2018 Mackinnon Stakes Preview


The 2018 Mackinnon Stakes is the final Group 1 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and 10 gallopers will contest the race at Flemington on Saturday.

Blair House has opened as a dominant favourite in our Mackinnon Stakes betting market following his close second behind Benbatl in the Ladbrokes Stakes.

Can Blair House justify his short price or will there be a Mackinnon Stakes upset? We have analysed the entire field and our Mackinnon Stakes tips can be found below.

It’s Somewhat

It’s Somewhat has raced fairly without ever looking like a winning chance in races like the George Main Stakes, Craven Plate and Crystal Mile this Spring. You can expect him to run his usual honest race, but I’m not sure that he has the upside to win.

Prized Icon

It has been an eternity since Prized Icon recorded his last race win in the 2016 edition of the Victoria Derby. He chased home Cliff’s Edge in the Crystal Mile and the step-up to 2000 metres will suit him. In saying that, this is a tougher race than the Crystal Mile and it is tough to have any confidence in a horse that has gone so long without winning.

Blair House

Blair House is clearly the horse to beat in the Mackinnon Stakes and it would not surprise if he ended up starting odds on. He made up good ground when he made his Australian racing debut in the Underwood Stakes and he was only narrowly denied by Benbatl in the Ladbrokes Stakes. That form was franked when Benbatl finished second behind Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate and a repeat of that effort would make Blair House incredibly tough to beat in this race.

Trap For Fools

Trap For Fools drops back in trip after he finished a gallant second in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day. The track conditions at The Valley definitely helped him in that contest and I’m not sure that the drop in trip suits at this stage of his campaign. He will take up the running and should be in the race for a long way.

Doubt Defying

Doubt Defying has recorded two wins from as many starts this campaign and he has been thrown in the deep end in the Mackinnon Stakes. His win in the Ladbrokes Sale Cup was strong and he is a horse with upside, but this is still a huge step-up in class and he has never shown anything to suggest that he is capable of winning at this level.


Octabello won the Cranbourne Cup before he finished a credible fifth in the Crystal Mile. He is another horse that he racing well, but is probably a touch outclassed in a race of this quality.


Latrobe is the x-factor in the Mackinnon Stakes field. He beat Rostropovich to win the Irish Derby and he was outclassed in the Juddmonte International Stakes before he finished second in the Irish St Leger. There is no doubt that he is a horse with ability, but I still think that he is at the level below Blair House and he would need his rival not to fire to be a genuine chance.


Shillelagh will step-up to 2000 metres for the first time following her excellent win in the Empire Rose Stakes last Saturday. James McDonald gave her a peach of a ride in that contest, but there was still plenty of merit in the win and the way that she savaged the line was particularly impressive. She maps to get a lovely run in transit with McDonald in the saddle again and there is no reason that she can’t run well again.

Extra Brut

Extra Brut is one of the most interesting runners in the Mackinnon Stakes. He recorded a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Victoria Derby last Saturday and trainer Darren Weir has given him the chance to take on the older horses in the Mackinnon Stakes. He does get in well at the weights, but he would still need to go to another level to be a genuine winning chance.

Mickey Blue Eyes

Mickey Blue Eyes will also back-up from the Victoria Derby. His run in the Victoria Derby was fairly plain and he has never shown anything to suggest that he is capable of winning a race of this quality.