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Ron Leemon’s untapped three-year-old Manawanui unsurprisingly coasted to an imposing Stan Fox Stakes win at Rosehill on the weekend, the Group 2 race described as being more like a ‘barrier trial’ for the Golden Rose winner who heads to Melbourne today to prepare for the 2011 Caulfield Guineas.
Oratorio gelding Manawanui boosted their impressive career record to five successive wins from six starts when they easily accounted for their four rivals in the $250,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.
Having earlier defeated two of the season’s ace three-year-olds in Smart Missile and Helmet in the Group 1 Golden Rose, Manawanui ($1.12F) backed up in the Stan Fox Stakes to beat home the David Hayes-trained filly Roma Giaconda ($71) by nearly two lengths while Cocky Raider ($16) finished a further half-length back for third.
“It was more a barrier trial than a race,” Leemon said of the Stan Fox.
“I didn’t want him to have too hard a race and that was just perfect.”
Manawanui will next race in a highly-spruiked Golden Rose rematch, taking on Smart Missile and Helmet again in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
Peter Snowden’s two-time Group 1 winning Exceed And Excel colt Helmet firmed into 2011 Caulfield Guineas betting favouritism at Luxbet now at a quote of $3.40 after winning the Group 3 Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Anthony Cummings’ equally promising son of Fastnet Rock follows closely in the Guineas odds at $3.80 after they failed to finish better than 10th when stepping up to open-age company in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on the weekend.
Still, Smart Missile’s smart sectional times showed they had plenty of improvement in them and that back to their own age and up to a mile they will be given every chance to finally break through at the highest level.
Despite their commanding record to date, already being a Group 1 winner and having won on the weekend, Manawanui remains further down the Caulfield Guineas markets at Luxbet.
They trail not only Helmet and Smart Missile but Peter Moody’s boom three-year-old Moment Of Change ($6), due to run in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley this Friday night, at a price of $6.50 to become a dual Group 1 winner on Saturday week.
Speaking of Caulfield Guineas tactics Leemon said that although Manawanui has been a frontrunner and lead all the way in his major wins in Sydney, they would likely adopt a further back position when stepping up to the 1600 metres of the Guineas in Melbourne.
“It’s only been circumstances that he has led up here,” Leemon said.
“He’ll be racing from behind in Melbourne.
“He will be fourth or fifth, he won’t be leading.”
Glyn Schofield will continue his association with Manawanui in the Caulfield Guineas and is due to travel down to Victoria over the next two weeks to partner with the horse in their track work as Manawnaui gets accustomed to the Melbourne way of racing.
“He has beaten everything there is to beat in Sydney, and he has to go down there on their turf and obviously go the other way around, so he has a little bit to prove still in that regard, but everywhere else I do not think he has very much to prove,” Leemon said.
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2011 Stan Fox Stakes Finishing Order & Results
|1||1||MANAWANUI||Ron Leemon||Glyn Schofield||–||2||56.5kg||$1.12F|
|2||6||ROMA GIACONDA||David Hayes||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||4||54.5kg||$71|
|3||2||COCKY RAIDER||David Payne||Corey Brown||2.3L||1||56.5kg||$16|
|4||3||IRISH TIMES||Clarry Conners||Hugh Bowman||3.9L||5||56.5kg||$26|
|5||4||STATE OF WEALTH||Brian Smith||Christian Reith||4.2L||3||56.5kg||$12|
|–||5||CHOICE WORDS||David Vandyke||Blake Spriggs (a)||–||0||–||–|
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