The Chester Manifold Stakes is synonymous with excellence. The Club’s annual tribute to one of the most important figures in Victoria’s racing history has seen many great horses and jockeys win the race in his name.
Sir Chester Manifold was knighted in 1953 and chaired the VRC for eleven crucial years to 1962. He was a committee member for thirty-five years, to 1972. Later in his life, newspapers dubbed him ‘The Father of the TAB’, as he campaigned successfully to create a state-wide ‘Totalizator Agency Board’ – the TAB – originally financed by the racing industry.
In 2020, a rising star in the jockey world named Jye McNeil raced home to win the Chester Manifold Stakes. The win in the feature race aboard seven-year-old Amadeus (trained by Michael Kent) was McNeil’s fourth on that day and was the first time he had achieved the feat in the city. Previously, the kid from Kerang had only ridden four winners in one day at Echuca. His quartet of metropolitan wins that day in January signalled an explosive start to 2020, capped off by his incredible front running win in the nation’s greatest race, the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
For most, 2020 was a year they would prefer to forget, but for McNeil it was one to remember. Although the jockey was already on everyone’s radar, his four wins on Chester Manifold Stakes Day in 2020 really solidified his status as one of the state’s top riders. Trainer Greg Eurell, for whom McNeil also rode a winner that day on commented at the time: “Jye is flying. Through experience and maturity he’s getting better and better.”
It wasn’t just his career that made 2020 special, but also the arrival of his son (coincidentally on 1 August, the same day every horse in Australia has their birthday). He continued to chalk up the wins, and by that first Tuesday in November he had won both the Bendigo and Geelong Cups within seven days.
With such success kick-started on Chester Manifold Stakes Day, who knows what this year’s race day will bring? Possibly the next Lexus Melbourne Cup champion. Secure your spot now!
General Admission tickets can be purchased via Ticketek here and VRC members please call Customer Service on 1300 727 575 so we can personally handle your booking request.