Only six horses have accepted for the 2011 Mitchelton Wines Vase, formerly known as the AAMI Vase, meaning that Ron Leemon’s Golden Rose winner Manwanui will face just five rivals in the Cox Plate Day feature on Saturday.
While the sprinters have shied away from coming up against the best in the business, Black Caviar scaring away all but four other horses in Saturday’s Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m), it looks to be a similar story in the $200,000 Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m).
Set to run as Moonee Valley Race 4 at 2:40pm (AEDST), the 2011 Mitchelton Wins Vase is shaping up as a one-horse-race as 180-rated Manawanui’s next best-rated rival is miles away class wise with the Robert Hickmott-trained Collar on a handicap rating of 80.
Drawn in barrier four with Glyn Schofield engaged, Oratorio gelding Manawnui comes off a gallant second place finish behind Saturday’s 2011 Cox Plate favourite Helmet in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), which put an end to their five-straight winning streak.
Leemon made the decision to bypass the Cox Plate in favour of a run in the lower-grade race on Saturday, and said he had no regrets in doing so.
“I don’t have any regrets about not running in the Cox Plate,” he said.
“His main aim this spring was the Caulfield Guineas, the Cox Plate would have been an afterthought and you can’t win it doing that.
“We can always come back next year for the Cox Plate.”
Having previously defeated Smart Missile and Helmet in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) last month, Manawanui is using the Mitchelton Wines Vase as their final lead-up towards the $1 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival Saturday week.
Unsurprisingly Manawanui is the raging $1.12 favourite in the AAMI Vase odds at Luxbet, fellow Victoria Derby-bound Collar the only other runner at single-figures paying $4.40.
Victoria Derby markets at Luxbet following the taking of first acceptances earlier in the week are now lead by Manawanui at $3.40.
One-time Derby favourite Collar is now out to $17 after the son of O’Reilly ran third as the beaten top-elect a race over the Caulfield mile on Thousand Guineas Day.
Rounding out the 2011 Mitchelton Wines Vase field and odds are Gai Waterhouse’s lightly-raced Zabeel gelding Power Broker ($19) on the rails, Robbie Lang’s Pentire colt Scelto ($51) in barrier two, I Feel Good ($201) in gate three and the $251 roughie of the race Danchi in the far outside barrier.
Last year’s AAMI Vase was won by the Jim Conlan-trained Rekindled Interest who is back at the Valley on Saturday to take on Helmet in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Following their AAMI Vase win 12 months ago Rekindled Interest went on to run fifth to Lion Tamer, also contesting the Cox Plate 2011 on Saturday, in last year’s Victoria Derby which was run on a Slow (6) track in the rain.
While Helmet is the dominant $3.40 Cox Plate favourite at Luxbet in the latest markets, Rekindled Interest has been heavily backed in from $12 to $7 while Lion Tamer is rated a $15 chance.
See below for the 2011 Mitchelton Wines Vase final field and barriers, then to lock in your Cox Plate Day selections at the best prices in Australia head to Luxbet.
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2011 Mitchelton Wines Vase Field, Barriers & Jockeys
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||311X1112||MANAWANUI||Ron Leemon||Glyn Schofield||4||57kg||108|
|2||1X413||COLLAR (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||5||57kg||80|
|3||636X351349||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||2||57kg||64|
|4||72X49||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale||Brenton Avdulla||3||57kg||62|
|5||15||POWER BROKER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||1||57kg||64|
|6||709||DANICHI||Michael Templeton||Danny Nikolic||6||57kg||48|