A highly talented field of 12 of the country’s best sprint stars (and one New Zealand runner) has been confirmed for Friday night’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), with betting tips set out below.
The 2014 Manikato Stakes is the feature race at Moonee Valley tonight with a total prize pool of $1 million.
Terravista opened the Manikato Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au as $3.20 favourite but has since firmed to $4 second-favourite behind Lankan Rupee ($3.80).
The Joseph Pride-trained Terravista has yet to win at the highest level of racing, and considering his talented field of opposition, punters have shied away from him because of it.
Lankan Rupee meanwhile has not been his best at Moonee Valley, missing out on his last two starts there. But he’s still a powerful and strong runner, who is back in perfect shape following a quartercrack in his off-foot.
Will the pair justify favouristism and win the 2014 Manikato Stakes? Or will one of the many other talented sprinters take the crown?
Check out our betting tips and selections below to get an idea of who you’ll back tonight.
Defending Manikato Stakes champion Buffering is the current market-mover in the betting, shortening from $6.5 to $5.50 but still outside of the favouritism shared by Terravista and Lankan Rupee. The Robert Heathcote-trained gelding is offering punters exceptional value at his current odds considering he won last year’s race, is a last start winner from the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), which he also happened to beat Manikato rival Lankan Rupee in, has drawn much better than many of his rivals in gate four, and finished top three in all three of his races before the Moir. The gelding has the best track and distance record of the field and will definitely finish in the money.
#11 Bounding ($26)
Ken & Bev Kelso’s Bounding is offering punters the very best value for money in the Manikato Stakes betting market at generous $26 odds to win or $6.30 to place. The 4YO mare has a 100% Plate Rate, the best on the field, after winning seven of her 12 career starts and finishing runner-up in the remaining five. She is a proven winner at Group 1 level and the same distance as the Manikato after taking out the Railway Stakes (1200m) in Perth last year. Her one and only spring start was finishing runner-up to Chautauqua in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) earlier this month. She may have finished 4 lengths behind the sprint star but was the only runner to hold any sort of ground against him. Mares have proven very successful in the Manikato, with seven winning since 2000. She is also set to start from barrier 11, which is the most successful gate bringing home 5 winners since 1983. All signs point towards a successful run tonight.
#2 Lankan Rupee ($3.80)
You’d be hard-pressed to go past the favourite in the Manikato Stakes. The Mick Price-trained gelding had a top spring campaign last year which followed into autumn of this year. He won three consecutive Group One races including the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in April. He returned in spring to two great, fast-finishing second placings including the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m). Lankan Rupee hasn’t run in four weeks due to a quartercrack in his off-foot but showed he’s back to top fitness level after training last weekend. Even if he doesn’t win he’s sure to finish top three.
With so many fantastic sprinters taking the Moonee Valley field tonight, it’s hard to pick just three top runners. If you agree with our 2014 Manikato Stakes tips however, back them at Ladbrokes.com.au now.
You’ll get you money back as a bonus bet if your winner comes second or third to the favourite!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change.