This weekend kicks off a massive two months of racing in South Australia and Saturday’s Listed Manihi Stakes field features more than a few handy sprinters who have their eyes set on a big autumn.
It will be near impossible for Casino Wizard to win. Since the start of the millennium, no horse has carried more than 57kg to victory in the Manihi and the old timer will carry 58.5kg in his 60th race start on Saturday. While it’s tough to write off a champion like Casino Wizard, he dropped out late in the Listed Matrice Stakes on Cup Day and off that run might find a few of these too speedy.
Dom Tourneur has won this race three times in his career, notching up victories in 2008, 2012 & 2013. He rides the bargain buy for Mark Minervini, Mica Lil who went on to run third in the 2018 Group 1 Sangster Stakes. If she brings that form on Saturday she’ll be mighty hard to beat but is only one from five first up and coming off a poor trial run. Can the magician, work his magic on the mare?
Leading trainer Tony McEvoy won this race last year with Concealer and will have the race favourite, Despatch ready to fire tomorrow. Despatch gave Barend Vorster his first win in his new home state on Cup Day and is a huge chance to get back to back wins on the four-year-old. Despatch won last year’s Listed Redelva Stakes over 1100m here and jumps from Barrier 10 tomorrow, the same barrier he jumped from on Cup Day. He drops 3kg off that run and looks mighty hard to beat here!
Horsham based Paul Preusker looks to have a beauty on his hands with I Am Someone. The four-year-old has only missed a place twice in his twelve start career and was gallant in defeat against a future star in She’s So High at Flemington last start. Apprentice Fred Kersley rides him exceptionally well and it’ no surprise to see him as one of the favourites for Saturday.
The Richard & Chantelle Jolly yard is absolutely airborne at the moment and they have one of the state’s next biggest stars in their stable with Schilldora. The three-year-old filly has two fourth placings to her name at Group 3 level already in her short career and her last start run in the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes was massive. Jolly knows what it takes to win this race too after claiming the 2017 edition with Karlovasi.
Talk about a horse under the radar; it’s Brian Mueller’s Oamaru Owl. The six-year-old looks to be a late bloomer with six starts this preparation for three wins and three second placings. Each race he’s contested he’s basically stepped up a grade each time and now he finds himself in a Listed feature. Write him off at your own peril!
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