A standout performer over each of his racing preparations since first debuting in 2011, trainer Ron Leemon has revealed he will use the results of a Rosehill trial on Tuesday dictate a berth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) for Manawanui.
Posting seven wins and a further four minor place finishes over his 20 start career so far, the lightly-raced six-year-old has not been seen at the races since running a credible fourth in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18th.
Having reportedly taken well to his time in the paddock and subsequent return to work, Leemon told AAP in-form hoop Tye Angland will take the ride on the Oratorio gelding on Tuesday morning and again on Saturday, should he accept a position in the 2015 Canterbury Stakes final field.
“If he trials well and we are happy with him he will run on Saturday,” Leemon said.
“Tye Angland rides him in the trial and again on Saturday if we decide to run.
“At this stage I am happy with him and although it’s a hard race, if he gets a soft run I think he will be in the finish.”
A Group 1 winner, Manawanui took out the 2011 edition of the Golden Rose Stakes (1400m); in a preparation which also included wins in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m), Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
Unable to make much of an impact over three starts through the 2013 Spring Carnival, Manawanui spent close to a year away from competition; returning only for a Warwick Farm barrier trial during the late stages of the 2014 autumn.
Steadily building to the task over three barrier trials leading into the 2014 Spring Carnival, Manawanui left as a long-odds chance in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) first-up on September 20th, but displayed an exceptional turn of foot to post his first racing win in close to three years.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Canterbury Stakes is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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