A field of 14 top middle-distance runners will get their last chance at Group One success for the spring racing season this Saturday in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
With all but three of the horses missing out on winning at the highest level of racing during their spring campaigns, the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes is set to be an exciting race full of talented horses.
He’s Your Man opened the Mackinnon Stakes betting market art Ladbrokes.com.au as $5.50 favourite but Rising Romance has since firmed from $6 to $5 to take the top spot.
The Donna Logan-trained mare is in top form following a surprise second place in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) to Admire Rakti on the back of a Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) second place finish.
Rising Romance will also have the advantage of carrying up to 2.5kg less than her mostly male rivals in the race. However jockey James McDonald will have to make sure the mare doesn’t get stuck wide after drawing barrier 12 (into 11 after the scratching of Side Glance).
Will the two-time runner-up break through with a win in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes this Saturday? Or will one of the other top runners be hungry enough for the Group One win to cause an upset over the favourite?
Check out our betting tips below to get an idea of who to back in this exciting race.
#13 Criterion ($5.50)
One of four single figure hopefuls in the Mackinnon Stakes betting, Criterion is well tipped to win his first spring race. The four-year-old enjoyed success earlier in the year with back-to-back Group One wins in the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby however despite five starts this preparation, he remains winless. Criterion came close in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), finishing second in both, before finishing midfield in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) after coming away slowly. Seven of the last 10 Mackinnon Stakes winners have come from the Cox Plate, and Criterion is our pick to become the eighth.
#6 Brambles ($13)
Peter Moody has already stated he will not change tactics with Brambles after the gelding was pushed on to be right on the speed last time out in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m). He had to maintain the speed with others getting underneath him but he stayed strong to run an honest race, staying so close on the line in fourth. He’ll be left alone which will hopefully result in a run similar to the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), in which Brambles ran a great race at WFA to finish just half a length off Lucia Valentina in third. Brambles is offering punters good value for money here, though the 5kg weight increase could slow him down.
#12 Amralah ($10)
The five-year-old horse is in-form following back-to-back wins in the Listed Doom Bar Stakes (2017m) and Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (2098m), though he hasn’t raced since August. This will also be the Irish international’s debut start in Australia after 11 starts in Britain. However, Amralah is set to jump from barrier 4, which is the most successful Mackinnon Stakes barrier since 1983 bringing home five winners. He also has the highest place rate of 73%.
With so many strong runners contesting the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday, it’s hard to pick a trifecta let alone the winner. But if you like our tips, back them at Ladbrokes.com.au now!
Collect a little extra this VRC Derby Day at Ladbrokes. Get Best Tote or SP + 20% in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes. That means an additional 20% on your winnings!