Trainer Peter Moody has revealed that the Melbourne Cup (3200m) is the ultimate goal for triple Group 1 winner Manighar during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Manighar came to Australia under the care of European trainer Luca Cumani for the Melbourne Cup in both 2010 and 2011 (finishing seventh in 2010 and fifth in 2011) but since he joined Moody’s stable, at the end of 2011, has generally been kept to weight-for-age contests between 1600 and 2400 metres.
Moody is hoping to get the Linamix gelding to the Melbourne Cup and told Racing Ahead this morning that his first-up performance in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington tomorrow will determine the path he takes to the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“I’ve never got him beyond a mile and a half, but he ran fifth in a Melbourne Cup so that race is his ultimate target,” Moody said on RSN.
“This race will determine whether he went Caulfield Cup to the Melbourne Cup or Cox Plate to the Melbourne Cup.
“We will probably go from here to the Underwood but this race will steer us where we need to be.”
Manighar looked as though he was reaching the end of his racing career when he beat home just one horse in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival but he bounced back to his best form to run well in both the Doomben Cup (2000m) and Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) in Brisbane.
Moody has kept Manighar in work after his visit to Queensland for their winter carnival and believes the gelding is in good condition ahead of his first-up assignment this weekend.
“He has prepped up well, we kept him ticking over all winter and he hasn’t gone to the paddock as such,” Moody said.
“He had that extended break in the spring and we struggled to get him back fitness wise in the autumn after his little issue.
“This time around maintaining his fitness levels and not spelling him has made it easier for me to bring him up.
“I’m pretty confident that he is in a good spot but you want to see them take it to the races.”
Manighar finished an unlucky second behind Southern Speed in the 2012 edition of the Makybe Diva Stakes.