Waller Wins His Fifth Group 1 Turnbull Stakes

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Verry Elleegant

The Turnbull Stakes again proved to be a triumph for master trainer Chris Waller who produced the trifecta with Verry Elleegant defeating Toffee Tongue and Finche.

Waller continued his domination of the Group One race as this was the fifth time in six years he had claimed it and his fourth in a row.

Waller has been successful in the Turnbull Stakes with Preferment in 2015, Winx in 2017 and 2018 and Kings Will Dream last year.

The trainer watched on from Randwick and said the result was “very good for the stable” and that they were “all on track” for their next start in the Caulfield Cup.

“Verry Ellegant is as tough as they come. Things didn’t go her way in the run yet she fought it out to the last metre,” Waller said.

“Toffee Tongue was brilliant. That was her first run in that sort of company and she was as brave as anything.

“Finche was great as he had to do a lot of work in the run.”

Little separated the Waller trio with Verry Elleegant ($5 fav) defeating Toffee Tongue ($71) by a short head with Finche ($5.50) the same distance away third.

Dalasan in fourth narrowly missed a place.

Verry Elleegant was ridden by Mark Zahra who was having his first ride on her and said she felt like the finished product.

“Her manners are so much better now. She’s got a bit of an awkward head carriage, but she relaxes really well and that’s the main thing,” Zahra said.

Zahra was worried a horse would come off her back as he was forced to race a bit wider than he planned and he thought she might be susceptible in the closing stages.

“She was strong in the finish because it was a ding dong battle up the straight. She was going to be beaten but she was too tough,” Zahra said.

Zahra will keep the ride for the Caulfield Cup and said she would be suited by 2400 metres.

Michael Rodd was pleased with the run of Master Of Wine who finished fifth.

“It was a good run. We got held up when we needed to be rolling into it, but otherwise it was pretty good,” Rodd said.

Boom stayer Surprise Baby finished ninth and his jockey Craig Williams said he didn’t get a lot of galloping room.

Danny O’Brien feels last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare, who finished 12th, is looking for further.

Natalie Young said Sierra Sue, the winner of the Rose Of Kingston Stakes, will now be aimed at the Empire Rose Stakes on October 31 after her Flemington victory.

“She’s had seven starts now, that’s her fifth win and a second,” Young said.

Young praised Michael Walker saying his ride was cool, calm and collected.

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