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Mackinnon Stakes Tips - Analysing the recent trends of the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes

  • How does history help us find the winner in the final Group 1 of the Melbourne Spring?
So You Think is a former Mackinnon Stakes winner

The Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) shapes as one of the highlights of the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and was formerly run on Derby Day, until a switch of date in 2016.  

The 2000m weight-for-age race has been won by some guns in the past including gallopers that are coming off Cox Plate (2040m) campaigns in So You Think (2010), Grand Armee (2004) and Lonhro (2002). 

It was traditionally used as a final lead up to the Melbourne Cup (3200m) but with the changing landscape of that race in recent times as well, as the date change, it is now purely a battle of the best middle-distance gallopers.  

If we look at the results of the race since 2000 as a guide, there are a few pointers to consider when trying to find a winner. 

Of the past 18 winners, 12 have come out of the Cox Plate (2040m) with ten of those 12 saluting after missing out on winning Australia's weight-for-age championship. 

An interesting aspect of this years edition of the Mackinnon Stakes is that no runner comes out of the Cox Plate. The $2.20 favourite in early betting markets with sportsbet, Blair House, finished a narrow runner-up to Benbatl in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at his last start. 

The second favourite in the market is Latrobe ($5.50), who heads into this having last raced in the Irish St Leger (2816) back in mid September. Shillelagh ($7) is backing up after taking out the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for the fillies and mares last weekend, as is the Victoria Derby (2500m) winner, Extra Brut. 

The varied formlines, along with the recent change in date, makes it a bit of a tricky one to assess this year, however, the weight-for-age form of Blair House does look solid.

For those looking towards a roughie, there have been plenty of surprise results since 2000. Sirmione won at $61 in 2007 while La Bella Dama scored at $31 in 2001. Awesome Rock was a $17 chance in 2016. The average price of the winning horses has been a healthy $11. 

Four favourites have won the race since 2000 including So You Think, Desert War, Lad Of The Manor and Lonhro. Gailo Chop, scored as an $8 fancy in 2015. 

Outside of the first four in early markets this year are Trap For Fools at $12, Prized Icon ($17, It's Somewhat ($19), Doubt Defying ($23) and Octabello ($34). 

The most successful age group in the Emirates Stakes since 2000 have been the six-year-olds with five winners, while four horses aged four have won. Blair House is the sole six-year-old this year, while Octabello and Latrobe are four. 

For fans on Extra Brut and Mickey Blue Eyes, that pair will be out to become the first three-year-olds to win the race since Casual Pass in 2003. 

The 2000m start at Flemington has enabled horses to win from a variety of barriers but horses drawing within the first half of the field have had a slight edge. 

11 of the 18 winners have drawn in the first half of the field. This year, It's Somewhat, Blair House, Latrobe, Mickey Blue Eyes and Prized Icon occupy the first five barriers in the 10 horse field. 

The most successful trainers since 2000 have been Gai Waterhouse with three winners, while Bart Cummings won the race twice in that time. Waterhouse is without a runner, while Cummings' grandson, James, saddles up It's Somewhat. Darren Weir won the race last year with Tosen Stardom and has Extra Brut. 

Of the jockeys, Damien Oliver has tasted success in the race on three occasions since 2000, while Greg Childs and Shane Scriven have two winners apiece. Oliver is on Prized Icon this year. 

Selections based on trends:

This looks to be a weak edition of the Mackinnon Stakes in comparison to past years. Latrobe is an unknown quantity. Blair House has the right form and is hard to overlook, despite the short price. 


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Mackinnon Stakes Tips - Analysing the recent trends of the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes

How does history help us find the winner in the final Group 1 of the Melbourne Spring?

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