Odds-on favourite Chautauqua has come up with an inside barrier two draw in a 10-starter field for Friday night’s Manikato Stakes 2015 under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Run on Cox Plate Eve, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) has attracted an under capacity field but is still bursting with sprint stars including the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua.
The flying Encosta De Lago gelding comes off back-to-back wins this time in with a charging victory in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) in his Moonee Valley debut before a last start victory in Flemington’s Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).
Co-trainer John Hawkes prepared 1994 Manikato Stakes winner Spanish Mix and is after his first win in the weight-for-age classic since with Chautauqua out to become the first champion to jump from barrier two in over 30 years.
He is one of a host of last-start winners looking to secure successive victories in Friday evening’s classic including the Robert Heathcote-trained Brisbane raider Buffering in gate seven with regular rider Damian Browne in the saddle.
Mossman gelding Buffering, a winner of over $5 million in prize money over a stunning 47-start career to date, won the 2013 Manikato Stakes and is back for another win this weekend on the back of a Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) victory at the track last time out.
The Moir Stakes has produced the past two Manikato Stakes winners with Buffering running second in the lead-up two years ago and Lankan Rupee also backing up from a Moir second to win last year’s Manikato as the favourite.
Favourites have a gun record in the race over the past decade with five saluting for the punters, Chautauqua paying $1.95 in the latest Manikato Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to be the next.
Ladbrokes are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Manikato Stakes this Friday, which will add even more value to Buffering’s current price of $8.
The other two single figure hopes in the markets are the Joe Pride-trained Terravista ($5.50) and the Ciaron Maher-trained mare Srikandi ($6) jumping from barriers one and 10 respectively at opposite ends of the field.
James McDonald has the ride on Captain Rio six-year-old Terravista who comes off a first-up win in Sydney’s Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) over Rebel Dane and who has a nice second-up record of three wins and a third from five starts.
He was the big winner in the Manikato Stakes barrier draw with barrier one producing three of the past six winners with Danleigh (2009), Hay List (2010) and Sepoy (2011) all jumping from the inside alley.
The last Cox Plate winning mare was Sea Siren (2012) and this weekend the returning Srikandi is out to be the next from her outside alley, barrier 10 the same gate Buffering jumped from for his win 24 months ago while Lankan Rupee did it from gate nine last spring.
Kerrin McEvoy reunites with Maher’s Dubawi five-year-old who hasn’t raced since securing Queensland’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double in the winter.
The other last start winner lining up this weekend is also another mare with the Robert Smerdon-trained Lucky Owners four-year-old Alpha Miss coming off a Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) success from October 10.
Craig Williams retains the ride on her second-up in gate eight shooting for his first victory in the Manikato.
Also of note is Rebel Dane, an $11 chance in betting just ahead of Alpha Miss ($13), with the Gary Portelli-trained California Dane six-year-old out to turn the tables on Terravista after his last start second in the Premiere Stakes at Randwick back on October 3.
See below for the full Manikato Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in Best Tote or SP + 20% on the race this Friday night!
2015 Manikato Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 24/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||333x1746x1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||7||58.5kg||115|
|2||12x1213x11||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2||58.5kg||114|
|3||1151x330x1||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||James McDonald||1||58.5kg||112|
|4||3347x60x12||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Brenton Avdulla||4||58.5kg||–|
|5||7x112x80x5||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||TBA||9||58.5kg||109|
|6||34645×5571||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||3||58.5kg||104|
|7||x11127x260||RICH ENUFF||Ken Keys||Noel Callow||6||58.5kg||102|
|8||113x18611x||SRIKANDI||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||10||56.5kg||113|
|9||4132×99325||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Steven Arnold||5||56.5kg||101|
|10||4130x424x1||ALPHA MISS||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||8||56.5kg||100|