Almanac Racing: Manikato Stakes night

It’s great to be excited about some sport this weekend – with the Bulldogs’ slow death finally certified, I can focus on Moonee Valley’s terrific meeting on Friday night without any diarised distractions.

Get there if you can – the races are just 30 mins apart, with a companion card at Canterbury – and Group racing fills the Quaddy legs.

IN FAITH (3), Blinkers 1st time, is the interesting runner in R1. His win here in Feb was outstanding, but he has struggled since. Box him with another roughie, PROTECTOR (8), in some tris to get a bank.

In the second it might pay to forget wet track form and trust the Moody/Nolen juggernaut to deliver again, this time with OCEAN DREAM (6). Topweight WITH DECORUM will be backed and is the danger in an ordinary race.

SPACECRAFT (1) should probably follow up his last success here and be too good in R3. Interesting to see if Ollie rides – too sensitive a topic for here – but I suspect Froggy Newitt pilot this likely winner. Telopea Downs’ finest, BONINDI (3), has great track form, races handy and must be a chance. SYNDROME (8) for the place.

Race 4 is a novelty. 955 metres with, presumably, some incentives for sub 55secs. A big field, they’ll go like hell and it is hard to forecast a pattern. Maybe ISAHALO (2) to storm home at 16/1, 1st up for a year.

The Gr3 JRA Cup starts the Quaddy, with ALCOPOP (1) back to defend the prize that thrust him in to the Spring spotlight. He’s been specked but not really shown much yet this year. It might pay to watch and wait. AVIENUS (7) was very impressive last start and should be right in this race. The super-promising PRECEDENCE (3) is the key. Bart’s horses usually start to hit their straps around now. Many runners have their eyes on more distant prizes. LINTON, PERSIAN STAR, BASALTICO, CHARTREUX and others are worth tracking for Country Cups and maybe better, whilst RIGHT FONG is a genuine Flemington horse – maybe the Hotham?

The Manikato Stakes (Gr1, 1200m, WFA) is a ripper, but I’m a HAYLIST (6) convert. I layed him last start and, by the school, had vowed “never again”. An authoritative win, it stamped him as the possibly best sprinter in Australia. This, though, is a great field. The wonderful ALL SILENT (1) returns, but he’s best at HQ.  RETURN FOR EFFORT (2), STANZOUT (3), BANK ROBBER (5), TRUE PERSUASION (9), all Gr1 worthy, cannot beat the Sandgroper for mine. LOVE CONQUERS ALL (7), the last horse to beat this fav, flopped badly on a bog last start so may have claims. Bart’s LATIN NEWS (8) is unbeaten first-up and certainly a “watch”. EAGLE FALLS (4) is the other with credentials. 6,4,8 in a worthy feature.

The Stutt Stakes (R7, Gr2, 3 yr olds, 1600m) starts to sort divergent form for the Colts’ Classics – the Guineas is only a fortnight away. The Laurence Eales/Kav/Street Cry combo here presents LIVEANDLETDIE (8) so, despite solid claims for 4,5,6,14 in particular, it does look the yardstick. Watch for DOMESKY (9) as an improver for longer races.

The Champagne Stakes (R8, Gr3, 3 yr old fillies, 1200m) is an appropriately named finale. It is nearly impossible to line up the form from across the nation, but, as a get out, I’m tipping David Balfour’s consistent OBSIDIAN DRAGON (7), though a case can be made for many of her rivals. MILITARY ROSE (1) and SOLAR CHARGED (4) have strong support in an open betting race. Bolter LONE ROCK (9) has blinkers and place claims.

It will be a great night at the “Action Attraction” and I’ll be at my post on the Turfbet stand.

There’s plenty of other good racing this weekend also. If you find yourself in a pub on Saturday and the footy has lost its appeal, keep an eye on the Randwick monitor, especially for the George Main Stakes (Gr1, WFA, 1600m, 4.05EST) where MORE JOYOUS(8), THESEO (1) and DANLEIGH(2) will stage an epic duel in the highlight of a really good meeting. Sandown hosts the local Saturday races whilst the focus is on the Heath for Sunday, where there is a very good Sprint (R6). Of particular interest there is R2, in which CONSERVATORIUM(3)will stake his credentials for Guineas glory. I’ve made selections for the Valley based around his boom and I do not expect the paper’s $4 to be available.

Since I’m feeling “bullish”, I might as well try to hand out a long term tip…I was taken by the run of EVIDENTIA at Sandown yesterday (Wednesday) and she might develop in to an Oaks filly!

Next week is the Turnbull meeting at Flemington, then consecutive Caulfield Saturdays before the Cox Plate and then the Cup week. It comes and goes pretty quickly. Join our discussions and get to the track. And good luck.


1-      Bolters 3 + 8 in multis

2-      Maybe 6

3-      1 should win

4-      Tough. 2 at odds

5-      3 from 7

6-      6

7-      8

8-      7,1,4,9

Watch Randwick Saturday for More Joyous.

Keen to see Conservatorium in R2 at Caulfield Sunday.

Looking for long odds Evidentia pre-posts for the Oaks!


  1. Deano’s Tips
    R1 1
    R5 6
    R7 6 EW
    R8 Jesses Girl EW (micheal Christians Horse)
    Saints to win the GF but he is a Saint supporter

  2. Lone Rock, Smerdon’s with blinkers 1st time, won the last at 22.90 best tote. According to my account I did not back it. Typical!
    Big crowd and great meeting at the Valley tonight. Precedence and Haylist stamped themselves as serious contenders for anything.

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