The 2018 Turnbull Stakes is free of scratchings with Winx to take on nine opponents in the $500,000 2000m Group 1 race at Flemington today.

Winx, above, will face nine rivals in the 2018 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

Winx, above, will face nine rivals in the 2018 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Flemington course is in her perfect condition and has been rated a Good 4 with the rail out 9m for the entire course.

The Chris Waller trained Winx can claim her twenty-eighth straight win and twenty-first Group 1 trophy if she can score back to back wins in the Turnbull Stakes after scoring a runaway six and half lengths win in last year’s version.

Regular rider Hugh Bowman is happy with Winx’s barrier eight in the ten horse field and the champion mare is marked as the $1.14 favourite for the Turnbull Stakes at on race morning.

“I am really pleased with barrier eight. What I don’t want these days is an inside draw, one, two or three, I guess,” Bowman said.

“Barrier eight does set up well for us.”

On the second line of betting at $12 is the Darren Weir trained import Kings Will Dream just ahead of the Mick Price trained Grunt at $14.

Winx is stepping up to her pet distance of 2000m at her third run this campaign after cruising through her build up to the Turnbull Stakes with a first up win in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18 followed by a four lengths win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White (George Main) Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 15.

Waller said that the Turnbull Stakes distance sees Winx at her best with the champion mare winning four times over the 2000m and three times over the 2040m with her three Cox Plate victories.

“I think the longer the race, the more pressure. And the more pressure the better she is,” Waller said.

“She is vulnerable over the shorter distances because the winning margins are never as great.”

“Over 1600 metres and further that’s when the pressure really comes into a race and that’s what she’s so good at. That last 10 per cent extra is always there where the others are often just struggling the last 10 per cent of a race.”

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