VRC Champions Stakes
Group One Betting Guide
|Date:||Saturday, November 9, 2024|
|Location:||Flemington Racecourse – Melbourne, Victoria|
HELD on the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup, the VRC Champions Stakes is one of two massive Group 1 events on the same day. Run over 2000 metres at Flemington, the $3 million weight for age event inspires a flurry of betting action. First run in 1869, the VRC Champions Stakes was once a huge pointer to higher honours, with the race seen as a last minute chance for a Melbourne Cup runner.
The race was previously the last gasp opportunity to qualify for the Melbourne Cup, but has since been shuffled around to make it the final Group 1 of the Cup carnival.
The event changed to the LKS Mackinnon Stakes in 1937, and the race’s first winner in its new incarnation was named The Trump. The Trump was a bona fide star, doing the rare Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double to add to his Mackinnon win in 1937, part of a six race streak where he was first past the post.
Four Melbourne Cup winners have been spawned from this race and used to go two ways, with some horses using it as a springboard to get into the cup, while others who have managed to do enough avoid the ballot for the race that stops a nation will use it as a tune up for the major event.
2024 VRC Champions Stakes odds
Markets for the 2024 VRC Champions Stakes are currently unavailable.
Betting sites and odds on the VRC Champions Stakes
If you’re going to have a crack at the popular VRC Champions Stakes, you need to find a bookie to take your wager. Don’t worry about looking, we have got you covered. For the best odds and specials, this is where you should be headed:
Latest VRC Champions Stakes News
Most successful trainers and jockeys in the VRC Champions Stakes
Who else but Bart for most successful trainer? The legend’s steeds have won this race a record five times. Sydney starlet Gai Waterhouse is one behind with four, while both Graeme Rogerson and Laurie Laxon have two each. The Cummings trained Rogan Josh, Let’s Elope and Gold and Black did the VRC Champions Stakes and Melbourne Cup doubles.
Some of the sheen might have come off his glittering career of late, but top hoop Damien Oliver boasts the best record of any jockey in the VRC Champions Stakes, piloting five horses home in the race. No one else has more than two, with Greg Childs, Shane Dye, Michael Clarke and Harry White sharing mantle as the most successful jockeys
Multiple training wins in the VRC Champions Stakes
|Two||Graeme Rogerson, Laurie Laxon, Annabel Neasham|
2024 VRC Champions Stakes Final Field
HorseBetting will update this page when the 2024 VRC Champions Stakes field is released.
Previous VRC Champions Stakes Fields
With recent stars like Zaaki & Arcadia Queen taking out the VRC Champions Stakes, here is what the fields looked like when they won the VRC Champions Stakes.
No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight 1 Zaaki Annabel Neasham Jamie Kah 10 59kg 2 Huetor Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 11 59kg 3 Young Werther Danny O’Brien Billy Egan 6 59kg 4 West Wind Blows Simon & Ed Crisford Jamie Spencer 2 59kg 5 Zeyrek Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Ben Melham 7 59kg 6 Pinstriped Enver Jusufovic Ben Allen 9 59kg 7 Buckaroo Joseph O’Brien Blake Shinn 8 59kg 8 Montefilia Chris Waller Michael Dee 1 57kg 9 Duais Edward Cummings Damien Oliver 3 57kg 10 Atishu Chris Waller James McDonald 5 57kg 11 Prowess Roger James & Robert Wellwood Mark Zahra 4 56.5kg No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight 1 I’m Thunderstruck Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr Mark Zahra 8 59kg 2 Zaaki Annabel Neasham Jamie Kah 1 59kg 3 Mo’unga Annabel Neasham Nash Rawiller 11 59kg 4 Maximal John O’Shea Ben Melham 9 59kg 5 Hezashocka Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr Damien Oliver 2 59kg 6 Bankers Choice Mike Moroney John Allen 7 59kg 7 Anamoe James Cummings James McDonald 4 58.5kg 8 Hinged Chris Waller Brenton Avdulla 3 56.5kg 9 Mustang Valley Andrew Forsman Tim Clark 10 56.5kg 10 Elliptical Anthony & Sam Freedman Craig Williams 6 51kg 11 Mr Maestro Andrew Forsman Michael Dee 5 51kg No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight 1 Homesman Anthony & Sam Freedman Jye McNeil 1 59kg 2 Cascadian James Cummings Brett Prebble 