Manikato Stakes 2017

Manikato Stakes 2017 : Your Guide To The 50th Edition

​the Manikato Stakes 2017 kick starts the Cox Plate Carnival

Manikato Stakes 2017 is the 50th edition and is what we kick off ​the Cox Plate Horse Race Carnival with a Friday night sprinting feast.

See some of the Everest field re-align in battle, and some that missed out. 

The grey flash is back. Chautauqua going for his second win in the event, but he will have to beat some very smart sprinters over a course that isn’t really best suited to his pattern. BUT, he is a star, so let’s find out if he can do it.

​How to find the Manikato Stakes 2017 winner

Manikato Stakes 2017

When it comes to major Spring Carnival races, excitement and passion can blind many recreational punters.

The fact is that they can be analysed in the same fashion as any race, and standout horses, or horses that provide value CAN be found.

While nothing is 100% accurate, there are some very good and reliable ways to maximise you winning chance in the big races.

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We have run the form eye over each runner in the Manikato Stakes 2017 to tease out what we think are the best contenders and the value prices, and who we think may fall short.

You can use these as free betting tips for the Manikato Stakes 2017

Manikato Stakes 2017

​The Manikato Stakes 2017 Final Field


Barrier: 10

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Odds: $9.50 / $2.35 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds 

The tight Moonee Valley course and short straight really doesn’t scream Chautauqua.

But, the grey flash is really the one horse you just can’t rule out. At his best (or even close to it) he wins this, but the question still remains if he is at his best this prep.

Avdulla coped a lot of stick for his run in the Everest, but I don’t understand that one bit. He gave the big fella every chance under his usual racing pattern, and didn’t he charge home.

Despite growing wings late, he just couldn’t catch them.  Will it be the same here? I sound like a broken record but I think it could be.

There will be some genuine tempo, but if the track favours the leaders then he is no chance.

If backmarkers are making good ground, then he is a small chance if he goes well before the turn.

The barrier isn’t a concern because he will drift back, and in fact more winners have come from barriers 10 and 11 that any other in the past 44 years.

With a 43% career win rate and 80% place rate, he is clearly always in the mix. Add in over $8 MILLION is prizemoney, and at Group 1 level (including WFA), he has won 6 of 15, and place another 7 times.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

I hate leaving him out because I know his best wins this. I am not as negative about him this prep as most, but still it is very hard to see him winning. Maybe a place, but sadly I think he might miss out. He must go in the exotics though.

Vega Magic

Barrier: 3

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $2.30 on BlueBet (Money Back if runs 2nd or 3rd)

​This is a serious racehorse. As poor as Williams is riding lately, he will find it hard to butcher this.

Vega Magic was easily the best run in the Everest. He sat 4 wide the trip, without cover, and still powered home to finish a close second. I don’t care what anyone says, against the best sprinters in the country that’s incredible.

He has never run at the Valley, but this shouldn’t matter one bit. He is drawn 3, so will find the lead on the fence with absolute ease. From here he really should be turning the tight corner and skipping clear enough to win.

He has a 67% win rate and has missed the top 3 only twice in his 16 starts. If he doesn’t win, we know he will be right there in the finish.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

I honestly can’t find a reason why he doesn’t win. If he doesn’t then he MUST be in your exotics.



Barrier: 11

Jockey: Damien Oliver

Trainer: Peter Gelagotis

Odds: $21.00 / $4.30 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​Drawn a shocker in this, and every chance he is kept 3 wide the trip. With a run like that it is incredibly hard. He is all class and a multiple Group 1 winner, but I think his best may be behind him.

Last start was much better than the 7th suggests. At the Valley from near last, he was making very good ground late. The jump to 1200m will no doubt be perfect, but picking up lengths on some of these may be a bit hard.

He has won 1 of 3 at the Valley, and 3 of 5 second up. It would not surprise me one bit to see him in the finish, but sometimes tough calls need to be made.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

I think he may be a length or two behind some of these others now. Always a chance, but is drawn poorly and will need a monster run to finish in the top 3.


Hey Doc

Barrier: 9

Jockey: Luke Currie

Trainer: Tony McEvoy

Odds: $26.00 / $5.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​This is a very interested horse here, and hard to place.

Looking at basic stats, he is unbeaten at the Valley, and has been freshened for this race (3 wins from 4 starts fresh).

But let’s look a bit deeper. He is winner of just one Group 1 race from 7 starts. I would also argue that his win was against far inferior opponents to this. His two wins at the Valley also came over 1500m and 1600m. 

