Just 21 sprinters are still in the mix for the Manikato Stakes 2013 on the eve of Cox Plate Day after first acceptances for the Moonee Valley feature closed today.
Down from 60 at nomination stage, the 21 hopefuls heading towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Friday night October 25 are now led by Samaready.
Mick Price’s More Than Ready mare earned top spot in the latest Manikato Stakes odds after retaining her undefeated status this time in with a quality win over perennial Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Moir Stakes runner-up Buffering was also among the Manikato Stakes first acceptances, Rob Heathcote’s always-hones Queenslander more desperate than ever to break their Group 1 hoodoo.
Over the years the now six-year-old son of Mossman has run in 17 Group 1 races and finished top three in a frustrating 10 of those.
Buffering has run in the past two Manikato Stakes finishing fourth to Sepoy in 2011 and sixth to Sea Siren 12 months ago, connections hoping it will be third time lucky.
Also representing the sunshine state in the Manikato Stakes first declarations this year is the Tony Gollan-trained Temple Of Boom.
An unlikely final acceptor who the bookies are taking no chances with sitting on the second line of Manikato Stakes betting meanwhile is the Chris Waller-trained star three-year-old sprinter Zoustar.
Winner of the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) two back, Zoustar repaid the loyalty of veteran hoop Jim Cassidy who stayed in Sydney last weekend to partner with them by winning the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) by a blistering four and a half lengths.
They are now the hot tip for the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, November 2, with connections also keeping the Manikato on the cards.
The other big name first acceptances taken for the Manikato then include star Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine who will make their Australian debut in the race, Bel Sprinter who ran second to Lucky Nine in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint in Singapore back in May and last start Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Rebel Dane.
Notable non-first acceptors for the Manikato meanwhile included Snitzerland and the Peter Snowden-trained Epaulette who finished a disappointing eighth and seventh respectively in the Moir Stakes last start.
The Manikato Stakes 2013 final field of acceptances is now due for release on October 22.
In the meantime why not check out the juicy futures markets open on all the Melbourne Group 1’s as well as get Double The Odds on the Caulfield Guineas this Saturday online at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2013 Manikato Stakes First Declarations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 25/10/2013
|3||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||110|
|6||DIAMOND EARTH||Anthony Cummings||84|
|8||LE BONSIR||Mick Price||99|
|9||LUCKY NINE (IRE)||Caspar Fownes||118|
|10||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||108|
|11||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||102|
|13||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||105|
|14||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||112|
|17||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||96|
|18||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||107|
|20||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||–|