Champion colt Sepoy will be odds-on for the Group One Manikato Stakes when TAB Sportsbet releases its market this week.
Book manager Tim Ryan said Friday’s night’s Group One 1200m sprint at Moonee Valley would be viewed as a race in two between Sepoy and More Joyous but the three-year-old would be a clear favourite and as short as $1.70.
He said More Joyous could be $3.50 but no shorter than $3.
“You have to say it is a race in two but I definitely think More Joyous is going to have her work cut out at weight-for-age first up over 1200 metres,” Ryan said.
“I think there a few little fitness queries over her after a setback early in her preparation and now she is being aimed at the sprints instead of the Cox Plate.
“She is probably suited over a little bit further and I definitely don’t think she is quite as good in Melbourne.
“Even with her win in the Toorak last year she was on the wrong leg.”
Ryan said Sepoy, winner of the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper Stakes double in the autumn, hadn’t missed a beat this campaign and he impressed in fast time winning a barrier trial at Cranbourne last Monday.
The winner of seven of his eight starts, the Peter Snowden-trained colt is unbeaten in two runs this campaign against three-year-olds in the Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield and the Group Two Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
“He’s got those runs under his belt and he ticks all the boxes,” Ryan said.
“He has an edge over the distance and in fitness, and he will be more popular with punters because he is he is fresh in their minds whereas More Joyous hasn’t been seen since favourite in Doncaster Mile (when 11th).”
Sepoy will gallop at Moonee Valley on Monday morning ahead of Friday’s assignment while the Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous has had two recent raceday exhibition gallops in Sydney.
Ryan predicted that last start winner of Sydney’s The Shorts, Love Conquers All, may be the third pick in the Manikato.
Meanwhile, unbeaten world champion Black Caviar has opened $1.50 for a showdown with Sepoy in the Group One Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5 but Ryan says once race day comes she will be a lot shorter.
Sepoy is at $4.40 with consistent Group One performer Beaded the next best at $12.
“It is a bit of token price for Black Caviar but we don’t want to leave ourselves too open if she doesn’t run,” Ryan said.
“We’ve got to try to attract some support and obviously if she runs she will be $1.10 or $1.20.”