Racing: Sometimes, just sometimes, they change a race name for the better

By Chris Riordan

Many of us old-timers lament the name changes that devalue feature races. But none, I suspect, resent the old Freeway Stakes being renamed in honor of Moonee Valley Champion , Manikato.

Tonight’s 1200-metre weight-for-age race is a great tribute to Manikato, who won this race twice as well as recording five consecutive wins in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley from 1979 to 1983.

A crack field highlights a magnificent GF Eve program which will provide a great insight to Cox Plate Day one month later at this venue.

Nominations do justice to the $500,000 WFA Group 1.

As usual, I am super sceptical about the Valley track, which I simply don’t trust. My innate search for value is rarely rewarded at a place where its best to “follow the money”.
The Group 2 Stutt Stakes seems to lack depth and the fav, Carrara, should anchor all Quaddies.
The Manikato is a ripper. I can make a case for most of these. The pattern of racing is a concern. The top weight is a gun, Lucky Secret a track expert, and the backmarkers will be looking to get dragged in to the race. Field in Quaddy. Small each way: Russeting at cricket score odds.
Not keen on Race 7. Suspicious of Luce Del Mar at good odds.
The last is a good race. Completely disregard Shocking’s “effort” last start and include it in the multiples. Amazingly I give the Singaporean a show if it’s a leader bias.
As always, anywhere, watch the pattern of racing and bet accordingly.


  1. It would be appropriate for all those attending Moonee Valley tomorrow night to pay homage to the great horse by visiting his grave site. This is situated inside the course, just about 30 metres to the left when you come in from the main entrance in McPherson St.

  2. Mark Freeman says

    Just had a look at the radar (4.45pm) and there’s yellow and pink bits on their way to the Valley, be interesting to see what rating we get by Manikato time. You know I don’t like slippery, but it should have time to soak by Manikato time.
    And boys I need to bleed off – how does the TAB not cover the Coleraine Cup meeting on Sunday? There’s the Great Western Steeplechase too, with good big field, and they recently lengthened this race out to 4200m. It’s about as old as the Melbourne Cup, the Great Western, and it’s bloody outrageous it’s not a TAB meeting. There, that feels better.

  3. There was an article on the Coleraine meeting a couple of weeks ago in the Winning Post.
    Crap weather tonight and I should not even try at the Valley. Open wounds for Bookies until the Manikato which was huge.Punters will want to watch that race many times over as there were a lot of big runs. We contrived to lay the last winner and hence had a modest night.
    Turnbull Stakes next Saturday and then to The Heath for the Carnival!

  4. When you are all fizzed out from the footy, go and look at the replay of the Manikato. Hayes is becoming a serial hoop knocker, but Nicconi was a good run.Also, from the back, Secret Flyer never got clear, whilst Apache Cat’s claims were ruined (by Turffontein) on the bend.His run was huge.The winner was very good, Phelan Ready excellent (but just a wet-tracker?) and note Wanted’s incredible run. Jumped fresh, just squeezed back, 3 wide throughout, led at the furlong and still missed third by a blink as the cavalry swooped. This is a seriously good horse. Great form race.

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