Sydney jockey Glyn Shofield will be forced to make a tough decision next week when outstanding three year old Manawanui and topline sprinter Hay List are set to race in two different states on the same day.
Schofield is the regular rider for both top class gallopers and having to choose between them will results in a few sleepless nights.
Manawanui was ready to resume from a short break this Saturday in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill but a return to racing is now likely to be the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) for three year olds a week later.
And sprinting great Hay List is set to resume in the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on the same day.
Trainer Ron Leemon had Manawanui nominated in the Expressway but with the possibility of lining up alongside six other Group 1 winners, Danleigh, Eagle Falls, Rangirangdoo, Sacred Choice, Shoot Out and Sniper’s Bullet, he is now considering waiting the extra week and sticking to his own age.
“I will see how he trials and then make a call whether it is the Expressway or the Royal Sovereign,” Leemon said last night. “But there is a question mark now about whether we go for the Expressway. My first impression is to look at the Royal Sovereign in a more favourable light.
“This appears to be a very, very strong Expressway this year. With horses like Rain Affair in the field, they will run along at a genuine tempo, so it will be a test.
“My gut feeling now is to go to the Royal Sovereign.”
Manawanui, with Schofield aboard, took out the first trial of the session at Rosehill this morning and with Leemon leaning towards the Royal Sovereign, it looks like decision time for the in form jockey.
Leemon will have no trouble finding a replacement rider if Schofield decides to got to Melbourne.
“I’ve already had a few jockeys ringing for the ride on Manawanui. The decision we have got to make is whether we go for a saddle warmer or go for a new jockey,” Leemon said.
Manawanui hasn’t raced since finishing sixth behind Sangster in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Spring Carnival last year but he had outstanding form before that.
The three year old took out the Group 2 $200,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 after being runner up to the Peter Snowden trained Helmet in the Group 1 $1m The Age Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
His Sydney form was also first class and included a win in the Group 1 $1m Toohey’s New Golden Rose at Rosehill on September 10.