Mackinnon Stakes
  • Speed map, rated market and runner comments from pro punter Cameron O’Brien
  • In what looks like an extremely even race, Cam is having a small bet on one at big odds.

It’s the final day of the Flemington carnival, and for most people the final day of the Spring Carnival – though of course Sandown is to come. This race used to be on Derby Day and could be used as a lead-in to the Cup, but in recent years has been transferred to the final day. It’s a bit of a shame because it really was in its right place on Derby Day, among all the other great races that day. However, it is still a great race and it does give Cox Plate runners an extra week if they wanted to run in it.

Mackinnon Stakes: Speed map

The map is interesting. I don’t think there’s many who will want to press on and the three on-pace runners I have could end up with the best runs.

Mackinnon Stakes: Rated market

As can easily be seen I think it’s a very even race! There are no real standout runners that are a class above and therefore any of them could win on their day. I won’t be betting much here but I’ll certainly be having something on HARLEM (7).

Mackinnon Stakes: Key chances

MELODY BELLE (15) is racing super, going a strong 114 to win the Empire Rose. The 2000m is no problem at all. Her one issue here is the wide draw and going right back, however by this time the middle is likely to be the best going anyway. She’ll finish off hard and be tough to hold out.

MAGIC WAND (14) put in a game run going 114 and leading them in the Cox Plate. The Cup wasn’t run to suit him, however I don’t think he got 3200 metres anyway. He’s better suited here and with Ryan Moore on board should get every chance.

HARLEM (7) is the value in the race for mine. He doesn’t get around tight old Moonee Valley, but he was good the start before at Caulfield and he grows another leg at Flemington, especially at the 2000 metres. He maps ideally and has Jamie Kah. Silly odds!

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (13) is a hard one to mark up. He closed out well to beat Black Heart Bart first-up in Australia, then couldn’t hold that (or anything like it) in the Cox Plate. Looks like a bigger track like Flemington will suit though.

HARTNELL (1) retires after this race! What a great horse he has been over the years, and even now he’s racing really consistently as a nine-year-olf, though quite a way off his old marks. He’s rated between 113 and 115 in all of his last five runs though, and though drawn wide I think he can get somewhere in that range again. In this renewal of the race that gives him a chance.

HUMIDOR (3) was stiff not to get a run in the Cox Plate and ended up in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup over 2500m instead. He doesn’t get 2,500 metres down a well but he tried hard there. Back to the 2000 metres and a track he likes, I expect him to go a bit better again… however I don’t think we’ll see his older marks either.

FIFTY STARS (11) is racing well. He closed it out solidly last start behind Fierce Impact, going 114, and just refused to lie down. I think the 2000 metres should be okay and the 114 makes him a solid hope here too.

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