At the conclusion of the Up and Coming Stakes it was clear to everyone that the winning horse well and truly depicted the name of the race.
Manawanui was for many the horse of the weekend and that extended to his rider Glyn Schofield as well.
The horse was spelled during the winter carnival to be focussed purely on the spring and it looks like being a good call on the back of his dominant first up win.
The problem they have though is finding an ultimate goal for him.
Manawanui isn’t nominated for the Group 1 Golden Rose and the bigger events he is nominated for are over a longer trip.
There’s no doubt given his current form the Golden Rose is the perfect race but to get in now would mean coughing up a $50,000 late entry fee.
It’ s a big risk on behalf of the connections but not surprisingly it’s one Schofield is pushing them to make.
“I think you’ve got to seriously think about the option of putting a nomination in,” Schofield said.
“It’s still up for discussion but you’d have to be impressed with the way he won on Saturday.”
Manawanui sat just off the pace in the early stages of the Up and Coming Stakes before shooting around the outside of Queenian and storming to the line.
“I fired him out of the gates because in his first prep he was a little bit tardy to begin,” Schofield said.
“Once I asked him to come back underneath me he got in behind and relaxed beautifully.”
While it was a drenched track at Warwick Farm on Saturday Schofield is confident there will be no issues were they to encounter something drier later in the spring.
“I think the dry track will pose no problems at all for him, I was more concerned with the heavy track then I’d be with a dry one,” he said.
Schofield is also wary about the horse being pushed out to too great a distance in search of good prize money.
He says while the horse is running so well around the 1200m that’s where he should be left so as not to risk losing some of his natural spark.
“You don’t fix what’s not broken, you stretch horses out over a distance and all of a sudden you take away that speed and brilliance from them,” he said.
He also isn’t entirely confident he’s the type of horse who could run out a mile either.
“Whilst he won well, from the saddle he felt like he was labouring from the 100m or so,” he said.
Schofield says he has all the makings of a top quality horse and that he’d be well suited in tougher grade.
“He’s well balanced, he’s relaxed, he’s got a low head carriage, he doesn’t fire up and he can quicken,” he said.
If the Golden Rose isn’t on the cards for Manawanui something like the Caulfield Guineas has been signalled as a popular option.
He’s another top horse on a growing list for Schofield who is excited about his spring prospects.
He rates the rathe run assuming three year old Fast And Sexy as one of his best prospects.
“She’s one that wasn’t far behind Pane In The Glass and Helmet, I’ve always had the impression that she’d come back much better as a three year old,” he said.
In addition he also rated the first up run of Hawk Island as superb and said he’s come back without issue after falling in the Sydney Cup during the autumn.