Jockey Brad Rawiller will use the Group 3 $150,000 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday as a guide to Palentino’s chances in the Australian Guineas.
The Darren Weir trained Palentino is on the second line of betting at $4.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Manfred Stakes and is also well in contention at $9 for the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5.
Rawiller is also the regular rider for stablemate Mahuta who shares the $9 mark for the Australian Guineas and the top Victorian rider will have to decide between the two colts when they clash in the Australian Guineas.
“Mahuta at this stage has got the score on the board. They’re both going to have a couple of runs beforehand and we’ll worry about it then,” Rawiller told AAP..
“But Mahuta, certainly at this stage is a horse that’s given me a great ride and I wouldn’t be wanting to be jumping off him without it being something pretty good.
“Hopefully Palentino is that. We’ll see how we go.”
Palentino has only been to the races on three occasions for two wins and a second and showed his potential with a last start win with Michelle Payne in the saddle in the Listed $150,000 Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on the final day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival last Spring.
While Rawiller has establish a winning combination with Mahuta, with the pair teaming up for a hat trick of wins stretching back to the Spring.
The pair came together to win the Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in the Spring followed by a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown on November 14.
Weir was then able to take Mahuta to Queensland and with Rawiller in the saddle again, scored a one length win in the $2m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
Rawiller feels that the 1200m of the Manfred Stakes could be a touch short for Palentino at this stage of his preparation and he will be better suited over the 1600m of the Australian Guineas.
“He’s definitely got the ability there and has shown all signs that that’s the right path to be heading on,” Rawiller said.
Manfred Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Golden Spin, $4.80 Palentino, $6 Vostok, $7 Ready For Victory, $11 Tulsa, $12 Prince Of Brooklyn, $14 Bon Aurum, Puritan, $15 Top Me Up, $17 Gold Symphony, $21 Sovereign Nation, $41 Tokyo Tycoon, $71 Patch Adams.