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2018 Mackinnon Stakes Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the Mackinnon Stakes

  • Blair House will run a hot favourite 
  • A full runner-by-runner guide for the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) 
Blair House.

A field of 10 runners will contest Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington. The Charlie Appleby-trained Blair House heads the betting and has drawn barrier two. 

Here is our runner-by-runner guide for the Mackinnon Stakes. 

1. IT’S SOMEWHAT (1) - James Cummings, Kerrin McEvoy, 59kg 
The eight-year-old gelding has been a great horse for connections but judging on this campaign, he looks to be in the twilight of his career. He hasn’t won in his last 13 starts and has been only fair in five runs this preparation. He did run a terrific third in this race last year behind Tosen Stardom and Happy Clapper. This race does look to drop away rather quickly so if he does peak on Saturday, he could run into a placing. 
Odds: $19.00 (Sportsbet)

2. PRIZED ICON (5) - Kris Lees, Damien Oliver, 59kg 
The Kris Lees-trained Prized Icon says I’ll see your 13 starts without a victory and raise you five. The five-year-old hasn’t won since he bolted in the Victorian Derby (2500m) in 2016. Since then he has run in 18 races without a victory. His last start effort behind Cliff’s Edge in the Crystal Mile (1600m) was solid but he just doesn’t win. 
Odds: $18.00 (Unibet)

3. BLAIR HOUSE (2) - Charlie Appleby, William Buick, 59kg
Charlie Appleby has again conquered Australia, winning our most prestigious race for Godolphin. Another Australian Group 1 looks likely for Appleby, with Blair House who looks very hard to beat. The six-year-old went toe-to-toe with Benbatl last start, going down by the narrowest of margins. He easily beat Humidor who ran into third. Those two horses ran second and third behind Winx in the Cox Plate (2040m) a fortnight ago. You won’t get better form than that. With all things being equal, he should go very close. 
Odds: $2.25 (Beteasy)

4. TRAP FOR FOOLS (8) - Jarrod McLean, John Allen, 59kg 
It’s going to be a long straight for Trap For Fools who will be leading the field. He has had a terrific preparation, winning consecutive races at Moonee Valley before leading Winx, Youngstar and Kings Will Dream at the clocktower in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m). I thought he was terrific last start in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) behind Ventura Storm who had the perfect run in transit. The drop back to 2000m is a slight concern but if he can repeat his run in the Turnbull Stakes, he should run well. 
Odds: $12.00 (Sportsbet)

5. DOUBT DEFYING (10) - Steven O’Dea, Michael Walker, 59kg 
Trainer Steven O’Dea will be trying to capture his first Group 1 victory with Doubt Defying. He followed up his impressive victory at Randwick with a dominant victory in the Sale Cup (1600m) defeating Fastenet Tempest and Al Passem. He should relish the step-up to 2000m but does rise 5kg on that effort and this is a big step-up in class. 
Odds: $26.00 (Ladbrokes)

6. OCTABELLO (7) - Mick Price, Noel Callow, 58.5kg 
Trainer Mick Price expressed his interest to run in this race before his fifth in the Crystal Mile (1600m) behind Cliff’s Edge at Moonee Valley. I thought he was good against the bias last start and returns to the 2000m, where he defeated the likes of Furrion in the Cranbourne Cup two starts ago. This is a big jump in class. 
Odds: $34.00 (Beteasy)

7. LATROBE (3) - Joseph O’Brien, Mark Zahra, 57.5kg 
The unknown quantity in the race is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Latrobe. He was brought to Australia for the Melbourne Cup but the decision was made to hold him back for the Mackinnon Stakes. The four-year-old has terrific international form. Three starts ago he defeated Rostropovich and Saxon Warrior in the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m). He is coming off a last start second in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) splitting Flag Of Honour and Weekender. That form is good enough to win this. 
Odds: $5.50 (Sportsbet)

8. SHILLELAGH (6) - Chris Waller, James McDonald, 57kg 
Seven-year-old mare Shillelagh is attempting to win two Group 1’s in the space of a week, after winning the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) on Derby Day. Although the track wasn’t ‘bias’ on Derby Day, it was advantageous to be on the rails, as is often the case on the first day of the Flemington carnival. James McDonald stuck to the inside and gave Shillelagh a picture perfect ride, weaving between runners before getting the split at the clocktower. This is a jump from Mares grade and she’ll need another 10/10 ride from James McDonald to win this. 
Odds: $7.50 (Unibet)

9. EXTRA BRUT (9) - Darren Weir, Craig Williams, 51kg 
The two three-year-olds in the race get the 6kg weight advantage on the older horses but Victorian Derby (2500m) winner Extra Brut looks under the odds to my eye. He got every possible chance last Saturday, with the Lindsay Park runner Seberate setting up a brutal tempo. The on-speed runners punchered and it was set up for a swooper. He steps back to the 2000m and may not have the elite turn of foot of a few of these Group 1 horses. 
Odds: $8.00 (Unibet)

10. MICKEY BLUE EYES (4) - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Corey Brown, 51kg 
The Lindsay Park galloper is the other horse to back-up out of the Derby. He had no luck back on the inside and was held-up behind tiring horses for much of the straight. Once he got clear, he hit the line well but I got the impression he will be better suited over 2000m. He is now sixth-up and may be over the top. If he’s not then I believe there shouldn’t be much between him and Extra Brut in the market.
Odds: $23.00 (Sportsbet

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2018 Mackinnon Stakes Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the Mackinnon Stakes

A field of 10 runners will contest Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington. The Charlie Appleby-trained Blair House heads the betting and has drawn barrier two.

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