The $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse this spring under the lights on Friday October 23, the night before Cox Plate Day 2015, and nominations are now out for the classic led by defending champion Lankan Rupee.
After a nice trial win at Cranbourne on Monday over 800m, Mick Price’s Redoute’s Choice six-year-old Lankan Rupee looks on track to go back-to-back in the Manikato Stakes following his narrow victory over Angelic Light in the sprint showdown last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A total of 55 sprinters make up the Manikato Stakes nominations this year, 11 more than in 2014, for the weight-for-age event that heads the night line-up at the Valley on the eve of the Cox Plate each year.
If successful, Lankan Rupee will join Spark Of Life (2004-05) and Spinning Hill (2002-03) as the most recent dual Manikato Stakes winners.
The other headline Manikato Stakes entry in 2015 is the Joe Pride-trained Terravista who along with Lankan Rupee is one of 14 individual Group 1 winners in the mix.
Captain Rio six-year-old Terravista is out to become the second of his age in three years to win after the success of Buffering (2013) for Brisbane’s Robert Heathcote two years ago.
Terravista ran fifth in the Manikato last year before improving next time out to beat home Chautauqua in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, nominations for which also closed today for 2015.
His autumn included back-to-back Group 1 thirds behind Brazen Beau and Chautauqua respectively in Melbourne’s Newmarket Handicap and the TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney before a disappointing 12th when beating home just one other runner in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) last time out at Randwick.
He won a trial at Warwick Farm on September 11 however and looks on track for the Manikato that has attracted a host of other stars at nomination stage including the aforementioned 2013 winner Buffering and the Hawkes Racing-trained star grey Chautauqua.
Buffering is now an eight-year-old son of Mossman, no eight-year-old saluting in the Manikato in over 30 years.
His latest turf triumph was in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at this track and distance last September before a failed seventh when unsuccessfully defending his Manikato title.
Buffering travelled internationally after a Darley Classic fourth last spring – summer season and was last seen ridden by Damian Browne into sixth to Aerovelocioty in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in mid-December.
Encosta De Lago five-year-old Chautauqua meanwhile has an ace record in Group 1 company with four top three runs from four starts in elite level company going back to his Darley Classic second last November.
He was also second past the post in the Newmarket Handicap back in mid-March before winning the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney and running third in the All Aged Stakes on April 18.
His latest run was a first-up victory at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) from a wide gate on September 5 with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Other notable Manikato Stakes nominees include the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane last seen winning the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) in Sydney, Singapore raider Super One, Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double winning mare from the winter in Queensland Srikandi and last year’s brave runner-up Angelic Light.
The 2015 Manikato Stakes first acceptances close on Tuesday October 6 and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2015 Manikato Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 23/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|1||119x4348x4||AFLEET ESPRIT||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|2||x4130x424x||ALPHA MISS||M||4||Robert Smerdon|
|3||2x31425x7x||ANGELIC LIGHT||M||6||Robbie Griffiths|
|4||121x221x32||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||5||Joseph Pride|
|5||x12x202x13||BOUNDING||M||5||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|6||8740x2497x||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Peter G Moody|
|7||31x08x171x||BROOK ROAD||M||5||Kris Lees|
|9||620x565x89||BULL POINT||H||5||Tony McEvoy|
|11||112x1213x1||CHAUTAUQUA||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|12||0x3041x211||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|16||11122x24x1||DISPOSITION||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|18||136x5979x5||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||G||7||Noel Mayfield-Smith|
|19||x334645x55||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|20||643x2301x2||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody|
|22||0110x20x09||GALAXY PEGASUS||H||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|24||26x7820x88||GIRL GUIDE||M||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|25||50x2326x73||GREGERS||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|27||1135×79||HEADWATER||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|28||89x70315x4||HOT SNITZEL||G||7||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|31||13x32813x8||KURO (NZ)||H||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|32||x2213x169x||LANKAN RUPEE||G||6||Mick Price|
|33||76x520x31x||LE BONSIR||G||8||Mick Price|
|34||377×122813||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|36||530x31131x||NICOSCENE||H||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|38||1×3||PAINTED FIRETAIL||F||3||John O’Shea|
|39||111×25||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller|
|40||x3x745746x||RAIN AFFAIR||G||8||Daniel Bowman|
|41||x3347x60x1||REBEL DANE||H||6||Gary Portelli|
|42||3x11127x26||RICH ENUFF||H||4||Ken Keys|
|43||1421x827x5||ROCK STURDY||H||5||Joseph Pride|
|45||2x355x1133||SEBRING SUN||C||3||Gary Portelli|
|47||2x6x71||SOOBOOG||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|49||60007560×9||STERLING CITY||G||7||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|50||111x1x||SUPER ONE||C||3||Michael Freedman|
|51||13x178x310||TAWTEEN||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|53||4x11x13x21||THE MESSINA NYMPH||M||5||Tony McEvoy|
|54||37x112x80x||TIGER TEES (NZ)||G||8||Joseph Pride|
|55||11x13139x0||WAWAIL||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|