Group 2 winner Sovereign Nation will be well short of his pet distance when he resumes in the Group 3 $150,000 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday but co-trainer Tom Dabernig expects him to run well.
Sovereign Nation showed his class during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival when he won the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Stutt Stakes over 1600m at Moonee Valley before going on to run fourth to Press Statement in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
The Encosta De Lago colt had one more run in the Spring before heading to the spelling paddock when he finished eighth to Jameka in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
But Dabernig, who trains in partnership with David Hayes at Lindsay Park, has a high opinion of Sovereign Nation and even though he thinks he will excel over distances around 1600m, he still expects him to race well fresh in the Manfred Stakes.
“He is a really talented colt,” Dabernig said.
“This is a tough race as you would expect. He is probably running short of his trip but I would expect him to sprint well fresh.”
“We are looking beyond Saturday and it is a nice race to kick him off in. I think he will run well, I’d just be surprised if he wins it.”
As are many runners in the Manfred Stakes, Sovereign Nation will be heading towards the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5 for which he is marked as a $34 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sovereign Nation, with Damian Lane in the saddle, is also listed as one of the outsiders of the field in Manfred Stakes at $21 with the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Golden Spin heading the market order at $3.90.
Golden Spin has been working his way up through the grades with wins at his last four starts, including a last start all the way three lengths win in a 1200m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Caulfield on January 6.
The Darren Weir trained Palentino is on the second line of betting at $4.80 ahead of Peter Moody’s Vostok at $6 and Mick Price’s colt Ready For Victory at $7.
Manfred Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.90 Golden Spin, $4.80 Palentino, $6 Vostok, $7 Ready For Victory, $9 Tulsa, $14 Puritan, $15 Bon Aurum, Top Me Up, Gold Symphony, $21 Sovereign Nation, $41 Tokyo Tycoon, $51 Patch Adams.