This evening race fans are treated to the first of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival sprint majors with the 2013 Manikato Stakes running at Moonee Valley, the Races.com.au team’s insider tips for which are detailed below.
Punters will be up late tonight with the $1 million Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) not scheduled to run until Race 8 at 10:00pm (AEST).
It is a race worth staying up for however with a star-studded field of Group 1 performers engaged to face off.
The top fancy in the 12-horse Manikato Stakes field and markets this year is Mick Price’s dual Group 1 winning More Than Ready mare Samaready.
The four-year-old was last seen winning another Group 1 race under the lights at the Valley when putting four lengths on Buffering to take out the Moir Stakes last month.
She’s fired up and ready to go for back-to-back wins at the track and distance, and will jump from the same barrier seven draw she had in the Moir.
The punters are coming for her too with Samaready firming in from $2.70 to $2.50 in Moir Stakes betting.
But is she really the one to beat?
Or will there be an upset Manikato Stakes result tonight from the likes of Moir Stakes runner-up Buffering ($6.50), five-time Group 1 winning Hong Kong champion Lucky Nine ($8.50) or even Gary Portelli’s in-form Rebel Dane ($11) coming off a victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield?
#10 Samaready ($2.50)
We are sticking with the favourite here, the form and stats are just too good not to even at her short price. She won under the lights at the Valley against a similar class last start, her second from as many runs back off an extended 12 month spell, and think she’ll do it again. No fears at the distance (4-3-0-1), track (1-1-0-0) or conditions. Plus she has the same barrier (7) and regular rider Craig Newitt aboard. The money is coming for her and it’s easy to see why. Mares also have a great recent record in the race including the win by Sea Siren last year, and this one boasts a 75% win rate – the best in the field.
#1 Lucky Nine ($8.50)
This is one classy galloper and we think they are going to explode and make a real tight finish of this in their Aussie debut. The seven-year-old is going into tonight’s race only about 85% fit according to trainer Caspar Fownes, but think that’s going to be fit enough to really challenge. They beat Aussie Bel Sprinter (Group 1 The Galaxy winner) by an easy three lengths for their last start Group 1 in Singapore back in May, which was their fifth elite level trophy. Has the class, has been working well since their arrival in Melbourne, should get a gun run from gate four, WFA suits and Brett Prebble will give them every chance here heading towards the Patinack (VRC Sprint Classic).
#7 Rebel Dane ($11)
There’s been a tickle for this California Dane stallion (in from $12) and we can see why. Their form’s been outstanding this time in, two wins and a fourth from three starts. They also won a Group 1 last month (September 29) at Caulfield in the Sir Rupert Clarke. That form’s been good, and they did that from barrier 14 of 16. They’ll get a better run from barrier nine here, Dwyane Dunn riding, but there’s a few questions whether the rest will be too sharp as they come back from 1400m. Still there’s too much on this one to leave them out of the top three for us, including the fact that they’ve won three from four over this distance and that they have the second best win rate (60%).
Whether you’re backing or sacking our Manikato Stakes 2013 betting selections this evening make sure you get the guaranteed best prices on your selections by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Don’t forget to that Ladbrokes.com.au are offering double the odds on the Cox Plate tomorrow meaning you will win TWICE as much if you back the winner online with them!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change