Twelve of the country’s best sprinting stars will take the Moonee Valley field this Friday night for the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
The final field for the 2014 Manikato Stakes was drawn live at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Tuesday morning following the Breakfast with the Best event. It’s set to be an exciting race with a range of classy sprinters.
Headlining the field is the Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering, who will get a great start from barrier four as he defends his Manikato Stakes title. This is a much better gate than he came home from in 2013 (10).
Buffering was the winner of the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) on the course proper his last time out, and is more than skilled over the distance of the Manikato. The seven-year-old had three Group One starts during winter racing season, taking away third placings from all three – unable to bring home a win. But that all changed on his one and only spring run so far, when he held on for a Moir Stakes win and beat favourite Lankan Rupee by just a neck.
The Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee will start wider than many punters would have liked, after drawing barrier nine. Since 1983, no winner has come from barrier nine, but if anyone can break that drought, it is Lankan Rupee.
The gelding was unbeaten from six starts during November 2013 – April 2014 which included the impressive Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), which he won dominantly by two lengths.
He has had two spring campaign starts this season, the Group 2 McEwan Stakes (1000m) and Moir Stakes, both of which he missed out on by just a neck.
Buffering and Lankan Rupee are 1-1 in their rivalry, with both searching to get one-up over the other this Friday night.
Barriers 10 and 11 have brought home the most Manikato Stakes winners since 1983 with five wins apiece. This is good news for Moment of Change (10) and Bounding (2011) in this year’s race.
The Peter Moody-trained Moment Of Change will need all the help he can get following a last-place finish in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 30. The gelding has not been seen on the field since then but has plenty of wins in his three-year career that prove he is in with a chance.
Moment Of Change will hope to do better than in last year’s Manikto Stakes, where he finished just outside the top three after jumping awkwardly and getting away slowly.
Four-year-old Bounding is in fantastic form, having never finished worse than second. The Ken & Bev Kelso-trained mare has had 12 career starts, seven of which she has won and the remaining five of which she placed second.
She has only had one spring start this campaign, in which she was blitzed by Chautauqua in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), however she was the only horse to hold any sort of ground on the winner.
Famous Seamus, winner of the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) his last time out will start from barrier five, Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) winner Terravista drew barrier seven, and Platelet has drawn wide in barrier 12 following four consecutive runner-up finishes including the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m).
Surprisingly, Chautauqua and Eloping missed out on places in the 2014 Manikato Stakes final field despite brilliant spring seasons.
The Hawkes Racing’s Chautauqua wowed punters with a four length victory in the Gilgai Stakes last time out while Eloping won the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) last Wednesday.
Check out the complete Manikato Stakes 2014 final field & barrier draw below.
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2014 Manikato Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||111x7333x1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||4||58.5kg||118|
|2||11x1111x22||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||9||58.5kg||118|
|3||8661422×25||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||8||58.5kg||108|
|4||32x2110x20||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||10||58.5kg||111|
|5||57x2547x33||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||3||58.5kg||110|
|6||3905190×31||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||5||58.5kg||108|
|7||112x110x11||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Hugh Bowman||7||58.5kg||108|
|8||2x5205x134||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||2||58.5kg||97|
|9||1122x12x6||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Gary Moore||Tommy Berry||1||58.5kg||103|
|10||150x1222x2||PLATELET||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||12||56.5kg||111|
|11||11121x12x2||BOUNDING||Ken & Bev Kelso||Mark Du Plessis||11||56.5kg||105|
|12||x32512x314||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg||103|