Anthony Freedman is hoping for clear skies leading up to Doomben on Saturday to give his German import Mawingo every chance to produce his best in the Group 1 $500,000 WFA Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m).
Freedman was more than happy with Mawingo’s run in the Group 2 $300,000 Gold Coast Turf Club A D Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 5 when third to Kiwi mare Shez Sinsational on a heavy track.
“I think clearly he just didn’t handle the ground and didn’t perform up to expectations on that ground,” Freedman said.
“We need a good track Saturday to do our best.”
With fine weather forecast for the remainder of the week Doomben will have a terrific racing surface as it did for BTC Cup day last Saturday.
Freedman acknowledges the fact that the Peter Moody trained Manighar will be extremely hard to topple but with a dry track on the cards it gives his galloper every chance to be competitive.
“Manighar is in good form. He’s beaten the best that is around at the moment,” Freedman said.
“I’m not saying we can or we can’t (beat him). I’m just happy with the horse and I hope we get good ground.”
“He hasn’t gone backwards since the Gold Coast. He’s probably a little bit fitter and you have to remember it’s only his first prep here and he’s going to be better next time in.”
Freedman was reluctant to compare Mawingo with fellow import Lucas Cranach who scored first up after a Spring Cups’ campaign before going amiss prior to the Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10.
“One horse has the runs on the board and this horse is still finding his way,” he said.
“Until we get him probably out to a mile and a half on good ground, we won’t be able to compare them.”
“He’s only been off the plane about four months, so you have to keep it in perspective a bit.”
Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller will take over from Daniel Moor on Mawingo in the Doomben Cup and the four year old should get a good run from barrier five in the thirteen horse field.
The Peter Moody pair have both drawn well with Lights Of Heaven coming out of gate six with Damien Oliver while Luke Nolen will have to manoeuvre a passage off the fence on Manighar after drawing barrier one.
Manighar was denied his fourth straight Group 1 win of the Autumn when second to More Joyous in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28 after getting held in on the fence in a slowly run race and the number one trainer will be issuing instructions so that doesn’t happen again.
“Manighar’s run in the Queen Elizabeth was very good. He got trapped on the fence in a slowly run race,” Moody said.
“That won’t happen to him at Doomben and the mare ran super in the Hollindale.”
“They’re both going so well it’s a pity they have to clash in this race.”
Nine year old Scenic Shot has shown he is not a spent force with fair lead up form in an attempt to win his third Doomben Cup with Shane Scriven and will get a cosy run from barrier four.