THE Turnbull Stakes is often regarded as the key lead-up to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups plus the Cox Plate and a quality list of nominations has been entered for the $500,000 Group 1 race on Sunday.


Alpine Eagle finished sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes won by Fawkner at Flemington on September 12 and punters have backed the Tony McEvoy-trained horse from $11 to $5.50 favourite in early betting.


“Even though he missed the placings for the first time in his eight-start career, Alpine Eagle was within a length of Fawkner at the end of the Makybe Diva Stakes and punters believe the Australian Guineas runner-up can salute,” TAB’s Trent Langskaill said.


Hartnell returned from his winter break with a fourth-place finish in the Chelmsford Stakes but punters have shied away from the original $5.50 quote with the Godolphin gelding now $6.50.


The Chris Waller-trained Royal Descent has been consistent as ever during the early Sydney spring and the Warwick Stakes winner and George Main Stakes runner-up is a $6.50 chance.


Rising Romance was hot on the heels of Fawkner in the Makybe Diva Stakes and last spring’s Caulfield Cup runner-up is rated an $8.50 hope for the Turnbull Stakes.




$5.50     Alpine Eagle ($11)

$6.50     Hartnell ($5.50)

                Royal Descent ($8)

$8.50     Rising Romance ($8)

$9.50     Lucia Valentina [Doubtful] ($7)

$11         Dandino ($11)

$13         Happy Trails ($15)

                Preferment ($11)

                Set Square ($11)

                Volkstok’n’barrell ($11)

                Who Shot Thebarman ($11)

$15         Amralah

$21+      Others