Former NT galloper Savatoxl has been a revelation over the short course since joining the McEvoy stable, winning the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville in May. The McEvoys are chasing a third Manikato win in five years after Hey Doc won the feature in 2017 and 2020.
"The Manikato is a race pretty special to us,'' Calvin McEvoy said.
And Savatoxl's first-up win in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield signalled he is set for a big spring.
"He's really come on since his first-up run,'' McEvoy said.
"I would have liked him to have drawn a little better, but we know he's a winner, his record shows that and I am sure he will be right there in the finish,'' he said.
There will plenty of interest from a local perspective with Lombardo, a dual winner in Adelaide this campaign, making his Group 1 debut. Co-trainer Mick Price said it was the perfect opportunity to test the water at the top level.
"Sometimes you just have to catch them on the run through,'' Price said.
"He's in the zone, so why not?'' he said.