2 59kg 3 Superstorm Danny O’Brien Luke Currie 10 59kg 4 Zaaki Annabel Neasham James McDonald 8 59kg 5 Keiai Nautique Matthew Smith Craig Newitt 6 59kg 6 Dalasan Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas Craig Williams 3 59kg 7 Mo’unga Annabel Neasham Hugh Bowman 5 58.5kg 8 Private Eye Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 9 58.5kg 9 Colette James Cummings Damian Lane 4 57kg 10 Hungry Heart Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 7 56.5kg No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight 1 Harlem Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes Craig Williams 1 59kg 2 Fifty Stars Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes John Allen 8 59kg 3 Mr Quickie Phillip Stokes Luke Nolen 3 59kg 4 Mirage Dancer Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Michael Dee 7 59kg 5 Mugatoo Kris Lees Hugh Bowman 9 59kg 6 Skyward Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Glen Boss 4 59kg 7 Dalasan Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas Jamie Kah 2 58.5kg 8 Melody Belle Jamie Richards Jye McNeil 6 57kg 9 Arcadia Queen Grant & Alana Williams Damian Lane 5 57kg 10 Shout The Bar Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Damien Oliver 10 56.5kg
2023 VRC Champions Stakes result
VRC Champions Stakes – Recent runnings
- The lethal combination of Chris Waller and James McDonald have claimed another Group 1 at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, as they combined with Atishu ($8.50) to take out the $3 million VRC Champions Stakes. After running in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes last Saturday and running home into second place behind Pride Of Jenni, it was clear that she was going to run well after Pride Of Jenni claimed the Champions Mile in the previous race. In a muddling run affair, Zaaki ($4.40) took up the lead before West Wind Blows ($2.80) flew around the outside to then claim him and stride clear at the front of the field. As expected, West Wind Blows started to struggle and Jamie Kah on Zaaki took over once again at the top of the home straight, but the challengers were coming from all angles with Buckaroo ($19.00), Duais ($6.50) and Atishu looming up on the outside to run on. However, it would be James McDonald and Atishu who would run straight past the leaders and kick clear to win by 1.75 lengths on the line from Duais and Young Werther ($51.00), who finished in second and third, respectively.
- It was a case of copy and paste for the Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki, who for the second year in a row managaed to lead throughout to take out the VRC Champions Stakes. Having struggled throughout his Melbourne campaign behind the likes of Anamoe, Alligator Blood and I’m Thunderstruck, Zaaki showed his genuine starpower when disposing of a strong weigh-for-age field. Hotpot Anamoe finished fourth, whilst I’m Thunderstruck was simply never in it when finishing fifth.
- James McDonald was reunited with emerging superstar Zaaki in the Mackinnon Stakes after he missed the Cox Plate a fortnight earlier. Like Nature Strip, the Annabel Neasham-trained gelding was sent out as favourite in the $2 million race, starting at a well-backed $2.25. McDonald took bad luck out of the equation early on in the piece from barrier eight and sent Zaaki to the front, before turning on the pressure at the 600m and racing away with the prize from a fast-finishing Cascadian and stablemate Mo’unga, giving James McDonald the record of 10 group wins in a week.
- Having almost fallen in the Cox Plate a fortnight prior, Arcadia Queen rebounded in convincing fashion when dominating the Mackinnon Stakes. Having been billed as a match race between her and Melody Belle, it was the Grant and Alana Williams-trained superstar who put close to two-lengths on her rivals, in a race she simply never looked like losing. Having entered the home straight in last position, Luke Currie had her building through her gears alongside Fifty Stars, who she then left in her dust with 100m to go and claim a second Group 1 in three starts following her Underwood Stakes success.
- On the quick five day back up after tackling the 2019 Melbourne Cup, the Aidan O’Brien trained Magic Wand got his Group One that he undoubtedly deserved by holding off a fast finishing Melody Belle to wrap up his spring carnival in fine style.
