2018 Manikato Stakes: Vega Magic the value pick in Moonee Valley feature

The Group 1 Manikato Stakes is one of the biggest sprinting races in Australia and it's held the night before the Cox Plate
Vega Magic will be tough to beat in the Manikato Stakes. (Getty Images)

2018 Manikato Stakes Tips & Betting Predictions

The Manikato Stakes is one of the biggest sprint races in Australia and the atmosphere on Friday night at Moonee Valley is insane. Held the night before the Cox Plate, the 1200m feature includes Australia's best sprinters.

With The Everest having already run, many of the runners could have come through Australia's richest race to run in the Manikato Stakes and it's truly one of the most exciting races anywhere in the world.

Manikato Stakes Race Details

Date: October 26, 2018
Time: 8:40 pm AEST
Racecourse: Moonee Valley Racecourse
Race Distance: 1200m
Conditions: WFA
Prize Money: $1,000,000

2018 Manikato Stakes Best Bet - Vega Magic

Bookmakers are offering incredible odds for the Lindsay Park-trained sprinter which came into form by taking out the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield in July. The son of Lope De Vega scored an emphatic three-length win to open the pipes this time in work and it was an impressive display.

He started as the favourite in the 2017 Everest and lost no admirers when finishing second behind Redzel. He then ran in the Manikato Stakes as the odds-on favourite but disappointed in running fifth. Bookmakers might still have that run in their minds, but punters should love the 8.00 on offer for Vega Magic and those odds are going to be slashed in the coming months.

2018 Manikato Stakes Best Each Way - Kementari

Kementari finished second in the Missile Stakes to open the 2018/2019 season and it was an unlucky placing at that. The James Cummings-trained star was held up at a vital stage in the straight and he did well to finish so close to Pierata.

His best form has come in Sydney and he has never won from three starts in Melbourne, but he's a runner which should appreciate Moonee Valley and he's classy at best. He showed his class when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas and although that came over distance, he has the ability to sprint and should be respected at 10.00 in the betting.

2018 Manikato Stakes Best Roughie - Brave Smash

We're big fans of the former Japanese runner and although his form was inconsistent last season, he has always shown the ability to win on the big stage. His breakthrough win came in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield in February and he followed that up with a narrow placing behind Redkirk Warrior in the Newmarket Handicap.

A son of Tosen Stardom, Brave Smash also defied the odds to run third in the 2017 Everest and despite running last of 10 runners in the All Aged Stakes, he had come to the end of his preparation and he should be ready to fire come spring time.

Best Bet: Vega Magic @ 8.00
Best Each Way: Kementari @ 10.00
Best Roughie: Brave Smash @ 15.00
Bill Rosenthal 19 October 2018

Manikato Stakes Previews & Tips