, Manikato Stakes - Moonee Valley Racecourse - Spring Racing Carnival
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Manikato Stakes

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 prize money. The 2019 Manikato Stakes was won by Loving Gaby from Vital Silver with Anaheed third.

Taking place on the night before the Moonee Valley Racing Club's premier race day of the year, Group 1 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.

Manikato Stakes info

Date: Friday 22nd October 2021
Track: Moonee Valley racecourse, Melbourne
Distance: 1200 metres
Race Type: Weight-for-age
Status: Group 1
Prize Money: $1,000,000
2019 Winner: Loving Gaby
manikato stakes 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 Group 1 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.

Loving Gaby (2019) finished second in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield before jockey Craig Williams rode her to perfection to win this event for the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable.

Recent Manikato Stakes winners include Brave Smash (2018) and Hey Doc (2017).

Spring Carnival Guide

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 Group 1 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 Group 1 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 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield the following autumn.

Buffering (2013) headed to Flemington at his next start to win the Group 1 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.

2019 Manikato Stakes result

1. $7.00 Loving Gaby 51.0 Craig Williams
2. $31.00 Vital Silver 58.5 Ben Melham
3. $12.00 Anaheed 51.0 Tim Clark

then followed
4. $41.00 Rock Magic 58.5 Jarrad Noske
5. $7.50 The Bostonian 58.5 Damian Lane
6. $1.80 Bivouac 53.0 Kerrin McEvoy
7. $41.00 Winter Bride 56.5 Tommy Berry
8. $26.00 Faatinah 58.5 Jamie Kah
9. $12.00 Trope 58.5 Dwayne Dunn
10. $101.00 Ashlor 58.5 Daniel Stackhouse
11. $41.00 Meryl 56.5 Dean Yendall

Margins: 0.75 len, 1 len
Time: 1:09.29

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Manikato Stakes winners & placegetters

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2019 Loving Gaby Vital Silver Anaheed 1:09.2
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
2015 Chautauqua Srikandi Rebel Dane 1:09.5
2014 Lankan Rupee Angelic Light Famous Seamus 1:10.3
2013 Buffering Lucky Nine Sessions 1:11.4
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
2009 Danleigh Phelan Ready Nicconi 1:12.5
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
2001 Piavonic Sunline Falvelon 1:12.9
2000 Sunline Honour The Name Miss Pennymoney 1:11.6
1999 Redoutes Choice Marstic Flavour 1:14.5
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
1995 You Remember Seascay Blevic 1:10.1
1994 Spanish Mix Primacy Chemin De Fer 1:10.6
1993 Never Undercharge Silver Neon Prince Acumen 1:13.6
1992 King Marauding Durbridge Yachtie 1:12.1
1991 Sonic Express Wrap Around Street Ruffian 1:12.6
1990 Street Ruffian Jet Fighter Kings High 1:12.1
1989 Our Westminster Vitalic Redelva 1:08.0
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
1982 Manikato Qubeau Segovian Rhythm 1:10.8
1981 Silver Bounty Rangers Son Bold Prospect 1:17.0
1980 Grey Sapphire Family Of Man Arbogast 1:12.1