Green Moon outstanding in Turnbull

A tough three-wide trip failed to stop the Lloyd Williams-owned import Green Moon (Montjeu) proving too strong in Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Green Moon showed he had returned from his winter spell in excellent form with his second in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley before his latest win, which was his third in Australia.

Jockey Craig Williams had little luck securing cover from barrier nine in the early stages, which left Green Moon racing three-deep throughout the event but the jockey said last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up enjoyed the extra galloping room.

“He couldn’t get in and way wide but they didn’t go fast and he is a European horse so he actually enjoyed a bit of time and room to race,” Williams said.

Last year’s Turnbull Stakes winner December Draw had the perfect run just off the pace and appeared set to challenge but Green Moon left him behind when he quickened passing the 300 metres. Green Moon’s Macedon Lodge stablemate Seville (Galileo) ran on hard late to grab second.

Green Moon defeated Seville by a long neck while December Draw finished another 1-1/4 lengths away in third. The Turnbull Stakes field covered the 2000 metres in 2:02.11, which included a 33.99-second last 600 metres. Green Moon started at $4 on track but paid $3.70 on the Victorian TAB.

Macedon Lodge spokesman Nick Williams said the team, which also won the Listed Bart Cummings (2500m) with Tanby, would aim Green Moon at the Cox Plate while Seville would tackled the Caulfield Cup.

Williams said Green Moon’s durability would present a challenge for the three-year-olds looking to thrown down a challenge to the older horses in the Cox Plate later this month.

“I’d just be saying if I had a three-year-old I’d look at how tough he was today winning three-wide with no cover the entire trip. I wouldn’t even bother bringing it down here,” he said.

 “They should probably find a race in Sydney.”

Green Moon’s was his sixth from 18 starts and took his prizemoney tally to more than  $1.08 million.