Manikato Stakes 2024

➡️Manikato Stakes 
1200 m
🛣️Race TrackMoonee Valley Racecourse
📅DateSaturday 28 October
💰Prize Money$2m AUD
🐎Weight ClassWeight for Age - 3 year olds and over
🏇Last Year WinnerBella Nipotina

The 2023 Manikato Stakes

The Manikato Stakes commands a prestigious position in the Melbourne Spring Carnival, shining as a vital spectacle in a series of electrifying races. Traditionally held under the famous lights at The Valley, although no longer now, this contest has burgeoned into a must-watch event for race aficionados, bettors, and key industry figures. The charm of the Manikato Stakes is not only anchored in its Group 1 distinction but also in its capacity to draw the elite of sprinting talent from across Australia. In this comprehensive preview, we dive into the fervour of the Manikato Stakes, delving deeper into the following: 

The Race: 2023 Manikato Stakes

The Manikato Stakes, a standout event on Melbourne's spring racing calendar, is known for spotlighting the best sprinters as they compete over 1200m, under weight-for-age conditions, often unearthing a star sprinter for the remainder of the Spring Carnival. Held annually at Moonee Valley Racecourse, this prominent race combines tradition with a substantial prize pool ($2m), emphasising its significance in the racing community. As we delve into the details of the Manikato Stakes, we'll further discuss its prize distribution and the role it plays in the horse racing arena.

Where to Place Your Bets

For those eager to wager on the Manikato Stakes, several Australian bookmakers are at your disposal to fully engage in the race's excitement. Additionally, we've highlighted five Australian bookmakers that come highly recommended for your bets on the 2023 Manikato Stakes. 

How to Bet: Manikato Stakes Guide

Betting on the Manikato Stakes and other notable Australian horse racing events offers a thrilling chance to showcase your understanding of the sport. You can opt for simple fixed win or place bets or venture into more complex exotic wagers, catering to a wide array of betting preferences. Whether your strategy leans toward multis, exotic wagers, focusing on standout jockeys, or identifying the most backed bets of the day, our comprehensive guide aims to equip you with the knowledge needed for a savvy wager. Dive into our dedicated "How to Bet" section, which will break down some of the diverse betting possibilities for the Manikato Stakes and similar Australian races.

The Venue: Moonee Valley Racecourse

Moonee Valley Racecourse is a pivotal landmark in Melbourne's racing scene. Located conveniently close to the city, this track has hosted countless races, enthusiastic fans, and thrilling finishes. Lovingly dubbed "The Valley," its unique design adds a special touch to every race; more on the what, how and why of that below.  Whether you're a dedicated racing enthusiast or just enjoy the atmosphere and excitement, Moonee Valley has something for everyone. And when it's time for the Manikato Stakes? Expect an electrifying experience. Get ready to dive into all that this famous venue offers!

The History of the Race: Manikato Stakes

The Manikato Stakes has been a significant part of Australian horse racing since its inception in the late 20th century. A hallmark of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, it consistently attracts top sprinting talent to Moonee Valley. Over the years, many notable horses have claimed victory here, marking their place in racing history. The race isn't just about speed; it's a nod to tradition, past winners, and the spirit of friendly competition. As we look forward to the next race, it's a good time to appreciate the rich history of the Manikato Stakes and its role in the racing community.

Past Champions of the Manikato Stakes

The Manikato Stakes serves as a proving ground for sprinters eager to etch their names into racing history. Throughout its existence, the race has crowned a number of exceptional champions, not least the horse from which the race now gets its name. Explore our compilation of Manikato Stakes winners, and you'll recognize several horses that have taken the racing scene by storm.

The Feature Race – Manikato Stakes 2024

Date: 28 October 2023
Time: TBA
Prize Money: $2

Slated for October 28, 2023, at Moonee Valley Racecourse, the Manikato Stakes stands as a premier launch pad for some of Australia's top sprinters into the VRC Sprint Classic, which is arguably the sprint race of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

It is also run the same day as the infamous Cox Plate which adds extra prestige to the race.

