Champion trainer David Hayes believes the timing of this year’s Everest makes the $1 million Manikato Stakes at The Valley an attractive target for Faatinah who gets his latest chance at an elusive Group One win.
Another three-year-old, Bivouac, is the $1.85 favourite to win the Manikato Stakes (1200m) but Hayes rates Faatinah ($17) a legitimate chance.
“He is going really well and we’ve set him for this race thinking The Everest might have just taken a bit of sting out of it,” Hayes said.
“I wish Bivouac ran in The Everest.
“But Faatinah will go forward and make his own luck and run a really good race.
“I just feel that if things go right for him from the barrier (8), he’ll be a hard rabbit to catch.
“We have given him a good hit-out at Lindsay Park. Jamie Kah rode him and she couldn’t have been happier with him.
“If trackwork is any guide he will run a mighty race.”
Faatinah, who has travelled to Dubai to campaign in during the early months of the past two years, is a three-time Group Two winner and has had eight attempts at Group One level.
The closest he has come, in terms of margins, was at his most recent start in the Moir Stakes at The Valley last month when he finished fourth behind Nature Strip, beaten half a length.
The start before he won the Group Two McEwen Stakes at the same track.
Faatinah was second in the 2017 Group One Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield, beaten a length.
Last year’s Manikato was won by Brave Smash who was coming out of The Everest 13 days earlier.
Dual weight-for-age Group One winner The Bostonian is on the second line of Manikato Stakes odds at $6.50 ahead of Trope ($8.50) while three-year-old filly Loving Gaby is $9.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au