Trainer Chris Waller admits that Japonisme has to find his winning Autumn Carnival form if he is to be competitive in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
Japonisme is a Group 1 winner of the 2015 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington twelve months ago and was back in the winner’s circle in beating Counterattack in the Group 2 $500,000 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on April 9, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“I wish he was in a little bit better form. You couldn’t back him on his last two runs, last preparation you certainly could,” Waller said.
“He has been disappointing and it is hard to see him turning it around tonight but this is the best race we could find for him to try and find something from the wreck. But from a punting perspective I would be very careful but we prepare the best we can.”
“We are having a throw at the stumps, his work seems to be good and he has had a trial since his last race and does race well around the Valley.”
Japonisme has had one run at Moonee Valley in the Autumn against similar company which resulted in a third behind Flamberge and Holler in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m).
The Choisir four year old has failed to impress at two runs this campaign with a sixth to Felines in the Group 3 $125,000 James Boag’s Premium Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 3 followed by a last of ten behind Takedown in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 17 but Waller is hoping that Japonisme can turn his form around following a barrier trial win over 1045m at Randwick on September 30.
Japonisme is rated as one of the outsiders of the Manikato Stakes field at $31 with Ladbrokes.com.au while the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua sits at the top of the market order at $2.70.
Market order for the Manikato Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Chautauqua, $7.50 Capitalist, $8 Fell Swoop, $9 Holler, $9.50 English, $10 Buffering, $14 The Quarterback, $16 Lucky Hussler, $31 Under The Louvre, Japonisme, $51 Rebel Dane.