Lankan Rupee held off a swarm of late challengers and survived a lengthy protest to take out the 2014 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Jockey Craig Newitt went into the race under a great deal of pressure after he was questioned for his ride on Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and he did everything possible to allow Lankan Rupee to take up the running in the early stages of the race.
Lankan Rupee was able to find the rail and kicked clear of the rest of the field at the 150 metre mark before the likes of Moment Of Change, Angelic Light, Famous Seamus, Temple Of Boom, Terravista and Rebel Dane all flashed home in the final stages of the race.
Lankan Rupee looked as though he was going to suffer a third straight defeat, but he was able to hang on for a brave victory, while there was less than half a length between the first eight horses home and just over one and a half lenghts between the entire Manikato Stakes field.
The drama did not end on the track and Damien Oliver on second placegetter Angelic Light and Tim Clark on third placegetter Famous Seamus lodged protests on behalf of connections and argued that Lankan Rupee caused interference when he pushed for the lead at the start of the race.
Replays showed that Angelic Light, Famous Seamus, Buffering, Temple Of Boom and Terravista had all received a share of interference, but Newitt and trainer Mick Price argued that Lankan Rupee was not directly responsible.
Racing Victoria stewards chose to question both Damian Browne (Buffering) and Tegan Harrison (Temple Of Boom), while Oliver fought aggresively for the race to be overturned, but after a lenghty deliberation both protests were dismissed.
“Tim Clark and Mr. Mayfield-Smith with the respect to your objection, the stewards are of the view that your horse Famous Seamus was starting to get tightened and we had some difficulty blaming Lankan Rupee for that interference and we believe your horse is already getting tightened,” Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey said.
“It would be difficult for us to say that Lankan Rupee, at that point and time, has a bearing on the incident.
“That turns us to Damien Oliver’s objection; there is some evidence from Tegan Harrison that she was dictated by Craig Newitt, but on the other hand she also said that her horse may have got in away from Lankan Rupee as well.
“We are of the view that there is an element of that, that the horse does get away from Lankan Rupee, which puts doubt into our mind and for that reason both objections will be dismissed.”
While connections of Angelic Light and Famous Seamus both felt that they were cost victory by the actions of the Newitt in the early stages of the race, the likes of Buffering, Rebel Dane, Terravista and Iconic all had little luck in the run and it sets up an intruiging rematch in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Fleminton on November 9.
It appears unlikely that the Cox Plate will be able to top the Manikato Stakes for the amount of drama, but you can still find the best odds for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship with Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2014 Manikato Stakes Results
|1||2||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||9||58.5kg||$3.90F|
|2||12||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Damien Oliver||0.1L||6||56.5kg||$13|
|3||6||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||0.2L||5||58.5kg||$18|
|4||5||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||0.3L||3||58.5kg||$8.50|
|5||7||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||0.4L||7||58.5kg||$4.60|
|6||3||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||0.5L||8||58.5kg||$41|
|7||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||0.6L||4||58.5kg||$5.50|
|8||4||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||0.8L||10||58.5kg||$31|
|9||8||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||1.55L||2||58.5kg||$61|
|10||9||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Gary Moore||Tommy Berry||1.65L||1||58.5kg||$31|
|11||10||PLATELET||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||1.85L||12||56.5kg||$18|
|12||11||BOUNDING||Ken & Bev Kelso||M R du Plessis||2.6L||11||56.5kg||$18|