Last year’s winner Chautauqua is the headliner among the 40 Manikato Stakes 2016 nominations taken by Racing Victoria (RV) for the Moonee Valley feature set to run on Cox Plate eve.
Highlighting the action under the lights at the Valley on the evening of Friday, October 21, is the $1 million Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Manikato Stakes nominations closed on Tuesday along with those for a host of other Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors including the Victoria Derby, Crown Oaks and Darley Classic during.
Numbers for the weight-for-age sprint are down from 55 at Manikato Stakes nomination stage this time last year.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua is the headline nominee and early Manikato Stakes betting favourite pre-field at Ladbrokes.com.au to successfully defend his title.
The now six-year-old son of Encosta De Lago hasn’t raced since taking out the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong back in May.
The five-time Group 1 winner has won over $6.5 million in prize money and won the Manikato Stakes third-up last spring.
He is expected to resume on September 30 at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) and is looking to go back-to-back in the Manikato Stakes for the first time since Spark Of Life (2004-05).
Co-trainer John Hawkes also won the Manikato Stakes back in 1994 with Spanish Mix.
The stable of a total of three nominees this season with Chautauqua joined by stablemates Kaepernick and Our Boy Malachi.
Incredibly the past three Manikato Stakes winners are also nominated for this year’s edition with Chautauqua (2015) joined by Lankan Rupee (2014) and Buffering (2013) in the early entries.
The Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee’s last turf triumph was in February of 2015, while he hasn’t raced since October last year.
He will tackle the Manikato Stakes first-up off the lengthy year-long break according to Price, before heading to Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Buffering meanwhile is back in Australia and trialling well for his Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote after his failed 14th in the Chairman’s Sprint behind Chautauqua in Hong Kong.
The veteran nine-year-old son of Mossman has won over $7.2 million over his 53 career start to date and will be out to atone for his fifth in last year’s Manikato Stakes, which followed his third Moir Stakes win in four years.
Last year’s Manikato Stakes third-placegetter Rebel Dane is also nominated for a shot at the title in 2016 for Sydney’s Gary Portelli.
The seven-year-old stallion hasn’t won a race since the 2015 The Shorts first-up last September, but has plenty of smart form in top company and was only two lengths off Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes result last season.
Other notable entries include the Chris Waller-trained Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Japonisme, the John O’Shea-trained internationally performed four-year-old Holler, Gai Waterhouse’s All Aged Stakes winning mare English and the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler.
The 2016 Manikato Stakes first acceptances close at midday (local time) on October 4.
See below for the full Manikato Stakes 2016 nominations before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to all the best Group 1 futures markets this spring!
2016 Manikato Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 21/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|1||0x424x19x8||ALPHA MISS||M||5||Robert Smerdon|
|3||x3223x68x2||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||6||Joseph Pride|
|4||1x22x4||BATTLECAMP (NZ)||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|6||1x1121x4x||CAPITALIST||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|7||1112x1311x||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|9||2210×18||DEFCON||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|10||13x73525x4||DOTHRAKI||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|11||126x1631x5||ENGLISH||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|12||2346x115x1||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|13||x048346230||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|14||11x242156x||FELL SWOOP||G||5||Matthew Dale|
|20||x0130x10x3||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|21||112x083x21||KEEN ARRAY||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|23||213x169x3x||LANKAN RUPEE||G||7||Mick Price|
|24||46136x129x||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||7||Darren Weir|
|25||0x411L0x55||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|27||1x130x154x||OUR BOY MALACHI||G||8||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|29||354094×236||REBEL DANE||H||7||Gary Portelli|
|30||55x2215x11||REDZEL||G||4||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|31||11x324314x||RUETTIGER (NZ)||G||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|32||111x||RUSSIAN REVOLUTION||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|33||x19230x393||SANTA ANA LANE||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|34||11x34127x4||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|35||0x7236033x||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir|
|36||21x361539x||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths|
|37||2111x4160x||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman|
|38||264x321x24||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||6||Robert Smerdon|
|39||13×1212311||VOODOO LAD||G||5||Darren Weir|
|40||2152911×63||WE’VE GOT THIS||G||5||Greg Eurell|