Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes holds a significant place within the Melbourne Spring Carnival, traditionally held in October at Flemington Racecourse, and falling on the final weekend before the official start of the carnival. The allure of the Turnbull Stakes arises not only from its Group 1 status, but also from its ability to attract the best of mature horse talent from across Australia, and serve as a vital lead in race to some of the great distance races on Australian turf. In this comprehensive preview, we delve into the excitement of the Turnbull Stakes, and scrutinise the following: 

The Feature Race: Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes is run over 2000m at Set Weights & Penalties at Flemington and offers a lucrative $750,000 prize pool.  We’ll take a look at that prize pool, and how it breaks down depending where you finish in the race.  

Where to Place Your Bets

When you're ready to bet on the Turnbull Stakes, you'll find a wide range of Australian bookmakers ready to take your wager. They cover all the thoroughbred horse racing action, helping you to dive right into the race day excitement. Plus, we've put together a list of five Australian bookmakers that we reckon are good to go with and could be just the ticket for placing your bets on the 2023 Turnbull Stakes.

How to Bet: Turnbull Stakes and Beyond

Placing your bets on the Turnbull Stakes and other Group 1 Australian thoroughbred races can really let your racing know-how shine. Whether you're into simple win or place market bets, or fancy dabbling in the more intricate world of exotic bets, there's plenty to choose from. If multis and exotics are your thing, or if you're keen on zeroing in on particular jockeys or the top bets of the day, our all-inclusive guide has you covered. Watch this space for our upcoming "How to Bet" section, which will provide some handy tips on the array of wagering options for the Turnbull Stakes and other big Australian races.

The Venue 

The Turnbull Stakes unfolds on the legendary turf of the Flemington Racecourse, also known in the Victorian racing community as ‘Headquarters’.  A site rich with history and age-old traditions, Flemington occupies a cherished spot in the hearts of racing aficionados. It's been a theatre for numerous thrilling showdowns and extraordinary victories, securing its stature as one of Australia's most respected racing venues. With its long sweeping turns and the renowned ‘Flemington straight’, Flemington stirs up an exhilarating ambience that crafts lasting memories in the world of horse racing.

The History of the Race

The Turnbull Stakes, a renowned Group 1 open class horse race, has been a staple of Australian horse racing since its inception in 1865. Initially known as the Royal Park Stakes, the race underwent several name changes until it was finally named the Turnbull Stakes in 1948. The race, initially held over a distance of 3200m, has experienced multiple distance modifications, finally settling at 2000m in 1971. The Turnbull Stakes has seen numerous notable winners, including Winx in 2017 and 2018, which cemented its reputation as a launch pad for the Melbourne Spring Carnival's great distance races. Despite changes in name, status, and distance, the race continues to captivate racing enthusiasts and holds a significant place in the Australian racing calendar, with its annual event now termed Turnbull Stakes Day.  We will provide here a wonderful look at the history of the race in a little more detail.

Previous Winners of the Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes is a huge race in its own right, with many stars of the track having taken out the honours down the years.  Falling on the last weekend before the official Melbourne Spring Carnival kicks off, it serves as a major lead-up race for horse who have their eyes on the major distance Group 1s of the carnival - the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup and of course the notorious ‘race that stops a nation’ - the Melbourne Cup. Over the years, it has spotlighted some remarkable racehorses who have subsequently carved their names into the annals of racing history. We present a comprehensive list of Turnbull Stakes victors over the years.

The Feature Race – Turnbull Stakes 2024

Date: Saturday 7th October
Time: TBA
Prize Money: $750,000

Scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2023, at the prestigious Flemington Racecourse, the Turnbull Stakes acts as a launching pad for many of Australia's premier racehorses to strut their stuff, with the excitement of the full Melbourne Spring Carnival still to come.

It’s run over 2000m under Set Weights and Penalties conditions (meaning the weight carried by the horse is determined by its age and sex) for horse 4yrs old and upwards

Boasting a hefty $750,000 prize pot for competitors, it's an important race to win in its own right, even though it's often seen as a stepping stone towards the more abundant prizes up for grabs later in the carnival.

