A classy field of 12 of the best sprint stars in the country accepted for the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) this morning, including the Gary Moore-trained Not Listenin’tome who will enjoy the inside run after drawing barrier one.
Tommy Berry is set to ride the four-year-old gelding in the weight-for-age sprint race. The jockey believes he would benefit from a set a blinkers if he has any hopes of upstaging the strong field that includes the likes of Buffering, Terravista, and Lankan Rupee.
Berry was pleased with Not Listenin’tome’s gallop at Moonee Valley’s Breakfast with the Best event on Tuesday morning, but a gear change could enhance the gelding’s chances of a win.
“He worked good but I just think if he is going to step up to this level, he needs to be really switched on and the blinkers could do that,” Berry told TVN.
“Drawing barrier one is a big plus and with the blinkers on he should be right in the race on speed.”
Not Listenin’tome is one of the least-experienced runners on the field, with just seven career starts to his name. Before October he had never finished worse than second, which included runner-up finishes in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and Guinness Canterbury Stakes (1300m), but he ran a disappointing second-last in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) last time out. He was on the speed early but took a trial. He looked a good hope at the turn but failed to deliver a strong run in the last bit.
However Berry is confident he can turn the result around in his first ride with the gelding. The pair will enjoy the lucrative inside rails run, which has produced four previous winners since 1983.
Not Listenin’tome is currently available at a price of $26 in the 2014 Manikato Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by Terravista ($3.40) and Lankan Rupee ($3.90).
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