While Queensland’s the Gold Coast will come to life this Saturday with the iconic BMW Magic Millions Race Day, Victorian race fans will be keeping an eye on Flemington as the 2012 Chester Manifold Stakes takes place.
Nominations for the $150,000 Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) this year feature 15 hopefuls including dual defending champion Danzylum.
Allocated the hefty 60kg topweight of the Chester Manifold Stakes 2012 nominees, Robbie Griffiths’ veteran Danzero eight-year-old will be out to break a year-long drought if they line-up in Saturday’s showdown.
Danzylum was last seen in the winners’ stall when taking out the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Australia Day last year.
That run and win came directly after their 2011 Chester Manifold Stakes success, and Griffiths is hoping they can return to form second-up on Saturday having run six lengths away eighth to Catapulted in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington last start on January 2.
If successful, Danzylum will become the first horse in history to win three straight editions of the race having also saluted in the Chester Manifold Stakes back in 2010.
Following Danzylum in the Chester Manifold Stakes weights are then two gallopers on 59kg with Peter Moody’s Commands five-year-old Mr Make Believe and the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shadowfax.
Leading Victorian horseman Moody has also nominated recent stable acquisition Shout Out Loud (58.5kg) who failed to finish their debut for the stable in the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield on Boxing Day, and consistent Test Rossa mare There’s Only One (54.5kg) for the feature.
There’s Only One will be out to extend their incredible winning streak to six consecutively after the four-year-old resumed for the season with a first-up win on December 26.
Meanwhile Peter Snowden’s smart Ad Valorem three-year-old Pied A Terre, if accepted, will be looking to maintain their flawless career record with a Chester Manifold Stakes win.
Pied A Terre has won all three of their starts to date, most recently beating home Smokin’ Joey by one and a half lengths over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on New Year’s Eve.
Also nominated for a three-year-olds’ race at the same meeting, connections are keen to go to the Chester Manifold and give the Darley up-and-comer the chance to prove themselves against older rivals.
“If he hadn’t won first-up, we would have kept him to his own age,” Peter Snowden’s Melbourne foreman, son Paul Snowden, said.
“But once he won it was always likely that we would step him up again.
“We’ll have a good look at the fields and the weights, but I’d say, at this stage, he’s 70 percent sure to run in the Manifold.”
Another promising galloper in the Chester Manifold Stakes entries this year is Mark Lewis’ Street Cry six-year-old By The Way who comes off a close second to Let’s Be Happy in the George Watson Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on January 2.
Marred by injury throughout their 22 starts to date, By The Way is enjoying a rejuvenated career and Lewis is hopeful they can break their black-type maiden this weekend.
“He’s had a lot of setbacks during his career but this is the soundest he has been for a long time,” Lewis said.
Let’s Be Happy also features in the Chester Manifold Stakes nominations, Mick Clark’s smart mare to face a tough test with 56.5kg.
The 2012 Chester Manifold Stakes final field and barriers are due for release on Wednesday with Races.com.au to publish the full list of acceptors and gates.
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2012 Chester Manifold Stakes Nominations & Weights
|2||MR MAKE BELIEVE||Peter G Moody||2||59kg||97|
|3||SHADOWFAX (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||3||59kg||97|
|4||SHOUT OUT LOUD||Peter G Moody||5||58.5kg||96|
|5||BIG SLICK||Dennis O’Leary||6||58kg||95|
|6||SECOND EFFORT||Clinton McDonald||7||57.5kg||94|
|7||SADDLER’S STORY||Robert Smerdon||8||57kg||93|
|8||LET’S BE HAPPY||Mick Clark||4||56.5kg||96|
|9||BY THE WAY||Mark Lewis||9||56kg||91|
|10||ECHOES OF HEAVEN||Mick Price||11||55kg||89|
|11||AT THE HEADS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||12||54.5kg||87|
|13||PIED A TERRE||Peter Snowden||13||54.5kg||84|
|15||THERE’S ONLY ONE||Peter G Moody||10||54.5kg||89|