The Manikato Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race that takes place at Moonee Valley racecourse on Cox Plate eve in October during the Melbourne spring racing carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1200 metres and worth $1,000,000 in prizemoney. The 2018 Manikato Stakes was won by Brave Smash from Spirit Of Valor with Kementari third.
Taking place on the night before the Moonee Valley Racing Club's premier race day of the year, Gr1 WS Cox Plate day, the Manikato Stakes meeting provides the perfect entree to the main event the following day.
From 1968 to 1983 the race was known as the ‘Freeway Stakes’ and in 1984 the race was changed to honour the mighty Manikato who made Moonee Valley the scene of some his greatest triumphs.
Manikato was one of Australia's most loved racehorses back in the eighties and he won the Freeway Stakes twice and also scored five wins in a row in the William Reid stakes at this same track and distance. Manikato was an out and out champion who had 49 career starts for 29 wins and 13 places and he sadly passed away in 1984 after an illness and now lays at rest at the home of many of his greatest wins, Moonee Valley racecourse.
|Date:||Friday 25th October 2019|
|Track:||Moonee Valley racecourse, Melbourne|
|2018 Winner:||Brave Smash|
|Manikato Stakes odds|
The Manikato Stakes is run at level weights and is a race that is more often than not won by a top class horse who will go on to win more quality races during their career. The level weighted conditions of the race gives the better sprinters a decided advantage and gallopers contesting this event will most likely have tackled similar type sprint races along the way.
Now that this event is held on Cox Plate eve, races such as the Gr3 McEwen Stakes or Gr1 AJ Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley, or the Gr2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield, will provide good lead up races to the Manikato Stakes.
The list of recent winners include some of Australia's finest horse flesh with Sepoy (2011), Hay List (2010), Miss Andretti (2006), Redoute's Choice (1999) and Sunline (2000) all winning this event, while back in the eighties top sprinters such as Rancho Ruler (1988), Rubiton (1987) and Strawberry Road (1983) were all successful.
Brave Smash (2018) finished unplaced in the Sydney Sweepstakes race over 1200m at Randwick in Sydney before finisning strongly to win this event for leading trainer Darren Weir.
Recent Manikato Stakes winners include Hey Doc (2017) and Rebel Dane (2016).
The Manikato Stakes is a good horse's race and apart from producing horses who go on to win or be very competitive in most of the major sprint races of the spring, it has also produced five WS Cox Plate winners of late. Sunline (2000-01), Dane Ripper (1997), Rubiton (1987) and Strawberry Road (1983) all won this race in recent times.
Classy galloper Sunlight (7th in 2018) captured the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington at her next start after enjoying little luck in this event. Voodoo Lad (8th in 2018) and Viddora (4th in 2017) both won the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot at ther next start.
When the race was held earlier in the spring Hay List (2010) won the Gr 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington after winning this event and True Persuasion (2nd in 2010) ran third behind Black Caviar in the AJ Moir Stakes. Eagle Falls (3rd in 2010) took out the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield the following autumn.
Buffering (2013) headed to Flemington at his next start to win the Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic down the 1200m straight course to make it back to back Group 1 victories.
Mental (2nd in 2012), Sea Siren (2012) and Hallowell Belle (4th in 2012) filled the first three placings in the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Cast a keen eye over the Manikato Stakes as there might be horses in the field who go on to feature in major sprint races later in the spring.
1. $8.50 Brave Smash 58.5 Hugh Bowman
2. $18.00 Spirit Of Valor 58.5 Oisin Murphy
3. $8.00 Kementari 58.5 Glyn Schofield
4. $17.00 Spright 56.5 Damien Oliver
5. $15.00 Invincible Star 56.5 Stephen Baster
6. $6.50 Houtzen 56.5 Ryan Maloney
7. $4.40 Sunlight 51.0 Tim Clark
8. $16.00 Voodoo Lad 58.5 Mark Zahra
9. $41.00 Fleet Review 58.0 Kerrin McEvoy
10. $81.00 Jungle Edge 58.5 Dylan Dunn
11. $51.00 Tulip 56.5 Regan Bayliss
12. $14.00 Malaguerra 58.5 Ben Melham
13. $201.00 Intelligence Cross 58.5 Emmet McNamara
14. $6.00 US Navy Flag 58.0 Ryan Moore
Margins: 0.2 len, 0.5 len
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|2018||Brave Smash||Spirit Of Valor||Kementari||1:09.3|
|2017||Hey Doc||In Her Time||Malaguerra||1:09.9|
|2016||Rebel Dane||Fell Swoop||Japonisme||1:10.9|
|2014||Lankan Rupee||Angelic Light||Famous Seamus||1:10.3|
|2012||Sea Siren||Mental||We're Gonna Rock||1:11.3|
|2011||Sepoy||Sister Madly||More Joyous||1:11.0|
|2010||Hay List||True Persuasion||Eagle Falls||1:09.9|
|2008||Typhoon Zed||Absolut Glam||Kaphero||1:10.6|
|2007||Gold Edition||Vormista||Dr Nipandtuck||1:10.6|
|2006||Miss Andretti||Dance Hero||Sassbee||1:09.2|
|2005||Spark Of Life||Perfectly Ready||Our Egyptian Raine||1:11.5|
|2004||Spark Of Life||Yell||Dilly Dally||1:13.3|
|2003||Spinning Hill||True Glo||The Big Chill||1:11.2|
|2002||Spinning Hill||Bel Esprit||Mistegic||1:10.5|
|2000||Sunline||Honour The Name||Miss Pennymoney||1:11.6|
|1998||Dane Ripper||Sir Boom||Theatre||1:12.3|
|1997||Spartacus||Poetic King||Cut Up Rough||1:11.3|
|1996||Poetic King||You Remember||Sequalo||1:12.3|
|1994||Spanish Mix||Primacy||Chemin De Fer||1:10.6|
|1993||Never Undercharge||Silver Neon||Prince Acumen||1:13.6|
|1991||Sonic Express||Wrap Around||Street Ruffian||1:12.6|
|1990||Street Ruffian||Jet Fighter||Kings High||1:12.1|
|1988||Rancho Ruler||Special||Our Westminster||1:10.7|
|1987||Rubiton||Dazzling Duke||Caledonian Boy||1:10.5|
|1986||Lockleys Tradition||Dazzling Duke||Canny Lass||1:12.4|
|1985||Touch Of Genius||Phoenix Rising||Desalante||1:16.2|
|1984||Vite Cheval||Centaine||Lasers Fury||1:15.1|
|1983||Strawberry Road||Red Tempo||Brummel Who||1:14.9|
|1981||Silver Bounty||Rangers Son||Bold Prospect||1:17.0|
|1980||Grey Sapphire||Family Of Man||Arbogast||1:12.1|