Tonight the twilight racing action at Moonee Valley is top class with the 2012 Manikato Stakes to take centre stage, the Races.com.au team’s insider tips and exotic selections for which are detailed below.
Due to jump as Moonee Valley Race 6 at 9:15pm (AEST) the $750,000 Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) is shaping up as an exciting showdown this year with the bulk of the money being on the odds-on favourite Buffering.
Drawn ideally in barrier one, the gate the past three Manikato Stakes winners have jumped from, the always-honest Queenslander is in the best position of their consistent career to finally enter the Group 1 winners’ club.
The Rob Heathcote-trained Mossman five-year-old has been racing at the highest level for a long time now but it has been a frustrating succession of Group 1 minor placings and near misses, Buffering finishing out of the top four just once in 11 Group 1 runs.
Tonight however the punters are getting right behind Buffering who is the Manikato Stakes betting market mover in from $2 to $1.95.
But is the shortie in the Manikato Stakes odds the horse we have rated special to win?
Or are we tipping an upset Manikato Stakes result with one of Buffering’s longer priced rivals such as BTC Cup – Doomben 10,000 double winner Sea Siren ($6) or even the untapped Peter Snowden-trained Mental ($14)?
#1 Buffering ($1.95)
- Most experienced horse in this field
- Well overdue for a Group 1 win
- Best sprinter getting around this spring
- Comes off two wins this time in taking out the AJ Moir Stakes – Schillaci Stakes double
- Will improve on their Schillaci victory getting back up to the 1200m
- Market mover as well as the odds-on favourite – both things for a reason
- Draw on the rails – barrier one having produced the past three Manikato winners
- Last year’s winner Sepoy won their two first-up runs leading up to the Manikato – so has Buffering
- Nine of the Manikato Stakes winners since 1997 all placed at their previous run
- Favourites have a good recent record in the race winning five times in the past 10 years
- Only one horse in the past decade has jumped at more than $8.50 and won the Manikato
- Great record at the track with two wins and a third from four starts
- Also at their pet distance (17-6-5-3)
- One of just two horses to win at this Track & Distance when the first-up winner of the AJ Moir Stakes on September 28
- If they don’t miss the start can lead-all-the-way
#6 Mental ($14)
- Prepared by last year’s winning trainer Peter Snowden
- Kerrin McEvoy who saluted on Sepoy 12 months ago has the ride
- Needs to overcome barrier nine of 10 but it’s a smallish field
- Needs to come on as a four-year-old but has black type already thanks to their Listed win at Eagle Farm over the mile back in June
- Awesome winning strike rate with six wins from 10 starts giving them the second best Win Rate (60%) of this field
- Notable class rise but can handle it
- While can run longer first-up the 1200m will suit and they have a good record over the distance (3-1-0-1)
- Resuming horses have a poor win record in the Manikato (six winners since 1997) but he can run a slashing second
- Yet to finish out of the money first-up (3-2-0-1)
- Worth a look in Each Way
- Has early speed
#7 Sea Siren ($6)
- At her pet distance (5-4-0-1)
- Resuming here and her first-up record is good (2-1-0-1)
- First-up Manikato Stakes winners are rare but include in all exotics
- Beat Buffering home by a long neck in the Doomben 10,000
- Finished a fair bit behind him in the Stradbroke however, but she was unsuited to the 1400m for mine
- Hasn’t seen the track which also rules her out of the win
- Is a dual Group 1 winner
- At the right price as only one Manikato winner in the past 10 years has been over $8.50
- Boasts the highest win rate (62.50%)
Roughie We Like
#8 Hallowell Belle ($16)
- Super consistent mare has only finished outside the top three once from 16 starts and that was a credible fourth behind superstar filly Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas last spring
- Gives her the hottest place rate of this field (93.7%)
- Ran a slashing race first-up to win the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington
- Has only seen Moonee Valley once but she came within a nose of victory over the 1200m in the Crocket Stakes (August, 2011)
- Has never run outside the money over the distance (8-2-3-3)
- Only other last-start winner in the race outside of the favourite Buffering
Lock in our Manikato Stakes 2012 trifecta tip online now at bookmaker.com.au.
Or if you fancy a better price on Buffering to win hit up their Pick You Own Odds markets allowing you to pick the margin by which he will win by to increase the Fixed Win price you get them for – only at bookmaker.com.au!