The Turnbull Stakes is a 2000 metre race for horses that are four years old and up and is run at Flemington racecourse in October each year. The race is a Group One event run under set weights conditions for prize money of $502,000.
Over time the race has taken on different names, most notably the October Stakes up to 1935, the Melbourne Stakes up to 1947 and then the Turnbull stakes from then onwards. In 1979 the race was graded as a Group Two event changing to a Group One event in 2006 then back to a Group Two event for the following three years. Finally in 2010 the race was regraded as a Group One race and has remained as such ever since.
The race's distance has fluctuated also over the years starting off as a two mile race and then reducing its distance to a 1600 metre race in 1925. The 2000 metre distance was set in 1972 were it has remained since.
Past winners reflect the importance of the race for a horses' preparation towards three of the key Melbourne Spring Carnival feature events, the Caulfield Cup run over 2400 metres, the Cox Plate run over 2040 metres and the Melbourne Cup run over 3200 metres. Examples of recent Turnbull Stakes winners who went on to win one of these three races in the same year include:
Caulfield Cup - Turnbull Stakes Double Winners
Cox Plate - Turnbull Stakes Double Winners
Melbourne Cup - Turnbull Stakes Double Winners
In 2013 four year old Glencadam Gold sprung out of the barriers out wide and put on early speed to take the lead into the first turn. With good pace on up front Happy Trails and Fiorente settled towards the back of the first turn. As they straightened for the turn, Glencadam Gold looked as though he had a bit of petrol left in the tank, but it also looked like he had a few ready to pounce. At the 300 metre mark the grey Puissance De Lune took a nice rails run to hit the front and looked like he might go on with it. Sangster started a burst down the middle of the track and it looked like the two might battle it out. Over the last 100 metres a wall of horses descended on the front runners including Happy Trails, who had weaved a path from his rail hugging position at the back of the field on the turn, darted out of the pack to claim the race at odds of $26. Puissance De Lune $3.90 hung on for second and Fawkner got up for third.