Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
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.
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.
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 Races.com.au to publish all of the Victoria Derby Day race fields.
Stay tuned for our exclusive Mackinnon Stakes betting preview also.
To view the latest Melbourne Cup odds in full and get behind your early picks before Saturday’s Derby Day results affect the markets, head to Luxbet and join this Tabcorp-owned and trusted bookmaker quoting BONUSBET when making your first deposit to enjoy a bonus $500 bet this spring carnival only!
2011 Mackinnon Stakes Nominations & Weights
|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|
|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|
|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|
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