In a matter of weeks Manawanui has gone from a promising provincial racehorse to a Group 1 champion with very genuine Caulfield Guineas prospects.
The same could be said for his trainer Ron Leemon, he went over two decades between Group 1’s plugging around predominantly provincial and country level before being thrust back into the spot light ahead of what looms as his greatest ever spring.
Manawnaui had won twice at Canterbury earlier in the year and was fresh and in great form leading into the winter.
At that time connections faced a decision on whether they’d push north to Brisbane or take the gamble and wait it out for the spring.
They elected to take the second option with a 100 day spell before running first up in the Up & Coming Stakes at Warwick Farm.
He won that race in blistering fashion and then it was on to Rosehill for the Golden Rose.
Few thought he’d win the $1 million event but thanks to a combination of good luck, a great ride and plenty of ability he got the job done.
” Glen (Boss) rode the best ride in the race by far, we had a couple of options what we were going to do and going to the front was one of them,” Leemon said.
He’s quickly had to regain focus though so he can get as much out of the horse as possible while he’s on a four win streak.
“You come back to reality pretty quickly when you’ve got to get up Monday morning and start it all over again,” he said.
“He’s come through very good, was tired for a few days, our plans now to go to the Stan Fox and then onto the Caulfield Guineas.”
To date all of Manawanui’s starts have been in Sydney but Leemon isn’t concerned about changing tact for Melbourne.
“My horse is very adaptable, I reckon once or twice around there and he’ll think it’s home again,” he said.
Leemon maintains the horse is not for sale as the owners embark on recapturing the Group 1 winning feeling in the Caulfield Guineas.
“There’s been more offers and we’ve just knocked them back, thanks but no thanks,” he said.