Ron Leemon is now paying the price for a preparation that drifted deep into the spring carnival with Manawanui.
To be fair there probably wouldn’t be a lot he’d change given the horse did so well but the gap from the Victoria Derby to the autumn carnival is still a touch shorter than he’d prefer.
Manawanui trialled for the first time this morning, plodding his way around 800m at Warwick Farm.
He was effectively left for dead in a heat that had more than its fair share of early pace but it’s of no concern to Leemon at this early stage of his campaign.
“All he was doing was having his first gallop today, it was just a fitness thing, he’s still very fat,” he said.
He was also forced to push things forward a week which wouldn’t have helped him much either.
“My trial plan was to trial next week but they cancelled the trials so I had to come forward with him,” he said.
“It was a hot trial with a lot of speed horses in it.”
We’ll get a better indication of the progress of Manawanui at his main hitout early next month.
“His major trial will be on the 7th of February,” he said.
As for what lies ahead in the autumn the Randwick Guineas will be the main aim before a program that could stretch all the way to the Sydney feature race.
“If we’re going well enough we might think about things like the Doncaster and the George Ryder,” he said.
As for a kick off point the Royal Sovereign Stakes is looming as the preferred option.
“That’ll be the one first up if he’s ready for it, if he’s not we’ll look at some other options,” he said.