MACKINNON STAKES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* First run in 1869 when won by Glencoe. Traditional lead-up to the Melbourne Cup
* 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) and So You Think (2010)
* Four-year-olds have a strong record winning 10 of past 25
* Mackinnon winners who have won Melbourne Cup in same year include: Rising Fast (1954), Rain Lover (1968), At Talaq (1986), Empire Rose (1988), Let’s Elope (1991) and Rogan Josh (1999)
* Three runners backing up from Cox Plate – Happy Trails, Foreteller and Criterion.
RACE TEMPO: With the scratching of Side Glance, Star Rolling could take up the running if he jumps cleanly. Brambles also travels in a forward position. Connections of overseas visitor Farraaj have indicated he is capable of racing handy. Import Amralah has an on-speed pattern in middle-distance races in England.
MELBOURNE CUP: Two Mackinnon runners, Brambles and Amralah, remain in the Melbourne Cup. Brambles is safely in the field while Amralah needs to finish in the first three to pass the first elimination clause for the Cup.
KEY FORMLINES: Seven of the past 10 Mackinnon winners have contested the Cox Plate at their previous start. Criterion, seventh at Moonee Valley, is favoured to enhance that record. He’s Your Man follows a similar path to 2006 winner Desert War via the Epsom Handicap. Rising Romance comes off an excellent Caulfield Cup placing.