Top 5 Champions Stakes Winners

Mackinnon Stakes Winners


The Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) (2000m) is always one of the highlights of the Flemington carnival and has been won by some champion gallopers over the years. See who made our list of top 5 Mackinnon Stakes winners since 2000.

In modern times, the feature race has been taken out by some outstanding gallopers.

Top 5 Mackinnon Stakes winners.


1. SO YOU THINK (2010)

So You Think was at his absolute peak when winning the 2010 Mackinnon Stakes in the days when it was raced before the Melbourne Cup (3200m). In that spring, he went undefeated in five runs, taking out the Memsie Stakes (1400m), Underwood Stakes (1800m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Cox Plate (2040m) before his Mackinnon triumph. He missed out in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) following that but went on to become a star on the world stage, defeating some of the best by winning a further five Group 1 races, taking his tally to 10 overall.


2. LONHRO (2002)

Lonhro burst onto the scene with a last to first finish in the 2001 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and won an amazing 26 races from 35 starts, including 11 at Group 1 level. He regularly toyed with some seriously good horses in his wins and while he might not have been at his best over the 2000m, he did manage to claim the Mackinnon in 2002, grinding down Royal Code in the dying stages. The John Hawkes-trained galloper in the all cerise, Lonhro split his time between Melbourne and Sydney, racing through until 2004 when he won the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in memorable fashion.


3. GRAND ARMEE (2004)

Grand Armee just misses out behind Lonhro in this list and smashed that horse in the 2004 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The pair clashed four times, splitting those at two each but Lonhro did have the better overall record. In the 2004 Mackinnon Stakes, Grand Armee led and put the foot on the accelerator in the straight, winning by four lengths. He was a typically tough Gai Waterhouse horse that would make his own luck on the speed and won or placed in 26 of his 31 starts before a respiratory problem caused him to retire prematurely as he was about to embark on a spring campaign as a six-year-old.


4. DESERT WAR (2006)

Another winner of the Mackinnon for Gai Waterhouse, Desert War is remembered for his efforts in taking out the Epsom Handicap (1600m) on two occasions and is one of only three horses to achieve the feat, joining Super Impose and Chatham but taking out the Randwick mile in 2004 and 2005. The big gelding from the Gai Waterhouse stable was at his best at the 1600m-2000m distance range and picked up six Group 1 wins, including the 2007 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the tail end of his career.


5. THESEO (2008)

Theseo makes it three horses in the top 5 that are from the Gai Waterhouse stable and won the Mackinnon in 2008 in narrow fashion from Barbaricus. Another on-pacer, Theseo won five Group 1 races for the stable in a career that spanned from 2006 until 2011. He won the Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on two occasions as well as an Epsom Handicap in 2008 with Zac Purton on board.



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