O’Brien to fly international Flag in Manikato
AIDAN O'Brien will launch a four-pronged attack on the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night, setting a record for international participation in the feature sprint.
The Irishman will unleash US Navy Flag, Spirit Of Valor, Intelligence Cross and Fleet Review as he bids for his second Group 1 at The Valley following Adelaide's 2015 Cox Plate triumph.
The Ballydoyle quartet could tackle several of the runners who contested The Everest, including dual winner Redzel, Brave Smash, Santa Ana Lane, Shoals and Viddora.
Kementari, Sunlight, Tulip and Invincibella are also among the entries.
O'Brien's foreman TJ Comerford said US Navy Flag and Spirit Of Valor have the talent to contend, while Fleet Review is primed to improve.
"Fleet Review ran a little bit below par last week (ninth in the Schillaci Stakes), but I just seen a bit of a change in him this week and I expect him to run better," Comerford said.
"Spirit Of Valour (second in the Schillaci) came out of the race bouncing and US Navy Flag had no race (in The Everest) while Intelligence Cross missed the start.
"We're going to jump him from the gate (at Werribee) and then I have to jump him for the stewards on another day, probably Wednesday."
Comerford said US Navy Flag had settled in well at Werribee.
"He's good. The lads are happy with him," he said.
"He came off the box and was on the track within half an hour of getting here."