Paulele is the current Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes favourite

54th running of the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes met with mighty numbers

The 54th running of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) looks set to be one of the most competitive editions of the race in recent memory after nominations closed today. 32 horses have declared their interest in competing in the country’s equal richest Group 1 race run under lights at The Valley on Friday 22 October.

The 32 entries for the $1m sprint included seven Group 1 winners, 10 three-year-olds and 17 trainers. All will be vying to add their name onto the legendary honour roll which includes champions Vain, Manikato, Strawberry Road, Rubiton, Dane Ripper, Sunline, Buffering and Chautauqua.

Headlining nominations are Group 1 winners Masked Crusader, Wild Ruler, Trekking,  September Run, Despatch, Savatoxl and Streets Of Avalon. Some other big-name nominations include exciting three-year-old sprinter Paulele, the explosive Brooklyn Hustle, emerging star Lombardo and the unbeaten Sneaky Five.

The current favourite in Ladbrokes betting is the star three-year-old Paulele. Paulele won on debut at The Valley as a two-year-old, and has only improved since then, going on to win a further four races from nine career starts. He has demonstrated his electric turn of foot with high rating victories in Sydney and he has graduated as one of Godolphin’s top seeds in the sprinting ranks. He is joined in the nominations by talented stablemate’s Tailleur, Ingratiating and Trekking.

The Victorian training juggernaut that is Ciaron Maher & David Eustace also have a strong hand in the race with no less than eight runners nominated. The 2020 Ladbrokes Cox Plate winning pair have entered Acrobat, Away Game, Bella Nipotina, Bruckner, Crystal Bound, Generation, How Womantic and Sneaky Five. Four-year-old mare Bella Nipotina has found new life since transferring to the Maher & Eustace stable this preparation and she hasn’t finished worse than third in an impressive campaign that has included a win in the Group 3 How Now Stakes.

Some other interesting nominations are Grahame Begg’s speedy filly Dosh, Nick Ryan’s Chautauqua Stakes winner Express Pass, Tony Gollan’s Magic Millions Sprint winner Jonker and in-form Will Clarken gelding He’s A Balter.

“While Hey Doc’s heroic efforts last year to win his second Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes will be hard to top, this year’s race promises to be just as exciting with an extensive number of emerging sprinters looking to add a Group 1 to their CV,” said Michael Browell, MVRC CEO.

“It promises to set the scene for yet another brilliant Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival here at The Valley.”

The Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes will be run at 8.15pm on Friday 22 October, with crowds not permitted on course due to current Government restrictions.