Manikato Stakes Race Information

The Manikato Stakes is a 1200 metre weight-for-age race held by the Moonee Valley Racing Club. Previously run at Moonee Valley in October on the Friday night before the Cox Plate it is now run on Cox Plate day.

  • Race Type: Group 1
  • Distance: 1200 metres
  • Conditions: Open WFA
  • Track: Moonee Valley Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Prizemoney: $2,000,000
  • Date: Saturday 28 October 2023

Manikato Stakes Race History

See the 2023 Manikato Stakes Preview and results

See the 2022 Manikato Stakes Preview and results

See the 2021 Manikato Stakes Preview and results

See the 2020 Manikato Stakes Preview and results

The Manikato Stakes was first run in 1968 as the Freeway Stakes over 6 furlongs (about 1200 metres) and was won by Winfreux. In 1979 it became a Group 2 race and in 1984 the name was changed to the Manikato Stakes. It became a Group 1 race in 1989 and is one of the most important races on the Moonee Valley racing calendar. In recent years it has been run as a night meeting, and in 2012 was moved from late September to the eve of the Cox Plate.

In 2022 heavy rain and lightning caused the Manikato Stakes meeting to be abandoned after the first five races had been run, and the Manikato Stakes was added to the Cox Plate meeting the following day as race 11. Following a revamp of the Victorian Spring Carnival in early 2023 it was decided to make the change to run the Manikato on Cox Plate Day permanent, and have the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as the feature race on the Friday night before it.

In 2009 the Manikato Stakes became a qualifying race for the American Breeders Cup meeting in November. This meant the winner got an automatic start in the US$1 million Breeders Cup Sprint at Santa Anita racecourse in California, giving trainers and owners a chance to match their horses against international competition.

Useful Facts

Last filly/mare to win: Loving Gaby (2019) – filly,  Sea Siren (2012) – mare

Last 3YO to win: C&G – Sepoy (2011); Filly – Loving Gaby (2019)

Multiple winners: Hey Doc (2017 & 2020); Spark Of Life (2004 & 2005); Spinning Hill (2002 & 2003); Manikato (1979 & 1982); Tauto (1973 & 1974); Dual Choice (1970 & 1971)

Fastest time (1200m): Hey Doc (2020) 1:08:76

Interesting trivia:

Previous winners of the Manikato Stakes

Champion racehorse Manikato won this race twice in 1979 and 1982. The race was named after him when he died in 1984. He was buried at Moonee Valley racecourse close to the winning post where he achieved so many victories including five consecutive William Reid Stakes. It is fitting that the race named in his honour attracts Australia’s finest sprinters.

Other notable winners of the Manikato Stakes include Chautauqua (2015), Lankan Rupee (2014), Buffering (2013), Danleigh (2009), Miss Andretti (2006), Sunline (2000), Redoubte’s Choice (1999), Dane Ripper (1998), Rancho Ruler (1988), Rubiton (1987), Strawberry Road (1983), Manikato (1979 and 1982), Century (1972), Dual Choice (1970 and 1971) and Vain (1969).

Year Winner Second Third
2023 Imperatriz I Am Me Uncommon James
2022 Bella Nipotina Rothfire Best Of Bordeaux
2021 Jonker Bella Nipotina Ingratiating
2020 Hey Doc Trekking Dirty Work
2019 Loving Gaby Vital Silver Anaheed
2018 Brave Smash Spirit Of Valor Kementari
2017 Hey Doc In Her Time Malaguerra
2016 Rebel Dane Fell Swoop Japonisme
2015 Chautauqua Srikandi Rebel Dane
2014 Lankan Rupee Angelic Light Famous Seamus
2013 Buffering Lucky Nine Sessions
2012 Sea Siren Mental We’re Gonna Rock
2011 Sepoy Sister Madly More Joyous
2010 Hay List True Persuasion Eagle Falls
2009 Danleigh Phelan Ready Nicconi
2008 Typhoon Zed Absolut Glam Kaphero
2007 Gold Edition Vormista Dr Nipandtuck
2006 Miss Andretti Dance Hero Sassbee
2005 Spark Of Life Perfectly Ready Our Egyptian Raine (NZ)
2004 Spark Of Life Yell Dilly Dally
2003 Spinning Hill True Glo The Big Chill (NZ)
2002 Spinning Hill Bel Esprit Mistegic
2001 Piavonic Sunline (NZ) Falvelon
2000 Sunline (NZ) Honour The Name Miss Pennymoney
1999 Redoubte’s Choice Marstic Flavour
1998 Dane Ripper Sir Boom Theatre
1997 Spartacus Poetic King Cut Up Rough
1996 Poetic King You Remember Sequalo
1995 You Remember Seascay Blevic
1994 Spanish Mix Primacy Chemin de Fer
1993 Never Undercharge Silver Neon Prince Acumen
1992 King Marauding Durbridge Yachtie

2020 Manikato Stakes Preview and Tips

See the See the 2020 Manikato Stakes Preview

2018 Manikato Stakes Preview & Tips:

Track: Good  Weather: Fine

A full field of fourteen quality sprinters will line up for the $1,000,000 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes. Four of them had their last start in the G2 Schillaci Stakes, two in the G1 Moir Stakes and two in The Everest. The early favourite is Sunlight who is the only three-year-old in the field and has 7 wins and 3 places from her 10 starts. She has won two Group 3 races at her last 2 starts and has a huge drop in weight. Second favourite is Kementari who followed 2nd in the Memsie Stakes with 4th in the Makybe Diva stakes and can improve on that. Third favourite is Houtzen who ran 5th in the Moir Stakes after being held up until the last 50m.

US Navy Flag is one of four runners for Aidan O’Brien and is better than his 9th in The Everest suggests. Brave Smash was 8th in The Everest but ran 2nd in the Moir Stakes before that and goes well at Moonee Valley. Malaguerra finished 3rd in this race last year and hasn’t started since last November but has an exceptional first-up record. Spirit Of Valor ran 2nd in the Schillaci Stakes and Voodoo Lad finished 4th. The other 6 runners are all at 16 to 1 or longer including Jungle Edge whose chances will improve dramatically if there is rain about, and Tulip who is capable of running a big race at this track.

The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.

Jo’s Tips
14 Sunlight
10 Houtzen
1 Brave Smash
3 Malaguerra