Linsday Park head trainer David Hayes is eyeing off another Melbourne Spring Carnival Group 1 win with his top grade sprinter Vega Magic in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig are still celebrating their shock win by $51 outsider Boom Time in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Vega Magic has been a model of consistency since joining the Lindsay Park Team from Western Australia at the beginning of 2017 and has claimed two Group 1 victories from four starts.
Vega Magic kicked off his winning spree with a first up victory in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 20 and his latest campaign saw the five year old chestnut take out the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
Hayes then took Vega Magic to Sydney for the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 where he ran a mighty race to finish second to the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel.
Vega Magic is the early $2.60 favourite for the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and Hayes said that it would be fitting for the big chestnut to win after a lot of associates have commented that he looks a lot like the great Manikato.
“I was recently talking to Gary Willetts who used to ride the great Manikato and he came up to me and said ‘he is a dead ringer for him’,” Hayes told racing.com.
“He’s a great sprinter and gee I hope his record ends up just as good (as Manikato’s).
Vega Magic will be having his first look at Moonee Valley under race conditions on Saturday but Hayes can’t see that as being a problem as the classy sprinter won several races on the tight Ascot track in Perth.
“It’s no concern, Ascot (in Perth) is a tight track so I think he’ll love the Valley.”
Vega Magic will again be lining up against the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua who produced his trade mark late finishing burst to run fourth in The Everest.
Chautauqua is on the third line of betting forthe Manikato Stakes at $7 with the Ben Smith trained In Her Time splitting the favourite at the grey flash at $6.
Early betting for the Manikato Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Vega Magic, $6 In Her Time, $7 Chautauqua, $13 English, Malaguerra, $15 Super Cash, Viddora, $17 Rock Magic, Spieth, Voodoo Lad, $21 Hellbent, Hey Doc, $26 Redkirk Warrior, $34 Ball Of Muscle, Missrock, $41 or better the rest.