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THE MANIKATO STAKES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

* Group One, 1200m, $1 million, weight-for-age. Run at Moonee Valley on Friday, October 27, 9.30pm

HISTORY

* First held in September of 1968 as the Freeway Stakes run over six furlongs and won by Winfreux

* Renamed in 1984 after dual-winner Manikato, buried at Moonee Valley where he won five William Reid Stakes

* Moved in 2012 from September to the night before the Cox Plate (2040m), raced on a Saturday, in October

* Run on a tight turning, StrathAyr track (turf with sand base), 1805m circumference and 173m home straight

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Vain (1969), Century (1972) Manikato (1979, -82), Strawberry Road (1983) Rubiton (1987), Dane Ripper (1997), Sunline (2000), MIss Andretti (2006), Buffering (2013) and Chautauqua (2015.

TALKING POINTS

* Rebel Dane was a $61 chance when he won last year’s Manikato Stakes, three years after his last Group One win and in his fourth attempt at the sprint, having previously finished fifth (2013), fourth (2014) and third (2015)

* Vega Magic, winner of Group One Goodwood and Memsie Stakes and runner-up in the Everest, is the favourite

* Malaguerra holds the Mooney Valley 1200m track record with Miss Andretti (2006) at 1:09.29

* Ben Smith-trained In Her Time, from barrier two, has won four races over 1200m including the Sydney Stakes

* Grey flash and three-time TJ Smith (1200m) winner Chautauqua, who won the 2015 Manikato Stakes and ran fourth in the Everest, will jump from barrier 10 next to Malaguerra who has drawn widest

* Five horses in history have won the race twice: Dual Choice, Tauto, Spinning Hill, Spark of Life and Manikato

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

* “He was very unlucky in The Everest, just from the wide barrier. The way he pulled up after The Everest, we’re thrilled with him” – Vega Magic’s co-trainer Ben Hayes

* “She galloped really, really well. She got on her right leg and she’s just a lovely horse. She’s in the right frame of mind and she’s going well. She had no troubles at all with the track” – In Her Time’s jockey Corey Brown

* “She’ll go there on Friday night and if she’s not good enough, she’s not good enough. But she’s probably in the best nick she has been in for a while” – Super Cash’s trainer Andrew Noblet

* “Vega Magic looks to probably get a lot better run on top of the speed. I’m thinking he’s the one to beat but I do think he’s very beatable. I don’t think he’s over the line by any means” – Viddora’s trainer Lloyd Kennewell

 
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