Even so, the horse that takes top honours walks away with a cool $450,000, shared between the owners, trainer and jockey. Plus, there's prize money given out all the way down to the horse that finishes 8th. For a detailed breakdown of the prize money distribution, see below:

PlacingPrize Money
6th, 7th, and 8th$15,000

Since the field for the 2023 Turnbull Stakes has not yet been announced, and there are currently no available future odds from leading Australian thoroughbred horse racing bookmakers, this preview will not provide tips or in-depth analysis on the runners competing at Flemington on October 7, 2023. Instead, let's have a look at the 2023 Turnbull Stakes results, particularly the top 4 finishers, and a short review of their performance. To explore a comprehensive list of every champion in the race's history spanning several decades, please refer to the "Past Winners of the Turnbull Stakes" section at the end of this preview.

  1. Smokin Romans: An upset win at odds of $20 he was able to put them away with his turn of foot in what turned out to be a ‘sit and sprint’ over the 2000m with no horse having changing position in the run, prior to the final dash home.

  2. Maximal: Was in the box seat behind the leader in the run but just lacked the race fitness to wear down the leader.  Loved the dry ground though and that is clearly his preferred surface.

  3. Young Werther: He had a dream run, sat in behind the temp and was suited to the sit and sprint finish.  Just didn’t have what it took on the day to outsprint the winner.

  4. Knights Order: Made all the running out front and left nothing out there.  Was a perfect lead up run for the Caulfield Cup.

Place, Race Number, Horse Name, Time /  Margin Back

  1. 6, Smokin’ Romans, 2:02:23

  2. 15, Maximal, 1.5L

  3.  11, Young Werther, 1.6L

  4.  1, Knights Order, 1.7L

Here’s hoping the 2023 edition of the Turnbull Stakes lives up to the excitement of 2022, but whatever the case make sure you set aside Sat 7 October to watch this year’s renewal.  

Where to Bet on the 2024 Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes promises to be an exciting Group 1 race held at Flemington Racecourse. While this preview does not provide a list of the runners, we can still offer some guidance on selecting the right bookmaker for your bets on the race. Choosing an Australian bookmaker can be overwhelming, but we aim to make it easier by suggesting a few reliable options. Before diving into the recommendations, it's important to study the field of runners for the Turnbull Stakes and decide which horses you wish to bet on.

One of the key factors to consider when selecting a bookmaker is the odds they offer. It may require some effort, but visiting multiple bookmakers and comparing the odds they provide for your preferred market can help you determine which bookie offers the best odds. By choosing the bookmaker with the highest odds, you increase your potential return. For a comprehensive list of Australian bookmakers that offer Group 1 thoroughbred horse racing markets, you can refer to our Bookmaker Reviews page.

Another aspect to consider is your comfort level with a particular bookmaker. Many Australian punters prefer to bet with bookmakers they are familiar with, whether it's due to the app or website they frequently use. It is entirely reasonable to stick with a bookmaker you feel comfortable placing your bets with. Our Bookmaker Reviews page provides information on the reliability of each bookie, which can assist you in making an informed decision.

Promotions also play a significant role in bookmaker selection. Check our OnlyRacing Promotions page to see what various Australian bookmakers offer in terms of bonuses and promotions for depositing with them. Some bookies may have specific promotions for the Turnbull Stakes, so it's worth exploring those options as well.

Ultimately, there is no definitive method for choosing a bookmaker for the 2023 Turnbull Stakes. The three tips mentioned above are all valid considerations. However, it is crucial to ensure that you bet with a reliable bookmaker and provide any necessary verification information before placing your bets. Below, we have included an excerpt from our OnlyRacing Reviews page, featuring five Australian bookmakers that offer markets for Group 1 thoroughbred races across the country. By clicking on the hyperlinks, you can access detailed information about each bookmaker's offerings.

Remember, the key is to choose a bookmaker that suits your needs and preferences, ensuring an enjoyable and secure betting experience for the 2023 Turnbull Stakes.

