Trainer Ron Leemon believes that Manawanui will have no problem stepping up to 1,500 metres for the first time in this Saturday’s Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill.
“No concerns whatsoever, it’s been a logical step up,” Leemon said.
“Hopefully 1,600 in a fortnight’s time, he’s still on the radar for the Caulfield Guineas.”
Manawanui won his last start in the $1 million Golden Rose after connections decided to pay the $50,000 late entry fee to have him to compete in the race.
Leemon believes that the three-year-old gelding will be at his best following his Stan Fox run.
“I still think there’s a bit of improvement left in him, I think the run on Saturday will top him right off,” he said.
Jumping from barrier two, Leemon expects Manawanui will have to go forward early in the race.
“I think he’s got the have the same tactical (prowess as in the Golden Rose),” Leemon said.
“We may have to lead ourselves again.”
The trainer is unsure whether Manawanui will continue on further into the spring after his Caulfield Guineas run.
“We’ll see how we go in the Caulfield Guineas and we’ll make a decision after that,” he said.
“We’ve got a few options open.”
Leemon expects Manawanui will travel further distances as he gets older.
“He’ll get to at least 2,000 metres in my opinion because he’ll settle,” Leemon said.
“Unfortunately we haven’t been in a situation the last three runs or so where we can settle back in the field.
“We’ve either had to be on the pace or leading.”
Manawanui’s Golden Rose victory marked the first Group 1 win for the Warwick Farm trainer.
“It was a great relief but I really enjoyed seeing my owner’s and family’s reactions… I got great enjoyment out of that,” he said.