Leading Melbourne trainer Mick Price has four horses in the 2014 McNeil Stakes field, but is not particularly bullish about the chances of Cornrow and Moonovermanhattan.
Price revealed yesterday that he believes Jabali is his best winning chance in the McNeil Stakes, but he is still looking to see improve out of both Cornrow and Moonover Manhattan in the Group 3 event at Caulfield this afternoon.
Cornrow was competitive without winning at the highest level of racing as a two-year-old, but he was slightly disappointing when ninth first-up in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 16.
Price told Racing Ahead yesterday that Cornrow did plenty wrong in the Vain Stakes and is hoping that the son of Duporth can produce an improved performance ridden closer to the speed in the early stages of the McNeil Stakes this weekend.
“It was the run of a real colt,” Price said.
“He bounced out on one reign and there is nothing wrong with the horse, he is sound and a big gross colt now, so he is going to take some racing to get fit.
“He will improve, he has Brad (Rawiller) on him and we are going to give him a rub out of the gates and take a more forward position because he wasn’t supposed to be at the back the other day, but that is just what happened with him.
“I am a little bit concerned about his overall fitness at the end of 1200 trying to get him hard fit for raceday, but he will definitely improve.”
Moonovermanhattan made his racing debut with a narrow victory in the Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10 before he was sent to the spelling paddock to begin preparations for his spring campaign.
Price has a big opinion of the Manhattan Rain colt, but he believes that the three-year-old will be even better when gets over a longer trip and rates him a leading contender for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“He is a lovely colt and we are hoping that he can run in the Caulfield Guineas over a mile where he will be better,” Price said.
“If I match him up with those horses that run pretty swift sectionals than he gets off the bridle, so I’m not thinking that he will win, although he will do no work from that inside gate and he will run well.
“He will then go 1400 then 1600 into the Bill Stutt and probably the Caulfield Guineas.
“Look for him over a bit further I think.”
Cornrow has been well backed in 2014 McNeil Stakes betting markets and is into a quote of $13, while Moonovermanhattan is available at 2014 McNeil Stakes odds of $21.