Monday , 19 August 2019

The Mackinnon Stakes – The Final Lead Up To The Big One, The Melbourne Cup


2013 winner - Side Glance (Getty Images)

The traditional final WFA lead-up race for the Melbourne Cup, the LKS Mackinnon Stakes was added to the Flemington spring carnival program in 1869 as the Melbourne Stakes. It remained under that name until 1936, when it was renamed in honour of former VRC chairman Lachlan Kenneth Scobie Mackinnon, the year after his death.

This race, first run in 1869, was originally known as the Melbourne Stakes. In 1936, it was re-named in honour of the former VRC Chairman, LKS Mackinnon. Run at WFA over 2000m, it provides an important final lead up to the Emirates Melbourne Cup, as well as an excellent opportunity for Australasia’s best middle-distance horses, under non-handicap conditions.

The Mackinnon Stakes is valued at $750,000 plus a $2500 trophy.

The Mackinnon Stakes of 1986 marked the beginning of an era where the outcomes of the Melbourne Cup and indeed, the Japan Cup, were foreshadowed by the Mackinnon Stakes result. The following winners soon after achieved a greater feat as shown:

  • 1986 – At Talaq (Melbourne Cup)
  • 1988 – Empire Rose (Melbourne Cup)
  • 1989 – Horlicks (Japan Cup)
  • 1990 – Better Loosen Up (Japan Cup)
  • 1991 – Let’s Elope (Melbourne Cup)
  • 1999 – Rogan Josh (Melbourne Cup)

The 1992 winner Veandercross subsequently ran second in the Melbourne Cup won by Subzero. Paris Lane defeated Jeune in the 1994 race, before they “quinellaed” the Melbourne Cup, in the reverse order. The NZ mare Champagne took out the race in 1998 before her gallant second in the Melbourne Cup.

In 2003, Casual Pass reversed a trend when he became the first 3YO for 50 years to win the Mackinnon Stakes. Grand Armee was hailed by most as Australia’s best WFA horse after his win in the race in 2004.

Year  Winner  Jockey  Trainer  2nd  3rd 
2013 Side Glance Jamie Spencer Andrew Balding Dear Demi Moriarty
2012 Alcopop Craig Williams Jake Stephens Glass Harmonium Ocean Park
2011 Glass Harmonium Damien Oliver  Michael Moroney Mourayan Rekindled Interest
2010 So You Think (NZ) S W Arnold Bart Cummings Descarado (NZ) Ginga Dude (NZ)
2009 Scenic Shot S Scriven Daniel Morton Miss Maren Viewed
2008 Theseo Nash Rawiller Gai Waterhouse Barbaricus Sirmione
2007 Sirmione Peter Mertens Bart Cummings Princess Coup Zipping
2006 Desert War Chris Munce Gai Waterhouse Growl Aqua Aqua d’Amore
2005 Lad of The Manor Greg Childs Roger Hoysted Our Smoking Joe Lachlan River
2004 Grand Armee Damien Oliver Gai Waterhouse Confectioner Vouvray
2003 Casual Pass Glen Boss Matthew Ellerton Pentastic Fields of Omagh
2002 Lonhro Darren Beadman John Hawkes Royal Code Distinctly Secret
2001 La Bella Dama Scott Seamer Graeme Rogerson Hill of Grace Emission
2000 Oliver Twist Greg Childs Brian Mayfield-Smith Camarena Slavonic
1999 Rogan Josh John Marshall Bart Cummings Rebel Oliver Twist
1998 Champagne Greg Hall Laurie Laxon Northern Drake Aerosmith
1997 Ebony Grosve Shane Dye Graeme Rogerson  Istidaad Filante
1996 All Our Mob Simon Marshall Gai Waterhouse Filante Saleous
1995 Danewin Damien Oliver  Bob Thomsen Protara’s Bay Starstruck
1994 Paris Lane Damien Oliver Lee Freedman Jeune Excited Angel
1993 The Phantom Jim Cassidy Noel Eales Fraar Naturalism
1992 Veandercross Shane Dye John Wheeler Rough Habit Aquidity
1991 Let’s Elope Steven King Bart Cummings Super Impose Prince Salieri
1990 Better Loosen Up Michael Clarke David Hayes Stylish Century Mr Brooker
1989 Horlicks Lance O’Sullivan Dave O’Sullivan King’s High  Vo Rogue
1988 Empire Rose T. Allan Laurie Laxon Vo Rogue Sky Chase
1987 Rubiton Harry White Pat Barns King of Brooklyn Military Plume
1986 At Talaq Michael Clarke Colin Hayes Colour Page Roman Artist
1985 Rising Prince Kevin Langby Deidre Stein So Vague The Filbert
1984 Bounty Hawk Harry White  Bart Cummings Alibhai Goleen
1983 Veloso Peter Cook Mal Barnes Chiamare Kiwi Kiwi Slave
1982 My Axeman W. Robinson T. K. Griffin Gurner’s Lane My Sir Avon
1981 Belmura Lad E. Didham Bart Cummings Kingston Town No Peer
1980 Belmura Lad Harry White Bart Cummings Family of Man Lady Capri

Notable winners include:

  • Carbine (1890)
  • Phar Lap (1930 & 1931)
  • Peter Pan (1932)
  • Ajax (1938)
  • Tranquil Star (1942, 1944 & 1945)
  • Flight (1946)
  • Comic Court (1949 & 1950)
  • Rising Fast (1954 & 1955)
  • Tulloch (1960)
  • Sky High (1961)
  • Tobin Bronze (1966)
  • Leilani (1974)
  • Dulcify (1979)
  • Horlicks (1989)
  • Better Loosen Up (1990)
  • Let’s Elope (1991)
  • Lonhro (2002)
  • Grand Armee (2004).

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