The Cat is ready for Manikato
Eight-time Group One winner Apache Cat remains on target for a start in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 25 despite being beaten in a Cranbourne barrier trial on Monday.
The seven-year-old was due to resume in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) won by stablemate Mic Mac at Caulfield late month but had a setback with a stone bruise.
The flashy chestnut wasn’t knocked around by Damien Oliver in the opening trial over 800m on a heavy Cranbourne track and finished a 2-1/2 length runner-up to Dalooka in 48.30.
Apache Cat hasn’t started since recording his 18th victory from 38 starts in the Group One Doomben 10,000 on May 23 when he lasted by a head from the fast-finishing Black Piranha with Oliver in the saddle.
Oliver was happy with the way the gelding trialled saying he felt good.
Several of his Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) opposition will be running on Saturday in the Group Three McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley including fellow Group One winners Duporth, Nicconi and Typhoon Zed, who won the 2008 Manikato.
Other Manikato contenders amongst the 17 nominations for the McEwen include 2007 McEwen victor Here De Angels, The Goodwood runner-up I Am Invincible, Oakleigh Plate runner-up Lucky Secret, Morgan Dollar, Secret Flyer and Group Two Schillaci Stakes winner Wilander.
By Mark Ryan