The Mackinnon Stakes has been renamed as the VRC Champions Stakes as of 2022
Previously known as the Emirates Stakes and the Mackinnon Stakes, the Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes is now a $3 million feature held on the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
In a bid to attract graduates of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) from late October at Moonee Valley Racecourse, the updated event takes place over 2000m under weight-for-age conditions on the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup runs on the first Tuesday of November.
Arcadia Queen (5th in 2020) was the last Cox Plate graduate to back-up and win the Mackinnon Stakes, which is now known as the VRC Champions Stakes.
Previously worth $1 million in prize money, in 2016 the race offered a lucrative $2 million in total stakes before stakes were boosted again ahead of the 2022 event to $3 million.
The VRC Champions Stakes now attracts the top tier of both local and international WFA stars. The race formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes is one of three Group 1 races on the card along with the $3 million Champions Sprint (1200m) – formerly the VRC Sprint Classic – and the $3 million Champions Mile (1600m) – formerly the Cantala Stakes held on Derby Day.
This season the 2022 Mackinnon Stakes runs on Saturday November 5, 2022 as the VRC Champions Stakes.
2022 Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) Results
The official Mackinnon Stakes 2022 Results & Finishing Order will be known in 2022 as the VRC Champions Stakes results and available below once the race is run and won on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival on Saturday November 5, 2022.
- 1st: TBD
- 2nd: TBD
- 3rd: TBD
VRC Champions Stakes Race Info
- Date: Saturday November 5, 2022
- Former Race Name: Mackinnon Stakes
- Track: Flemington Racecourse
- Distance: 2000m
- Conditions: Weight-for-age
- Status: Group 1
- Prize Money: $3 million
- First Run: 1869
VRC Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) Betting
Mackinnon Stakes odds – known in 2022 as the VRC Champions Stakes odds – are dominated by proven weight-for-age performers with previous experience in Melbourne during the spring.
A race like the Cox Plate run under the same conditions makes the ideal lead-up and the best performers in that Moonee Valley race sit highly up the VRC Champions Stakes / Mackinnon Stakes betting markets. As of 2016 the Cox Plate – Mackinnon Stakes (VRC Champions Stakes) is a popular betting double for punters with the races spaced an ideal two weeks apart.
In 2016 the first new-look edition of the Mackinnon Stakes was won in an upset with the winner Awesome Rock improving on a lead-up Cox Plate fifth to salute at Mackinnon Stakes odds of $19. The single-figure fancies were back in winning form the following year with the victory of Tosen Stardom ($6.50) in 2017. In 2018 there was a notable upset with the winner Trap For Fools winning at Mackinnon Stakes odds of $26!
The 2019 Mackinnon Stakes winner was Irish raider Magic Wand ($4.80) who ran fourth in the Cox Plate and 10th in the Melbourne Cup.
In 2020 Cox Plate fifth place-getter Arcadia Queen ($2.45) backed-up to win for the punters, before Zaaki ($2.25F) atoned for his Cox Plate scratching to win the 2021 Mackinnon Stakes and become the latest favourite to win the event, as well as the last before the race was renamed the VRC Champions Stakes in 2022.
2022 VRC Champions Stakes Odds
The season’s best VRC Champions Stakes 2022 odds on the race also known as the Mackinnon Stakes and Melbourne Cup Carnival betting market links to the weight-for-age clash will be available the week of the race so stay tuned for the top prices on this year’s runners.
Early market betting odds on the 2022 VRC Champions Stakes will be displayed below once available. Odds are subject to fluctuation. For current odds on all of our live markets, please visit ladbrokes.com.au.
VRC Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) Tips
Mackinnon Stakes tips on the race now known as the VRC Champions Stakes include looking for horses with winning form up to 2000m, experience in Melbourne during the spring carnival and Cox Plate graduates that ran well in the lead-up weight-for-age showdown.
International gallopers have been making more of an impact in the Mackinnon Stakes from 2016 onwards, so another good tip is to look at the in-form raiders especially those that contested the Cox Plate.
Magic Wand (2019) was the latest international to dominate the race saluting on a quick back-up out of the Melbourne Cup for Ireland.
2022 VRC Champions Stakes Tips
Our Ladbrokes’ insider VRC Champions Stakes 2022 tips and Group 1 Flemington exotic betting selections on the former Mackinnon Stakes race will be detailed below the week of the race so stay tuned for the end-of-spring stars to back and sack in the $3 million showdown.
