Manikato Stakes Tips - Chautauqua can bounce back

Aaron Hamilton in Latest Tips 19 Oct 2016
  • Some luck needed from inside but Chat should be too good.
Tommy Berry riding Chautauqua reacts on the line to win the Manikato Stakes

Following a disappointing first-up effort in the Moir Stakes (1000m), the world’s best sprinter, Chautauqua, is ready to make amends in Friday night’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

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Although the dashing grey son of Encosta De Lago was entitled to favouritism in the Moir, he wasn’t particularly suited over 1000m at his first run since travelling to Hong Kong where he saluted in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m).

He looked rather burly in the yard before the race, and it was clear he would take a stack of improvement from the run.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn got him to the outside on the turn and he looked like he was about to produce his trademark sprint, but the three-year-old Extreme Choice gapped him while he failed to run down Heatherly and Wild Rain.

However, the run was exactly what he needed to clean out the cob webs and bring his fitness levels up, and with the extra 200m on Friday in his favour, Chautauqua can hit back.

He is a horse that peaks at his third run from a spell each campaign and still won’t be at his top for Friday’s $1 million assignment, but he’ll be forward enough now to beat this lot.

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The speedmap is an interesting one, as Buffering will lead uncontested this time, while Fell Swoop and Holler will be right on Buffering’s hammer. 

Rebel Dane, Capitalist and Japonisme will be the next trio in line, and that will leave Chautauqua four back on the fence with Under The Louvre and English on his outside.

Lucky Hussler may be forced to work forward but is likely to be caught wide the whole trip, and the same goes for The Quarterback unless he snags back to last position.

If The Quarterback had drawn better I would have had him as a serious danger to Chautauqua as he can produce some sizzling sectionals.

But I fear he will have to cover too much ground on the home turn and will be working home well to figure in the placings.

Dunn has little option but to ride Chautauqua for luck and look for runs through the field.

English, Lucky Hussler and Japonisme will be making wide runs on the home turn and that could spread the field right across the track, and if Chautauqua sees a needle-eye opening, he’ll charge through and prove far too good form them.

I think the only thing that can beat him is bad luck, and if he gets the run he wins.

The Quarterback will be charging late, and will be the main challenger to Holler, Buffering and Capitalist who will all look the winner at some stage.


Manikato Stakes Facts:

Manikato Stakes 2017

DateFriday, 27 October, 2017
TrackMoonee Valley Racecourse
Distance1200m
ClassGroup 1
Race TypeWeight-for-Age
Prize Money$1 million
Age3YO and upwards


First run in 1968, the race was won by Winfreux when it was a Principal race and was known as the Freeway Stakes.

The following year, one of Australia’s most famous and highly regarded sprinters, Vain, lined up for his first and only start in the race and easily accounted for his rivals.

The honour roll includes some of Australia's finest horse flesh with Chautauqua (2015), Sepoy (2011), Hay List (2010), Miss Andretti (2006), Sunline (2000), Redoute's Choice (1999), Dane Ripper (1998), Rancho Ruler (1988), Rubiton (1987) and Strawberry Road (1983).

There have been four back-to-back winners of the race, with Dual Choice (1970-71), Tuato (1972-73), Spinning Hill (2002-03) and Spark Of Life (2004-05) completing the stunning feat, while Manikato’s dual wins came in 1979 and 1982.

In 1984, the race was renamed to honour Manikato who also won an unprecedented five William Reid Stakes at the same track and distance from 1979-83.

Lee Freedman is the most successful trainer in the races short but illustrious history having trained three winners and three 2nd placegetters from 17 runners.
The most successful jockey is Damien Oliver with an impressive two wins and eight placings from 16 rides in the event.

While inside gates would seem to be an advantage in the 1200m sprint, barrier 3 has failed to produce a winner in the past 30 years, and barriers 10 and 11 have been the most successful in that period with five winners each.


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Manikato Stakes Tips - Chautauqua can bounce back

Aaron Hamilton previews the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and gives his top selection for the race.

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