Moonee Valley: Manikato Stakes Night, 26 Oct 2018
It’s a case of Friday Night Lights, for the running of the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes. It’s always a good occasion to wind down the weekend as Melbourne punters prepare for the W.S Cox Plate extravaganza the following day. An eight-race card kicks off the two day Moonee Valley special.
Friday night will see a flux of internationals lining up in the Manikato Stakes. Four of them from the stable of Irish genius Aidan O’Brien. They’ll be taking on some talented locals in what should be an enthralling event.
Moonee Valley Race 1
Lucrf Super Handicap
Race Time: 6:30 PM
The first of the Manikato Stakes night is a 1000m dash for three-year-olds. The early appears to be going in the direction of PROPELLE who will be resuming here. The Hawkes gelding HEART CONQUERED is a winner already this prep after two starts. Drawn handily. The horse with the form is the Lindsay Park filly FINAL CHOICE. Strangely she’s at longer odds, maybe because of her wide barrier draw. The Cranbourne colt ZOUMANOR is a last start winner and drawn the inside gate, and yet appears to be unloved in the market. Former Tasmanian OUR LONG SALI resumes after a winter break, and finishing just out of the money in a Group 3 race at Morphettville. The early money seems to be heading her way.
BFF Picks: Heart Conquered, Final Choice, Zoumanor
Value Price: Zoumanor $16.00
Roughie: Grandview Avenue $21.00
Moonee Valley Race 2
The Westin Melbourne Handicap
Race Time: 7:00 PM
This is a mares race over the Cox Plate distance of 2040m. Not the strongest field on paper, but if you dig deeper there are some interesting stats and tidbits. NETTOYER is the mare who has raced in stronger grades in recent weeks, including the Metropolitan and Tramway up in Sydney. PLEASURING has picked up numerous wins and placings in graded races including the SA Classic over 2500m at Morphettville and a Tasmanian Oaks. PERFECT RHYME ran second to Bonneval in the 2017 ATC Oaks, while former Kiwi mare PIERROCITY has the best breeding of the field: Pierro out of the champion mare (and 1997 Cox Plate winner) Dane Ripper. Somewhere in this eclectic mix is a winner.
BFF Picks: Pleasuring, Nettoyer, Pierrocity
Value Price: Nettoyer $7.00
Roughie: Perfect Rhyme $19.00
Moonee Valley Race 3
Chandler Macleod Vobis Gold St
Race Time: 7:30 PM
The money for this race appears to be centered around two chances; ICONOCLASM and WIDGEE TURF. Both have excellent form and despite the impost of carrying 60kg, Widgee Turf should be there or thereabouts. KIWIA is resuming and has class to make a race of this, while Victorian Country Cups specialist VIANDEN and VINLAND are outside chances.
BFF Picks: Iconoclasm, Widgee Turf, Vinland
Value Price: Kiwia $10.00
Roughie: Nangawooka $26.00
Moonee Valley Race 4
MSC Signs Handicap
Race Time: 8:00 PM
All up, this race presents a solid if unspectacular field of 2nd-tier stayers. The early money is on WAGING WAR and ODEON, both last starters in Group 1 races on Caulfield Stakes Day. Down in grade, this should present a less challenging race. MR GARCIA and THE LORD MAYOR are also useful staying types, and the return to a less grade will help their chances. NOUMEA backs up after finishing third to Sixties Groove in last weeks Moe Cup.
BFF Picks: Waging War, The Lord Mayor, Odeon
Value Price: Mr Garcia $9.00
Roughie: Noumea $21.00
Moonee Valley Race 5
Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge
Race Time: 9:30 PM
The 55 Second Challenge is always a fun race to watch. These horses go hell for leather trying to beat the clock. ESPERANCE with the hot form is the horse where all the money is going. PREZADO has only greeted the judge once out of ten starts but has placed in just about all the others. Likes the course and the good money appears to be heading his way. WRITTEN CHOICE is building a nice little CV for himself (6 wins and placings from 7) but has drawn the wide gate at 13. Of the others, barriers and carrying extra weight could count against them.
BFF Picks: Esperance, Written Choice, Prezado
Value Price: Nodoubtaboutit $11.00
Roughie: El Magnificence $16.00
Moonee Valley Race 6
Sweeney Estate Agents Handicap
Race Time: 9:00 PM
An interesting and even field lines up in this race. RUNSON and ISAURIAN are commanding the markets and should be too quick for this lot. Not to dismiss the others, but horses like GOOD PROJECT (Group 1 winner), SAVAPINKSI (winner of 2000m Matriarch Stakes last season) and ULMANN have better records over 1400 and 1600m. KEEN ARRAY won last years Gilgai Stakes but finished down the track in this years edition. of the others, Weir galloper CHAMOIS ROAD has good recent form and could be in this right up to his ears.
BFF Picks: Isaurian, Runson, Chamois Road
Value Price: Stellar Collision $12.00
Roughie: Bryan $15.00
Moonee Valley Race 7
Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes
Race Time: 9:30 PM
There have been some good finishes to this race in recent years. I’m expecting no different come Friday night. The early worm has three-year-old filly SUNLIGHT ready to prove herself against the older horses. That might be a bit of an ask, as there are some decent sprinters here. Four of them come from the Irish stable of Aidan O’Brien. That’s unprecedented for Australian sprinting! The best will be US NAVY FLAG, sure to improve on his Everest showing. BRAVE SMASH and VOODOO LAD enjoy racing at the Valley, while the danger horse for mine is KEMENTARI. If he gets it right, he can win.
BFF Picks: US Navy Flag, Kementari, Sunlight
Value Price: Voodoo Lad $15.00
Roughie: Spright $34.00
Moonee Valley Race 8
Mitchelton Wines Handicap
Race Time: 10:00 PM
The final race on the card sees the Darren Weir galloper TAMASA hold all the cards. Looking for a third win in a row. Expect challenges from Lindsay Park’s SHOKORA, the Maher/Eustace trained BLACK SAIL and the in-form CALL IT A DAY. For an outsiders chance, try the speedy STRIKE FORCE coming over from a wide barrier, or the Colac trained LIFE OF WALDO looking for his fourth win in a row, though previous wins have been in lesser grades than this.
BFF Picks: Tamasa, Shokora, Call It A Day
Value Price: Strike Force $19.00
Roughie: Life Of Waldo $26.00