The Tony McEvoy trained Manuel scored an upset win in the 2019 Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield today.
Manuel had some support in the betting ring and was specked at double figure odds, firming in from $34 to start at the lucrative odds of $21, but had to fight all the way down the straight for his maiden Group 1 win.
The $2.50 favourite Kementari and market drifter Land Of Plenty ($7.50) charged late to dead heat for second with Brave Smash ($21) centimetres away in fourth spot.
Luke Currie had Manuel quickly into stride from an inside gate and shared the lead with Holbien in the middle stages, but was able to rail up beautifully on the home turn and fought like a caged lion all the way down the straight to hold out the more fancied runners.
Stable representative Calvin McEvoy said that the stable always had a high opinion of Manuel and is hoping that the five year old will now get plenty of votes for the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 16.
“He is a horse that we have had so much time for,” Calvin McEvoy said.
“He is horse that has always had a few little things wrong but last prep he just ran so consistently, a lot of placings, a lot of seconds, a lot of thirds.”
“He can here today, obviously as the outsider, but what a ride by Luke. He got to the front. Didn’t have to do too much to get there, controlled the race and he was so strong through the line.”
“He is the one that we wanted to get into it (All-Star Mile) from the beginning so hopefully a few people will be watching that today and they might kick up for him because he is a really consistent horse and he deserves it.”
Trainer Ciaron Maher was happy with the effort of runner up Land Of Plenty and said that the five year old will come back to Caulfield in a fortnight to run in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m).