Charlie Appleby is riding a high and will be after his third Group 1 of the Spring Carnival to add to the wins of Jungle Cat and the Melbourne Cup claimed by Cross Counter. Blair House has started twice in Australia this campaign with both runs coming at Caulfield. The first of those was in the Underwood Stakes when charging home from the rear to get within 2.5 lengths of the winner Homesman. Second-up into the Caulfield Stakes, he settled closer and was hitting the line strongly to finish a nose off the winner and fellow Godolphin runner Benbatl. The chestnut gelding had a five-start Dubai campaign between January and March prior to arriving for the Melbourne Spring. 2nd over 2000m when first-up, he was again 2nd when second-up over 2000m before taking on an 1800m third-up when scoring victory and followed that with a G1 win in the Jebel Hatta again at the nine furlongs. He defeated some handy performers in that race including Folkswood and Benbatl. William Buick will take the ride after James McDonald and James Doyle have been in the saddle at his past 2 starts.
Originally a Melbourne Cup prospect, owner Lloyd Williams opted to withdraw the entire from the Cup feeling he may not quite be a handicap prospect as a northern hemisphere 3YO. Missing a place just once in his seven starts career, that miss came two starts back when taking on the G1 2112m International Stakes at York, a race that saw Benbatl finish 5th in. The start prior to the International, Latrobe took on the Irish Derby at The Curragh over 2414m under Donnacha O’Brien and with a powerful finish the entire was able to claim a family victory for the O’Brien Brothers, with Joseph the trainer of Latrobe. In that race 2nd placed was Rostropovich who we have seen in the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup this Spring, running a solid race in the Cup. His final run before coming to Australia was in the Irish St Leger at G1 level when finishing 2.75 lengths from the winner Flag Of Honour. Mark Zahra will take the ride in the Mackinnon with Latrobe ready to run a big race at his Australian debut. The stylish brown entire oozes X-Factor and a victory would go some way to easing the Cup day pain of connections.
The Jarrod McLean trained 5YO has had a mixed Spring and will line up in his second G1 for the prep. After successive Moonee Valley wins over the 2040m under handicap conditions, he then went to the G3 JRA Cup and from gate 5 couldn’t get forward to his favoured position on the speed and went down as an odds-on favourite. Taking on Winx over this trip in the Turnbull Stakes with 55kg, he set the pace and was brave in defeat after fighting down the Flemington straight, beaten under two lengths from the mighty mare. Missing a run at his next start owing to a stewards order, he then took on the 2500m Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Moving to the front from barrier 7, Dean Yendall was in the saddle and he went down in a fight when beaten a half-length behind Ventura Storm, with the run setting a new track record for the trip. John Allen will take the ride on the gelding for the first time with the 2000m close to his optimum trip and with the race looking to be devoid of speed, can he sneak away with it?
One of two last start Group 1 winners in the race, Shillelagh was treated to James and a Giant Peach, jockey James McDonald riding and absolute cracker of race to thread a passage and somehow find a clear path to arrive for the victory. The 7YO mare claimed victory in the 2017 Cantala Stakes at the mile and was back on the same day in 2018 to claim the Empire Rose Stakes for the fillies and mares, again at the mile. Trainer Chris Waller is rolling the dice with a crack at the Mackinnon with the mare having never raced beyond the mile in 29 career starts. The first three starts of her campaign were solid and each was an eye-catcher as she was charging home to finish close up in each without getting a placing. In the Empire Rose she was settled closer to the rear and with the field packing, McDonald stuck to the rails and the Savabeel mare sprinted sharply to arrive for a stylish victory. McDonald will be aboard again, with a smaller field working in her favour as she looks to secure her third Flemington victory. Shillelagh has Flemington figures of 4: 2-1-0 with both wins at G1 level.
The Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes is a weight-for-age contest over 2000m. The race is officially registered as the VRC Mackinnon Stakes, however in 2016 and 2017 was known as the Emirates Stakes. This came about in mid-2016 when it was announced the race would be subject to a large increase in prizemoney to coincide with the name change.
As part of the change in name, the race has also been moved from the first day of the carnival to the last and is the headline of the Stakes Day programme. The race has been a Group 1 event since 1979 and the only changes have centred around the name as it has been held at one mile and a quarter or 2000m since 1869.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2018 is $2million with the winner to receive $1.2million. Tosen Stardom was successful in 2017 for trainer Darren Weir and was ridden by Damian Lane. Other past winners include Gailo Chop, So You Think, Desert War, Lonhro, Let’s Elope, Better Loosen Up, Tulloch and Phar Lap.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 10th November 2018|
|Race Type:||Weight for Age|
|2017 Winner:||Tosen Stardom|
|Markets:||2018 Mackinnon Stakes Odds|
|2010||So You Think|