MOONEE VALLEY: MANIKATO STAKES - 22nd October 2021
Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: NO RAIN - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Track is currently a GOOD(4) with rain forecast in the evening, but if it doesnít come this track is going to get quite firm as they wonít water the track heading into the Cox Plate meeting. Looking back over the records, this meeting has been a dynamite leaders track most years, so strong tendency toward leaders and those on-speed tonight, especially if the rain does not come. Looks like most of the rain is not due till after the races and we have a warm sunny day so this track is going to get very firm.

We have very small fields and short-priced favourites early on in the program and they look pretty hard to beat, but the fields open up a lot more in the second half of the program. Keep an eye out on scratchings with quite a few horses multiple acceptors across this weekend. We are treading lightly with plenty to bet on across two days. Hard to find races that was worth betting on tonight with small fields and short-priced favourites

Comments on each runner in the Manikato Stakes:

For the Manikato, much has been discussed on social media on how this isnít really worthy of a Group 1 field, which is probably correct, but these feature sprints at MV are always keen betting races and as always luck in running is crucial. Speed here looks to be the 2-JONKER and 4-SAVATOXL burning to the lead from the 10-LA MEXICANA, with the 1-STREETS OF AVALON(wide), 6-LOMBARDO (inside) and 8-BELLA NIPOTINA next in running. Not a huge amount of speed and good chance for a horse to jump and run and pinch this race on a likely leaderís track.

Going through the runners the 1-STREETS OF AVALON is an old favourite of ours, who for some reason just doesnít come up during the Spring. Change of tactics here with a freshen-up and back to a sprint and he did win a very weak Group 1 here back in January and place 1st up in the Bletchingly. Gets the required firm track, actually really like the draw he can sit just behind the speed here and in clear running and he is a two time Group 1 winner in this Group 1, so think he is over the odds at $34 and some rough chance. The 2-JONKER is a Sydney sprinter and leader who has been racing well up there, was disappointing in only Melbourne run down the Flemington straight. Can run very fast times on firm tracks, and if the track stays firm and favours leaders he is right in this, depending on how much pressure he gets up front from the (4). The 4-SAVATOXL is just a straight out winner and showed fierce determination to run down the leader 1st up at Caulfield. Won 16 from 30 on firm tracks, and loves burning to the lead, suspect they probably go forward and sit outside the (2) here. Group 1 winner in a Group 1 race and really like that first up win, this horse is very under-rated still. One to beat. The 5-EXPRESS PASS definitely isnít a Group 1 horse, but handy enough sprinter who is best swooping off a fast speed and likely to drop well back here from an outside barrier. Nice win here in Sept (pattern was favouring swoopers) and then was pretty good down the straight against tougher opposition. Would need racing pattern to suit to be a winning chance, rough place chance if they go along hard enough in front.

The 6-LOMBARDO is a classy sprinter on the rise and has a heap of untapped potential. Destroyed them over in Adelaide, was classy winning here two starts back (form from race has held up), and then was surprised he managed to take a sit back in the field and run over them last start as thought he needed to race on-speed to show his best. Right in this, just slightly concerned he will get caught on the rails here three back behind the leaders so he will need some luck and the gaps to open. The 7-AWAY GAME is a very consistent sprinting mare, but she has been disappointing in Melbourne this spring. Great career strike rate, firm ground suits, will drop back from the barrier, but donít think she is going well enough to win this. The 8-BELLA NIPOTINA has been racing in career best form and has finally worked out how to win after often running placings. She was impressive swooping on them when she got clear at Caulfield, and chased hard last start behind the (4) to just miss getting the leader. Drawn barrier 1, she probably jumps and settles on the rails behind the leaders here so just need the gap to open and she is racing well enough to win this and looks over the odds to us. The 9-SWATS THAT is a smart sprinter on her day and has won a good race here. Didnít do much 1st up, likely to drop back and wide here and prefer to see after last run. The 10-LA MEXICANA has been racing extremely well, but never considered her a Group 1 horse. Fought out the finish well against the (8) two starts back and she kicked clear last start at Caulfield and was only just grabbed on the line on a day when it was tough to lead and win so think you need to respect that performance. She is drawn out here, but will sit just behind the speed in clear running and that is where you want to be in MV feature sprints so she is a winning chance at odds. The 11-INGRATIATING is a highly rated 3YO who hasnít lived up to expectations this time in, really disappointing last start and likely to drop back here. Watch the market as best guide, but would need them to be winning running on and prefer to see at the moment. The 12-SNEAKY FIVE is another 3YO who surprised winning 1st up after a year-long break, and remains undefeated. Winner here, but likely to drop back inside runners and the race played out perfectly last start in a very bunched finish and this isnít as easy. The 13-CRYSTAL BOUND another 3YO who can race handy but probably ends up back on the rails here. Was only just grabbed late by the (12) last start, guess you need to be wary of the lightly weighted 3YOs and she is racing well but prefer place.

These MV feature sprints often come down to luck in running, you want to be out in clear room and running into the race on the turn. Assuming we are going to get a firm track favouring leaders, so that puts the 4-SAVATOXL clearly on top, really liked that first up win and he just knows how to win. The main danger is actually the 10-LA MEXICANA who is racing well and is going to get a great on-speed run out in clear running behind the speed and the 8-BELLA NIPOTINA is racing extremely well at the moment, just needs a gap to open up in the straight. Best rough chance is the 1-STREETS OF AVALON off a freshen-up, and it would be rather ironic for him to pick up a third Group 1 in a race where punters are complaining about quality. Betting plan is to back the top pick straight out, a solid each way bet on the second pick and have a decent try at these four in a nice value quinella.

