Jockey Damien Oliver is looking for a belated win on weight for age king Manighar when he reunites with the six year old in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Oliver replaces Peter Moody’s stable rider Luke Nolen who will be at Morphettville to partner unbeaten champion Black Caviar who is chasing her twentieth straight win in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Classic (1200m).
Nolen has been aboard the rejuvenated Manighar in all five starts this campaign including his last three wins at Group 1 level under weight for age conditions.
Moody has done an outstanding job in transforming the dour stayer into the country’s top weight for age performer which saw him take out 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.
Oliver has ridden Manighar in two Melbourne Cups and two Caulfield Cups as well as a third to Zipping in the 2010 Group 2 $350,000 Sandown Classic and is looking forward to being reunited with the grey in the Queen Elizabeth which is shaping up to be a star studded line up.
“OTI Racing are the owners and they have been big supporters of mine so it would be nice after having ridden him in all those Cups to win a good one on him,” Oliver said.
“He’s been in great form and Peter has done a great job with him.”
“I expect him to run pretty well. Americain is obviously going to be hard to beat. I think the conditions of the track will be important.”
“Manighar is probably a horse that’s better on top of the ground and Americain is a horse that’s better on softer ground.”
Apart from the anticipated return clash with Americain, Gai Waterhouse is seriously thinking of backing up Doncaster Mile winner More Joyous as well as Rangirangdoo, Secret Admirier and Sincero also likely to roll up again on Saturday.
And trainer Jim Conlan will start Rekindled Interest after scratching him from the Doncaster Mile because of the wet track and top Kiwi Jimmy Choux could be making his only Sydney Autumn appearance.
Oliver has a great record in the Queen Elizabeth, having won the weight for age race on four occasions, his latest two years ago on Road To Rock for trainer Anthony Cummings. His other winner s were Sarrera, Desert War and 2002 winner Defier.
The top Melbourne jockey also has a great chance to win his second Sydney Cup with the Mike Moroney trained Drunken Sailor after a win in 2008 on No Wine No Song for Kevin Moses.
Drunken Sailor has good form going into the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) and was beaten less than two lengths when third to Manighar and Americain in the BMW last start after a narrow second to Rialya in the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Casino Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 12 with 59.5 kgs.