The 2015 Mackinnon Stakes field will be released on Wednesday, but Cox Plate runners Happy Trials, The Cleaner and Pornichet are all a chance to contest the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Happy Trails finished a credible sixth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before he backed-up a week later to score a narrow win over He’s Your Man in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) a week later and trainer Paul Beshara confirmed that the Good Journey gelding will follow the same pattern after he had no luck in the Cox Plate on Saturday.
“He had no hope (in the Cox Plate) from the moment they jumped,” Beshara told Racing.com.
“It was like a monorail along the rail and anything out wide had no hope.”
The Cleaner took up the running in the early stages of the Cox Plate and it was clear that he was not a winning chance at the top of the straight, but he was still able to battle home fairly to finish a more than credible seventh.
The Savoivre Vivre gelding ran in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) following the Cox Plate last year and he finished third behind Hucklebuck and Lucky Hussler, but trainer Mick Burles revealed yesterday that the popular galloper could run in the Mackinnon Stakes this weekend before he begins preparations for the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1800m) at the Gold Coast in January of next year.
“I’ll just see how he is in the next few days but I’ll enter him in both races and then have a look,” Burles said.
“They were just too good for him but he battled on well as he always does and ran well.
“He’s pulled up fine, no worries at all.”
Pornichet failed to fire in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10, but he returned to his best form to finish a gallant fourth in the Cox Plate and he will press on to the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday with veteran hoop Jim Cassidy in the saddle.
Fawkner was far from disgraced in the Cox Plate and could also be included in the Mackinnon Stakes nominations, but he is likely to be saved for the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 14.
Criterion, Hartnell and Preferment are all set to head to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3, Arod will run in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7 and Gailo Chop will head to Hong Kong for either the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) or the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
You can score the best odds for every horse in the Mackinnon Stakes field with Ladbrokes, who will offer Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single race at Flemington on Saturday.