The scratching of the Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad has left Vega Magic as the odds on favourite for tonight’s Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley.

Vega Magic, above, is the odds on favourite for the 2017 Manikato Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Vega Magic, above, is the odds on favourite for the 2017 Manikato Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Voodoo Lad was a race morning scratching after Warrnambool foreman Jarrod McLean wasn’t happy with his action in his early morning pre-race check and Weir had no hesitation to withdraw the six year old from tonight’s assignment and keep him for another day.

“He wasn’t trotting out well this morning for some reason,” Weir told RSN’s Racing Pulse.

“We always give them a trot and have a look at then race morning and Jarrod (McLean) just wasn’t happy with him so we will just wait for something else. He is too good a horse to risk.”

The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic is now the $1.85 favourite for the Manikato Stakes with and the striking chestnut is expected to return to the winner’s stall following his last start second to Redzel in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.

At his previous start Vega Magic had recorded his second Group 1 win for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig when he beat Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.

Vega Magic also scored a first up win for the Lindsay Park Team in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville during the 2017 Adelaide Autumn Carnival.

The five year old has drawn nicely at barrier two and regular jockey Craig Williams is likely to push forward from that gate.

On the second line of betting at $6 is the Ben Smith trained In Her Time who will sit just off the pace from barrier one with Corey Brown taking the ride again.

Brown has been aboard In Her Time at her last two starts for a win in the Group 2 $500,000 Santos Coffee Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 30 and a win in The Everest Consolation, the Listed $500,000 Sydney Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on a fortnight later.

2015 Manikato Stakes winner Chautauqua is the third pick in the betting at $8 and is coming off a last start fourth in The Everest.

Dwayne Dunn takes over from Brenton Avdulla and the grey flash will jump from barrier nine in the ten horse Manikato Stakes field.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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