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Mackinnon Stakes

The Mackinnon Stakes, which is worth $1,000,000 in prize money is a Group 1 race being held at Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29th. This is a weight for age race for all horses run over 2,000 metres.

Many of the horses who rank highly enough to avoid the ballot for the Melbourne Cup use this race as a lead up to the Cup on the following Tuesday. In fact, the Mackinnon Stakes/Melbourne Cup double in the same year has been achieved no fewer than 16 times.  The latest winner to do so being Rogan Josh in 1999.

Horses who enter the Mackinnon Stakes have often used the W. S. Cox Plate as a lead up. Other lead up races include the Underwood Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes.

This race was actually called the Melbourne Stakes from 1869 to 1936 when the name was changed in honour of L K S Mackinnon.  He was a former chairman of the Victoria Racing Club.

Former Winners

Over the years, several horses have won the race two years in succession, including Eurythmic in 1920 and 1921, Phar Lap in 1930 and 1931, Beau Vite in 1940 and 1941, Tranquil Star in 1944 and 1945, Comic Court in 1949 and 1950, Rising Fast in 1954 and 1955, and Belmura Lad in 1980 and 1981.

Only one horse has won the race three times in a row, and that was Wakeful in 1901/2/3. Other notable winners in recent times have included At Talaq in 1986, Empire Rose in 1988, Let’s Elope in 1991 and Lonhro in 2002.

Other horses have won the Cox Plate/Mackinnon Stakes double very recently. Theseo did so in 2008, Scenic Shot in 2009, and So You Think in 2010.

Both Let’s Elope, in 1991 and Rogan Josh, in 1999 went on to win the Melbourne Cup just three days later. In 2010, So You Think placed third in the Melbourne Cup after winning the Mackinnon Stakes.

Trainer Bart Cummings has trained seven winners of the Mackinnon Stakes since 1980.  He has also trained three Mackinnon Stakes/Melbourne Cup double winners overall – Let’s Elope, Rogan Josh, and back in 1977, Gold And Black.

Mackinnon Stakes Betting

Over the last ten years, only three favourites have won the race. In the same period five out of ten favourites have failed to place.

In the last 30 years, the top jockey has been D. Oliver with four wins under his belt from 18 starts.

The start of the race provides a straight 500 metre run to the first turn which gives most horses a reasonable chance to get into a good position. However, if they get trapped wide they are at a disadvantage because of the turn from 1,400 metres. The barrier statistics over the last 30 years show that horses drawn in barriers one to five have won 19 times.

Online bookmakers will no doubt have some promotions available in respect of the Mackinnon Stakes and you may be able to get some very good odds on the Mackinnon Stakes/Melbourne Cup double.