The world comes to Flemington for TAB Turnbull Stakes Day

7 October 2023 Written by VRC

The road to the Melbourne Cup Carnival continues this weekend with the world turning its focus to TAB Turnbull Stakes Day on Saturday 7 October at Flemington, where 15,000 racegoers are expected to enjoy what is traditionally a strong preview to the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Some of Australia’s most talented thoroughbreds will test their Cup Week credentials on a program offering more than $3 million dollars in prizemoney, with a host of important lead up races for the Melbourne Cup Carnival matched by a vibrant on-course atmosphere.

Significantly, six of the last seven locally trained Lexus Melbourne Cup winners have run on this day in the past, highlighting the meeting’s importance to Australia’s greatest week of racing.

The Group 1 $750,000 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) sees the first international competition for the spring as Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior is reunited with champion jockey James McDonald who has a host of key rides across the day.

West Wind Blows, prepared by British father and son Simon and Ed Crisford, will also tackle some of Australia’s best middle-distance horses including reigning Lexus Melbourne Cup hero Gold Trip, his stablemate and the defending TAB Turnbull Stakes champion Smokin' Romans, and Group 1 winners Lindermann, Montefilia, Alenquer, El Bodegon and Hinged.

Gold Trip last year finished fifth in the TAB Turnbull Stakes before his success on the first Tuesday in November, while the previous year Verry Elleegant was fourth before her runaway Cup triumph in 2021.

A golden ticket, offering a guaranteed spot in the Lexus Melbourne Cup, is up for grabs in the Group 3 $500,000 The Lexus Bart Cummings (2510m). Last year’s Cup third High Emocean will attempt to secure her place in this year’s race that stops the nation but faces tough opposition from up-and-coming stayers like the Flemington-trained First Immortal and Carini.

It is not just Lexus Melbourne Cup contenders who will emerge on Saturday, though, with races like the Group 2 HQ Tavern Danehill Stakes (1100m), Group 2 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Rose of Kingston Stakes (1400m) set to produce leading Cup Week candidates.

Race 2 on the card, the Darley Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) will see the first two-year-olds step out onto the track for the first time this season.

The last five races on the card will be hosted as World Pool events, meaning that punters from right across the globe - across six continents - will be able to wager into a commingled totalisator pool, offering greater liquidity and exciting opportunities.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said TAB Turnbull Stakes Day offers a taste of this year’s exceptional Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“TAB Turnbull Stakes Day marks that annual shift from footy season to racing season and it provides the perfect springboard towards the Melbourne Cup Carnival,” Mr Rosich said.

“It is a significant Flemington race day with more than $3 million in prizemoney featuring an exceptional Group 1 race and a golden ticket on offer through The Lexus Bart Cummings. It offers a timely opportunity to discover form at Headquarters in time for the greatest week on the Australian racing calendar. For racegoers, it is a small glimpse at what awaits during the Melbourne Cup Carnival - both on and off the track.

“We are thrilled to welcome international competition to the Turnbull Stakes for the first time in more than 20 years. It is exciting to see how the global form lines of Romantic Warrior and West Wind Blows will measure up down under and we cannot wait to see the horses and their connections trackside on Saturday.

Hosted by Marc Ohlmus in Saintly Place, a VRC Punters Club is open for registration for general admission racegoers before Race 4 on the day for only $10.

For VRC Members, Meet the Milliner will be activated in The Atrium where patrons can admire the work of some of Australia’s leading milliners and make a purchase ahead of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It will sit alongside the popular Pamper Lounge for racegoers to refresh their look throughout the day. Fashion illustrators located in The Club Stand will provide guests with a take home memento of their day at Flemington. The Roof Garden will be alive with refreshing cocktails and DJ John Course will keep the party going from mid-afternoon until after the last.

With great sales on Mates Rates and Picnic Pods it is going to be a great day on the Flemington Lawn. Family’s will be catered for with fun activities including lawn games and face painters to keep the younger racegoers occupied.

Racegoers can also support the VRC’s Pin & Win charity partner, the Australian Childhood Foundation by purchasing a 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup lapel pin on-course for $7. All purchasers will go into the draw to win a share in over $188,000 of prizes including a brand-new Lexus. All proceeds raised from pin sales will go towards the Foundation’s National Trauma Recovery Program.

Gates open at 11:00am ahead of race 1 at 12:25pm. General Admission tickets are $30 per person with children under 12 admitted free to Flemington. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Great value tickets such as a Mates Rates table on the front lawn, close to the action on the track, are available from $40 per person for a table of six.

The curtain raiser for the magical Melbourne Cup Carnival begins 4 November on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit