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Leemon eyeing off Cox Plate with Manawanui

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Trainer Ron Leeman has his eye set on the Cox Plate in the spring for his top three year old Manawanui but first has to get past super filly Mosheen at Randwick on Saturday.

Leemon will restrict Manawanui to 1600m in the Autumn with the thought not to overtax him with the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley as his main goal in the Spring.

“That’s why I’m not pushing him out in distance this time around,” Leemon said. “After the Doncaster he’ll go for a spell and be brought back for the Melbourne spring.”

But Leemon is looking for a change of luck in the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick when he clashes with Australian Guineas winner Mosheen.

Jockey Tommy Berry will take over form the suspended Glyn Schofield on Manawanui who has had two unlucky seconds this campaign including last start when first past the post in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 3 only to be relegated to second on protest.

“We were on one rein for the entire straight and couldn’t be ridden out and the other horse had his chance to pass us but he couldn’t,” Leemon said.

“I’m just having one of those runs. Manawanui hasn’t had much go right in his two starts this time in and I’m just having lots of fourths and fifths.”

Leemon is looking forward to the clash with Melbourne’s top filly after she blew the colts and geldings away in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.

“It’ll be a good clash,” he said.

Danny Nikolic will have to produce another first class ride on Mosheen who has drawn barrier fourteen from seventeen on Saturday after coming off the outside gate in the Australian Guineas.

Nikolic rode an inspired race at Flemington and had the filly one off the fence at the half way mark before getting a split in the straight to race away for an outstanding win.

After Saturday Leemon will head his top three year old towards the Group 1 $400,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April  7 and the Group 1 $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick two weeks later.

Berry will also have to be on top of his game after Manawanui drew barrier eleven while Jim Cassidy on Wild And Proud will have to go forward again after coming up with the outside gate of the seventeen horse field.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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