Trainer Ron Leemon isn’t going to let Sydney’s wet weather interfere with Doncaster plans for his stable star and will start Manawanui on a heavy Rosehill track tomorrow.
Rosehill was rated a heavy 9 this afternoon but with plenty of rain on the radar stewards will inspect the track again in the morning to give a final rating.
Manawanui has maintained favouritism for the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) all week and is currently $2.10, ahead of Hot Snitzel at $5.
The Golden Rose winner is tipped to turn around his second to Hot Snitzel in the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18 with the step up in distance more to his liking.
Leemon doesn’t want to interrupt Manawanui’s preparation heading to the Group 1 $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 21 and will send him around on any surface.
“It’s part of his program, he’s got to have the run to go to the next stage,” Leemon said.
“I’m not worried about it because he has already won on the heavy nine first-up last spring.”
“It rained heavily this morning then we had a break for a couple of hours and it’s been light steady rain from about round midday I suppose.”
“If the races were held here tomorrow (Warwick Farm) I think they’d definitely be in real doubt.”
Manawanui ran to the line hard after getting held up in the straight when second to Hot Snitzel first up and Leeman is adamant that his three year old should have won.
“I thought we should’ve won the race but unfortunately by the time we got going again the race was over and we just couldn’t catch him,” Leemon said.
“Going on that there I’m quietly confident we can win but I’m also realistic, things go wrong in races.
“We should’ve won the other day but unfortunately things did go wrong and we did get interfered with and it cost us the race.”
After the Hobartville Leemon will step Manawanui up to 1600m in the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas at Randwick on March 17 then onto the Group 1 $400,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7 followed by the Doncaster two weeks later.
Trainer Paul Messara doesn’t expect Rekindled Alliance to trouble Manawanui tomorrow on the wet track but says when they step up in distance his three year old will be competitive.
Messara said that the Redoubt’s Choice colt is not very comfortable on rain affected ground and is hoping for a dry track when the Randwick Guineas comes around.
“There is a hell of a lot of rain forecast and the wet tracks certainly aren’t the way for Rekindled Alliance,” Messara said.
“It just takes away from his turn of foot. He is a big strong horse and he just tends to stumble a little bit in the ground if it’s rain affected.”
Rekindled Alliance is the winner of only one race, a Canterbury Maiden back in August last year, but made up many lengths in the straight when fourth to Hot Snitzel in the Royal Sovereign and Messara expects him to be cherry ripe in a fortnight.
“I would be very happy if we finished in the first three or four in the Hobartville against that field.”