Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Just two weeks removed from winning the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield, Tony McEvoy’s three-year old filly Sunlight prepares for a second-up run in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Having placed third in her maiden Group 1 run in the Golden Slipper earlier in March, Sunlight is the $4.60 favourite with Ladbrokes in a very talented 14 horse field.
McEvoy’s speedy sprinter is three-for-three over the 1200m distance, and with barrier three in hand, the champion trainer plans for Sunlight to sit up on the speed.
“She’ll go forward, she’ll be in the first three” McEvoy told RSN on Friday morning.
“We’ll ride her positively from the gate, we’ve got a beautiful barrier that we’ve got to take advantage of, and we’ve got no weight that we’ve got to take advantage of.”
Sunlight has drawn 51kgs with jockey Tim Clark getting the ride over Luke Currie. The pair last raced together back in February, another win for Sunlight in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes.
When asked about her strong form in the lead up to the Manikato, McEvoy was adamant this is the best his horse has looked. He also admits with the weight and a handy gate, this is the perfect chance for Sunlight to wow the fans.
“It is time to step up and see where we sit, and the advantage we get at the weights, it’s like getting a 2.5 length start. So a filly of her speed getting a 2.5 length start, it’s something I don’t want to pass up” McEvoy went on to say.
With five international raiders in the field though, four of which come from Aidan O’Brien, things won’t come easy for Sunlight if luck doesn’t go her way. The fillies biggest threat is $5.00 second-elect Kementari, a horse who McEvoy says he has a lot of respect for.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Kementari. What James (Cummings) has done with that horse sprinting, I’ve always thought of him as a sprinter, not anything else.
“Now that he’s back in the sprint, he maps really well in a race like this, and he’s the one I’m concerned about.”
Kementari is first-up on Friday night after placing no better than second in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes last prep.
O’Brien’s American import U.S. Navy flag also hopes to improve on a disappointing ninth in The Everest on a wet track.
Full Manikato Stakes odds can be seen below.
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