2000 metres, $2 million, weight-for-age
* First run as the Mackinnon Stakes in 1869 when won by Glencoe and for many years a traditional lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
* Shifted from the first to the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival this year.
* The old Emirates Stakes (1600m) was run as the Cantala Stakes on Derby day.
* Carbine (1890), Wakeful (1901-02-03), Gloaming (1924), Phar Lap (1930-31-32), Peter Pan (1934), Ajax (1938), Tranquil Star (1942, 1944-45), Flight (1946), Comic Court (1949-50), Rising Fast (1954-55), Tulloch (1960), Tobin Bronze (1966), Dulcify (1979), At Talaq (1986), Better Loosen Up (1990), Let’s Elope (1991), Lonhro (2002) So You Think (2010) and Happy Trails (2014).
* Four-year-olds have a strong record, winning 13 times since 1983.
* Happy Trails, Hauraki, Happy Clapper, Vadamos and Awesome Rock all ran in the Cox Plate.
* Nine of the past 11 Mackinnon Stakes winners contested the Cox Plate at their previous start.
* Godolphin’s English jockey William Buick has flown in to ride Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish.
* Scottish is one of two internationals in the race along with French horse Vadamos.
* After the Emirates, trainer Paul Beshara is planning to give Happy Trails one more start in Perth before he retires the horse.
WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
“He’s a Group One-winning colt and I’m hoping he can show that on Saturday.” – Trainer Chris Waller on Vanbrugh.
“Scottish is in great nick. I’m delighted with him. He couldn’t be any better and dropping back in trip will suit him.” – Godolphin’s English trainer Charlie Appelby.
“He’s looking for 2000.” – Trainer David Hayes on Seaburge.