Mick Price is happy with the condition of Moonovermanhattan heading into the 2014 Caulfield Guineas, but the leading Melbourne trainer admits that Rich Enuff will prove tough to beat in the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Moonovermanhattan started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a disappointing performance in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 30, but produced an improved performance in the Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13 to keep himself in Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) contention.
The Manhattan Rain colt did not have a great deal of luck in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26, but was still able to work home fairly to finish second behind Almalad and convince Price that he was worthy of a start in the Caulfield Guineas.
“We are going into the race positive and he has had a really good prep,” Price told TVN yesterday.
“The race at Moonee Valley was messy for a lot of horses like Zebulon and Boss’ horse (Chivalry) and we got into a little bit of a mess.
“Craig (Newitt) was of the opinion that he should have run a lot closer and that is his form and that is how good he goes.
“He worked good here this morning and I think that he goes into his race at his top and I am really happy with him.”
Moonovermanhattan is yet to face Rich Enuff during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but Price got a firsthand look at the Written Tycoon colt when he defeated the Price-trained trio of Nordic Empire, Berlutti and Cornrow in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 13 before he scored an equally impressive win in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 28.
Price joked about the hysteria that has surrounded Rich Enuff heading into the Caulfield Guineas, but he concedes that the Ken Keys-trained colt looks like the clear standout in the field for the Group 1 event.
“In the Rich Enuff Guineas, it is a bit like that isn’t it.
“I wouldn’t say that it is an even bunch of horses with Rich Enuff in the race and he just seems to be the clear standout.”
Moonovermanhattan is currently available at Caulfield Guineas odds of $31 with Ladbrokes Australia, whole Rich Enuff ($2.40) is a clear favourite from Looks Like The Cat ($5.50), Shooting To Win ($7) and Almalad ($7.50).