A change of heart by trainer Peter Moody will see his star import Manighar line up in the Group 1 $400,000 The Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes(1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Moody had originally pencilled in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 27 or the Group 2 $300,000 A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 4 as the grey’s next start.
But after monitoring Manighar’s work on Saturday morning, the leading trainer opted for a run this weekend to get the seven year old back to race fitness.
“I just think he looks way too pretty and after I watched him gallop on Saturday morning I thought that I might run him again to try and bring his fitness levels up,” Moody said.
“Initially I wasn’t going to run him again until either the Queen Elizabeth or the Hollindale Cup.”
“Last year when he won the Ranvet Stakes he won it at his fifth run in and he won the Australian Cup third up. This year he’s only had the two runs so he’s a long way behind the eight ball.”
Moody was tempted to run the weight for age star over 2000m in the Group 3 $125,000 Cellarbrations Neville Sellwood Stakes but decided that the George Ryder Stakes was the better options and this will give the top trainer three weeks to get him ready for the Queen Elizabeth.
The George Ryder has brought together a first class field of weight for age performers including super colt Pierro who will be striving to keep his unbeaten Sydney record intact.
Pierro has returned in the Autumn in outstanding form and after winning the 1400m Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on March 2 first up stepped up to weight for age company to produced a first class effort in defeating stablemate More Joyous in the Group 1 $350,000 Cellarbrations Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 23.
Moody will saddle up top staying mare Lights Of Heaven in the Neville Sellwood and the five year old indicated that a win wasn’t far off with a return to form when second to Spirit Song in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 22.
But the premiership winning trainer thinks Mid Summer Music and There’s Only One will have their work cut out taking on super mare More Joyous in the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m).
“We’re taking on More Joyous at weight for age but something has to run second or third,” Moody said.
“It’s a very valuable race that would look good on either mare’s resume.”