Track specialist Holler returns to Moonee Valley on Friday night to take on a slick field of sprinters in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m).
The John O’Shea trained Holler has visited Moonee Valley on three occasions for two wins and a second, all over the same distance as the weight for age Manikato Stakes.
As a three year old Holler took out the 2015 Group 3 $150,000 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m) and then returned to Moonee Valley in January for a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m).
Holler’s third appearance at Moonee Valley saw him get beaten a nose by Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24 which followed his previous start when he led all of the way to win the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 5.
“There’s no doubt he races very well at Moonee Valley, and he will need to on Friday night,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea then took Holler to England but found the opposition too strong when seventh to Twilight Son in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 18 and the Godolphin trainer said that the Commands four year old would have to improve on that run to be a chance in the Manikato Stakes.
“I deliberately left him in England after he ran at Royal Ascot and brought him back a couple of weeks ago and I’d say the trip has sparked him up. He’s come back to us in very good order,” O’Shea said.
“This is a very good field and he probably needs to find a length or two from where he was before going to England.”
But Holler has been impressive on the training tracks and O’Shea can’t completely rule out an upset win over the more fancied runners that include the world’s highest rated sprinter Chautauqua and seven times Group 1 winner Buffering.
“His work this morning (Tuesday) was very sharp and he’s always shown that liking for Moonee Valley,” O’Shea said.
Jockey James McDonald will have Holler quickly into stride out of barrier seven and will probably sit outside of the speedy Buffering who will jump from gate two with regular rider Damian Browne in the saddle again.
Holler is currently rated a $13 chance for the Manikato Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au who have Chautauqua as the $2.45 favourite.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua has to repay the punters following his first up defeat as the odds on favourite when fourth to the three year old Extreme Choice in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.
Market order for the Manikato Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.45 Chautauqua, $6 Capitalist, $9 English, $10 Lucky Hussler, $12 Buffering, Fell Swoop, $13 Holler, $15 The Quarterback, $20 Under The Louvre, $41 Rebel Dane, Japonisme.