Manawanui Staying Put For Sydney Autumn


Manawanui will run in Sydney during the Autumn Carnival

Sydney will be the sole focus for Manawanui in the autumn with trainer Ron Leemon dismissing a trip to Melbourne.

He had earlier kept the door open on an Australian Guineas birth but now says it will come up too quickly for him.

“For him to race in the Australian Guineas he would have to be back racing by the end of January and he just won’t be ready,” Leemon said.

There’s also plenty of motivation about seeking an elusive double in Randwick’s Group 1 majors.

Manawanui’s route will be to go through the Randwick Guineas and then the Doncaster Mile.

“In comparison to the spring he’ll have a relatively light preparation because the whole aim next year will be the Cox Plate,” Leemon said.

“I want to give him a good break between carnivals and that means he can go out in the middle of April and come back on the first of June.

“Four to five runs will be the most he has in the autumn.”

The Randwick Guineas was first run in 2006 and since then only two winners have been given a shot at claiming the Doncaster Mile double.

Ilovethiscity tried it this year where he finished fifth to Sacred Choice and in 2007 it took the might of Haradasun to deny Mentality in a tight finish.

Weekend Hussler claimed a double of a different kind in 2008 when he won the Randwick Guineas and then the George Ryder Stakes at his next start.

That same year Triple Honour won the Doncaster Mile after finishing runner up in the Guineas.

The previous two years also saw three year old champions in the Doncaster Mile.

This shows that it’s probably only a matter of time until the double is claimed and on the back of his spring form Manawanui is a solid prospect.

He finished spelled two weeks ago and has since been given an easy time of it at Leemon’s Warwick Farm stables.

All up he spent five weeks spelling in the paddock but even now he’s still enjoying himself.

“He’s put on six kilos since he’s been back in the stable but I expected that because I tend to feed my horses a bit big,” he said.

Manawanui caused somewhat of a shock by winning the Golden Rose before pushing Helmet right to the line in the Caulfield Guineas.

He started the Victoria Derby as favourite but was found out over the final 400m and Leemon may not give him a chance to rectify that.

“I’ll nominate him for the (AJC Australian) Derby but I don’t think we’ll go down that path,” Leemon said.

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