Six-year-old gelding Manawanui received a lifetime ban from racing in Australia after suffering a bleeding attack during a Rosehill barrier trial this morning (Tuesday).
It was the second bleed during competition for the Group One winner, which means an automatic ban from Australian racing, who suffered his first during the Group 2 The Shorts (1200m) back in September 2012.
Following a five month spell and three trials to meet the stewards’ requirements, Manawanui resumed for a fifth placing in the Listed Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) in April 2013. The gelding has only had six starts since then, managing to win the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) in September last year. He drove along the rail to be midfield a few lengths back and kept on pushing up to sit behind the speed. He took a late split near the fence for an emotional win, his first in nearly three years.
Manawanui was set to kick-off his autumn campaign in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick, with a trial at Rosehill this morning set to determine whether he lined up in the race this Saturday or not.
“If he trials well and we are happy with him he will run on Saturday,” trainer Ron Leemon had told Sky Racing on Monday.
“At this stage I am happy with him and although it’s a hard race, if he gets a soft run I think he will be in the finish.”
Ultimately the trial proved he would not line up in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes, or any other race in Australia for that matter. While many horses banned from Australian racing have gone on to have successful careers in America where anti-bleeding medication is allowed, it is likely that Manawanui’s racing career is over.
“It’s the end of the journey,” a disheartened Leemon said.
“He’s been a great horse for the stable, one that is going to be hard to replace.”
Manawanui had a successful career as a three-year-old back in 2011, winning three consecutive spring starts including the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) as well as running second to Helmet in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
However the gelding’s career was affected by various injuries and an enforced lay-off following his first bleeding attack. As a result he went nearly three years without a win between the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) in October 2011 and the Bill Ritchie Handicap in September 2014.
Manawanui ended his career with over $1.4 million in earnings.