, $20 Investment to return 10.4% of the dividend.


Quaddie 2 – Go Avilius!


Leg 1 – 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11

Leg 2 – 1

Leg 3 – 2, 4, 5, 15

Leg 4 – 3, 9


48 Combinations, $10 Investment to return 20.8% of the dividend.


Go Blues for 2019, Go Avilius, Go See Winx,


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Ta Sal, i’ll try both quaddie options. It’s going to be a big weekend of racing, that kicked off with the verandah cup @ Lockhart yesterday.

    True it was a picnic meet, but a very popular one. Good seeing the R Freyer name in the winners circle. The days of Prince Tone, Sir Talaq, Leica Falcon are in the past but yesterday was the first win(s) they’d had in 12 months. Lockhart last year to be exact.

    Happy Punting. Remember; if you’re not in it, you can’t win it.


  2. Ta Sal. Got the quaddy.


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