Mackinnon Stakes 2011 Nominations Vie for Melbourne Cup Start

This Saturday one of the four thoroughbred majors headlining the Victoria Derby Day program is the 2011 Mackinnon Stakes, the winner of which will gain an automatic start in next week’s highly anticipated Melbourne Cup clash.

Southern Speed

Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed has been nominated for the 2011 Mackinnon Stakes on Victoria Derby Day

Twenty-six gallopers have been nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) this year, 13 of which are also still currently entered for the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) after second declarations for the iconic handicap were taken on Monday morning leaving 47 in contention.

With spots in the capacity 24-starter Melbourne Cup field quickly filling, horses outside the top 24 in the order of entry, and even some of those right on the cusp, need to win a ballot exemption race to guarantee their spot.

There are two races remaining during the carnival that offer a Melbourne Cup exemption, the Mackinnon and the $250,000 Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m), both running at Flemington on Saturday.

2012 Melbourne Cup Odds

Odds subject to change.
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.

As such there are a number of dual nominees for Derby Day with connections of Cup hopes taking no chances.

Of the 13 Mackinnon Stakes entries heading towards the Melbourne Cup, those currently inside the top 24 in the order of entry are:

  • Midas Touch (4th) – One of the best-fancied of the Robert Hickmott-Lloyd Williams entries, paying $26 in the latest Cup markets at Luxbet, last seen running a brave third to the since-deceased Lion Tamer in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), also entered for Lexus
  • Glass Harmonium (7th) – Michael Moroney’s class import has a great record in Australia but was found out in the Cox Plate last Saturday when 10th to Pinker Pinker, is an $81 longshot for the Cup with queries over the distance, also entered for the Lexus
  • Unusual Suspect (8th) – Former American racehorse has had three runs in Australia, most recently running sixth beaten three and a half lengths in the Caulfield Cup, $26 in Luxbet Melbourne Cup odds
  • Linton (10th) – Another Hickmott-trained hopeful, ran second in the Lexus 12 months ago but failed in the Melbourne Cup when 21st beaten over 35 lengths, haven’t won a race in over a year and were disappointing last start when 12th in the Turnbull, as such only rated a $101 Melbourne Cup chance, also entered for Lexus
  • Precedence (11th) – Bart Cummings-trained Zabeel gelding, out of form and really doesn’t look a Melbourne Cup hope despite their guaranteed start, pays what we think is a short $31 to give Cummings’ his 13th victory in the ‘race that stops a nation’
  • Mourayan (12th) – Another Williams-owned Cup chance, looked in good form when winning the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 carrying 58kg, generous $35 price in the Melbourne Cup betting, also entered for Lexus
  • Hawk Island (16th) – Chris Waller-trained veteran was in good form in Sydney when second in The Metropolitan but didn’t’ impress when 13th in the Caulfield Cup last start, paying $51 at Luxbet to win the Melbourne Cup in an upset
  • At First Sight (20th) – Runs in Bendigo Cup on Wednesday, unlikely acceptor for Saturday
  • Booming (21st) – Jeff Lynd’s Kiwi raider is a $51 Melbourne Cup chance, has winning form up to 2300m, also entered for Lexus

There are then a number of hopefuls further down the Melbourne Cup ballot, including some horses high up the futures markets at Luxbet with:

  • Tullamore (25th) – Gai Waterhouse’s in-form Savabeel gelding, backed up from their Caulfield Cup third with a second to Melbourne Cup top elect, defending hero Americian, in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last Saturday, crunched into $18 for the Melbourne Cup at Luxbet, also entered for Lexus
  • The Verminator (26th) – Winner of The Metropolitan in Sydney last time out, genuine stayer with genuine claims and $51 Melbourne Cup price is juicy, also entered for Lexus
  • Lamasery (32nd) – Engaged for Bendigo Cup this Wednesday, more likely to stay in that race and withdraw from Saturday
  • Green Moon (34th) – Best-fancied of Hickmott’s Melbourne Cup entries at a Luxbet quote of $19, won the Newcastle Gold Cup in just their fourth Australian start and was impressive when second to Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup, shame for Williams if they don’t make the first Tuesday of November

Other noteable Mackinnon Stakes 2011 nominees that are not on the Cup path include Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed, eye-catching Cox Plate fourth placegetter Wall Street, unlucky Cox Plate third placegetter Rekindled Interest and recent Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer who is also entered for the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Derby Day.

See below for the full list of 2011 Longines Mackinnon Stakes nominations, which will be cut to a capacity 18-starter plus four emergency final field at acceptance stage on Wednesday with to publish all of the Victoria Derby Day race fields.

Stay tuned for our exclusive Mackinnon Stakes betting preview also.

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2011 Mackinnon Stakes Nominations & Weights

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp. Rating
1 AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE) Robert Hickmott 15 59kg 106
2 BANANA MAN Michael Kent 25 59kg 100
3 BOOMING (NZ) Jeff Lynds 19 59kg 105
4 EFFICIENT (NZ) Robert Hickmott 24 59kg 115
5 EXTRA ZERO David Hayes 11 59kg 100
6 FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller 21 59kg 108
7 GINGA DUDE (NZ) Graeme Boyd 7 59kg 107
8 GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE) Michael Moroney 13 59kg 112
9 GREEN MOON (IRE) Robert Hickmott 17 59kg 103
10 HAWK ISLAND (IRE) Chris Waller 9 59kg 109
11 LAMASERY David Vandyke 22 59kg 102
12 LINTON Robert Hickmott 10 59kg 108
13 MIDAS TOUCH (GB) Robert Hickmott 5 59kg 111
14 MOURAYAN (IRE) Robert Hickmott 6 59kg 108
15 PRECEDENCE (NZ) Bart Cummings 8 59kg 107
16 THE VERMINATOR Chris Waller 18 59kg 105
17 TULLAMORE (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 16 59kg 106
18 UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA) Michael Kent 4 59kg 110
19 WALL STREET (NZ) Jeff Lynds 2 59kg 114
20 REKINDLED INTEREST Jim Conlan 14 58kg 113
21 SINCERO Stephen Farley 3 58kg 113
22 ULUNDI Pat Carey 23 58kg 75
23 LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ) Peter G Moody 20 56kg 105
24 SECRET ADMIRER Grahame Begg 12 56kg 113
25 SOUTHERN SPEED Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas 1 56kg 111
26 ROSEWALL John O’Shea 26 50kg 63