Suggested bets:

BEST EACH WAY: Race 4: 8-WICKLOW TOWN $5 EW
QUINELLA: Race 4: 8-WICKLOW TOWN#1-SO SI BON, 7-REGARDSMAREE x $3 = 150%
Super consistent 1400-1600M horse who is very under-rated and keeps winning at double figure odds. Slightly concerned about the firm track, but the drop back to 1500M suits and he is fit, in form and will jump and sit handy and there actually isnít much speed in this race so should get the run of the race. Back each way at around $6 and anchor in the quinella with old-timer 1-SO SI BON who is suited under this compressed weight scale and the 7-REGARDSMAREE who has been racing well but just hasnít found the right race.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 6: 6-DIESELíNíDUST $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 6: 6-DIESELíNíDUST#2-THE GAUCH, 5-YULONG STORM x $2 = 100%
Very even field and probably one of the few races tonight worth betting on. This one has been racing well, beaten by a smart one two starts back at Swan Hill and then didnít lead and fought out the finish well at Ballarat. Jockey Oliver on board, barrier 1 and expect him to jump straight to the lead and rails here and if the track is favouring those on-speed he may be very tough to run down at around $10. Anchor in a quinella with the short-priced favourite and talented 2-THE GAUCH and the super consistent 5-YULONG STORM and would probably switch him to top pick if we could be confident they could run on and win tonight.

BEST ROUGH: Race 1: 9-BEAUDACITY $4 EW
Lots of leaders in the first race over 1000M, but donít think any of them go as quick as this one. He has been ridden aggressively out of the barriers last few starts, scooted away to a clear lead and dared them to run him down Ė and ran well every time. Bound to pay off sometime, MV night meeting would be the perfect location. Inside barrier here and looks to jump, lead and rail, first race of the night and on a likely leaders pattern and think you want to get on at $20. Simple!

BEST ROUGH: Race 7: 10-LA MEXICANA $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 7: 1,4,8,10 x $6 = 100%
Open feature race, but we like how this one has been racing and particularly her last start when she kicked for home and only just got run down in the last stride on a day where it was very difficult to lead and win. Drawn middle, can go forward here and sit on-speed in space and put herself into the race at the right time and looks a good rough chance at $17. Great value box quinella here with the leader and win win winning winner 4-SAVATOXL (17 wins!), the consistent sprinting mare 8-BELLA NIPOTINA and just get the feeling old-timer 1-STREETS OF AVALON may do something tonight at odds with a change in preparation. Pretty keen on this as a value quinella.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 2: 3-SKYMAN at around $4
Pretty talented type, but he has disappointed when well in the market a few times now, and his best form seems to be fresh over shorter distances finishing hard off a fast speed. Unlikely the track pattern is going to suit tonight, and despite the small field not quite sure how he is going just at the moment. Happy to risk and banking on the short-priced favourite the Race 2: 5-THOUGHT OF THAT leading all the way regardless.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a Freedom Day hair cut with all you can eat buffet.
PLACE: Race 3: 4-LE LUDE
PLACE: Race 4: 8-WICKLOW TOWN
PLACE: Race 6: 6-DIESELíNíDUST
PLACE: Race 7: 1-STREETS OF AVALON
Pretty tough with all these small fields and short-priced favourites to find a meaningful collect, but we have been going pretty close in these all up place multis the last few weeks, including being live to collect $600 mid-week at the Geelong Cup. Assuming the Race 3: 4-LE LUDE jumps to the lead and hopefully kicks us off, the Race 4: 8-WICKLOW TOWN looks a pretty safe place bet in a field of only 9, and the Race 6: 6-DIESELíNíDUST hopefully leads and kicks. Letís come home on one not in the selections, but the best rough in the feature race the Race 7: 1-STREETS OF AVALON who we suspect is doing to do something tonight on firm ground with a change of preparation. Looking at around $500 for a $5 outlay

SUGGESTED QUADDIE:
Races 6,7,8,9: 2,4,5,8,13 / 2,5,6,8,10 / 1,4,8,10 / 7,11 x $20 = 10%
Not sure if the quaddie is going to pay much tonight and really there are only two winning chances in the last leg, the two leaders the 7-IMPERIAL LAD, 11-AKECHETA. The favourite the 5-YULONG COMMAND is going to be very hard to beat in the first leg, but always worth putting in others in these 955M races, and the second leg is wide open so go as wide as you can. Plenty of value in the Manikato around our four chances, but we probably need the first leg favourite to get beaten to make this worthwhile and suspect he probably wins.

The Tips:

Race 1: 9-BEAUDACITY, 5-SUPER THIEF, 6-MARINE ONE
Race 2: 5-THOUGHT OF THAT, 4-DJUKON, 1-IRISH FLAME
Race 3: 1-ONLY WORDS, 4-LE LUDE, 5-MAHASHAKTI
Race 4: 8-WICKLOW TOWN, 1-SO SI BON, 7-REGARDSMAREE
Race 5: 5-YULONG COMMAND, 2-AQUAGIRL, 8-THE LAST NAPOLEON
Race 6: 6-DIESELíNíDUST, 2-THE GAUCH, 5-YULONG STORM
Race 7: 4-SAVATOXL, 10-LA MEXICANA, 8-BELLA NIPOTINA
Race 8: 7-IMPERIAL LAD, 11-AKECHETA, 4-MR EXCLUSIVE