Manawanui Horse With ‘The Edge’ in 2012 Royal Sovereign Stakes

Ron Leemon’s resuming Golden Rose winner Manawanui will have ‘the edge’ over his rivals in the Royal Sovereign Stakes 2012 at Warwick Farm this Saturday according to rival trainer Bede Murray.


Manawanui is likely to open favourite for the 2012 Royal Sovereign Stakes at Warwick Farm this Saturday

Kembla Grange-based Murray will be represented in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) this weekend by his Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes winner Darci Be Good.

He knows, however, that Manawanui will be hard to beat first-up especially as the Royal Sovereign distance is a little short of Darci Be Good’s best.

A winner of three of their seven career starts to date, the shortest of which was over 1400m, Darci Brahma colt Daci Be Good is kicking off an autumn campaign targeted towards the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 14.

“I would have preferred a 1400 metre race first-up but he has got to start somewhere,” Murray said.

“I think Manawanui will have the edge over the others.”

Last seen finishing sixth to Sangster in the Victoria Derby over 2500m at Flemington on October 29, Oratorio three-year-old Manawanui has a good first-up record and bypassed a clash with exciting sprinter Rain Affair in last weekend’s Expressway Stakes in favour of the Royal Sovereign.

It is still shaping up as a testing event with other notable Royal Sovereign Stakes nominees including Spring Champion Stakes runner-up Doctor Doom and Peter Moody’s undefeated Moment Of Change.

Ace hoop Glyn Schofield has ridden Manawanui to all but one of their nine starts so far, but opted to turn down the ride on them this Saturday committing himself to ride the returning Hay List in the $750,000 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.

There is a chance, however, that Schofield could have ridden Manawanui with Hay List’s connections considering missing the Lightning Stakes if Black Caviar is accepted to defend her title.

Hay List would then be saved for the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) the following Saturday at Caulfield’s Blue Diamond Stakes Day.

As it stands now Tommy Berry has been booked for the prized mount on Manawanui in the Royal Sovereign.

Berry has ridden the top gelding once before when they won their third career start at Canterbury over 1250m back in May last year.

“Manawanui, who I rode once last season for a win at Canterbury – and look what he has gone on and done since,” Berry said.

The 2012 Royal Sovereign Stakes field and barriers are due for release on Wednesday, with odds to open shortly after at Luxbet.

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