2018 Manikato Stakes Tips & Betting Predictions

DateFriday October 27, 2018
TrackMoonee Valley
ClassGroup 1
Race TypeWeight-for-age
Prize money$1 million

The Manikato Stakes is run on the Friday before the Cox Plate and it's a great way to kick off the two-day carnival at Moonee Valley.

Run for sprinters under the lights, the Group 1 Manikato Stakes is an exciting race which always creates plenty of drama. The high-intensity atmosphere at The Valley always makes for a great race and some of Australasia's best have been victorious.

Redoute's Choice, Sunline, Miss Andretti and Chauatauqua are all names gracing the list and punters heavily bet on the Manikato Stakes every year.

Manikato Stakes betting card 2018

Due to Moonee Valley being used two days in a row, there are only eight races on Manikato Stakes night. The Manikato Stakes is the only group race on the card.

Race No.
Race Name
1MSC Signs Handicap
2Chandler Macleod Country Cup
3Sweeney Estate Handicap
43YO Handicap
555 Second Challenge
6The Emerson Handicap
7Manikato Stakes
8Fashion Group Handicap

Manikato Stakes betting selections & tips

We will have expert tips for the Manikato Stakes available when the final-field markets are released by bookmakers.

Manikato Stakes history

The Manikato Stakes was originally called the Freeway Stakes from 1968-1983 but was named in honour of two-time winner Manikato in 1984.

The champion sprinter has been attached to the race since and it has remained as one of Australia's premier sprint races since, alongside the T.J. Smith Stakes and more recently The Everest.

Winning the Manikato Stakes was important as it was a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, with the winner automatically qualifying for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint later that year. 

Conditions of the race have changed since, however, with the meeting changing to the Friday night before the Cox Plate in 2012, to make it more of a carnival atmosphere, but that move did come under scrutiny in the early stages.

Many critics questioned running eight races on the eve of the Cox Plate and early rain didn't help the situation, but the track has since been renovated to cope with the pressures of having 18 races within a 20-hour period.

Four Manikato Stakes winners have won the Cox Plate, with Sunline being the most recent in 2000. 

Internationally-performed champion Miss Andretti currently holds the track record with a 1:09.29 gallop in the 2006 Manikato Stakes.

Manikato Stakes betting

The Manikato Stakes was a favourites race for a long time but only four of the last 10 have crossed the line first. That's not a bad statistic for punters that like to back the favourites, but double-figure winners have been prevalent.

There have been 10 double-figure winners over the last 35 years and in the process some well-backed runners have fallen by the wayside. Sunline (2.10), Bel Esprit (1.40) and Chautauqua (2.40) all losing, with the latter finishing a disappointing seventh.

High-quality winners are also found in the past winners list. Despite suffering defeats in the Manikato Stakes, Chautauqua and Sunline were able to reward punters when winning. Other favourites to win include Hay List, Sepoy and Strawberry Road.

It's also a stallion-making race with Octagonal, Snitzel, Nicconi and Sepoy all winning before having successful stud careers.

Manikato Stakes barrier stats

Barriers are very important in the Manikato Stakes as the 1200m distance at Moonee Valley is tight.

Runners have to make a long searching run around the outside and often those caught on the inside have nowhere to go.

The best barriers are 4, 10 and 11 – with five wins in the last 35 years a piece. Barriers 2, 5 and 13 have only one recent win and barrier 3 has none.


Manikato Stakes form guide

Five of the last 17 winners have won the Manikato Stakes fresh up (Sunline, Spinning Hill, Danleigh and Sea Siren. It is often used as a lead-up to a potential Cox Plate and Sunline was able to complete the double when winning in 2000.

It's not a race for three-year-olds with only four winning since 1983 and the more established sprinters typically do best.

Moir Stakes form often holds up well as the runners get experience at Moonee Valley. The Manikato Stakes form can always lead to the VRC Sprint Classic and other Melbourne Cup Carnival races.

Sunline, Miss Andretti and Buffering were all international winners following their victories.

Manikato Stakes winners

Race Winner
2017Hey Doc
2016Rebel Dane
2014Lankan Rupee
2012Sea Siren
2010Hay List
2008Typhoon Zed
2007Gold Edition
2006Miss Andretti
2005Spark Of Life
2004Spark Of Life
2003Spinning Hill
2002Spinning Hill
1999Redoute's Choice
1998Dane Ripper
1996Poetic King
1995You Remember
1994Spanish Mix
1993Never Underchange
1992King Marauding
1991Sonic Express
1990Street Ruffian
1989Our Westminster
1988Rancho Ruler