Stakes Day – The Final Quarter

Hartnell is gunning to end his career on a Group 1-winning note in the Mackinnon Stakes. (Photo:

A horse who has developed into one of my absolute favourites goes around one last time in tomorrow’s $2 million Mackinnon Stakes.

Godolphin-owned Hartnell goes into battle at Group 1 level for the 33rd time – what an unbelievable achievement on its own.

The $7 million earner will have most cheering him on and his last race will be the highlight on a day littered with excellent racing.

The $2 million Darley Sprint will be another memorable event with the contrasting styles of winning fancies Nature Strip and Santa Ana Lane.

The weather is expected to be horrendous so the jockeys who can locate the good ground and the horses who can handle the going are the ones we need to identify to have a excellent day from an economics angle.

Oaks Day was a treat with Hard Landing, Soothing and Sisstar getting the job done for us. A few from the Twittersphere jumped in with me so we were all handsomely rewarded.

Here is how I see Stakes Day;

Race 5 – Darley Sprint Classic (Group 1, 1200m, $2,000,000)
This speed map should be relatively easy to work out but that probably puts us no closer to locating the winning horse. Nature Strip will jump and run, like he did in The Everest, whilst hot favourite Santa Ana Lane will get back and charge home with sectionals that few horses can replicate.
IF Nature Strip travels and can get them chasing at an uncomfortable tempo, he will be incredibly hard to overcome. IF he rips too hard, he will almost certainly set it up for Santa to swoop.
Loving Gaby deserves respect after winning the Manikato Stakes and she again significantly lighter than any of her rivals. (Santa is giving her 7kg).
Aside from In Her Time, it’s hard to see anything else winning.

1 Santa Ana Lane $2.20
2 Nature Strip $4.40
3 In Her Time $10
4 Loving Gaby $7

Race 7 – Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (Group 1, 2000m, $2,000,000)
An excellent race with many winning hopes – unless you are rolling with the Melody Belle hype-train.
Her win in the Empire Rose was sensational, defying track bias and swimming through the rain-affected ground to scorch her Group 1 rivals.
There is far more quality engaged here, though, with Melbourne Cup participant Magic Wand engaged, wet tracker Fifty Stars, recent Group 1 winner Kings Will Dream and the retiring Hartnell.
Even horses like Humidor, So Si Bon, Cape of Good Hope and Japan’s Kluger are worth thought.

1 Melody Belle $3
2 Magic Wand $8
3 Hartnell $10
4 So Si Bon $26

Race 1 – Cup Week Radio Trophy
1 Ranier $3.70
2 Reserve Street, 5.50
3 Sunday Pray $11
4 Al Passem $21

Race 2 – Very Special Kids Pin

1 Grinzinger Star $3
2 Starcaster $5
3 Wetakemanhattan $3.30
4 Snitzepeg $17

Race 3 – World Racing Springtime Stakes
1 Knickpoint $2.20
2 Hilo $12
3 Done By Me $18
4 Triton Rising $26

Race 4 – Queen Elizabeth Stakes

1 True Self $2
2 Red Cardinal $10
3 Sir Charles Road $26
4 Carif $5

Race 6 – TAB Matriarch Stakes
1 Girl Tuesday $5
2 Another Dollar $15
3 Oceanex $14
4 Amangiri $8

Race 7 – Network Ten Chatham Stakes
1 Reykjavik $7
2 Haunted $8
3 Widgee Turf $5.50
4 Tom Melbourne $26

Race 9 – Seppelt Drumborg Grand Handicap
1 November Man $21
2 Esperance $5.75
3 Screenager $5.50
4 Akkadian $14

Best Bets:
R1 N2 Ranier win $3.70
R9 N8 November Man each way $21 & $5.50
All-up – R3 N3 win into R4 N5 win $4.38

1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13
2, 5, 6, 10, 14
1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16
1, 8, 16

It’s bound to be a momentous day to end the spring carnival. Enjoy and hopefully you blast out and escape spring as a winning punter because not many do!






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