The 2019 Manikato Stakes headlines a big night of racing at The Valley on Friday and 11 sprinters are set to contest the Group 1 event.
Golden Rose Stakes winner Bivouac has opened as a dominant favourite in Manikato Stakes betting and he is joined in the field by fellow three-year-olds Anaheed and Loving Gaby.
Can Bivouac get the job done or will there be a Manikato Stakes upset?
We have analysed the entire field and our complete Manikato Stakes tips can be found below.
Rock Magic is a seasoned performer and he has run well at Group 1 level at The Valley in the past. He has been freshened-up since he finished third behind Market Ruler in the Beaufine Stakes and he would obviously need to improve on that sort of effort to be any chance in the Manikato Stakes. I don’t think that he has the upside to win a race of this quality at this stage of his career.
The Bostonian was never really able to get into the race over 1000 metres in the Moir Stakes and he produced an improved effort when he finished third behind Trekking in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield last start. The step-up to 1200 metres is ideal for him and he beat Osborne Bulls to win the Doomben 10,000 over this trip earlier this year. He is definitely in the mix and could be the horse to beat if the three-year-olds fail to fire.
Faatinah returned to Australian racing with a narrow win in the McEwen Stakes and he finished a close fourth behind Nature Strip in the Moir Stakes. There is no doubt that he is racing well, but the step-up to 1200 metres is a question mark. It has been a while since he performed at his best form over this trip and that makes this a tough assignment.
Ashlor has raced fairly without ever really looking like a winning chance in the Carlyon Stakes, McEwen Stakes and the Schillaci Stakes. This looks beyond him and he is the extreme outsider in this field for a reason.
Vital Silver made his Victorian racing debut with a fourth place finish behind Sunlight, Santa Ana Lane and Zoutori in the Gilgai Stakes. There was plenty to like about that performance and the form coming out of that race was franked with the excellent run of Santa Ana Lane in the Gilgai Stakes. It would not surprise to see a forward showing from Vital Silver.
Trope has been sent to Victoria after finishing second in both the Show County Quality and the Theo Marks Stakes. The form coming out of the Theo Marks Stakes has been questionable, but there is no doubt that the More Than Ready entire does have some upside. In saying that, $8.50 does seem rock bottom odds and I am happy to take him on.
Winter Bride was never really able to get into the race in the Moir Stakes and I am confident that she is a better horse than that effort suggests. The step-up to 1200 metres does suit her and I expect her to improve on her first-up effort. She would still need to produce a career best performance to be a genuine chance this field.
Meryl ran well in both the McEwen Stakes and Moir Stakes, but she was very disappointing in the Bass Strait Beef Steaks at Caulfield last start. She generally does run well at The Valley, but it is tough to have any faith in her following her last start effort.
There is no doubt that Bivouac is the horse to beat in the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes. His wins in the Ladbrokes Vain Stakes, Run To The Rose and the Golden Rose Stakes have been of the highest quality and the scary thing for his rivals is that he still has the scope to improve. He showed plenty of fight to beat Yes Yes Yes in the Golden Rose Stakes and that form was obviously franked in a big way when Yes Yes Yes won The Everest. Barrier one shouldn’t be an issue as he does make his own luck right on the speed. It would not surprise to see him put a gap on the rest of this field.
Anaheed returned to winning form with a classy win in the Blue Sapphire and she deserves her chance in the Manikato Stakes. She does have early speed and it would not surprise to see her go forward from the wide barrier draw to potentially take up the running. I’m not sure that she can beat Bivouac, but she is more than capable of finishing in the placings.
Loving Gaby rounds out the three-year-olds in the Manikato Stakes field. She ran some excellent closing sectionals when she won the Scarborough Stakes first-up before she was a little bit disappointing when she was beaten by California Zimbol in the Thoroughbred Club Stakes. Barrier two isn’t ideal and she will have plenty of horses in front of her, but with some luck in running she will be storming home late.