Moody’s Manikato Stakes 2011 Mare Among McEwen Stakes Entries

The $150,000 Group 3 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m), one of the black-type features on the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day card at Moonee Valley this Saturday, has attracted an exciting line-up of 19 nominations including Peter Moody’s 2011 Manikato Stakes-bound mare Kulgrinda.

Kulgrinda

Kulgrinda prepares for her Manikato Stakes clash with Sepoy with a run in the McEwen Stakes this Saturday

With Moody confirming that his undefeated queen Black Caviar would be saved to resume in the $200,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 8, the ace Victorian horseman will rely on his Exceed And Excel four-year-old Kulgrinda in the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.

The Manikato Stakes is the first major spring showdown of the season, Peter Snowden’s ace colt Sepoy leading the futures markets at Luxbet.

The manic surrounding Moody and his mares, however, has ensured Kulgrinda is also well-liked in the Manikato Stakes odds and she is currently at a shorter price than Gai Waterhouse’s multiple Group 1 winning mare More Joyous.

Kulgrinda, emphatic stakes winner at Moonee Valley last start on August 20, takes her next step towards Group 1 glory this Saturday when she returns to the Valley for the 2011 McEwen Stakes.

Moody has also nominated multiple Group winner Avenue and last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes runner-up Curtana for the McEwen Stakes showdown.

The McEwen Stakes 2011 field, due to be released on Wednesday and published here at Races.com.au, is sure to be a cracker with many stars entered for the event including a trio of Group 1 winners with The Galaxy hero Atomic Force, last year’s Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily and Hong Kong import Happy Zero transferred from the legendary stables of John Moore to the Hawkes family training team.

Atomic Force looks to be one of the main dangers in the McEwen Stakes nominees, the Danehill Dancer six-year-old scoring an eye-catching victory in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (11000m) at Caulfield on August 27.

Trainer Darren Smith gave the sprint hero a hit-out at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning, Atomic Force showing promising form when taking to the notoriously tight circuit for the first time.

Atomic Force is also on way to the Manikato Stakes at the end of the month.

Crystal Lily is also sure to attract attention in the McEwen Stakes odds at Luxbet if she is accepted, the Stratum four-year-old resuming after a stunning summer – autumn campaign that included two second place finishes at elite level behind Black Caviar and a last-start second to Long Rock in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 8.

Meanwhile boom Brisbane galloper Buffering has been nominated by Robert Heathcote to make their new season debut in Melbourne, and Clarry Conner’s speedy filly Satin Shoes will look to atone for her last-start eighth behind Golden Archer in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes.

See below for the full list of McEwen Stakes nominees and then get ready to back your selections once the field is out tomorrow at the hottest prices by joining the online betting revolution and signing up with Australia’s leading bookmaker Luxbet.

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2011 McEwen Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp. Rtg.
1 ATOMIC FORCE Darren Smith 109
2 AVENUE Peter G Moody 106
3 BUFFERING Robert Heathcote 105
4 CENTEXPRESS (NZ) Heath Conners 78
5 CRYSTAL LILY Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 112
6 CURTANA Peter G Moody 100
7 EIGHT BILLS Gary Portelli 92
8 FACILE TIGRE Jason McLachlan 92
9 FIRST COMMAND Anthony Freedman 107
10 GALBRAITH Peter Healey 88
11 HAPPY ZERO Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 114
12 KULGRINDA Peter G Moody 99
13 MORGAN DOLLAR Stuart Gower 92
14 PERIDUKI Mick Whittle 104
15 SATIN SHOES Clarry Conners 97
16 SHRAPNEL Mark Kavanagh 100
17 STREETCAR MAGIC David Jolly 102
18 UMGETON Brendon Hearps 76
19 ZEDI KNIGHT Brendan McCarthy 106