A star studded field of sprinters is shaping up for the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 after twenty-four horses were listed as first acceptances today.
Group 1 winners Buffering, Lankan Rupee, Chautauqua, Srikandi, Terravista, Rebel Dane, Tiger Tees, Famous Seamus, Exosphere and Flamberge are among the first acceptances’ list.
Queensland multiple Group 1 winner Buffering showed that he was in for another bumper Spring Carnival with a first up win in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
That was the Robert Heathcote trained sprinter’s fifth visit to the Group 1 winner’s stall and his second Moir Stakes victory.
Trainer Ciaron Maher is confident that his two times Group 1 winner Srikandi will be spot on when she returns to the race track in the Manikato Stakes.
Maher was happy with Srikandi’s second in a 800m Cranbourne barrier trial on Monday and will increase her work load over the next couple of weeks.
“She’s still got a little bit on her and still a bit to go but we’ve still got a bit of time before the Manikato, so she’s on track,” Maher told racing.com.
“She’s a quality mare, obviously it’s going to be a very deep field but it was always going to be a strong race.”
Srikandi had a standout Winter Carnival Campaign in Queensland with wins in the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben and in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua has return to the race track in outstanding form with wins in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 5 and in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight last Sunday.
Sydney sprinter Terravista has also made a winning return to the race track with a first up victory over Rebel Dane in the Group 2 $300,000 G1X.com.au Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Rebel Danes’ second in the Premiere Stakes followed his first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19.
Peter Moody has two Manikato Stakes first acceptances with Group 1 Goodwood winner Flamberge and Bring Me The Maid.
Flamberge has had two Spring Carnival starts for a second to Chautauqua in the McEwen Stakes and a sixth to Buffering in the Moir Stakes.
Bring Me The Maid looks set to resume this weekend in the Group 2 $200,000 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday after an unsuccessful Queensland Winter Campaign.
Mick Price’s grand sprinter Lankan Rupee is also set to resume in the Schillaci Stakes and looks likely to make an impact going on his easy Cranbourne 800m barrier trial win on September 21.
Lankan Rupee is also a five times Group 1 winner and will be trying to win back to back Manikato Stakes after beating Angelic Light and Famous Seamus in the 2014 version of the $1 million sprint.
The John O’Shea trained Exosphere heads the four three-year-olds that remain in the first acceptances for the Manikato Stakes.
Stablemate Mogador and the Chris Waller trained Japonisme and Counterattack are the other three year olds remaining.
Exosphere has kicked off his Spring Carnival campaign in perfect fashion with three wins from three starts, including a win in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12 and a last start win in the Group 2 $300,000 Canterbury BMW Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Final acceptances for the Manikato Stakes are due at 8:30am on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.