Golden Rose champion Manawanui is destined for the Stan Fox Stakes in a fortnights time with trainer Ron Leemon electing to stay in Sydney for now at least.
Jockey Glyn Schofield had made his case for the horse to be sent down to Melbourne earlier to get accustomed to the Caulfield track but Leemon is sticking firm with his schedule.
“At this stage I favour the Stan Fox, I’ve got a number of reasons for that,” he said.
“I believe if we go down for the (Caulfield Guineas) Prelude it’s a set weight race with penalties and we’ll get maximum weight with penalties.
“I’d rather go to the option up here plus it’s supporting the local racing industry.”
Leemon says the horse shouldn’t take long to acclimatise to the other way of going either and that a fortnight in Melbourne should be more than sufficient.
“He’s a very adaptable horse and what I plant to do is probably leave the day after the race and he’ll have two weeks experience down at Caulfield,” he said.
Leemon says the reverse way of going won’t be completely new to the horse either.
“He has done a fair bit of work as a very young horse in the other direction,” he said.
Manawanui has pulled up in tremendous order following his Golden Rose victory where he held on from Smart Missile in a desperate final 100m.
“He’s done really well, little bit tired yesterday morning and he was bright as a button this morning,” he said.
Once he gets to Melbourne Leemon will base himself in the same stables as Tony Vasil as he seeks quick fire back to back Group 1’s.
It would be a handy change for the trainer who’s waited 23 years since he last fielded a Group 1 starter.
This obviously makes Manawanui a special horse and is making it even more difficult for potential buyers to put together an offer worth listening to.
“The way the boys were here on Saturday and Saturday night, jeeze it’s going to be hard,” Leemon said.
“Sometimes the offer comes where you can’t knock it back, at this stage he’s not for sale.”