Warwick Farm horseman Clarry Conners is more confident than ever that his honest mare Satin Shoes is in the right form to score their maiden Group 1 victory when they take on crack Queensland sprinter Buffering in the 2012 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
A winner of five of her 20 starts to date Flying Spur four-year-old Satin Shoes has contested five Group 1 races to date but has been well beaten in all but last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day when she ran a close third to superstar Sepoy.
Tonight she gets ready to take on another star in Buffering, Rob Heathcote’s galloper also looking to break their Group 1 duck in the $750,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) under the lights at the Valley.
In the small 10-horse Manikato Stakes field Buffering, coming off back-to-back spring wins, is the pronounced $1.95 favourite at bookmaker.com.au and the sentimental favourite as well.
Satin Shoes meanwhile can be found at the very juicy price of $41 in the Manikato Stakes odds, a price Conners is happy to take.
After a disappointing winter campaign in Brisbane that culminated with her 12th place finish behind Sea Siren, who resumes racing in the Manikato this evening as the $6 second elect, in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), Satin Shoes has been in much better form this time in.
She has had three runs and run a minor placing in all three, most recently a close second behind Red Tracer when overcoming barrier 10 of 10 in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day.
Tonight however Satin Shoes races in Melbourne for the first time since February and runs on a track she has only ever run a 7th and 8th on previously.
Still Conners has seen enough from her recent runs to suggest her $41 odds are a little generous.
“Her form has been really good she has placed in group ones and group two and threes before and deserves to win a group one race,” Conners said.
“It’s a very hard race but if she would happen to win a group one on Friday night or in the future it makes her a very valuable broodmare.”
Tonight Satin Shoes will jump from barrier six with Kiwi jockey James McDonald riding her for the first time since their Group 1 third in the Coolmore last spring, the starting position ideal according to Conners.
“I was very happy with the barrier we got I didn’t want to draw one or two,” he said.
“She has settled down this little mare now and we have taken the blinkers off her and she does not have to lead.
“She is happy to sit back off a couple of horses off the pace and she fights on pretty good and I am sure there will be lots of speed on.
“The two favourites Buffering and Sea Siren are probably the main dangers and they will probably be in front of us coming to the turn and hopefully we can run them down.”
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