Haunted looms as a winning chance in the Ramornie Handicap. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

2019 Stakes Day Tips & Preview

And so we reach the fourth and final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and with it, the final two Group 1 feature races of the spring.

Stakes Day 2019 has drawn nine quality fields to Flemington on Saturday, and you can find a preview and tip for each race, right here!

Cup Week Radio Trophy (1600m) - 12:15pm AEDT
No. 2 Ranier

Ranier has returned several pleasing efforts this time and is up to winning the first on Stakes Day. The Lonhro gelding recorded a smart win in BM88 company at Rosehill three back and while he was disappointing two back, responded with a decent effort to finish a length fourth behind Cascadian in the Spring Mile at Randwick last time out. I think that form is going to prove to be superior and he arguably won’t be offered a better opportunity to win on Saturday.

Very Special Kids Pin And Win Plate (2000m) - 12:50pm AEDT
No. 7 Grinzinger Star

Grinzinger Star has improved for two runs this time and I think he’s ready to do something third-up and over 2000m in the second on Stakes Day. The son of Reliable Man has enjoyed a good twelve months of racing and was excellent during his autumn prep this year; finding form around some excellent horses. It’s been a fair old week for trainer Danny O’Brien, and he can enjoy another Melbourne Cup Carnival win early on the card on Saturday.

Listed Springtime Stakes (1400m) - 1:30pm AEDT
No. 3 Knickpoint

Knickpoint is yet to taste anything but success and I can’t see that changing when he takes his place in the Listed Springtime Stakes, albeit the biggest test of his short career so far. The Carlton House colt won on debut June before being returned to the paddock and picked up where he left off with a comfortable win over the likes of Palurien at Newcastle, who has since gone on to win a better race on the Kenso course at Randwick. He’ll only improve off that effort and has the notable advantage of Cup winning jockey Craig Williams engaged to ride.

Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) - 2:10pm AEDT
No. 5 True Self

Not quite the best staying race at Flemington this week, but a handy field has been taken for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and there’s good value in the market.

True Self missed a start in the Cup, but her Australian debut for a close-up second behind the people’s champion Prince Of Arran was outstanding, and a repeat of that effort would surely be enough to see her winning this race. Ryan Moore is confirmed to ride, and she’s drawn a peach in barrier 5 – at publish, she’s available at $2.20 but I don’t think I’d want her a whole lot shorter than that.

Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) - 2:50pm AEDT
No. 1 Santa Ana Lane

In my opinion, Santa Ana Lane is easily Australia’s best sprinter and he is primed to retain his crown in the Darley Sprint Classic. He flew home at this track and distance first-up and was clearly the run of the race in The Everest last start. I think he’ll relish getting back to the straight.

I’ve previewed the entire race and given my first four tips – you can find those RIGHT HERE.

each way
Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) - 3:30pm AEDT
No. 5 Aliferous

This is a wide-open edition of the Matriarch and I think there are several winning chances. For that reason, I’m keen to go after something at a price, and Aliferous looks a great each-way bet at her current price ($18 at publish). The Hinchinbrook mare is another that has continued to improve with racing this time, and she returned a big effort to finish second behind the talented Sure Knee over 1700m here on Cup Day. The rise in trip will suit at this point of her prep and I think that the short back up could prove the difference.

each way
Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) - 4:10pm AEDT
No. 5 Haunted

Haunted will carry winning form into this strong edition of the Chatham Stakes, but he looms as a leading contender and could prove enormous overs at around $9.50. The Lonhro gelding barely ever runs a bad race, but his performance to beat home a decent field in the Listed Caulfield Village last time was excellent, and he has form around some genuine stars this time in. He will need some luck from barrier 13, but he has the right man aboard in Kerrin McEvoy.

Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) - 4:55pm AEDT
No. 14 Magic Wand

Spring’s last Group 1 race has drawn a field fitting of its position in the carnival and there is a case to be made for many, many horses in Mackinnon Stakes betting.

Similarly to the other Group 1 on the card, I’ve previewed the race and provided a first four tips, which you can find RIGHT HERE.

In a nutshell however, I’ll be having a look at Magic Wand on the short back up.

each way
Seppelt Drumborg Grand Handicap (1100m) - 5:45pm AEDT
No. 7 Morrisy

This could be the most wide-open race on the Stakes Day card and that makes for an extremely difficult end to the day from a betting perspective.

I will however to be happy to have something small each-way on the Team Corstens-trained Morrisy. This horse has shown excellent ability since he debuted and will take good improvement from a competitive first-up effort when second over 955m at The Valley.