Rob Heathcote’s triple Group 1 winner Buffering is again nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) after breaking his maiden status in last year’s edition of the Moonee Valley sprint showdown.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) today took 44 nominations for the 2014 Manikato Stakes, one more than last year, running under the lights on Friday October 24 on the eve of Cox Plate Day.
After 17 earlier attempts at Group 1 level, Mossman gelding Buffering finally broke his elite level duck last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with a narrow victory over Lucky Nine in the Manikato.
Having won two more Group 1s on the trot after that, Heathcote is hoping for the same luck in Melbourne this spring after Buffering failed to win at home during the winter.
The now seven-year-old was last seen running third behind the ‘Boom Brothers’ in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) back in May and returns in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), also held at Moonee Valley this Friday night.
In the Moir Stakes Buffering will face a host of fellow Manikato Stakes nominees including the odds-on favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au Lankan Rupee.
The Redoute’s Choice five-year-old won the Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap and TJ Smith Stakes during the autumn to be rated the world’s highest sprinter.
First-up on September 6 at Moonee Valley however he lost in the final stride in the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) and so will be out for atonement when he goes up to 1200m back at the track this weekend.
Also nominated for both the Moir Stakes and Manikato Stakes this season is the upset McEwen Stakes winning mare Angelic Light prepared by Robbie Griffiths.
Along with Lankan Rupee Price also has Lion Of Belfort in the Manikato entries, the Statue Of Liberty entire having run third to Zoustar in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Buffering is also one of five from last year’s Manikato Stakes first six nominated again 12 months later along with Sessions (3rd), Moment Of Change (4th), Rebel Dane (5th) and Bel Sprinter (6th).
The Manikato Stakes nominations feature many of the same headliners that are also nominated for Flemington’s major spring race of the carnival, the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8.
This includes the past two Blue Diamond Stakes winners Earthquake (2014) now with John O’Shea and Miracles Of Life (2013) who has joined Team Snowden after going under the hammer earlier this year.
Along with Earthquake, who hasn’t won a race since February’s Blue Diamond at Caulfield, O’Shea has three other entries.
Last year’s aforementioned third placegetter Sessions is back after a first-up fourth in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), while April’s Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes winner Sidestep and Golden Rose sixth placegetter Sarajevo round out the Godolphin hopes.
All the major stables have representation in this year’s Manikato Stakes including Sydney’s Chris Waller and Gai Waterhouse.
Waller has entered Catkins following the Dubwai mare’s first-up win in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill while Waterhouse has Driefontein and her 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach in the mix.
Other notable Manikato Stakes nominees then include The Galaxy third placed Villa Verde, last start The Shorts winner Terravista, Tony Gollan’s Stradbroke Handicap runner-up Temple Of Boom, Rain Affair for Joe Pride and Darren Weir’s Group 1 winner in Adelaide Platelet.
2014 Manikato Stakes first acceptances will be taken on Tuesday November 7 along with those for the Melbourne Cup.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest field updates on the spring Group 1s.
Then for the hottest horse racing odds of the season visit Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will be matched dollar for dollar up to $500 as a bonus bet when you quote SPRINGBONUS for a limited time only!
2014 Manikato Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 24/10/2014
|1||AFLEET ESPRIT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||80|
|2||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||103|
|3||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||103|
|4||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||106|
|8||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|9||DEEP FIELD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||75|
|13||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||90|
|14||ESSAY RAIDER||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||99|
|15||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||108|
|16||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||91|
|17||GIRL GUIDE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||92|
|18||GREGERS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|20||I’M ALL THE TALK||Gary Portelli||95|
|21||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||100|
|22||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||118|
|23||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||90|
|24||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Peter & Paul Snowden||103|
|25||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||111|
|26||OFFICE BEARER||Peter G Moody||97|
|28||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||99|
|30||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||104|
|31||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||110|
|38||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||75|
|39||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||109|
|41||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||86|
|43||VAIN QUEEN||John Sadler||99|
|44||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||104|