2017 Emirates Stakes

Emirates Stakes: Get The Best Look At The 2017 Emirates Stakes Race

​2017 Emirates Stakes - Your Ultimate guide

2017 Emirates Stakes is the final feature of the Flemington Carnival, and for the most part the major races of the Spring Carnival.

The Emirates Stakes (previously known as the McKinnon), is a Group 1 race at Weight-For-Age over 2000m. Typically horses come to this race from the Cox Plate; however, there are always a few others who put the hat in the ring.

Let's end a super spring carnival in style.

How to find the winners of the 2017 Emirates Stakes

When it comes to major Cup races like the 2017 Emirates Stakes, aligning form between from around the country (or the world) can be a nightmare for most recreational punters.

The fact is that they can be analysed in the same fashion as any race, and standout horses, or horses that provide value CAN be found.

To get the best information, grab a copy of our Guide to Making a Small Fortune in Horse Racing

Or check out some of the best horse race betting tips in Australia.

We have run the form-eye over each runner to tease out what we think are the best contenders and the value prices, and who we think may fall short.

The Final Field for the 2017 Emirates Stakes

Happy Clapper

Barrier: 5

Jockey: Blake Shinn

Trainer: Patrick Webster

Odds: $8.50 / $3.00

I actually find it incredible that we can get this price for this horse in the 2017 Emirates Stakes. Prior to the Cox Plate, he was one of the form horses in the country winning the Tramway (Gp2) and Epson (Gp1), and finishing second in the Geo Main behind Winx (G1), and the Craven Clate (Gp 3). Even the Cox Plate wasn't that bad. He sat wide with no cover from a horror barrier, to finish off ok.

The weight won't worry him, and the barrier is perfect for a cosy midfield run.

My only concern is the 2000m. He has contested the distance 6 times for no wins. But let's look a little deeper. Two of those were Cox Plates behind Winx (both 6th), one was 3rd in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth, another was 2nd in the Group 3 Craven Plate, and the remaining two were slightly average in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth (behind Winx), and in the Group 1 McKinnon. I don't think it is a case of him getting the trip because those results aren't that bad at all.

So what stops him from winning?

I suspect only a better horse on the day, and there are a few challengers. Still, he goes in the top few for me.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Winning chance at a good price

It's Somewhat

Barrier: 11

Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

Trainer: James Cummings

Odds: $19.00 / $4.33

At his best he could no doubt win this, but lately he has seemed a little flat.

He has won at 2000m, so that's a tick. But he is drawn a bit awkward, so needs a little luck slotting in.

Not much more I can say really. He has the ability to win, but I am not convinced he is travelling well enough to take out the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Hard to have him at the moment

Gailo Chop

Barrier: 9

Jockey: John Allen

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $8.50 / $3.00

Quality French horse that has hit his best patch of form since coming to Australia.

This preparation has been very good, and last start he won over 2000m in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes, before running a gallant 5th in the Cox Plate. In the latter, he led until the 400m or closer, but the pressure told late. Still a very good run in my opinion.

He is a multiple Group 1 winner, and has collected over 2 million in prize money, so he is clearly a very classy horse. Considering he is drawn to slot in behind the lead, he will be prominent late.

He won the Group 1 McKinnon over 2000m at Flemington two years ago, and recently finished 4th behind Humidor, Hartnell and Black Heart Bart over the mile. So, he clearly enjoys this track.

No reason he can't win the 2017 Emirates Stakes, and he will be rock hard fit.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

One of the top chances for me.

Tosem Stardom

Barrier: 4

Jockey: Damien Lane

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $9.00 / $3.10

Really hard to place this horse in the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

He hasn't raced over the 1600m for 2 years, but he did win a 2000m race in 2013. What does that even mean? I suspect not much, but sometimes the older horses get they can lose the ground in their legs.

On the flip side, his finishing over the mile this preparation have suggested the 2000m could be a great step. I am not willing to risk it though, and he isn't in his best form.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Has the ability to figure in the finish, but too risky for me.

Sense of Occasion

Barrier: 6

Jockey: Corey Brown

Trainer: Kris Lees

Odds: $34.00 / $8.00

Regardless of form, this horse pops up every prep and wins something. Even big races like the Doomben Cup last time.

He is a multiple Group 1 winner or placegetter, so he can deliver. He also runs very well at the 2000m.

Last start was his first crack at Flemington, and while it will show 9th on paper, he finished off well and it was only the mile (1600m).

I think he might be a little past it now, so a win or place looks very hard. He could run a big race in the top 6 of the 2017 Emirates Stakes though.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Probably a bit beyond him now


Barrier: 15

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Odds: $5.50 / $2.20

Drawn an absolute shocker, but may have enough pace to burn to the front few. Flemington over the 2000m usually gives jockeys a little time to find a spot too, so it may not matter.

His 3rd in the Cox Plate was very good, and prior to that, he demolished a field in Cranbourne in his first Australian hit out. 

He has clearly settled perfectly here in Australia and relishes the trip. In 14 career starts he has missed the place only twice, both of which were shorter trips. Over the 2000m he has never finished worse than 3rd. That's perfect for the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

Providing he can settle from the wide barrier, he goes in the top few for me. Will improve again, and the Flemington track looks ideal for him.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Big winning chance


Barrier: 8

Jockey: Regan Bayliss

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $26.00 / $5.50

A horse that clearly has ability, but his last three starts have been average at best.

