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How to bet on the Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes is often viewed as a stepping stone for the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup. The best of the best gallopers turn out to contest the 2000-metre race every year, so it provides a great guide for punters in those big races later in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

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History of the Turnbull Stakes

The Turnbull Stakes is one of the newest Group One titles in Australian horse racing, first rising to that status in 2006 after three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva stormed to victory the year before. It was demoted back to Group Two in 2007, but it returned to the top tier in 2010 and has remained there ever since.

First run in 1865, the race was variously known as the Royal Park Stakes, September Stakes, October Stakes and Melbourne Stakes. It was a handicap until 1964, when it adopted weight for age rules. The current-day set weight conditions were introduced in 1970, and two years later the length of the race was shortened from 2400 metres to 2000.

In 1948, the race was renamed in honour of Richard Turnbull – then chairman of the Victorian Racing Club. Turnbull was elected to that office in 1942 and fought through ill health to carry out his work right up until his death in 1950. A popular figure in Melbourne racing circles, Turnbull actually won the Melbourne Cup in 1944 with Sirius.

Turnbull Stakes facts

Tips for Turnbull Stakes betting

Follow the favourite! The punters seem to be able to get it right, especially over the past three decades, with 12 favourites being first past the post in the Turnbull Stakes.

Form lines through the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and the Underwood Stakes seem to give the greatest indicators for success in the Turnbull, with more than two-thirds of winners since 1983 coming through either of those two races. Having said that, only four horses have done the Turnbull and either the Underwood (two) or Dato Tan Chin Nam (two) double.

Below are some of the popular bet types available for the Turnbull Stakes.

Win bets: So who is going to win the Turnbull Stakes? This is the easiest of all the bets. Find your favourite online bookmaker, pick out the horse you want to win, decide how much you want to wager and slap it down on the nose. Point and click. It’s that easy. Then sit back, try to relax and hope your horse does the right thing by you. It has to be first past the post for you to win your bet.

Place bets: This bet type reduces the risk, but also reduces your odds. Again, you pick out your selection, but this time instead of having to be first past the post in the race for you to win your bet, your horse only has to finish in the top three. It gives you a greater chance to get your pick home and becomes more enticing to back an outsider. Like the name of a horse, but it’s paying $51 to win? Slap a little on the place and hope it can sneak into the minors. Even if your horse comes first, you still win, but you’ll get the reduced place dividend.

Each way bets: A little from column A, a little from column B. Call it an insurance policy. You get the best of both worlds, provided your horse wins. If it comes second or third, you still get a little back from your place bet. If it runs first, you will get winnings from both your win and your place bet, while if it comes in second or third, you only get the minor return, with the money you wagered on the win going in the bookie’s bag.

Quinella: Pick the horses that will come first and second, in any order. As long as your two (or more, if you want to splash out) come home in first and second, you win. Choose your horse, box them up and hope for the best.

Exacta: Similar to a quinella, with exacta bets, punters must choose the first and second placed runners in finishing order. It makes it a lot harder. You can box these picks up and have as many selections as you like, but the more combinations you choose, the more your bet will cost.

Duet: Your picks here can come in the top three, in any order. You’ll need two of them (or more) and the duet will pay out twice if you get all three of the top three finishers. So it can be a fun bet, but obviously the more selections you have the more it will cost you to bet.

Trifecta: First, second and third. Pretty self explanatory. You need to pick all the place finishers, it can be in order, or in any order if you box it up. Punters love using this bet and a mystery trifecta, where the computer makes the selections for you if you can’t be bothered doing the research, is always popular.

First Four: Sounds easy, right? Pick the horses that come first, second third and fourth. Wrong. This is one of the hardest bets in racing and, considering the Turnbull attracts some of the best gallopers around, it can be like picking a needle in a hay stack. It’s a costly bet, with a half share with four selections costing you $12, but it can offer huge rewards in the hundreds of thousands.

Futures: Got a little cash in the kitty and have a favourite horse you want to have a flutter on to win the Turnbull? You won’t always be able to get one on, with markets often released much closer to the race. Unlike the Melbourne Cup, which you can get a bet on virtually all year round.

Recent Turnbull Stakes top three finishers

2017 – Winx, Ventura Storm, Humidor

2016 – Hartnell, Jameka, Tally

2015 – Preferment, Royal Descent, Set Square

2014 – Lucia Valentina, Lidari, Brambles

2013 – Happy Trails, Puissance De Lune, Fawkner

Vo Rogue2012 – Green Moon, Seville, December Draw

2011 – December Draw, Glass Harmonium, Playing God

2010 – Zipping, Shocking, Shoot Out

2009 – Efficient, Predatory Pricer, Scenic Shot

2008 – Littorio, Master O’Reilly, Zipping

2007 – Devil Moon, Scenic Shot, Haradasun

2006 – Sphenophyta, Our Smoking Joe, Aqua D Amore

2005 – Makybe Diva, Lad Of The Manor, Confectioner

2004 – Elvstroem, Mummify, Confectioner

2003 – Studebaker, Pentastic, Strasbourg

2002 – Northerly, Dash For Cash, Fields Of Omagh

2001 – Sunline, Universal Prince, Primrose Sands

2000 – Fairway, Sunline, Diatribe

1999 – Sky Heights, Ruy Lopez, Inaflury

1998 – Aerosmith, Gold Guru, Our Unicorn

1997 – Marble Halls, Always Aloof, Seascay

1996 – Doriemus, Beaux Art, Cheviot

1995 – All Our Mob, Doriemus, Sir Kingi

1994 – Redding, Paris Lane, Tristalove

1993 – The Phantom Chance, Naturalism, Kiwi Golfer

1992 – Naturalism, London Bridge, Mr Eurostar

1991 – Lets Elope, Prince Salieri, Renteeno

1990 – Better Loosen Up, Royal Creation, Shuzohra

1989 – Super Impose, Research, Sydeston

1988 – Vo Rogue, Apollo Run, Ebeli Show

1987 – Vo Rogue, Fair Sir, King Of Brooklyn

1986 – Just Now, Pharostan, Cimarra

1985 – Lacka Reason, Our Sophia, Glen Moriston

1984 – Al Dwain, Alibhai, Beechcraft

1983 – Chez Nous, La Cocotte, Malvita

1982 – Birchwood, Fearless Pride, Prince Majestic

1981 – No Peer, Deck The Halls, Saxon Slew

1980 – Amarla, Polo Player, My Brown Jug

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