As Ron Leemon gears up for the Caulfield Guineas next weekend he’s on the verge of achieving something incredible in a career that’s spanned for decades.
It was more than 20 years between drinks when Manawanui lined up in the Group 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill a few weeks back and after pulling off an unlikely win it was a mixture of both excitement and relief for the Leemon camp.
Now though after scoring another easy Group 2 victory last start Leemon is on the verge of snatching a second Group 1 in a little over a month.
He feels he has the horse to do it as well with Manawanui now back in top shape after his Stan Fox victory.
“He’s getting better and better each day, took him a couple of days to get over the run but quite pleased with him today,” he said.
Manawanui is now in Melbourne after leaving Sydney on Monday morning.
The majority of the trip was stress free however not even Manawanui could escape the notoriously bad congestion in the Victorian capital.
“He copped with the trip quite well until we hit Melbourne and we had the stop start traffic which he doesn’t like,” Leemon said.
It seems he can’t escape the weather either with rain forcing them off a planned track gallop however Leemon says he was impressed with the backup sand surface.
“He’s had a couple of days just trotting and cantering, we were hoping to work on the grass tracks today but due to the weather we have the sand track,” he said.
“It was a real good surface to work on, we did some pace work.”
The trainer was warned people not to think Manawanui peaked with his Golden Rose run and he’ll be even harder to beat in the Caulfield Guineas after stripping off another couple of kilos.
“I think he’s improved since the Golden Rose, he’s just lost that little bit of weight which I wanted him to do,” he said.
“He’ll be very fit by Saturday week.”