Doomben Cup favourite Manighar pleased trainer Peter Moody with a solid workout yesterday morning, rounding off his preparation for the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben.
Moody was on hand at Doomben to watch the multiple Group 1 winning Manighar go through his paces and he worked strongly to the line at the end of his 1600m gallop on the course proper.
The grey cantered around to the top of the straight where he worked off and after going three quarter pace from the 1600m worked home the final 600m in a tick over 37s.
“I’m very pleased with the horse, he’s done super in the short time that he’s been up here and I think he heads to the races every bit as well as he has his last four or five runs,” Moody said.
“His form’s been super, he’s probably been the weight-for-age form horse of Australia, so if he takes that here Saturday he’s going to be extremely hard to beat.”
Luke Nolen will be back on Manighar after having to forego the mount last start when second for Damien Oliver behind More Joyous in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28.
Oliver was the stand in rider that day when Nolen was in Adelaide to steer Black Caviar to her twentieth straight win in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville in front of a bumper 30,000 strong crowd.
The Queen Elizabeth second was the imported gelding’s only defeat from his last four starts in Group 1 company after winning three times in Melbourne and Sydney during the Autumn.
Moody was able to transform the German galloper from a dour stayer into the star weight for age performer with wins in the $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10, $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 and the $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 7.
Manighar has firmed slightly to be $2.60 favourite for the Doomben Cup after drawing the inside barrier in the thirteen horse field but Nolen will be mindful not to get boxed in on the fence and will be looking to get into the clear at some stage mid race.
Top New Zealand mare Shez Sinsational didn’t fair as well at the barrier draw, coming up with eleven but has maintained her spot at second pick at $5 with Moody’s other stable runner Lights Of Heaven firming to $5.50 after drawing midfield at six for Damien Oliver.
Lights Of Heaven returned to form with a nose second to Shez Sinsational in the Group 2 $300,000 Gold Coast Turf Club A D Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 5 after failing to reach any great heights in the Spring.
The Zabeel four year old was labelled the early favourite for the feature Cups last year after winning the Group 1 $350,000 Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville but her form tapered away over the Spring.
Lights Of Heaven also pleased Moody at Doomben yesterday morning and worked strongly to the line along side of stable mate Rock Hit at the end of 1600m and the top trainer is looking forward to a good performance against the inform Manighar.
“The mare ran super in the Hollindale. They’re both going so well it’s a pity they have to clash in this race,” Moody said.
Western Australian warhorse Scenic Shot will get a good run from barrier four with Shane Scriven and has been posted at $12 to win his third Doomben Cup.