Jonker wins Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley

Sustained speed has landed Queensland visitor Jonker a maiden Group 1 win taking out the Manikato Stakes at The Valley.

Urged forward to find the front, Jonker held firm up the The Valley straight to claim Friday’s night’s 1200m sprint.

Sent out the $5.50 favourite under Daniel Moor, Jonker held off Bella Nipotina ($7) to score by a short-head with Ingratiating ($10) a further 2-¼ lengths away third.

Friday night’s victory was Moor’s third Group 1 win for the spring coming on top of Sierra Sue winning the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield and Wild Ruler in the Moir Stakes at The Valley.

“I’m glad I’m doing it later on in life because it is a really satisfying feeling,” Moor said.

“I’m not going to go out and get on the gas and be a ‘yahoo’, I’m going to go home and selfishly enjoy it with my family.

“It’s a great time and I’m going to remember it for a long time. You work for this your whole life.

“A couple of jockeys, Nikita Beriman said that when you win Group 1s early on it becomes a blur and you forget, but I’m definitely loving things at the moment.”

Moor spoke to Peter Snowden, who prepared Wild Ruler and who has arrived in Melbourne from Sydney for the remainder of the Spring Carnival, and Jonkers trainer Tony Gollan on Friday morning and said there was parallels between wild Ruler and Jonker.

“I said to Peter and Tony Gollan this morning that this horse gave me a very similar feel to Wild Ruler on his track work here alone last week,” Moor said.

“He’s just a lovely gentleman of a horse, he’s an older horse that sort of likes a challenge.

“Obviously being a Group 1 race there was a lot of speed and Jye (McNeil) on my inside was kicking up on Lombardo and I knew it was going to be there, but I also knew I had the horse to absorb that sort of pressure early.

“Down the side we backed it off nice enough, just where he came back underneath me and had enough kick in the locker.”

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