On exposed efforts this last prep, I am not convinced he can win this. Freshened he could hang in a long time, and he should be able to park outside of Vega Magic in the run. Having said that, I have no doubt Vega Magic is tougher, and could break Hey Doc if it came to that (and he did two starts back).

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

Quality horse who will be in it a fair way, but I suspect he can't might get outdone late and 'may' sneak a place.


​Rock Magic

Barrier: 7

Jockey: Jarrad Noske

Trainer: Chris Gangemi

Odds: $34.00 / $6.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​Based of his form at the end of last prep and so far in this, I think he is over-priced.

​He is unplaced over two starts at the Valley, but both were close 4th. One behind She Will Reign two starts back, and the other behind Silent Sedition, Hellbent and Star Turn in March.

​It is a similar story in Group 1 races. Is yet to win in 5 attempts, but his last 4 starts have seen three within 1.5L, and one fail on the heavy.  He is thereabouts make no mistake, but can he make up that 1-2L here?

​It will all depend on the run. He is drawn a touch awkward, so if he gets caught deep or has to drift back I think he will struggle to finish top 4. If he can squeeze forward and sit one out in the front few, I think he is a knockout chance.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

Will depend on luck in the run, but he has done enough for me to have him in the exotics.


Barrier: 5

Jockey: Nash Rawiller

Trainer: Bryce Heys

Odds: $26.00 / $5.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​To say he was disappointing last start is the understatement of the year. How we assess that here I am not sure, but I do know a little faith will have to be shown to put him in.

Another horse yet to win a Group 1, but unlike some others, we can be assured he is up to it. He has finished 2nd twice at Group 1 WFA level, both by a nostril.

Despite his class, here are the key factors for me though. He has never run at the Valley, and it doesn’t really cry out to be his track. He will be near the back and inside, so will need a massive amount of luck. Plus, last start was rubbish.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

Big fan of this horse, but considering so many factors, I can’t see him getting in the top 4 here.



Barrier: 6

Jockey: Mark Zara

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Odds: $17.00 / $3.50 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​She rarely runs a bad race, and even the Everest was pretty good despite never looking a winning chance. The fact is that she has won only once in the past 18 months. This includes a pretty average Group 1 record (11 starts for 1 win).

She is drawn in no man’s land here as well. Barrier 6 sounds ok, but the speed is even all around her, so Zahra will need to assess as he goes.

Similar to Rock Magic, if she can slot in one out in the front few then she might run a place. I don’t think she does though, and I can see her 3 wide the trip or floating back. If Chautauqua has trouble rounding them up, then she surely is no chance.

She has talent to burn, but in this race, I am just not sure she is that well placed. Might prove me wrong, which wouldn’t surprise me, but without hindsight I will rule her out.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

Not in this race I don’t think. Just too many queries for me (but I won't fall over if she runs a ripper).

​In Her Time

Barrier: 2

Jockey: Corey Brown

Trainer: Benjamin Smith

Odds: $6.00 / $1.80 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​This is a very interesting one.

She is drawn to sit right on Vega Magics rump, and her form couldn’t be better. She is weighted nicely, and she has won her past four starts over 1200m.

I think the Valley track will suit her, but she is yet to run anti-clockwise. For what it’s worth, I have no idea. She is also yet to win at Group 1 level, but has placed twice. She has won 3 of 4 at Group 2 level, including at WFA.

It is very hard to ignore her form and where Brown will sit her in the run. I am not convinced she can pass Vega Magic, but I am sure she measures up enough to be right in the finish.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

A win wouldn’t shock, but I have to have her in the top 4 regardless.



Barrier: 4

Jockey: Joe Bowditch

Trainer: Lloyd Kennewell

Odds: $21.00 / $4.10 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​This is a very underrated horse, and she is drawn well. She should be able to hold her spot 2-3 back on the outside, and it could be very handy.

She has placed 3 times from 4 starts at the Valley, and has finished 2nd twice in two starts at Group 1 level. This includes a 0.1L second last start at WFA, at the Valley, against She Will Reign. In that race she came from near last, with little luck in the straight, to just miss.

Based on that she should be considered here, but there are some big concerns for me.

The main one is the distance. She is yet to win beyond 1100m, and has placed twice in 5 starts at 1200m. This is a big worry for me, because it suggests she is stretched to her limit, and against some of these she wouldn’t want to be fading late.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

Another quality horse, but the distance really worries me. Could finish in the top 4, but I can’t see her winning.


