44 talented sprinters have been included in the 2014 Manikato Stakes nominations that were released by Racing Victoria this afternoon.
Lankan Rupee stamped himself as the best sprinter in the world with three straight wins at Group 1 level during the Autumn Racing Carnival and will have the opportunity to double his Group 1 tally during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding has also been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) and trainer Mick Price is confident that the five-year-old can return to winning form after he suffered a first-up defeat in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
Angelic Light scored the biggest win of her career to date over Lankan Rupee in the McEwen Stakes and she will have the opportunity to prove that was no fluke when she contests both the Moir Stakes and Manikato Stakes.
The Holy Roman Emperor mare missed over a year of racing after she finishing second behind Platelet in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) at Morphettville in April of 2013, but she has produced two outstanding performances since returning to the races.
Buffering recorded his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Manikato Stakes last year and he will have the opportunity to defend his title in the race after being included in the 2014 Manikato Stakes nominations.
The Mossman gelding has not recorded a Group 1 victory since he took out the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23 last year, but he performs well at Moonee Valley and was placed at Group 1 level on three occasions during the autumn.
Like Lankan Rupee and Angelic Light, Buffering has been included in the nominations for both the Manikato Stakes and the 2014 Moir Stakes, while Rebel Dane, Gregers, Unpretentious and It Is Written have also been included in in the nominations for both races.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2014 Manikato Stakes nominations is Gai Waterhouse-trained Overreach.
Overreach took out the Listed Widden Stakes (1100m), Group 2 Chandon Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) as a two-year-old, but she has not been seen at the races since she finished third behind Guelph in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 13.
Another filly that shown as a two-year-old and has been included in the nominations for the Manikato Stakes is Earthquake.
Earthquake won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile, before finishing second in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), but started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with two disappointing performances in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
The Exceed And Excel filly has now been removed from the 2014 Thousand Guineas second acceptances and will be set for sprinting events.
Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter, talented mare Catkins, popular filly Miracles Of Life, triple Group 1 winner Moment Of Change, Godolphin colt Sarajevo and veteran sprinter Temple Of Boom have also been included in the Manikato Stakes nominations.