Leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody is looking to set a modern day record with his rejuvenated stayer Manighar in the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Moody has turned the dour European stayer into the country’s top weight for age horse after back to back Group 1 wins in the $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 and the $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24.
No horse has been able to win the Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and the BMW treble in the one year and Moody can’t see a lot of weight for age depth in this year’s BMW.
“Without having a good look at the others, I think Manighar has the best weight-for-age form in the race,” Moody said.
“Americain is known as a handicapper, Niwot and Southern Speed are handicappers, Efficient’s a handicapper.”
“Let’s be honest, our bloke was a handicapper at the start of this preparation but he’s won three races from four starts including two Group 1 weight-for-age races.”
“Look, I’ve heard all the spruiks about Americain but I can’t control that. All I know is that I wouldn’t be swapping Manighar for Americain.”
“I’m pretty happy with my bloke, he’s been going along really well.”
Moody took over the training of Manighar from top European trainer Luca Cumani after last year’s Spring Carnival and transformed the six year old handicapper into a weight for age star.
BMW favourite Americain had the wood on Manighar in the spring beating him home in the Melbourne Cup when fourth and fifth respectively then proving too strong in beating him in the Group 2 $350,000 Zipping Classic at Sandown when they finished first and second.
The pair have only met once in the Autumn in the Australian Cup when Manighar was able to nose out Southern Speed with Americain making a long run to finish third, less than half a length away.
Moody feels that Manighar is a different horse this campaign and has a new found trait of being able to dig deep at the end of his races and find the line hard.
“I don’t think Manighar was attacking the line with quite the same zest last spring as he is now,” Moody said.
“Manighar has looked beaten in the Australian Cup and Ranvet Stakes but he has been wanting to win, he’s put his head out both times.”
Moody admits that the six year old has surprised him a bit and has said all through this campaign that the BMW over 2400m was his main target for the Autumn with his two Group 1 wins along the way a bonus.
Trainer David Hayes is pleased with the progress of Americain since his arrival in Sydney and said he expects the seven year old to improve on his Australian Cup third.
“It was his first run for me and it was a juggling act to have him fresh and fit so now we have the benefit of the run I know where I am with the horse now,” Hayes said.
“So I feel a lot more confident about what we are doing with the horse going into this race.”
Americain is the early favourite for the BMW at $2.15 with Manighar at $4 and Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed at $8.50.