The Group 1 Emirates Stakes (formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes) takes place on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse in November each year.
The weight-for-age race, which dates back to 1869 when it was first held, was known as the Melbourne Stakes until 1936 before being renamed in honour of LKS Mackinnon, the former chairman of the Victoria Racing Club. From 2016, however, it will be known as the Emirates Stakes after a name change.
It is staged over 2000m but will no longer be used as a lead up to the Melbourne Cup
three days later after being to the Saturday following the race that stops a nation.
Sixteen horses had done the Mackinnon Stakes and Melbourne Cup double in their careers with the most recent being Rogan Josh in 1999. At Talaq (1986), Empire Rose (1988) and Let's Elope (1991) are some of the more recent horses to have preceded him in winning both races.
The names of Carbine (1890), the brilliant dual winner Phar Lap (1930 and 1931), Peter Pan (1934), Ajax (1938), Leilani (1974), Dulcify (1979), Lonhro (2002) and So You Think (2010) are other notable ones on the roll of honour.
Other impressive winners of the race were Horlicks, the New Zealand galloper who captured the prize in 1989 and went on to take out the Japan Cup, and Better Loosen up who repeated the feat a year later in 1990.
Prior to it being moved, the Emirates Stakes was no longer the best guide to the Melbourne Cup with most trainers opting for a bigger gap between runs in recent years than the three-day back-up. Viewed in 2008 was the most recent horse to take the Melbourne Cup having ran in the Emirates Stakes, in which he was unplaced.
Runners in the Emirates Stakes often arrive having run in the Group 1 Cox Plate
at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne Spring Carnival
, while others may have contested the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes
at Flemington or the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
The race now takes place on the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.