Champion sprinter Chautauqua is the short-priced favourite of the 11 horses making up the Manikato Stakes 2016 field after drawing barrier one for the Moonee Valley showdown on Friday evening.
The major on the Cox Plate Eve program under the lights, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) is shaping up as the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua’s for the taking according to early markets.
Following the release of the Manikato Stakes field and barriers, the updated odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Encosta De Lago six-year-old Chautauqua as the $2.25 favourite to successfully defend his title.
Looking to go back-to-back in the weight-for-age sprint for the first time since Spark Of Life (2004-05), Chautauqua has Dwayne Dunn aboard on Friday night.
He is out to atone this weekend and become the fourth Manikato Stakes winner in eight years to win from barrier one.
The gallant grey is set to improve second-up over his pet distance (15-7-6-1), with the next best in Manikato Stakes betting being Capitalist ($5.50).
Youth trumped experience in the Moir Stakes and this weekend the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist is looking to secure a Group 1 at the Valley for the three-year-olds again.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden won the race in 2011 with star colt Sepoy and hopes to do it in partnership with his son this season with Written Tycoon youngster Capitalist.
Best known for his Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) win in Sydney over subsequent dual Group 1 winning filly Yankee Rose, Capitalist was last seen running third to Russian Revolution at Randwick in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) on October 1.
He is yet to race in Melbourne so how he handles his first go the Victorian way and the tight Moonee Valley circuit will be key to his chances of beating Chautauqua this Friday night.
The last of the single-figure fancies in the Manikato Stakes markets at $9 is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained English.
Jumping from a wider gate nine draw with Sam Clipperton in the saddle, the four-year-old Encosta De Lago mare chases her second elite level success.
At the end of the autumn she beat home Black Heart Bart, who runs in the Cox Plate on Saturday, in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) in Sydney.
She’s had two runs also in Sydney this time in and is another visitor debuting in Melbourne in the Manikato.
In the past decade three mares have been successful in the Manikato Stakes, most recent Sea Siren (2012), but no winner has come off a Sydney run since Typhoon Zed (2008).
Along with Chautauqua the other previous Manikato Stakes winner in the field this season is the Robert Heathcote-trained veteran Buffering.
The Brisbane-based, internationally-performed $7.3 million earner won the race in 2013 and contested the past five editions of the race.
He ran fifth last year on the back of a Moir Stakes success, and this year he ran fifth in the Moir Stakes beaten 3.2 lengths.
The now nine-year-old son of Mossman jumps from barrier two, the gate that produced Chautauqua for his success 12 months ago, and is out to be the first of his age to take out the feature in over 30 years.
See below for the full Manikato Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to all the season’s top markets plus up to $700 in bonus match bets as a first-time depositing player (excluding NSW) with use of the code SPRINGBONUS.
2016 Manikato Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 21/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||15411x10x5||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||2||58.5kg||115|
|2||112x1311x4||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||1||58.5kg||118|
|3||6136x129x7||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||10||58.5kg||113|
|4||64x321x245||UNDER THE LOUVRE||Robert Smerdon||Chris Parnham||5||58.5kg||110|
|5||54094×2367||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham||4||58.5kg||105|
|6||1x361539x1||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||11||58.5kg||110|
|7||1x35313x60||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||8||58.5kg||109|
|8||1x242156x3||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||Hugh Bowman||3||58.5kg||108|
|9||21x1512x7x||HOLLER||John O’Shea||James McDonald||7||58.5kg||111|
|10||26x1631x54||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Sam Clipperton||9||56.5kg||111|
|11||1x1121x43||CAPITALIST||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||53kg||104|