The Venue

Flemington Racecourse, located in Melbourne, Victoria, is a beacon of horse racing in Australia. The expansive grounds and electrifying ambience have elevated Flemington to become the beating heart of Victorian racing, and it carries the fond nickname "Headquarters" within Victorian racing circles.  It is of course the home of the most famous race in Australia, and arguably one of the most famous in the world, the Melbourne Cup.

Besides the Melbourne Cup, Flemington stages other significant races like the Victoria Derby, Oaks Day, and the Turnbull Stakes, each boasting a rich heritage. During the tumultuous times of World War II, Flemington was transformed into a training site for Australian forces, hosting patriotic events and raising funds.

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The History of the Race

The Turnbull Stakes, a Group 1 open class horse race, holds a prominent position in Australian horseracing, showcasing a blend of rich heritage and riveting sporting spectacle. The first instance of this illustrious event took place in 1865, under the moniker of the Royal Park Stakes, with a horse named The Sign claiming the initial victory. For the next three decades, the race underwent various name changes, metamorphosing from the September Stakes to the October Stakes, before finally being christened as the Melbourne Stakes in 1936.

In 1948, a significant change occurred when the race was renamed the Turnbull Stakes in honour of Richard Turnbull, then Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club. The race continued to evolve not just in name but also in its categorization. Initially regarded as a Principal race, it ascended to Group 2 status in 1979 and eventually attained its Group 1 classification in 2006, confirming its prestige within the racing fraternity.

Equally as fluctuating as the race's moniker and standing has been the distance over which it has been run. Initially established as a true test for stayers with a grueling 3200m length, the race experienced numerous distance adjustments throughout its history. From an odd 2800m in 1884 to a period of 1600m from 1925-1947, the race finally settled at its current length of 2000m in 1971.

Notable winners have left their mark on the Turnbull Stakes, creating a tapestry of racing excellence. The 2017 & 2018 victories of Winx, with her going on to win the Cox Plate each time serve as the most recent reminder of true greatness prevailing in the Turnbull. But its not just the best of the best of the equine talent that have made history in the Turnbull; in 2020 Australia’s most successful trainer of recent years, Chris Waller, saddled up the trifecta. Being the trainer of Winx, Chris Waller also has the honour of having trained the Turnbull winner in five of the seven renewals between 2015 and 2021.

As Winx showed in 2017 and 2018, the Turnbull Stakes is often a launch pad for the great distance races in the Melbourne Spring Carnival.   Incentivise, for instance, had a memorable Spring in 2021, winning the Makybe Diva, Turnbull and Caulfield Cup. The great mare herself, Makybe Diva, won the 2005 Turnbull before following it up with one of her three victories in the ‘race that stops a nation’. 

Over the years, the Turnbull Stakes has stood as a testament to Australia's love for horse racing. While its name, status, and distance have evolved, the thrill it provides and its place in the hearts of racing enthusiasts remain timeless.  There’s no better statement of its position in Australian racing than the fact that the day of the race is now called Turnbull Stakes Day.  With the rest of the card all stakes / listed races, it really is a very significant day on the Australian racing calendar.

Past Winners of the Race

The following is a complete list of all the winners of the race through all its incarnations, both in terms of name and race distance, going back to 1865.