- It had been a spring to forget for star WA galloper Trap For Fools prior to the Mackinnon Stakes. The horse famously was left out of the 2018 Cox Plate field for not being up to standard in the eyes of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, but the gelding had the last laugh on the day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Surging to an early lead, Trap For Fools led the field for the majority of the race but didn’t set a hectic pace, which left him plenty in the tank coming into the straight. The WA native looked like a sitting duck but he found something in the final 200m to hold out one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Latrobe. Even-money favourite Blair House quickened late but was never in the hunt.
- Former Japanese galloper Tosen Stardom had already made a splash early in the spring carnival, taking out the Group 1 Toorak Handicap in terrific fashion and the Weir-trained horse did the business again less than a month later. As the 400m approached Tosen Stardom was a mile back with a wall of horses in front of him, but the split came and the horse obliged, unleashing a magnificent turn of foot to deliver yet another Group 1 title for Darren Weir.
- Awesome Rock scored a big win at odds of $15 over the quality Hauraki and Seaburge. Awesome Rock wasn’t known for its big race wins, but it proved too good on this occasion in winning the 2016 Mackinnon Stakes.
- French trainer Antoine de Watrigant became a maiden group one winner when Gailo Chop shrugged off a poor performance in the Cox Plate to salute at $8 over outsider Rising Romance at $16 and Contributor at $9.
- The 2014 Mackinnon is the last time Happy Trails connections saluted, with the gun triple group one winner failing to claim victory in his next 16 starts, leaving owners considering retirement. The eight year old – purchased as a yearling for just $11000 – is one of the greatest success stories in racing, collecting more than $3.2 million from his 61 starts and owning the 2012 Emirates and the 2013 Turnbull Stakes.
- English galloper Side Glance was a $12 winner in 2013, ahead of Dear Demi ($11) and Moriarty ($17), beating out $3 favourite Jet Away.
- Cult figure Alcopop swooped home with a massive late sprint to claim the 2012 incarnation to claim his first group one win at the tender age of eight, finally fulfilling a potential first revealed with an eye catching sixth to Shocking in the Melbourne Cup. Glass Harmonium finished second after winning the year before.
Past VRC Champions Stakes winners list
|VRC Champions Stakes Past Winners|
|2023||Atishu||James McDonald||Chris Waller|
|2022||Zaaki||Jamie Kah||Annabel Neasham|
|2021||Zaaki||James McDonald||Annabel Neasham|
|2020||Arcadia Queen||Luke Currie||Grant & Alana Williams|
|2019||Magic Wand||Ryan Moore||Aiden O’Brien|
|2018||Trap For Fools||John Allen||Jarrod McLean|
|2017||Tosen Stardom||Damian Lane||Darren Weir|
|2016||Awesome Rock||Stephen Baster||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|2015||Gailo Chop||Ben Melham||Antoine De Watrigant|
|2014||Happy Trails||Damien Oliver||Paul Beshara|
|2013||Side Glance||Jamie Spencer||Andrew Balding|
|2012||Alcopop||Craig Williams||Jake Stephens|
|2011||Glass Harmonium||Damien Oliver||Michael Moroney|
|2010||So You Think||Steven Arnold||Bart Cummings|
|2009||Scenic Shot||Shane Scriven||Daniel Morton|
|2008||Theseo||Nash Rawiller||Gai Waterhouse|
|2007||Sirmione||Peter Mertens||Bart Cummings|
|2006||Desert War||Chris Munce||Gai Waterhouse|
|2005||Lad Of The Manor||Greg Childs||Roger Hoysted|
|2004||Grand Armee||Damien Oliver||Gai Waterhouse|
|2003||Casual Pass||Glen Boss||Mathew Ellerton|
|2002||Lonhro||Darren Beadman||John Hawkes|
|2001||La Bella Dama||Scott Seamer||Graeme Rogerson|
|2000||Oliver Twist||Greg Childs||Brian Mayfield-Smith|
VRC Champions Stakes Past Winners Pre 2000
|VRC Champions Stakes Past Winners Pre 2000|
|1996||All Our Mob|
|1990||Better Loosen Up|
|1978||Family Of Man|
|1977||Sir Silver Lad|
|1976||Gold And Black|
|1910||Son Of The Marsh|
|1888||The Australian Peer|