He is weighted and drawn very poorly, and I just can't see enough improvement to have him in the top few.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Not going well enough his last three to figure here.


Barrier: 12

Jockey: Michael Dee

Trainer: Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra

Odds: $6.00 / $2.25

Quality kiwi horse who crosses the ditch to take on the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

He is drawn a little awkward but will settle nearer the rear so it should matter too much. He is a multiple Group 1 winner, including at weight-for-age. Last prep he came to Sydney and won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas over the same distance.

He will run the 2000m out very well, and providing the track plays ok, he will be storming late. Any rain will help even more, but he is still 3 from 6 of the good track. Massive chance.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

One of the top chances in this


Barrier: 3

Jockey: Chris Symons

Trainer: Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra

Odds: $16.00 / $3.75

Was a very impressive winner on Melbourne Cup day, but this is a big jump.

From a great barrier he will find the lead, or at the very least be right behind it.

He has ability, no doubt about it. He has also won at the 2000m and at Flemington. BUT, his best win was a listed race 5 days ago, and he is weighted very poorly against some smart and strong horses here.

Will win more races going forward, and will probably stay in this for a fair way, but I doubt he wins the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Talented horse, but this level seems a bit tough

So Si Bon

Barrier: 1

Jockey: Noel Callow

Trainer: Robbie Laing

Odds: $34.00 / $8.00

Ran some ripping races early this prep, but his last start was average. 

He is a backmarker, so the barrier will mean he settles last on the fence. He has also only won one race in 18 starts, and he has never won over 1200m. 

He is weighted very poorly against some of these, so I just can't have him a real chance in the 2017 Emirates Stakes.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Not well placed against a few of these

The Taj Mahal

Barrier: 2

Jockey: Ben Melham

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Odds: $17.00 / $4.00


You are not alone if you think that because I did too. I must admit I know nothing about this horse, so I will base everything on paper.

He is an Irish horse who has had one start in Australia for a very poor second last in the Caulfield Stakes. He is also a winner of just 1 race in 17 starts, but has placed 7 times (including at Group 1 level). 

This is a very tough horse to place in the 2017 Emirates Stakes, but he is yet to win beyond 1400m, and his first up run here was poor. No doubt could surprise, but there isn't much for us to lay claim to.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Hard to place, but on paper doesn't look like it is going well enough


Barrier: 13

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $26.00 / $5.50

Smart 4YO mare, who comes into this with a very good record.

Two starts back she finished 7th in the Group 1 Underwood, which was her worst result of her 11 race career. On closer inspection it actually wasn't too bad because she led until the 100m, and lost less than 3L. Outside of that she has won 3 and places 6 in her other 10 starts.

She is yet to win a Group 1 race, but has won at Group 3 level. She has also finished 2nd in both Flemington starts, and 2nd in two of her three 2000m starts.

She clearly has ability, but she is weighted poorly against the boys and is drawn very tough. Possibly a top 6 chance with some luck in the 2017 Emirates Stakes, but I think there are too many things going against her.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Ability wise she is up there, but she has been given no favours at all.

Cliff's Edge

Barrier: 10

Jockey: Dean Yendell

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $6.50 / $2.38

He might be the youngest in the crowd here, but he has done absolutely nothing wrong in his career.

In 9 career starts he has won 4 and placed 3. His form in recent outings have been the standouts. Two wins and two places, with the two losses behind the smart Aloisia and Main Stage. 

His last two have been super impressive over 2000m, and prior to that was a very good place at Flemington.

He will find the front here, and gets 51kg on his back. That's 8kg less than the top horses, and 5.5kg less than the mare in the race. It is also significantly lighter than any weight he has carried.

If he leads the 2017 Emirates Stakes and dictates, he is a massive chance under no weight.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict

Love the youngster here. He must go in.

2017 Emirates Stakes Verdict - Top Selections

Happy Clapper

Too good of a price for him to ignore here. He hasn't done anything wrong this preparation and is in career best form. Never won at 2000m, but has been incredibly close behind some very smart ones. So he will run it well. From a great draw, and weighted well against a lot of these, I think he is a big chance to break that duck.

Cliff's Edge

Go the youngster! Extremely lightweight, will lead, and runs out the trip. He ticks a lot of boxes, so they wouldn't want to let him roll along in front too easily.


Despite the awkward draw, his form has been far too good to ignore. Any horse that fights on for a 3rd (less than 5L) to Winx in the Cox Plate, deserves to be in the mix here.


A super horse that I can't leave out. He has proven himself many times at this level, and has come to Australia and broken some hearts before. Do not rule him out, especially if horses are making up ground down the middle.

Gailo Chop

For the same reason I had him in with a top 4 chance in the Cox Plate, he is just travelling far too well to leave out. He won a WFA Group 1 two starts back, and the finished 5th in the Cox Plate. If he pushes into a nice spot up front, he will be there for a long time.

It's Somewhat

Admittedly not travelling too well so far this preparation, but it is only 3 runs old. Up to 2000m he could pop up and surprise with a big run. I don't think he wins, but a place wouldn't surprise.

Tosen Stardom

I can't find any reason why this horse wins, but I am very cautious of the Lane/Wier combination. He clearly has the ability, so because of those reasons alone, I would throw him in the exotics.

About the Author EziSports

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