With an impressive $2m purse up for grabs, it's undeniably a noteworthy race to clinch, with the victor taking home a handsome sum of $1.2m, distributed among owners, trainer, and jockey, with prizes extended to those finishing as far down as 8th position. For a comprehensive breakdown of the prize distribution, see below:

PlacingPrize Money
6th, 7th, and 8th$40,000

2024 Manikato Stakes Betting

Being such a big race on the Melbourne Spring Carnival calendar there is plenty of interest in it from a betting perspective, and as a result many bookmakers already have a Pre-Noms market up.

We’ll take a look at that below, but it is important to point out that these markets are known as ‘All In’; meaning that if you place a bet in the market the bet stands regardless of whether or not the horse nominates.  Final nominations will be taken on Friday 20 October, a week out from the race.

The current ‘Pre Noms’ market looks like this:

IMPERATRIZ: Win 2.10 | Place 1.27  

ASFOORA: Win 8.00 | Place 2.75  

UNCOMMON JAMES: Win 8.00 | Place 2.75  

BELLA NIPOTINA: Win 11.00 | Place 3.50  

BENEDETTA: Win 11.00 | Place 3.50  

ROTHFIRE: Win 11.00 | Place 3.50  

BUENOS NOCHES: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

I AM ME: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

IN SECRET: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

KING OF SPARTA: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

LOFTY STRIKE: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

OVERPASS: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

PRIVATE EYE: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

RUTHLESS DAME: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

WHAT YOU NEED: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

ZAPATEO: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50  

CANNONBALL: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

INGRATIATING: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

KALLOS: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

LIBERTAD: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

ROYAL MERCHANT: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

STAR PATROL: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

THE ASTROLOGIST: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

ZOUSTYLE: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25  

A CASE OF YOU: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

EXTREMELY LUCKY: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

GENERATION: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

IN THE BOAT: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

JIGSAW: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

MILEVA: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

SIGH: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

THE INFERNO: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50  

The first thing that stands out in this market is the very short price for the Pre Noms favourite Imperatriz.  This would have something to do with the fact that connections have confirmed for sure that the horse will run in the Manikato, as they have given up taking up a slot in the richest race in Australia, The Everest, in favour of staying in Melbourne for the Spring.  

The New Zealand galloper is a hot favourite indeed and is scheduled to run in both the Manikato Stakes and the Champion Sprint on the final day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival at Flemington on Nov 11.

Other notable runners in this market are Bella Nipotina, last year’s winner, and the unbeaten What You Need.  With the latter still eyeing a slot in the Everest, which would mean that he’d be unlikely to run in the Manikato you can start to see how tricky it is placing a bet in these kinds of markets.

I would recommend holding off for the time being and watching closely what happens in lead up races, and with the remaining slots for The Everest.  A clear precursor to the Manikato Stakes is the Group 1 Moir Stakes, which takes place at the Valley over a shorter 1,000-metre distance, four weeks earlier. The Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington is another preparatory option. Horses may also come from lead-up events in Sydney.

Best Bookmakers for Manikato Stakes 2024

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Placing Bets on the 2024 Manikato Stakes

Anticipation is high for the 2023 Manikato Stakes, a riveting Group 1 showdown set at Moonee Valley Racecourse. As we have seen above there is already a market for it, but I suggest holding off on your bets until more is known about which horses will definitely be lining up for the race.

When the time is right to place a bet, navigating the myriad of Australian bookmakers can be daunting, but our goal is to simplify this process by recommending several trustworthy options. Before you delve into our suggestions, familiarise yourself with the Manikato Stakes lineup to pinpoint your favoured horses.

It's essential to take into account the odds a bookmaker offers. Doing a bit of legwork by comparing the odds given by various bookmakers for your chosen market can aid in identifying the one with the most favourable odds. Opting for the bookmaker that quotes the best odds amplifies your potential returns. For an extensive roundup of Australian bookmakers that cater to Group 1 thoroughbred horse racing enthusiasts, our Bookmaker Insights page is at your disposal.

