Champions Stakes Winning Trends

Mackinnon Stakes trends


The Champions Stakes (2000m) is one of the highlights of the final day of the Flemington Carnival and we take a look at the Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) winning trends.

Formerly run on Derby Day, the Mackinnon was switched to the final day of the week long carnival in 2016 and is worth $2 million. 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). Last year, the Mackinnon was taken out by Magic Wand.

If we look at the Mackinnon Stakes winning trends since the year 2000, there are a few pointers to consider when trying to find a winner. Of the past 20 winners, 13 have come out of the Cox Plate (2040m) with 11 of those 13 saluting after missing out on winning Australia’s weight-for-age championship.

Since the change of dates in 2016, Tosen Stardom has been able to win the Mackinnon after a run on Derby Day, placing 8th in the Kennedy Cantala (1600m) at his run prior. This year, the runners that come out of the Cox Plate are Mugatoo and Arcadia Queen. That pair were 4th and 5th behind Sir Dragonet. Fifty Stars raced last Saturday and was 5th in the Cantala Stakes, while Mr Quickie ran 13th. Shout The Bar claimed the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).

Favourite in the race is Arcadia Queen, who has been installed at the odds of $3.10 with ladbrokes, while Mugatoo is at $4.60. Melody Belle comes over from New Zealand and is at $5 in her quest to go one better after finishing runner-up in this race last year. Fifty Stars at $9 is the only other runner in single figure odds.

While the Cox Plate has been a great form reference, it should be noted that the race has been a bit of a graveyard for favourites in recent times and we go back to 2010 as the last time a popular elect won.

That year saw So You Think score as a short priced favourite. Lad Of The Manor (2005), Grand Armee (2004) and Lonhro (2002) are the only other favourites to have won the Mackinnon since 2000.15 of the 20 winners have scored at odds below $10, meaning that it might pay to look at those just behind Arcadia Queen in the market.

For those looking towards a roughie, there have been plenty of surprise results since 2000. In 2018, Trap For Fools won as a $26 chance, while Sirmione won at $61 in 2007. 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 $11.50. Dalasan is at $13 this year, while Mr Quickie is at $14. Shout The Bar heads the rest at $16. A spread of winners from the ages of four to six have won the Mackinnon since 2000 and this year it is only Mirage Dancer and Harlem that sit out of those age brackets. That pair are seven and nine respectively.

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 20 winners have drawn in the first half of the field. Harlem, Dalasan, Mr Quickie, Skyward and Arcadia Queen occupy the first five barriers in the field of 10 this year.

The most successful trainers since 2000 have been Gai Waterhouse with three winners, while Bart Cummings won the race twice in that time. Waterhouse has Shout The Bar this year.

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 Shout The Bar this year.

Selections based on the Mackinnon Stakes winning trends:

Shout The Bar ticks plenty of boxes but Mugatoo just gets the nod on trends



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