Seppelt Wines Stakes Day meeting

Seppelt Wines Stakes Day, the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, attracts quality fields boasting two Group 1s; one Group 2; two Group 3s and one Listed race. It is affectionately known as Family Day and, for the racing purist, this is a quality day where the form generally holds up from the lead in meetings.


The feature on the program is the $2 million Group 1 Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes– a weight-for-age race which sits neatly two weeks after the W.S Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. It attracts the star middle distance performers and has become a target for the international raiders. Probably the most travelled thoroughbred in the world over the past twelve months, Magic Wand, was successful in last year’s renewal.

The support act, if you like, attracts Australia’s best sprinters to the $1.5 million Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic. And with a reputation for being a genuine feature at the conclusion of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the field is of the highest calibre. Last year’s winner, Nature Strip, went on to secure the T.J Smith Stakes (G1) in Sydney building a profile that saw him take out the 2020 Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year title. Previous winners have also included Santa Ana Lane (2018), Redzel (2017), Buffering (2013) and Black Caviar (2010 and 2011).

The L.K.S Mackinnon Stakes (G1) has had a fascinating history and is named after a previous Chairman of the VRC. Lachlan Mackinnon is one of only three owners to win the Melbourne Cup whilst holding the position of Chairman; Richard Turnbull (1944 – Sirius) and Andrew Ramsden (2000 – Brew) being the other two. ‘LKS’ won the 1914 Melbourne Cup with Kingsburgh.

The LKS Mackinnon Stakes (G1) was formerly known as the Melbourne Stakes (G1) and dates back to 1868 when Glencoe (1868 Melbourne Cup winner) won the race for four time Cup winning trainer, John Tait. The race was, for some time, a lead into the Melbourne Cup when run on Derby Day but now, as a stand-alone feature on Seppelt Wines Stakes Day, its purpose has become more pronounced.

With an honour roll boasting the likes of Chester (1878), Malua (1884), Trenton (1885), Wakeful (1901-03), Poseidon (1907), Eurythmic (1920-21), Manfred (1926), Phar Lap (1930-31), Peter Pan (1932 and 1934), Ajax (1938), Beau Vite (1940-41), Tranquil Star (1944-45); Comic Court (1949-50); Rising Fast (1954-55), Tulloch (1960), Tobin Bronze (1966), Leilani (1974), Dulcify (1979), Rubiton (1987), Horlicks (1989), Better Loosen Up (1990), Let’s Elope (1991), Lonhro (2002), So You Think (2010), one would suggest the calibre of entrant is at its highest.