2022 Champions Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

Free Horse Racing Tips
Fri 4th November 2022


We'll message you the best tips for today!

The Champions Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes), held over 2000m at Flemington Racecourse, is the final Group 1 race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The $3m weight for age feature attracts the country’s best middle distance gallopers and was taken out by Zaaki last year, who lines up again this year, in a bid to go back-to-back.

Looking at the market, Dabble has last start Cox Plate winner, Anamoe, a short priced favourite at $1.90. The horse that chased him home into second place on that occasion, I’m Thunderstruck, is on the next line at $4.40 ahead of Zaaki at $8.00.

These three are the main winning hopes according to the market but the race is much more open than that and there looks plenty of value to be found. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Champions Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. I’m Thunderstruck (8) – $4.40
Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Got back from the wide gate and finished off well in the Cox Plate last start. Will appreciate getting back to the big open spaces of Flemington and was brilliant in winning the Makybe Diva here four starts ago. Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Mark Zahra, is in good form and he looks one of the main dangers to the favourite.

2. Zaaki (1) – $8.00
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Held the rail and the lead in the Cox Plate last start and battled on well to finish a close up fourth. Will most likely adopt similar tactics here and has a brilliant record at Flemington. Bolted in this race last year and has to be considered a winning chance again here.

3. Mo’unga (11) – $12
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Got back and charged through the line late in the Cox Plate last start. All runs this prep have been good and this might be the race/set up he’s been searching for. He’s been placed at all four runs at Flemington, including in this race last year, and looks good value at the double figure odds on offer. Plenty to like.

4. Maximal (9) – $41
Jockey – Ben Melham 59kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Ran a terrific race in the Turnbull two starts ago behind Smokin’ Romans before an ok effort in the Cox Plate last start. He will be much better suited on a dryer surface here and could run into the placings at big odds.

5. Hezashocker (2) – $126
Jockey – Damien Oliver 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Got pushed around like a dodgem car on the home turn last Saturday, and still managed to run Star Of India to a head. Fair to say he should’ve clearly won that race but faces a much tougher line up here and would need to improve again to trouble this lot.

6. Bankers Choice (7) – $71
Jockey – John Allen 59kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Talented former Kiwi who is having his first go beyond a mile here. Chased strongly behind My Oberon last start at The Valley after an unlucky midfield finish in the Toorak Handicap. Races as though the trip won’t be any issue and he can unleash a good turn of foot on his day, but this is the strongest field he’s taken on thus far and others make more appeal.

7. Anamoe (4) – $1.90F
Jockey – James McDonald 58.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Put the icing on the cake last start in the Cox Plate to make it four straight wins this prep. Strangely enough this is his first go at Flemington, but he should enjoy a nice cart from the good gate and McDonald sticks. Looks the one to beat yet again but the bookies have him short enough.

8. Hinged (3) – $23
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 56.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Tough mare who was ridden further back in the Golden Eagle last start and finished off nicely. Steps up to 2000m for the first time here and has drawn well, but others have stronger form lines and will be breathing down her neck come the furlong mark.

9. Mustang Valley (10) – $41
Jockey – Tim Clark 56.5kg
Trainer – Andrew Forsman

Interesting Kiwi galloper who chased home La Crique two starts ago in the Arrowfield Stud Stakes. Stepped up to the 2040m last start and destroyed them in the Livamol Classic. The stable has had good success over the Spring Carnival and wouldn’t be bringing her here for a haircut. Follow any market moves.

10. Elliptical (6) – $12
Jockey – Craig Williams 51kg
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Just missed in the Caulfield Guineas before an honest effort in the Spring Champion last start. The form out of that race has been good against the three year olds so far this week, but this is a different kettle of fish, and he needs to put his best foot forward if he’s to beat the older horses here.

11. Mr Maestro (5) – $21
Jockey – Michael Dee 51kg
Trainer – Andrew Forsman

The second of the Forsman runners who was gallant in the Derby last Saturday. Drop back to ten furlongs looks ideal here and he wouldn’t be backing up if he hadn’t come through that run well. Should secure a good run from the draw, and although this will be his toughest test to date, should account for himself well with 51kg on his back. Each-way hope.

Final Word

The Melbourne Cup Carnival comes to a halt with the running of the Champions Stakes on Saturday, and it may well be the race of the carnival. Can Anamoe keep his unbeaten record as a four year old intact, or will I’m Thunderstruck and co turn the tables? 

The track should be in perfect order for us to find out and the speed should be genuine with Zaaki, Maximal and Hinged all rolling forward.

Conditions look ideal here for Mo’unga to finally deliver this prep. He charged through the line late in the Underwood three starts ago, as he did last start in the Cox Plate. He gets to Flemington now, where he races well, and gets back on a dry surface. Nash sticks with him and he looks a great each-way bet in this race.

Anamoe has to be considered the danger. He’s continually beaten these horses this prep in good style and gets a lovely cart again here from the good gate. He’s never raced at Flemington, which isn’t a big concern, but feel the price on offer is a bit short considering his narrow Cox Plate winning margin.

I’m Thunderstruck and Mr Maestro next best. I’m Thunderstruck chased hard again last start in the Cox Plate, only to be denied by half a length. He loves Flemington and will be charging late, and Mr Maestro, despite dropping back to 2000m here from the Derby, has plenty of ability and will be suited with the light weight. Maximal can improve back on a dry track at big odds and is worth including in exotics.

Champions Stakes TipLogo

3. Mo’unga – Each-way ($12/$2.80)

Get our horse racing tips delivered straight to you!

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Champions Stakes page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.