Skip to main content

Derby Day - Mackinnon Stakes preview

The $1m WFA contest on the card is the Group I Mackinnon Stakes, a funny old race which is part traditional lead-up to the Melbourne Cup, part hangover from the Cox Plate. Dissecting the race is another debutant previewer, Kieran Fitzgerald, @kjob85, welcome aboard!

------------------

Mackinnon Stakes 2012

Winchester
Imported American galloper who has failed to fire in his three starts in Australia. He did however have an impressive run in the Caulfield Cup – he was running last with 400m to go and roared down the straight to finish 9th. While he has won over this distance in America, his runs in Australia have produced three ninth places from as many races and he should find it too hard here.

Glass Harmonium
Always entertaining to see prancing around in the mounting yard, Glass Harmonium was the winner of last year's Mackinnon Stakes after finding the lead early and never surrendering it. Since then, he has struggled to regain his past form after recovering from a throat operation. This horse has a highly unpredictable history at the jump, and a lot depends on whether or not he jumps well or not. If he does he will take the lead early on, but in his last few runs he has struggled to maintain the pace. Based on his recent form at this level, he is likely to find it too tough here.

Alcopop
Has been a bit of a surprise packet this spring. Alcopop's best seemed to be behind him after disappointing results earlier this year but he finished a strong second to eventual Cox Plate winner Ocean Park in the Caulfield Stakes, then looked like he might win the Caulfield Cup before being run down by arguably the best stayer in the world in Dunaden. This horse is in great form and with champion jockey Craig Williams on board (replacing his usual mount, the less experienced Dom Tourneur), he could produce one of the day's surprises.

December Draw
Looked like he had made a strong comeback after a year off from injury, but had a disappointing run in the Caulfield Cup where he was a well-backed chance. The drop in distance will suit him – he ran strongly in the Turnbull Stakes over this distance, after winning that race last year. He has solid form on firm tracks and the inside barrier shouldn't hinder his chances too much as he likes to head towards the front early. Has not been well fancied in the early markets but should finish strongly on the day. This horse is often overlooked but should not be forgotten.

Prairie Star
Only his second start in Australia. Prairie Star has had excellent form in France, beating some very good horses over long distances. He ran a decent fourth in his first run in Australia carrying 59 kilos over this distance and that race will have done him a lot of good in stepping up in a race like the Mackinnon. His performance over Group 2 level in Europe should not be ignored and he should perform strongly here. There is a lot of value on offer in the markets early on for this horse and he must be included in the chances.

Back in Black
Ran fourth of seven in the ridiculously slow Geelong Cup. He is better suited to this distance, having won over it three times. However, his form has not been up to the standard of a race like this and he will find it hard going.

Ocean Park
One of the stars of the Spring Carnival, taking out the Underwood, the Caulfield Stakes and of course the Cox Plate, all in brilliant style. His recent form cannot be faulted, and he produced one of the highest-rated Cox Plate wins in history with a barnstorming race home. Definitely the horse to beat here. The only chink in his armour may be some residual fatigue after the Cox Plate – it was an epic run home in a tough race and he has never backed up just seven days later before. Despite this, he looks in great shape and it would be a brave punter who took him on. Seeking to replicate the Cox Plate-Mackinnon double of So You Think in 2010.

Zabeelionaire
Has been racing well without breaking through recently. He had a solid run in the Caulfield Cup and is well suited to this distance, with it being smack bang in the middle of the distances he has won over. He is probably not so well suited to a weight-for-age race, especially at this level, but he could surprise. Zabeelionaire is definitely a horse to watch but it seems like he will really hit his stride next year.

BETS:
Hard to look past Ocean Park but at such short odds, maybe roll him into a trifecta with Alcopop and Prairie Star for the minors. Both are also good each-way bets, with Prairie Star offering good place odds at around $3.00.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…

Westow Stakes - York 16/5/19

The sun was out for a glorious opening day of the meeting, and races down the straight appeared to have no concerns about draw bias. Thursday's card has a few higher profile races but this 3yo sprint is worth watching closely, tomorrow and for future form.



British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes
£50k, Listed & Class 1, 3yo, 5f
York 1605

Soldier's Call - flying machine, winning four of six starts in Britain last season, running third in the Prix L'Abbaye, beaten a neck at WFA then finished sixth as joint favourite in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Has plenty on these on ratings, but life's rarely that simple with unexposed 3yos early in the season.

Broken Spear - more exposed than most of these and well beaten by Garrus first up. Missed Chester last week, probably due to the rain (or a poor draw). Pass.

Charming Kid - won at this meeting last season but has been a little erratic ever since. Well beaten on AW Championships Day, appears to be a few lengths off these.

Garrus -…