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Cox Plate reject Trap For Fools showed his class and grit with an all the way win in the Group 1 $2m Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington today.

Trap For Fools, above, leads all of the way to win the 2018 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Trap For Fools, above, leads all of the way to win the 2018 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Trainer Jarrod McLean had intended to run Trap For Fools in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27 but the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee used their power to exclude the five year old from the field.

Trap For Fools instead ran in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on the same day for a second to Ventura Strorm.

McLean didn’t give up hope of winning his first Group 1 race and aided by a well-judged front running ride by John Allen, Trap For Fools ($26) was able to hold off all the challenges in the run down the long Flemington straight to record a narrow but memorable victory.

The Irish Derby winner Latrobe ($5.50) loomed up at the 300m and tried hard to go past Trap For Fools but was unable to put pay to the tough gelding and trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Mark Zahra had to be content for second while the Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut ($4.60) came from last to fill third spot.

The Charlie Appleby trained Blair House was sent out as the $2.45 favourite but never threatened after travelling in the second half of the field.

“I was waiting for the post to come up,” McLean said.

“He sustained a gallop to the line, great ride by Johnny and huge thrill today.”

McLean said that he was disappointed that Trap For Fools was omitted from the Cox Plate field but he is thrilled to win his first Group 1 trophy with Irish jockey John Allen.

As well as training in his own right at Warrnambool, McLean is also trainer Darren Weir’s right hand man on the coast and Allen does a lot of work for both trainers.

“I was disappointing with the Cox Plate and on that occasion I said things happen for a reason and maybe this was meant to be,” McLean said.

“A big thrill to win my first Group 1 with Johnny Allen.”

“Darren Weir, I have learnt so much off of him the last couple of years and I think I help him as much as he helps me.”

“A great team effort and huge thrill to win a Group 1 today.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.