Manikato Stakes 2016 race preview

19 October 2016 11:16 AM

The Spring Carnival moves across town to Moonee Valley this weekend starting with Manikato Stakes night on Friday. The feature race includes some of the world's top class sprinting talent contesting $1 million in prize money.

Barrier statistics for the 1200m at Moonee Valley show a clear bias towards the first five gates which especially suits runners with early speed. Buffering and Fell Swoop are the two runners with inside draws that are likely to benefit most. Expect Holler to get forward too from barrier 7. Favourite Chautauqua will go back from barrier 1. Expect Dunn to move him out about three or four deep as they turn for home ready to pounce.

Form Assessment

Betting Odds Manikato Stakes

2. Chautauqua defends his title after winning this race by 2 lengths last year. He got back a bit too far in the Moir when resuming, leaving too big a task in the concluding stages. Extra distance suits him more at Moonee Valley. Expect a big show.

11. Capitalist may not have appreciated the wet track first-up, then fair effort when 1.5 lengths to Russian Revolution. Should get into a forward position with cover which will be ideal. Tougher task here but gets weight relief under weight-for-age conditions. Chance.

10. English. Wasn't bad in the TJ Smith in the autumn when finishing 1.4 lengths behind Chautauqua at Randwick jumping from barrier 14. Two runs back this preparation weren't bad. Could have finished closer last start after racing wide. Speed should be solid which helps her chances. Needs to be in the right spot on the turn.

3. Lucky Hussler was good enough in the Moir over 1000m. Will appreciate the extra ground here and fitter for the run. Expect him to go to the rear from his outside gate and sit about two or three wide with cover. Chance.

1. Buffering flew out of the gates first-up in the Moir weakening to finish 3.2 lengths fifth. Fitter now and drawn well to easily get to the front. Chances depend on how hard they go in the running.

8. Fell Swoop ran a strong second to Chautauqua in the TJ Smith. Was good enough first-up in the G2 Schillaci. Has claims.

9. Holler. Finished his last preparation in Australia a close second over this distance and at this track in the G1 William Reid. First-up now since racing in the UK. Outstanding record at this track, distance and fresh. Well drawn and MacDonald riding. Top chance.

6. The Quarterback came back nicely winning the G2 Gilgai a few weeks ago. Expect him to get back from his wide gate. The Valley doens't suit his racing style but can't totally discount his chances here.

4. Under The Louvre has mixed his form a bit this preparation. Was good first-up, okay in the Bobbie Lewis then under performed in the Gilgai. Loves Moonee Valley and speed map suits.

5. Rebel Dane started his campaign strongly but his two most recent outings weren't the best. Needs a more positive ride to give him a chance in the run for home. The wetter the better.

7. Japonisme hasn't been the same horse this preparation. Can figure on best form.

The Verdict

1st English has been solid this preparation. Expecting speed on up front which will suit. She has proven to be in Chautauqua's league.

2nd Chautauqua will appreciate the extra 200m and will be very hard to beat.

3rd Holler


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Mike Steward