VRC Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) Field
The new-look Mackinnon Stakes field – now known as the VRC Champions Stakes field as of 2022 – attracts the highest-rated weight-for-age runners from around the globe looking for a final Group 1 win during the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival in Victoria. Many horses in the field are graduates of Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the Cox Plate, held over a very similar distance a couple of weeks earlier at Moonee Valley.
Mares in the race field may also be on the short turnaround off a run in the previous Saturday’s Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) on Derby Day. In 2019 the Empire Rose Stakes winner Melody Belle jumped favourite in the Mackinnon Stakes field and finished a brave second to the Irish-trained winner Magic Wand.
Melody Belle also returned for the 2020 Mackinnon Stakes and ran a brave third to fellow mare Arcadia Queen.
VRC Champions Stakes nominations are taken on the Monday prior to the race running on the first Saturday of November, with the final field and barrier draw released on the Wednesday.
2022 VRC Champions Stakes Field
The official VRC Champions Stakes 2022 field and barriers are available on the Wednesday before race day, one day after the coveted Melbourne Cup is run and won, and will be provided in full once released.
2022 VRC Champions Stakes Nominations
The early VRC Champions Stakes nominations close the Monday of race week – a day before Melbourne Cup Day – and will be published below once confirmed.
VRC Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) Form Guide
The Mackinnon Stakes form guide – known in 2022 as the VRC Champions Stakes form guide – features all the key information for punters including the saddlecloth numbers, barriers, jockeys, trainers and lead-up runs of all the horses in the field.
The race, prior to 2016, was considered a key lead-up to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November and provided recent winners of the ‘race that stops a nation’ including Rogan Josh (1999) who completed the double.
In 2019 Magic Wand improved on her 10th in the Melbourne Cup just four days earlier to win the then-Mackinnon Stakes on the last day of the carnival.
So You Think (2010) is one of the most famous winners of the Mackinnon Stakes.
Now run after the Melbourne Cup, the Mackinnon Stakes (currently known as the VRC Champions Stakes) is likely to be the last run of the horses’ spring campaigns and good lead-up races to look at the form of include the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Stakes and of course the Cox Plate.
In 2020 Arcadia Queen completed the Caulfield Stakes – Mackinnon Stakes double.
VRC Champions Stakes / Mackinnon Stakes Form Facts
- The Cox Plate has been the key lead-up race into the Emirates / Mackinnon Stakes producing nine of the 12 winners between 2008 – 2021
- Only one Emirates Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes) winner in over 30 years came off a Sydney lead-up: Desert War (Epsom Handicap 2nd, 2006)
- So You Think (2010), Arcadia Queen (2020) and Zaaki (2021) are the only Mackinnon Stakes favourites to salute for the punters since 2005
2022 VRC Champions Stakes Form Guide
A link to our comprehensive VRC Champions Stakes 2022 Form Guide will be provided for punters below the week of the race.
Mackinnon Stakes History & Results
The old Emirates Stakes was a mile handicap race run at Flemington Racecourse on the fourth and final meeting of the Melbourne Cup Carnival on the first Saturday in November.
From 2016 onwards, the race still takes place as the namesake event of Mackinnon Stakes Day – known as VRC Champions Stakes Day in 2022 – or ‘Family Day’ at Victoria’s premier race track on this date, but the conditions and prize money differ. In 2016 the 1600m handicap previously known as the Emirates Stakes moved to Victoria Derby Day, the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting the Saturday prior to Emirates Stakes Day, and was known as the Kennedy Mile before changing in 2022 to the Champions Mile and moving back to the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup.
VRC Champions Stakes / Mackinnon Stakes results up until 2016 are those of the race formerly known as the Emirates Stakes which are listed below.
Notable recent Mackinnon Stakes winners include: Zaaki (2021), Arcadia Queen (2020), Magic Wand (2019), Galio Chop (2015), So You Think (2010), Desert War (2006), Grand Armee (2004) and Lonhro (2002).
From 2022 the Mackinnon Stakes winners will officially be registered as the VRC Champions Stakes winners.
Emirates / Mackinnon / VRC Champions Stakes Winners
||Trap For Fools
||He’s Your Man
||So You Think
||Lad of The Manor
||Our Smoking Joe
||Fields of Omagh
||La Bella Dama
||Hill of Grace