Mihalyka wins G1 Manikato Stakes

Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s Louis Mihalyka was walking on air after landing a Group 1 and a running double at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

His homebred Rebel Dane won the $1 million Manikato Stakes and followed up with Sir Bacchus in the lucky last at Moonee Valley.



Laurel Oak (FBAA) won its second Group 1 with Rebel Dane following the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.  The gelding had finished fifth, fourth and third in the last three editions of the Manikato.

“He’s been a fantastic horse even though he hasn’t had a lot of luck in big races,” Mihalyka said.  “Moonee Valley suits him and the good barrier counted tonight.”

Rebel Dane (7h California Dane - Texarcana by More Than Ready) has won over $2.40 million and Mihalyka is hoping the latest result will revive his prospects as a commercial stallion.  "We've had enquiries from studmasters but there was far more interest 18 months ago," he explained.  "He hasn't won a Group 1 since the Rupert Clarke and that’s nipped things in the bud.”

Trainer Gary Portelli signalled this is his final season on the track.  “I will probably get emotional when Rebel Dane leaves the stable.  He will probably have an autumn prep and run in the T J Smith Stakes and that will do him.”

A half-hour after the Cox Plate, Sir Bacchus was awesome coming from last to score sensational win in the Yulong Park Hcp (1200m) at Moonee Valley.  He was a $130,000 buy for Mihalyka at the 2014 Magic Millions National Sale and has maintained a 50% winning strike-rate while banking $368,025.

Mihalyka was still on a high when he took to Twitter on Saturday morning.  “Just woke up.  It wasn't a dream!  Best day ever with Rebel Dane & Sir Bacchus.  Head hurts but oh so happy!”

The winners kept coming on Saturday afternoon when Better Land (Shamardal) lobbed at Eagle Farm.  He is raced by Laurel Oak in partnership with Ramsey Pastoral and is from G2 Silver Slipper Stakes winner Amelia’s Dream.

Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1998 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia.  Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.

The list of FBAA members can be viewed here