Racing: Manawanui to campaign in Sydney

Manawanui. Photo / Getty Images
Manawanui. Photo / Getty Images

Spring discovery Manawanui will ply his trade exclusively in Sydney during an autumn campaign aimed at delivering a historic Randwick group one double.

Ruling out a return to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas and another attempt at racing Manawanui over the Derby 2400m distance, trainer Ron Leemon confirmed the Golden Rose winner is being trained for a conservative autumn programme.

"For him to race in the Australian Guineas he would have to be back racing by the end of January and he just won't be ready," said Leemon.

Instead, the Randwick Guineas and the Doncaster Mile are Manawanui's two prime autumn targets.

"In comparison to the spring, he'll have a relatively light preparation because the whole aim next year will be the Cox Plate," Leemon said.

"I want to give him a good break between carnivals and that means he can go out in the middle of April and come back on the first of June."

Since the Randwick Guineas' inception in 2006, only two winners have been given their chance in the Doncaster Mile.

Mentality came up agonisingly short when runner-up to fellow 3-year-old Haradasun in 2007, while Ilovethiscity finished fifth to Sacred Choice in this year's edition.

Manawanui has been on trot and canter duties since returning to Leemon's Warwick Farm stables a fortnight ago.

Leemon said the horse had thrived in his five weeks in the paddock but had done even better in his stable environment.

Manawanui enjoyed a meteoric rise in the spring, with his Golden Rose victory and his narrow defeat by Helmet in the Caulfield Guineas.

He won a Cox Plate Day support race to confirm Victoria Derby favouritism before finishing sixth in the spring blue riband. "I'll nominate him for the AJC Australian Derby but I don't think we'll go down that path," Leemon said.


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