Golden Rose winning colt Astern is one of three three-year-olds among the 22 Manikato Stakes first acceptances for 2016 taken by Racing Victoria (RV) this week.
Held on the eve of Cox Plate Day under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Friday October 21, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) went through the latest stage of declarations on Tuesday as did the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
A trio of youngsters are out to stop the older champions in the weight-for-age clash this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for the first time since Sepoy (2011) with the John O’Shea-trained Astern, the autumn’s Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and his undefeated stablemate Russian Revolution.
Last year’s Manikato Stakes winner Chautauqua returned to racing last Friday nights and was defeated in a shock result crossing fourth as the beaten favourite behind Mick Price’s gun three-year-old sprinter Extreme Choice.
Despite the loss, the Team Hawkes-trained super star remains favourite in pre-field Manikato Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.60 to go back-to-back in the classic and add to his impressive $6.5 million in prize money to date.
Godolphin’s Medaglia D’Oro colt Astern is the second best fancied first acceptor in the all-in Manikato Stakes odds at a quote of $5.50 to hand O’Shea his second win after the success of Sea Siren (2012).
Astern has won five of his seven starts to date including the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) by an impressive 2.3 lengths two back.
He was defeated last Saturday at Royal Randwick however when narrow runner-up to the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m).
Co-trainer Peter Snowden confirmed after the Epsom Day win, which took the record of Snitzel colt Russian Revolution to four wins from four career starts, the team were looking at a VRC Derby Day run in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on October 29 at Flemington.
He is still listed as a $17 hope to take out the Manikato Stakes a month earlier.
Snowden prepared then three-year-old Sepoy for his Manikato Stakes success and also has Capitalist in the first acceptances this season.
Winner of the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) as a two-year-old, the Written Tycoon colt was last seen running third to his stablemate in the Roman Consul Stakes and pays $13 in the pre-first acceptance Manikato markets.
The other top fancies are the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler ($9) who has winning Group 1 form at the track / distance, Robert Heathcote’s Moonee Valley specialist Buffering ($13) who took out the 2013 Manikato Stakes and Price’s 2014 winner Lankan Rupee ($13).
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott have also paid the first declaration fee for All Aged Stakes winner English who, along with the Lindsay Park-trained Sheidel, are the only two mares still in the mix.
Last Sunday’s Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) winner The Quarterback, Kiwi miler Turn Me Loose and veteran eight-year-old Sydney sprinter Our Boy Malachi are also among the first acceptors.
The 2016 Manikato Stakes final acceptances close on October 18 at 8:30am (AEDT).
See below for the latest entries and then head to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to the top all-in betting markets on all the upcoming Group 1 spring features.
2016 Manikato Stakes First Declarations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 21/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|2||112x1311x4||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||2||58.5kg|
|3||213x169x3x||LANKAN RUPEE||G||7||Mick Price||3||58.5kg|
|4||1x1121x43||CAPITALIST||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||4||53kg|
|5||6136x129x7||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||7||Darren Weir||5||58.5kg|
|6||64x321x245||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||6||Robert Smerdon||6||58.5kg|
|7||54094×2367||REBEL DANE||H||7||Gary Portelli||7||58.5kg|
|8||26x1631x54||ENGLISH||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||8||56.5kg|
|10||2111x4160x||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||10||58.5kg|
|11||1x361539x1||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||11||58.5kg|
|14||11x242156x||FELL SWOOP||G||5||Matthew Dale||14||58.5kg|
|15||13x73525x4||DOTHRAKI||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||15||58.5kg|
|16||x130x154x2||OUR BOY MALACHI||G||8||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||16||58.5kg|
|18||112x083x21||KEEN ARRAY||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||18||58.5kg|
|19||346x115x16||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||19||58.5kg|
|20||1111||RUSSIAN REVOLUTION||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||20||53kg|
|21||1x34127x42||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||21||56.5kg|