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Manikato (1975–1984) was a champion Australian Thoroughbred racehorse of the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was a chestnut gelding by Manihi from Markato by Natural Bid (USA).[1] Manikato was one of the best sprinters ever to race in Australia. Costing only AUD$3,500, Manikato had a double cross of Fair Trial in the fourth generation and was a descendant of Nearco through his dam.



He was the second Australian horse, after Kingston Town, to win $1 million in stakes, and, by today's gradings, won as many as 18 races which are now Group Ones (as the William Reid, Orr, and Freeway Stakes are now run at Group One level). As a two-year-old, Manikato won the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper Stakes double. He then won an amazing five successive William Reid Stakes and four Futurity Stakes winning 12 Group 1 races in all.

He was originally trained by Bon Hoysted who died soon after Manikato's 1978 Golden Slipper victory. His brother Bob Hoysted took over his training subsequently. Because Manikato was such a tall, heavily topped gelding he put tremendous strain on his legs each time he raced.

Manikato had to overcome serious adversity in his career. He suffered a bleeding attack, a heart attack, and damaged his suspensory tendons. After every race, Bon could be seen wrapping the horse's legs with plastic shopping bags filled with ice, to reduce inflammation.

After retiring

After retiring from racing in 1983, Manikato was plagued by a virus which he could not shake off. He was humanely euthanased on 13 February 1984. He is buried within sight of some of his greatest wins, the winning post at Moonee Valley Racecourse.

The Group 1 Manikato Stakes, named in his honour is run annually at Moonee Valley. The Manikato Restaurant in the grandstand at Caulfield Racecourse is also named in his honour.


Race record: 47 starts 29-9-4 $1,154,210

Trainers: Bob Hoysted and Bon Hoysted

Jockeys: Gary Willetts and Roy Higgins

Group One victories

  • 1980 Futurity Stakes
  • 1981 Futurity Stakes
  • 1983 Futurity Stakes

Group 2 wins

  • 1983 William Reid Stakes
  • 1982 William Reid Stakes
  • 1981 William Reid Stakes
  • 1980 William Reid Stakes
  • 1979 William Reid Stakes
  • 1980 C F Orr Stakes
  • 1979 C F Orr Stakes
  • 1982 Freeway Stakes

See also

  • Millionaire Racehorses in Australia


  1. Manikato Retrieved on 28 April 2009
  2. Manikato Retrieved on 29 April 2009


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