The Mackinnon Stakes 2015 field is down to a line-up of 14 after the widely-drawn Fawkner came out of the Victoria Derby Day classic for Saturday, and which of the remaining hopefuls to back in Flemington Race 6 is detailed in our tips below.
With a jump time scheduled for 3:05pm (AEST), this year’s $1 million Group 1 Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) offers a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner and the last champion of the ‘race that stops a nation’ three days later to come out of the Mackinnon was Viewed (11th in 2008).
The latest Mackinnon Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, where punters can access Best Tote or SP + 20% on ALL nine Derby Day races this Saturday, feature six under $10 for the win.
The past six Mackinnon Stakes winners jumped at single-figures favouring those in the top half of the markets in 2015, including the firming $5.50 favourite Stratum Star.
Overtaking John O’Shea’s The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane ($6) at the top of Mackinnon Stakes betting, the Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star has been backed in from $7.50 to overcome a wide gate 14 draw on Saturday and post a third win from four starts.
The recent Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner was third in the Toorak Handicap over a mile two back before a Group 3 win over 2000m on Caulfield Cup Day, the same race he’s back over this weekend and tipped to relish.
Other notable single figure fancies include the reigning Mackinnon Stakes winner Happy Trails ($7.50), the Chris Waller-trained Flamingo Star ($7.50) and 2000m specialist Contributer ($8.50).
So can one of the single figure hopes continue the gun run for the shorter priced runners with a Mackinnon Stakes win on the weekend or is there value tipping an upset from the likes of the French-trained raider Gailo Chop ($14) or the German visitor import Magic Artist ($16) who is yet to run down under and is a genuine danger?
#7 Gailo Chop ($14)
So many boxes ticked by this French-trained galloper that the double figures are too hard to go past. He is drawn a treat in barrier five, which has produced four winners over the past 30 years, with Ben Melham in the saddle for the gelding’s second run down under. He comes out of the Cox Plate, which has produced more Mackinnon winners than any other race, where he ran eighth. Gets another chance at a roomier course that will suit better a week later and has the best Win Rate (54%) of the field. He’s also a gun over 2000m with seven wins from 11 starts to date and should be fitter than in the Cox Plate so watch for the improvement.
#4 Pornichet ($9)
Rating the Cox Plate form to hold again in the Mackinnon and best over the line in the WFA classic at Moonee Valley backing up on Saturday was Gai Waterhouse’s French import who has Group 1 winning form in Brisbane’s Doomben Cup over the 2000m. The stallion was at 51/1 in the Cox Plate but won’t be found at that sort of price in the Mackinnon where he has just his second run at Flemington. He’ll get a lovely run from gate four and his trainer boasts four previous Mackinnon Stakes wins so knows how to take out this race.
#9 Magic Hurricane ($6)
While he is no longer favourite, Magic Hurricane is a definite chance from Sydney looking to be the first Mackinnon winner coming off a Sydney not Melbourne run since 2006. His The Metropolitan win over 400m further was good and he’ll do no work from the inside alley on Saturday with Caulfield Cup winning hoop Opie Bosson in the saddle.
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