​Super Cash

Barrier: 8

Jockey: Katelyn Mallyon

Trainer: Andrew Noblet

Odds: $26.00 / $4.70 on Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds

​Won pretty well first up, and ran some nice sectionals. She does seem to mix her form, but on closer inspection, her fails are usually in the better races.

She is 0 from 3 at Group 1 level, 2 from 4 at Group 2 and winless in 4 attempts at Group 3 level. The barrier is a little iffy, and I would suspect they MUST push forward to ride just off the speed. If she gets caught deep or drifts back, then I think that’s her fate written.

She is a quality sprinter, but whether she has improved enough to compete at Group 1 WFA remains to be seen. Until such time, I will leave her out.

Manikato Stakes 2017 Verdict

I need to see proof before I consider her in these races.

Manikato Stakes 2017

​Manikato Stakes 2017 Top Selections

As always make sure you watch to see how the track is playing because this could impact the chances of a horse winning

Mooney Valley is a very tight track with one of the shortest straights in racing. Leaders are favoured on a fair day, let alone if there is any bias. Take note!

To assess how the Manikato Stakes 2017 track is playing, take note of where the earlier winners are coming from.

​1) Are they leaders that kick easily, with no horses really making ground down the middle or from the back? if yes, the this is favouring the leaders.

​2) Are horsed winning from behind constantly? Are the leaders fading away in the straight or does the inside of the track look slower than the middle? Obviously make sure this a regular thing, and not just a $200-1 horse in one race. If yes, then this favours the horses coming from behind.

​3) If these are no clear indications (e.g. horses running solidly in front, just off the speed and coming home strong), then we have ourselves a track playing fair.

Let’s hope for the last one, but it isn’t always the case and could impact the Manikato Stakes 2017 race considerably.


(2) Vega Magic

Despite the shorter price, I can’t find any reason to suggest he doesn’t win this.

His form has been insanely good, and his run in the Everest was the best of the lot in my opinion. He is drawn perfectly here, and will lead with no trouble.

He is a proven Group 1 WFA winner, and when they turn the corner I think he will skip in front and be very hard to catch.

Obviously, anything can happen, but without hindsight, I think he is one of the best Group 1 bets of the Carnival (ignoring Winx of course).


(9) In Her Time

She is one of a few horses yet to prove herself at this level, but one of the only ones that I think can. He barrier helps considerably, and she will track Vega Magic the entire course.

Outside of some unpredictable blocking in the straight, she really has no excuses to be right in the finish.


(5) Rock Magic

Happy to throw this fella in as a value pick here. He has proven to be up to the standard without winning, and because of that he is over-priced in my opinion.

I am reluctant to think he will win, but with a touch of luck in the run, he could be in the right spot late.

A great price regardless, and will be going in my exotics.


(1) Chautauqua

Like with the Everest, I would be stupid to leave Chautauqua out. He has proven to be a big race performer so many times. He will need to come from last, but hey he has done that before.

Like the Everest I think he falls just short, but at some point after the turn we will be wondering.

Note: If horses on the day and clearly not making up ground from behind, then I would be happy to scratch him out of the win category, but would certainly leave him in exotics.


(4) Hey Doc

He has the early speed to sit comfortably up front, plus he clearly has ability, loves it freshened, and has a brilliant record at Moonee Valley.

I am not convinced he can win this, but he could be in it long enough to hold on for a place. 

(10) Viddora

Very underrated horse, but the distance worries me enough to say she probably won’t win.

Despite that, her last start was huge, and even if she doesn’t win, she could be in it for long enough to finish in the top 4.

Guide to betting on The Caulfield Cup
"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a life time."With this guide you'll be able to make money on the horses for a life time!

Get the step by step guide and cheat sheets used to make $134,310.00 on the horses.

Manikato Stakes 2017

About the Author Grant

Grant is an elite sporting enthusiast. His knowledge stems from the fact that he 'could have' played at the top level in no less than 5 sports, including 2 that he has never played but assures us he would have dominated. His primary loves are the AFL and Horse Racing, and to this day he insists that his lunchtime pack-mark in Year 9 remains the greatest of all time. Beyond the Dreamtime stories and the 'shoulda', 'coulda' sporting legends claims, one thing that remains true is Grant's keen eye for analysis and his stable of reliable contacts that see him deliver consistent and accurate information on many sports and our four-legged friends.

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