The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Mark Walker’s airborne mare Imperatriz looks close to unbeatable in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes 2023 with the gun mare drawn a treat in gate four facing just six rivals under the lights at The Valley.
The Cox Plate Carnival steals the show in Melbourne over the weekend including Saturday’s bumper Cox Plate Day card featuring the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m).
The weight-for-age sprint has attracted a diminutive final field of only seven acceptors with Imperatriz scaring away the bulk of her rivals.
The five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible is undefeated at The Valley circuit having won her past three starts all at the track including two Group 1s.
In the autumn she saluted in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) before returning this prep to firstly salute by 2.5 lengths in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and then set a new race record claiming the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) in just 55.47 seconds.
She is now at a short $1.45 in Manikato Stakes betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au to keep the wins coming with Opie Bosson in the saddle once more.
Three of her rivals are under double-figures looking for an upset including the current $6.50 second elect Buenos Noches.
The Matthew Smith-trained Supido four-year-old is not without his admirers despite being unraced at Moonee Valley and finishing out of the money last start.
He comes via the Sydney form lines and was last seen crossing 3.5 lengths back eighth to Think About It in the $20 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.
Consistent I Am Invincible mare I Am Me and Group 1 winning Queenslander Uncommon James then follow closely both at $7 Manikato Stakes odds.
Top trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have prepared two of the past four Manikato Stakes winners with Loving Gaby (2019) and Bella Nipotina (2022) last year.
They saddle-up I Am Me from barrier six on Saturday with the mare, to be ridden by James McDonald, last seen saluting in the Group 3 $2 million Sydney Stakes (1200m) on The Everest Day from barrier 12 of 16.
Uncommon James meanwhile has gate two and will be ridden by Damian Lane third-up off his good runs in the Moir (3rd) and Schillaci Stakes (2nd).
Cliff Brown’s Moir fourth place-getter The Inferno ($26), the Cindy Alderson-trained Jigsaw ($31), and the rails-drawn roughie I Am War ($101) complete the line-up.
2023 Manikato Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||400x9275x4||THE INFERNO||Cliff Brown||Jake Noonan||3||58.5kg||103|
|2||123x57x138||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Blake Shinn||5||58.5kg||109|
|3||11x2128x32||UNCOMMON JAMES||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Damian Lane||2||58.5kg||109|
|4||7x111101x5||JIGSAW||Cindy Alderson||Daniel Moor||7||58.5kg||105|
|5||1161x900x2||I AM WAR||Trevor J Andrews||1||58.5kg||80|
|6||8x11121x11||IMPERATRIZ||Mark Walker||Opie Bosson||4||56.5kg||118|
|7||x11117x161||I AM ME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||James McDonald||6||56.5kg||109|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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