The big three majors are in danger of getting big, but it’s doubtful we’ll get a more mouth-watering clash than today’s Turnbull Stakes in Flemington. Experts, including Bruce McAveny, have their say.
While there are plenty of big races on the horizon this spring, it’s doubtful we’ll see one more than today’s $1 million Turnbull Stakes, which sees reigning Queen Of The Turf Verry Elleegant take on the boom ex-Queenslander Incentivise .
Verry Elleegant is aiming for her 10th Group 1, while newbie Incentivize will line up for his eighth straight win, but he’s in the deep end now!
We asked some experts for their opinion on who will win in the 2000m Group 1 competition.
Bruce McAvaney (Seven) VERY ELEGANT
“It’s a mini version of Bonecrusher and Waverley Star. The champion and the challenger. And the addition for this is the retaliation of the rivalry between Chris Waller and Peter Moody. It’s great to have Moods back on the big stage and you can’t get bigger than Chris right now. Verry Elleegant is the benchmark, the nine-time winner of group one, and Incentivize is a bolt from the blue. His seven-race winning streak is remarkable in many ways, not least his margins. The mouth-watering odds are that their racing patterns are likely to see a long and protracted battle all the way down the Flemington straight. Lee Freedman once said that Turnbull Stakes Day marked the true beginning of spring. It’s ‘moving day’, when horses become serious spring contenders or pretenders. The outcome of Saturday’s Turnbull will have a significant impact on the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate markets. I think Verry Elleegant will make it 10 Group 1s and join two other champions, So You Think and Octagonal, on that magical point. ”
James McDonald (champion jockey and News Corp columnist) VERY ELLEGANT
It will be a clash but if she is close range her tenacity will be his worst nightmare and I think she will have Incentivise’s yardstick.
David Gately (Sky Racing tipping guru) INCENTIVIZE
Winning so strong through the line and winning Makybe Diva when he was just fresh off his 10th start and still on an upward spiral, 2000m and fixed weights and penalties are his advantage.
Katie Mallyon (Seven and News Corp columnist) VERY ELLEGANT
I’d say Damian Lane will pop out with Incentivize and use him to get a spot forward, maybe even outside the leader. Verry Elleegant’s perseverance and determination will win her over. A delightful clash is coming.
Gilbert Gardiner (Herald Sun) VERY ELLEGANT
Better the devil you know. Sure, Incentivize can be anything, but Verry Elleegant is the champion.
Brad Waters (Herald Sun) VERY ELEGANT
She has everything a superstar needs, class and a big heart, which made her home last time. She will enjoy Flemington and be too strong again.
Stephen Brassel (National Racing Editor) INCENTIVIZE
The set weight conditions fit but more importantly the race form looks ideal and you would expect him to lead unquestionedly and dictate that it suits him. He could be something special!