The Moonee Valley Cox Plate weekend begins here with the running of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes over 1200m.
An elite field is set to clash in the time-honoured sprint. The weather will be cool, with a low maximum on 15C but the track is rated at a Good 4. The rail will be at the true position and the forecast is set to be overcast.
BEST BET: R8 No11 Sir Bacchus
NEXT BEST BET: R3 No5 Tarquin
BEST ROUGHIE: R7 No4 Under The Louvre
R1 6.30pm SWEENEY ESTATE AGENTS HANDICAP 1000m
SNITTY KITTY clashes against the boys here after running a sound third over 1200m at Caulfield on October 1. Chris Symons replaces Chris Parnham and she has the blinkers removed. Looms with good claims.
FALCOOL has been winning in striking form on provincial tracks. Comes here off a win over 1100m on a Heavy 9 at Warrnambool on October 5. Drops 2.5kg for the rise in class to 57kg and is a good chance.
HIGHLAND BEAT gets a significant class drop here and could rally. He worked home okay to run seventh in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire at Caulfield on October 12. This is far milder but he does rise in weight to 60kg.
SHOWPERO is yet to finish outside of the money at three starts. Gets a big drop in class here on his last-start third over 1050m to Viddora at Morphettville on July 30. The form about him is strong.
SELECTIONS: No10 SNITTY KITTY, No3 Falcool, No1 Highland Beat, No4 Showpero.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Showpero.
R2 7pm STRATHMORE COMMUNITY BANK COUNTRY CUP 1600m
MIHANY was given a trial over 1200m where he worked home into second place over 1200m at Wangaratta on October 12. Last start was second to the high-flying Royal Rapture over 1700m at Caulfield on September 24.
SANDHILL WARRIOR comes here off a smart win in the Murray Bridge Cup (1600m) in South Australia. He goes up 2.5kg to 58.5kg but has a good draw in (2) to be prominent. SA jockey Paul Gatt rides.
PROFIT SHARE hails from the premier yard of Darren Weir and ran a solid second in the Coleraine Cup (1800m) at his last start on September 25. John Allen retains the ride and he drops 2kg to 57kg.
HELL ON EARTH has been creating a big impression on provincial tracks, winning at his past two starts. Latest he shot away by six lengths over 1590m at Wangaratta on October 11. He is fit and ready.
SELECTIONS: No1 MIHANY, No3 Sandhill Warrior, No5 Profit Share, No9 Hell On Earth.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Hell On Earth.
R3 7.30pm CHANDLER MACLEOD HANDICAP 2040m
TARQUIN (NEXT BEST BET) can continue the good run of Godolphin horses here after Northern Hemisphere stayer Qewy made an impressive start to his Australian campaign to win Wednesday’s Group 3 Geelong Cup. Tarquin ran a solid third to Real Love, who ran fifth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup, in the JRA Cup (2040m) here at his last start. He meets milder opposition here and makes strong appeal.
SELECTIONS: No5 Tarquin, No1 Taiyoo, No7 Nozomi, No9 Name The Day.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Name The Day.
R4 8pm LF SIGN GROUP HANDICAP 2040m
SAVVANAH MOON was working home strongly to claim third place to Cinnamon Carter over 2080m at Cranbourne on October 7. She strikes her own sex again here and has Geelong Classic winning hoop Luke Currie to ride.
SPANISH LOVE gets a big weight drop of 5kg to 55kg here on her last-start second over 2000m against her own sex on September 22. Dean Yendall replaces Mark Zahra and would respect.
CINNAMON CARTER is chasing back-to-back wins here after winning against her own sex at Cranbourne over 2080m on October 7. Veteran jockey Kevin Forrester replaces the suspended Damien Oliver.
TIDY PROPHET comes here off a third in the Murray Bridge Cup (1600m) on October 12. She was the $7 favourite that day and will have top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane as her new rider.
SELECTIONS: No10 SAVANNAH MOON, No9 Spanish Love, No5 Cinnamon Carter, No3 Tidy Prophet.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Tidy Prophet.
R5 8.30pm INGLISS 55 SECOND CHALLENGE HEAT 3 955m
DALRADA is a lightly raced mare with a super strike rate. She resumed in style with a smart win over 1000m on a rain-affected track at Bendigo on October 6. Linda Meech keeps the ride and she drops to 55kg from 59.5kg.
ROCK ‘N’ GOLD pulled away to record a 1 ¼ length win over 955m here on September 23. Has been kept fresh for this assault and is unlikely to get $13 again with top hoop Damian Lane staying on board.
O’MALLEY has been kept fresh for this. Drops in class on his last-start fifth in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) here on September 3. Goes up 1.5kg to 60kg, but that won’t be a problem.
SELECTIONS: No3 Usain Dane, No10 Dalrada, No7 Rock ‘N’ Gold, No1 O’Malley.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 O’Malley.
R6 9pm MITCHELTON WINES HANDICAP 1500m
SNAKE CHARMER has been brought here after two smart wins at Morphettville. She won over 1513m last start on October 8. Dwayne Dunn rides the Phillip Stokes-trained mare. Stokes won Wednesday’s Geelong Classic.
MASTER RESET is going to have taken heaps of benefit from his first-up third over 1440m at Caulfield on October 1. He has a good strike rate at this track and will relish this distance.
RAGEESE drops in class on his last-start fifth to Hellbent over 1400m at Caulfield on October 8. Godolphin’s No 1 jockey James McDonald replaces the suspended Craig Williams, so he will lack nothing in horsemanship.
SELECTIONS: No7 MR INDIVIDUAL, No11 Snake Charmer, No8 Master Reset, No3 Rageese.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Snake Charmer.
R7 9.30pm WILLIAM HILL MANIKATO STAKES 1200m
CHAUTAUQUA is Australia’s champion sprinter. He can put behind him his first-up defeat when running fourth to Extreme Choice in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) here on September 30. Barrier (1) is not ideal but can bounce back with a clear shot at the leaders.
UNDER THE LOUVRE (BEST ROUGHIE) has a good record at this track. He can bounce back following his somewhat unlucky fifth to The Quarterback in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 2. He was steady at $3.70 last start and will be at juicy odds here.
CAPITALIST is the reigning Golden Slipper winner and can bounce back here on his first-up third in the Group 2 Roman Consul (1200m) at Randwick on October 1. He has a fantastic second-up record and on 53kg gets a big chance here, with Kerrin McEvoy the new rider.
ENGLISH is the sole mare in the field and she did beat Black Heart Bart earlier this year. She can improve on her last-start fourth in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1. Jockey Sam Clipperton replaces Tommy Berry here.
SELECTIONS: No2 CHAUTAUQUA, No4 Under The Louvre, No11 Capitalist, No10 English.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Under The Louvre.
R8 10pm YULONG PARK HANDICAP 1200m
SIR BACCHUS (BEST BET) will be much better acclimatised now with a run here when he finished fifth over 1200m on September 30. Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has booked Kerrin McEvoy to ride at 55kg. He gets a 3kg drop on the weight he carried last start and punters can get their money back after he was beaten as a $3.80 favourite here. He has won five of his 11 starts.
SELECTIONS: No11 SIR BACCHUS, No2 Santa Ana Lane, No5 Redkirk Warrior, No12 Handsome Tycoon.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 Handsome Tycoon.