  • 2022 Smokin’ Romans

  • 2021 Incentivise

  • 2020 Verry Elleegant

  • 2019 Kings Will Dream

  • 2018 Winx

  • 2017 Winx

  • 2016 Hartnell

  • 2015 Preferment

  • 2014 Lucia Valentina

  • 2013 Happy Trails

  • 2012 Green Moon

  • 2011 December Draw

  • 2010 Zipping

  • 2009 Efficient

  • 2008 Littorio

  • 2007 Devil Moon

  • 2006 Sphenophyta

  • 2005 Makybe Diva

  • 2004 Elvstroem

  • 2003 Studebaker

  • 2002 Northerly

  • 2001 Sunline

  • 2000 Fairway

  • 1999 Sky Heights

  • 1998 Aerosmith

  • 1997 Marble Halls

  • 1996 Doriemus

  • 1995 All Our Mob

  • 1994 Redding

  • 1993 The Phantom Chance

  • 1992 Naturalism

  • 1991 Let’s Elope

  • 1990 Better Loosen Up

  • 1989 Super Impose

  • 1988 Vo Rogue

  • 1987 Vo Rogue

  • 1986 Just Now

  • 1985 Lacka Reason

  • 1984 Al Dwain

  • 1983 Chez Nous

  • 1982 Birchwood

  • 1981 No Peer

  • 1980 Amarla

  • 1979 Dulcify

  • 1978 Lefroy

  • 1977 Salamander

  • 1976 Denise’s Joy

  • 1975 Analight

  • 1974 Leilani

  • 1973 Australasia

  • 1972 Sharif

  • 1971 Igloo

  • 1970 Arctic Symbol

  • 1969 Fileur

  • 1968 Galilee

  • 1967 Star Belle

  • 1966 Tobin Bronze

  • 1965 Craftsman

  • 1964 Sir Dane

  • 1963 Sometime

  • 1962 Aquanita

  • 1961 Blue Lodge

  • 1960 Aircraft

  • 1959 Mac

  • 1958 Pandie Sun

  • 1957 Syntax

  • 1956 Pushover

  • 1955 Redcraze

  • 1954 Rising Fast

  • 1953 Petrograd

  • 1952 Aldershot

  • 1951 Morse Code

  • 1950 Comic Court

  • 1949 Comic Court

  • 1948 Beau Gem

  • 1947 Sea Monarch

  • 1946 Bernborough

  • 1945 Lawrence

  • 1944 Counsel

  • 1943 Amana

  • 1942 Great Britain

  • 1941 Panka

  • 1940 Ajax

  • 1939 Manrico

  • 1938 Ajax

  • 1937 John Wilkes

  • 1936 Prince Quex

  • 1935 Cardinal

  • 934 Hall Mark

  • 1933 Middle Watch

  • 1932 Viol D’Amour

  • 1931 Viol D’Amour

  • 1930 Amounis

  • 1929 High Syce

  • 1928 Highland

  • 1927 Royal Charter

  • 1926 Manfred

  • 1925 Fujisan

  • 1924 Whittier

  • 1923 Whittier

  • 1922 Tangalooma

  • 1921 Tangalooma


  •  1920 Eurythmic

  • 1919 Night Watch

  • 1918 King Offa

  • 1917 Lanius

  • 1916 Greencap

  • 1915 Lavendo

  • 1914 Aleconner

  • 1913 Mountain Princess

  • 1912 Lady Medallist

  • 1911 Flavian

  • 1910 Captain White

  • 1909 Iolaire

  • 1908 Pink ‘Un

  • 1907 Subterranean

  • 1906 Ellis

  • 1905 Gladsome

  • 1904 Gladsome

  • 1903 Wakeful

  • 1902 Strata Florida

  • 1901 Haymaker

  • 1900 Hautboy

  • 1899 Mora

  • 1898 Bobadil

  • 1897 Ayrshire

  • 1896 Resolute

  • 1895 Hova

  • 1894 Fortunatus

  • 1893 Vakeel

  • 1892 Donation

  • 1891 Marvel

  • 1890 Megaphone

  • 1889 Prince Consort

  • 1888 Mentor

  • 1887 Carlyon

  • 1886 Trenton

  • 1885 Trenton

  • 1884 David

  • 1883 Legrand

  • 1882 Darebin

  • 1881 Sweetmeat

  • 1880 Progress

  • 1879 First King

  • 1878 Warlock

  • 1877 Robinson Crusoe

  • 1876 Tocal

  • 1875 Robin Hood

  • 1874 Dagworth

  • 1873 Don Juan

  • 1872 King Of The Ring

  • 1871 Warrior

  • 1870 Tim Whiffler

  • 1869 Peeress

  • 1868 The Barb

  • 1867 Warwick

  • 1866 Volunteer

  • 1865 The Sign

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