The 2015 Mackinnon Stakes nominations have been released and 30 talented gallopers are in contention to run in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Happy Trails backed-up from the Cox Plate to win the Mackinnon Stakes 12 months ago and the veteran gelding will be given the chance to do the same in the $1 million race again in 2015 after he was caught in the worst part of the track in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last week.
Pornichet is also set to back-up in the Mackinnon Stakes this weekend following his credible fourth in the Cox Plate, while Fawkner and Gailo Chop have also been included in the Mackinnon Stakes nominations.
Godolphin opted to remove Contributer from the Cox Plate in order to save him for the Mackinnon Stakes and he will be given the chance to return to winning form along with stablemate Magic Hurricane, who was balloted out of the Caulfield Cup following his win in The Metropolitan.
The leading racing organisation could have even more runners in the Mackinnon Stakes in the form of Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Secret Number and Elhamma.
Secret Number is assured of a place in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field and could use the Mackinnon Stakes as a lead-up for ‘the race that stops a nation’, while Elhaame will need to win either the Mackinnon Stakes or the Lexus Stakes to earn a place in the Melbourne Cup field.
No Melbourne Cup winner has come through the Mackinnon Stakes since Viewed in 2008, but it use to be one of the key lead-up races to the Melbourne Cup and the likes of Beaten Up, Ethiopia, Gust Of Wind, Our Ivanhowe and Thunder Lady also remain a chance of contesting the Mackinnon Stakes.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes nominations is Australian Bloodstock-owned Magic Artist, who is set to make his Australian racing debut at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Magic Artist is yet to record a win at the highest level of racing, but he finished second behind Cleo Fran in the Group 1 Premio Presidente Della Repubblica (2012m) in Rome and he finished a credible firth in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis (2012m) at Munich in his final race start before making the trip to Australia.
The Iffraaj entire has not been included in the 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations, but he has been entered for both the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) that will be held during the 2015 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
Countryman, Ecuador, Extra Zero, Fenway, Flamingo Star, Hawkspur, Index Linked, Kirramosa, Moriarty, Rising Romance, Ritzy, Velox, Set Square and Weary have also been included in the Mackinnon Stakes nominations.
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