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Moonee Valley Racecourse

Moonee Valley Racecourse

Manikato Stakes Race Odds: Sportsbet | IASbet | Centrebet

The Manikato Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race that is staged over 1200 metres of the Moonee Valley racecourse. It is held during the Melbourne spring racing carnival on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final. This race is also held at the same day as the Group 2 Stutt Stakes. In 1984, this race was named after the great race horse Manikato who won a number or races at Moonee Valley.

From 1968 to 1971, it was held over six furlongs or about 1200 metres. The race distance was then fixed to exactly 1200 metres in 1972 and it has been used ever since. From 1968-1978, the race was classified as a Principal race and from 1979-1988, it was elevated to Group 2 status. The Manikato Stakes has been a Group 1 race since 1989. From 1968-1983, this race was also known as the Freeway Stakes.

Manikato is one of Australian horse racing’s most successful and most loved horses. During his prime in the 1980s, he won the Freeway Stakes twice and five straight William Reid Stakes. All of these wins happened at Mooney Valley. He had 49 career starts, 29 wins and 13 place finishes. Manikato died in 1984 due to an illness and he was laid to rest at the Moonee Valley racecourse.

The Manikato Stakes is often won by a top-notch horse that has won a number of other quality races during his career. Since it is staged under weight-for-age conditions, it gives sprint race horses and advantage. Also, most of its competitors compete on the Group 2, 1200-metre Scweppes Stakes on Cox Plate day.

The stellar list of Manikato Stakes past winners are Strawberry Road in 1983, Rubiton in 1987, Rancho Ruler in 1988, Dane Ripper in 1998, Redoute’s Choice in 1999, Sunline in 2000 and Miss Andretti in 2006. From decade to decade, the best sprinters have consistently won this race.

Also, the Manikato Stakes is a good horse race that produces horses that go on to win more popular and competitive sprint races during the spring. The race has also produced five WS Cox Plate winners such as Strawberry Road in 1983, Rubiton in 1987, Dane Ripper in 1997 and Sunline that won back-to-back Cox Plates in 2000 and 2001.

In 2009, the race carried a prize pool of $500,000. Lucky Secret and Wanted were neck-to-neck coming into the home straight but a number of horses surged from the back pile to surge in front of the two horses at the final 50 metres. Danleigh pushed all of his chips in to register the close win. Phelan Ready also made a surge but he settled for second. Nicconi got third place.

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Manikato Stakes Recent History

Year

Winner

2nd

3rd

Time

2009

Danleigh

Phelan Ready

Nicconi

1:12.5

2008

Typhoon Zed

Absolut Glam

Kaphero

1:10.6

2007

Gold Edition

Vormista

Dr Nipandtuck

1:10.6

2006

Miss Andretti

Dance Hero

Sassbee

1:09.2

2005

Spark Of Life

Perfectly Ready

Our Egyptian Raine

1:11.5

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