Your personal comfort with a bookmaker shouldn't be overlooked. Numerous Australian bettors lean towards bookmakers they've interacted with before, often because of a preferred app or platform. It's perfectly valid to gravitate towards a familiar bookmaker when wagering. On our Bookmaker Insights page, you'll find evaluations on each bookmaker's trustworthiness, aiding you in a well-informed choice.

Promotional offers can be pivotal in deciding on a bookmaker. Our OnlyRacing Bonus Offers page showcases the array of incentives and bonuses Australian bookmakers extend to those funding their accounts. Some might even have unique deals tailored for the Manikato Stakes, warranting a closer look.

In essence, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to picking a bookmaker for the 2023 Manikato Stakes. The three pointers discussed are solid starting points. It remains imperative, however, to transact with a reputable bookmaker and complete any required verification steps prior to betting. As an added resource, we've excerpted a section from our OnlyRacing Overview page, spotlighting five prominent Australian bookmakers proficient in Group 1 thoroughbred race markets. Accessing the linked details will provide a deeper dive into each bookmaker's portfolio.

The crux of the matter is finding a bookmaker that aligns with your individual needs, ensuring a pleasurable and safe betting adventure during the 2023 Manikato Stakes.

The Venue: Moonee Valley Racecourse

Moonee Valley Racecourse, an emblematic icon of Australian horse racing, was meticulously sculpted in 1883 by William Samuel (W.S.) Cox. With visionary zeal, Cox transformed what was once John F. Feehan's farm, purchased just a year prior, into an illustrious racing venue. What sets Moonee Valley apart from other Melbourne racetracks, like Caulfield and Flemington, is its unique distinction of being entirely freehold land under the ownership of a private club.

The 1960s marked significant developmental strides for the racecourse. Resources garnered from compensation for lands annexed for the Tullamarine Freeway construction went into enhancing the facility. The 1970s heralded another shift; Moonee Valley welcomed harness racing, becoming the new nocturnal destination for the sport, which had previously been housed at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

At its core, the inception of racing at Moonee Valley is intertwined with the pioneering spirit of its founder, W.S. Cox. In tribute to his lasting impact, the Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee introduced a race in his name, the W.S. Cox Plate. Thoughtfully nestled between the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in the racing calendar, this weight-for-age race quickly gained prominence, evolving into a hallmark of equine excellence.

Today, the Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) stands tall as Australia's premier weight-for-age race, gaining international repute for its stringent standards. This race has seen legends, from Phar Lap and Kingston Town to the mighty mares Sunline and Winx, gallop to glory. The W.S. Cox Plate remains a testament to racing prowess, solidifying its place as one of Australia's most distinguished races.

As a racecourse, it is fair to say that Moonee Valley is totally unique.  It’s distinguished by its tight-turning, rectangular shape with short straights. This design contrasts with many other racetracks, which are more oval or expansive in layout. The distinctiveness of Moonee Valley's track design often influences racing tactics and can provide an advantage to certain types of runners, especially those adept at handling sharp turns. The intimate nature of the track also ensures spectators are closer to the action, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

History of the Race: The Manikato Stakes

Named in homage to one of Australia’s most celebrated sprinters, the Manikato Stakes is a race steeped in tradition, determination, and legendary equine prowess. Taking place at the iconic Moonee Valley Racecourse, the race is an emblematic sprint event that showcases the best of Australian horse racing.

Initiated in 1968, the Manikato Stakes was first won by a horse named Winfreux, galloping over a consistent distance of 1200 metres. It was formerly known as the Freeway Stakes until 1984, when it was fittingly renamed after the iconic sprinter Manikato. Acquired for a mere $3,500, Manikato, the son of Manihi, became a sensation on the tracks, amassing over $1 million in winnings from his spectacular career. He not only secured two victories in the race now bearing his name but also enjoyed significant achievements like winning the William Reid Stakes five consecutive times from 1979 to 1983. Moreover, the chestnut gelding stood out for clinching both the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper, with an astonishing 29 triumphs from 47 starts.

