Manikato Stakes

Picture: Getty Images/
Lucky Nine won the Krisflyer Sprint in Singapore earlier this year. Picture: Getty Images/
Globetrotting sprint sensation Lucky Nine  has his first Australian start at Moonee Valley on Friday night when he lines up in the Manikato Stakes. Since being sold to race in Hong Kong after winning his maiden by five lengths, the speedy seven year-old has contested Group One events right around the world, competing at the top level in Japan, Dubai and Singapore. The Caspar Fownes trained galloper beat Australian star Bel Sprinter  by three lengths in Singapore’s Krisflyer International Sprint at his most recent start and meets The Galaxy winner here first up from a spell.

The leading local hope appears to be dual Group One winner Samaready , who bounced back to her best with a dominant victory in the Moir Stakes over several of these rivals in the Moir Stakes here last month. The four year-old mare took her record to six wins from eight starts with her four length demolition over 1000m but placegetters Buffering  and Le Bonsir  take her on again, as do Moment Of Change  and Bel Sprinter .

Rebel Dane  took out the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last time out and drops back in trip for this event, while fellow last start winner Arinosa  represents leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller. Newmarket Handicap scorer Shamexpress  has his first Australian start since returning from a trip to England, while Darley rely on promising speedster Sessions . Diamond Earth  and Temple Of Boom  are the outsiders of the field, but the latter would come into contention if forecast rain arrives given his liking for wet tracks.

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