Spark Of Life Again Starts Season With Manikato Win

As with Australia's previous racing season, the one numbered 2005-6 led off with Spark Of Life winning the Manikato Stakes (Aust-I) at Melbourne's Moonee Valley Sept. 10.

This Seattle Slew line sprinter was again partnered by Glen Boss, who won a dozen at the highest level to easily head every other jockey in 2004-5.

Spark Of Life (9-2) broke on top for Boss from the outside of 12 runners and controlled the race, to win in 1:11.59 for the 1,200 meters on a damp track.

At the wire, the 5-year-old had a neck to spare over the two years younger Perfectly Ready, a colt by More Than Ready . Our Egyptian Raine (by Desert Sun) added another group I minor placing to her considerable collection, another long neck away.
Spark Of Life has now won 10 of 18 and $1.38 million, the gelding out of a place just twice for Phil Bernie and Merv Jones. The owners secured him for $50,000 from breeders the Thompson family of Ellinthorpe Stud in Queensland.

This $400,000 (Australian funds) feature is named for one of Australia best sprinters, Manikato. 'The Man' upgrading many top races in the early 1980s, his official tally 11 grade Is. Spark of Life is the first reprise a win in the race since Manikato. His other group I success came in The Galaxy in Sydney, where he is prepared by Alan Denham.

Spark of Life is by the deceased Nine Carat, by Slew o' Gold. A listed winner and group I placed in France, Nine Carat joined the Ellinthorpe roster at seven in 1995 and left five crops before his death in 2002.

The Seattle Slew line also produced ageless sprinter Bomber Bill. Also a three three-time group 1 winner of well over $1 million, the Air de France is still competitive at 10.