Evolution of the race's classification mirrors its growing prestige. Initially a Principal Race, it was elevated to Group 2 status in 1978, before reaching its pinnacle as a Group 1 race in 1989. This shift reflected its increasing importance in the horse racing calendar. By 2012, the race was strategically repositioned to be part of the renowned Cox Plate weekend, taking place on the Friday evening, setting the stage for the grandeur of the Saturday Plate.

Delving deeper into its celebrated history, four horses – Strawberry Road, Rubiton, Dane Ripper, and Sunline – have achieved the remarkable feat of claiming both the Manikato Stakes and the Cox Plate titles. This unique double victory is especially noteworthy given the races' stark distance difference. Another captivating aspect of this sprint event is the consistent success of mares. Since 1994, mares have claimed the title on ten occasions, with a filly adding to that tally in 2019.

Only a few races can boast a roll of honour as illustrious as the Manikato Stakes. From champions like Vain (1969), Manikato (1979), and Redoute’s Choice (1999) to modern-day legends like Hay List (2010), Lankan Rupee (2014), and Bella Nipotina (2022), the race consistently showcases top-tier talent. Notably, when Bella Nipotina won in 2022, she bettered her performance from the previous year by a remarkable five lengths, despite the race being postponed by a day due to lightning.

As the race has evolved, it has primarily favoured top-tier sprinters, with few exceptions. Rare three-year-old winners like Loving Gaby, Sepoy, and Redoute's Choice have etched their names in the race’s annals. Moreover, notable races such as the Gr3 McEwen Stakes, Group 1 AJ Moir Stakes, and Gr2 Schillaci Stakes have emerged as critical preparatory events for horses aiming for Manikato Stakes glory.

As of 2022, the race boasts a prize purse of $2,000,000, reflecting its significant stature in the world of horse racing. Through the decades, the Manikato Stakes has continued to captivate audiences, offering thrilling races, unforgettable moments, and cementing its place in racing folklore.

Past Winners of the Manikato Stakes

A distinguished roster of champions from the Australian racing scene.

  • 2022 - Bella Nipotina
  • 2021 - Jonker
  • 2020 - Hey Doc
  • 2019 - Loving Gaby
  • 2018 - Brave Smash
  • 2017 - Hey Doc
  • 2016 - Rebel Dane
  • 2015 - Chautauqua
  • 2014 - Lankan Rupee
  • 2013 - Buffering
  • 2012 - Sea Siren
  • 2011 - Sepoy
  • 2010 - Hay List
  • 2009 - Danleigh
  • 2008 - Typhoon Zed
  • 2007 - Gold Edition
  • 2006 - Miss Andretti
  • 2005 - Spark Of Life
  • 2004 - Spark Of Life
  • 2003 - Spinning Hill
  • 2002 - Spinning Hill
  • 2001 - Piavonic
  • 2000 - Sunline
  • 1999 - Redoute's Choice
  • 1998 - Dane Ripper
  • 1997 - Spartacus
  • 1996 - Poetic King
  • 1995 - You Remember
  • 1994 - Spanish Mix
  • 1993 - Never Undercharge
  • 1992 - King Marauding
  • 1991 - Sonic Express
  • 1990 - Street Ruffian
  • 1989 - Our Westminster
  • 1988 - Rancho Ruler
  • 1987 - Rubiton
  • 1986 - Lockley's Tradition
  • 1985 - Touch Of Genius
  • 1984 - Vite Cheval
  • 1983 - Strawberry Road
  • 1982 - Manikato
  • 1981 - Silver Bounty
  • 1980 - Grey Sapphire
  • 1979 - Manikato
  • 1978 - Vice Regal
  • 1977 - Ease The Squeeze
  • 1976 - Scamanda
  • 1975 - Lord Dudley
  • 1974 - Tauto
  • 1973 - Tauto
  • 1972 - Century
  • 1971 - Dual Choice
  •  1970 - Dual Choice
  • 1969 - Vain
  • 1968 - Winfreux
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