Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Manikato Stakes day at Moonee Valley on Friday, October 26th.
We have an eight-race card to kick off the Cox Plate Carnival ahead of Saturday’s huge day of racing. The track is rated a Good 4 with the rail in the True position.
Best Bet: Race 2 #2 Pleasuring
Best Value Bet: Race 4 #10 Andrea Mantegna
Propelle comes up favourite here first up from a spell and should be hard to beat if she’s tuned up. She bolted in at Sale at her second start before starting favourite at Flemington last time we saw her. The form out of that race is solid enough to win this and Damian Lane takes the ride for the Ellerton/Zahra stable which is a positive sign. Zoumanor won well on debut at Mornington and should lead here, which gives him every chance of recording back-to-back victories. He’s at double-figure odds and has each way claims. Our Long Sail makes its stable debut for Patrick Payne. She won three races in Tasmania in her first preparation before finishing midfield in the Sires’ Produce Stakes in Adelaide. Two trials leading into this and I highly respect this stable. Final Choice won easily at Pakenham before saluting again at Flemington in BM64 grade. Will go forward from the wide gate. Sacred Sword went down as the $1.40 favourite last start but respect the SP – he can bounce back.
Pleasuring finds a nice race now fourth up from a spell. She ran a solid race behind the in-form Our Libretto in the Pinker Pinker at Cranbourne last start and should get a sweet run from barrier 4 here. Lane back on and she should be ready to win. Lopartega finished ahead of Pleasuring in the Pinker Pinker, making it four consecutive placings. She’s never finished outside the top two at this track and she’ll roll forward from the wide barrier. Think she’s a very solid each way bet (more so the place). Qafila drops heavily in grade having been beaten by Brutal, Smart Melody and Amphitrite in her past three starts. That’ very good form but just how well she is going is the query.
Surely only two winning chances here. Widgee Turf was Group 2 placed only three starts back and followed that with an enormous run in Adelaide seven weeks ago. Quiet trial since then and has probably been targeted at this VOBIS race. Undefeated at this track and distance and in total he’s won three of his five starts here. Mark Zahra goes on and he should be storming home late. Iconoclasm bolted in at Caulfield two weeks ago to win by 2.25L. He goes up 5kg in weight tonight but draws well in barrier 2, which should see him box seat. He’s obviously a pretty smart horse with six wins to his name from 11 starts and that was his first win this prep so he could be set to go on with things now. Hard to split them but siding just with Widgee Turf at the better price.
Competitive race. Waging War looks well placed with the drop back in grade. He ran within a length of Cliff’s Edge two starts back before being beaten 3.65L by Land Of Plenty in Group 1 company last start. Barrier 11 doesn’t make things easy for him but he deserves favouritism. Andrea Mantegna is a chance at each way odds for the Weir/Lane combination. He was sound first up but didn’t fire a shot last start in the Hamilton Cup. Third up now and he’s undefeated in two previous third up runs. Drawn awkwardly in barrier 10 but at $15 I’ll be having something on. Odeon should be competitive with the good draw. Zahspeed was terrible last start but gets the blinkers off again and has a good record at the track and distance. The Lord Mayor drops back from Group 1 company and comes back to the 2000m and can’t be dismissed.
Written Choice won over this track and distance last start and if he can get across from barrier 15 without spending too many tickets, he might well win again. He’s got form at this distance and will be right up on speed, with the other two market rivals likely to be much further back in the field. Esperance has won two on the trot in Sydney. He saluted over 1100m two starts back and then won well over the 1000m on a heavy deck last start. Some query coming back to 955m and back to firm ground after the last start on a wet track. Also his first look at the Valley, gets Bowman aboard who rides Winx tomorrow and will have to come from the back of the field. Prezado has the ability but is starting to become costly having won just one from 10 now. Happy to take on Essence of Terror who has a terrible second up record, while the value may be the Adelaide raider Nodoubtaboutit.
Savapinski looks set to run a big race tonight first up with the blinkers back on. Even though she’s a Group 2 winner over 2000m, she’s won over this distance before and was competitive first up over 1400m last prep. Tim Clark aboard from the low barrier should see her ridden aggressively. Chamois Road is also first up and he won three of his five races last preparation. He has a good first up record and has seven wins and six placings from 16 starts at this distance. Drawn a touch awkwardly but Mark Zahra is booked to ride and $7.00 seems an appealing price. Stellar Collision isn’t hopeless at $14.
Think he’s just about rock-bottom odds but Tamasa finds another winnable race. He’s won his past two and even though he’s drawn a touch awkward, he should be able to find a three-wide running line and prove hard to hold out. Call It A Day will roll forward to lead, just as he has been doing with success in recent starts. Tamasa only just ran him down last start and he meets him better at the weights tonight. He’ll give a good sight. Sunday Pray has a terrible record at the track but might be ready to show something third up tonight. Black Sail gets the blinkers back on with D Lane sticking with him from the good draw but he’s a bit of a thinker. Kings Command could be the value despite having to carry top weight. He’s third up now and has a reasonable record at the track.
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