Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) has attracted a stunning set of 23 nominations. It is sometimes felt the field for the Mackinnon can ‘fall away’, but this year’s the entries are exceptional.

Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, Cox Plate runner-up Happy Trails, Cranbourne Cup winner Pakal, Sydney Cup winner Mourayan, dual Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence, dual Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn and boom international stayer Sea Moon are just some of the entries for the race.

No longer a ‘practice’ for the Melbourne Cup three days later, the Mackinnon Stakes has come of age in recent years, since the VRC decided to pump some serious stake-money into the race.

Now a genuine Group 1 race with a mouth-watering million-dollar lure, the Mackinnon this year will be a vintage affair, with the winner guaranteed a place in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

Other high-quality entries are Dear Demi, Foreteller, Jet Away, Kelinni, Silent Achiever, Spurtonic and international raider Side Glance.