Run over the distance of 1200m at Victoria’s Moonee Valley Racecourse, the Manikato Stakes is one of the premier race events for sprinters in Australia. The race is named after the great gelding Manikato, who won this race twice (1979 & 1982) and recorded five consecutive wins in the William Reid Stakes (1979-1983). The winner of the race gains automatic qualification into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, a Group 1 race in the United States which attracts world class competitors from all parts of the globe.
In 2013, the Robert Heathcote trained gelding Buffering broke through for his first Group 1 win, a feat he continued at his next two outings. The Manikato is run the night before Moonee Valley’s show case event, the Group 1 Cox Plate. From 1968 to 1983, the race was known as the Freeway Stakes. Some of Australia’s classiest sprinters have won the Manikato including; Sepoy (2011), Hay List (2010), Miss Andretti (2006), Never Undercharge (1993) and Manikato (1979/82).
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Despite being a tricky starting point for horses drawn wide at the Moonee Valley 1200m, horses drawn wide do have a handy record in the Manikato Stakes. In 2014 Lankan Rupee won from gate 9 in a field of 12 and Buffering won from gate 10 in a field of 12 in 2013. From 2009-2011, all three winners came from gate 1.
Kerrin McEvoy is a two-time winner of the race and was last successful with Sepoy in 2011 for trainer Peter Snowden. They will be looking to replicate the winning formula in 2016 with Capitalist and McEvoy has missed a top 3 finish just once in six attempts in the race.
John Hawkes has won the race when training in his own name and was successful in 2015 under the training partnership with his sons Michael and Wayne. Other trainers with a 2016 runner that have previously prepared the winner are Chris Waller, Rob Heathcote, Peter Snowden and John O’Shea who have all won the race once.
|2016||REBEL DANE||BEN MELHAM||GARY PORTELLI||01:10.9|
|2015||CHAUTAUQUA||TOMMY BERRY||MICHAEL & WAYNE & JOHN HAWKES||01:09.5|
|2014||LANKAN RUPEE||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||01:10.3|
|2013||BUFFERING||DAMIAN BROWNE||ROBERT HEATHCOTE||01:11.4|
|2012||SEA SIREN||JIM CASSIDY||JOHN O'SHEA||01:11.3|
|2011||SEPOY||KERRIN MCEVOY||PETER SNOWDEN||01:11.0|
|2010||HAY LIST||GLYN SCHOFIELD||JOHN MCNAIR||01:09.9|
|2009||DANLEIGH||KERRIN MCEVOY||CHRIS WALLER||01:12.5|
|2008||TYPHOON ZED||NASH RAWILLER||TIM MARTIN||01:10.6|
|2007||GOLD EDITION||STATHI KATSIDIS||RON MAUND||01:10.6|