The price on evergreen veteran Buffering to post his second Manikato Stakes win is firming as the nine-year-old warhorse chases his first victory down under since January.
Robert Heathcote’s cult galloper known as ‘The Buff’ has had 54 career starts to date for an ultra-impressive record of 20 wins, nine seconds and eight thirds.
His career prize money currently sits at $7.28 million thanks to his seven Group 1 victories including the 2013 edition of the race he runs in again under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
The weight-for-age $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) features a star-studded field of 11 with only Fell Swoop yet to win in elite level company.
Buffering broke his Group 1 maiden status in the classic back in 2013 and this year will be his sixth straight run in the race.
His other Manikato Stakes results over the years were: 4th to Sepoy (2011); 6th to Sea Siren (2012), 7th to Lankan Rupee (2014) and 5th to Chautauqua (2015) 12 months ago.
The Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua is the dominant $2.40 favourite in Manikato Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to go back-to-back this year.
There’s also been a trickle of interest for Buffering backed in from $12 to $10 to post the upset.
Three years ago he won from a wide barrier 10 of 12 draw, but on Friday lines-up from gate two with Damian Browne continuing his gun association with the galloper.
Barrier two produced Chautauqua for his successful Manikato Stakes result last spring, but that was the only time in over 30 years a winner came from that gate.
Last time out Buffering ran 3.2 lengths back for fifth in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley, a race he won in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
His latest victory was in Dubai’s Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) back in late March, but he hasn’t saluted in Australia since the summer.
Buffering’s form at Moonee Valley (12-5-1-1) and the 1200m (35-12-6-5) is definitely hard to knock and if he is back to his best, the market mover could be worth following.
The only other Manikato Stakes market firmers are Matthew Dale’s Not A Single Doubt five-year-old Fell Swoop ($12 into $10) and Holler ($13 into $11).
Fell Swoop comes off a third at Caulfield in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) and has won his only other run at Moonee Valley.
Hugh Bowman continues associations in the Manikato Stakes and he’ll get things his way from barrier three as he steps up to Group 1 class for the sixth time.
He is a dual Group 1 placegetter including the brave second to Chautauqua in the TJ Smith Stakes (100m) at Randwick back in April and will be improving second-up (3-2-0-0).
Holler meanwhile is first-up on Friday night for John O’Shea and the Godolphin stable after a failed international run at Royal Ascot back in June.
His Australian form before that is outstanding however and includes the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) win in Sydney on March 2 as well as the narrow second to Flamberge at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m)/
Along with Chautauqua who has eased out slightly ($2.35 to $2.40), the punters are shying away from most others in the Manikato Stakes betting markets.
Big drifts add value to the likes of the gun Peter & Paul Snowden-trained three-year-old Capitalist ($5.50 out to $7) and the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler ($9.50 out to $13).
Check out the latest Manikato Stakes 2016 betting odds below before following the links to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in the best prices for your spring selections.