A punter’s dream guide to the upcoming Randwick Guineas is set to play out at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday with many of the leading contenders for the Sydney Autumn Carnival elite level to face off in the Hobartville Stakes 2012.
On Monday Races.com.au published the full list of 17 nominations taken for the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), the top-rated three-year-old of which is Ron Leemon’s exciting Oratorio gelding Manawanui.
After finishing a devastatingly close first-up second behind fellow 2012 Hobartville Stakes hopeful Hot Snitzel in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18, this Saturday Manawanui returns to the track that saw the horse catapult himself into the big time.
After a promising start to their career Manawanui become a Group 1 winner at start number five taking out the Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last September.
They went on to also win the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at ‘The Gardens’ next start and will look to make it three-from-three at Rosehill in the Hobartville this weekend, Leemon confident Manawanui will be more forward second-up.
“He’s pulled up very well from the (Royal Sovereign Stakes) run and he’s done very well since,” Leemon said.
“He’s lost three to four kilos which I expected him to.”
Manawanui is heading towards a start in the $500,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 17 as are many of the other Hobartville Stakes entries including the Peter Moody-trained Moment Of Change who suffered their first defeat when third in the Royal Sovereign.
The Hobartville Stakes has served as an excellent indicator for the Randwick Guineas with the Grahame Begg-trained Ilovethiscity completing the double last year.
The Hobartville Stakes trifecta 12 months ago also produced last year’s Randwick Guineas runner-up Skilled, third in the Hobartville before his Group 1 placing next start.
After Manawanui’s regular rider Glyn Schofield missed the mount on the youngster last start in favour of riding the resuming Hay List for his second behind Black Caviar in Melbourne’s Lightning Stakes, he will reunite with the $1.3 million earner this Saturday.
Also among the Hobartville Stakes hopes this year are four from the stables of Peter Snowden including his resuming pair of Victoria Derby runner-up Induna and Group 3 winning colt Galah.
Another notable entry comes from WA with the Trevor Andrews-trained King Saul, the Flying Pegasus three-year-old out to improve on their disappointing 10th in the Royal Sovereign.
That was their first look at a track outside of Perth, King Saul having previously won the Group 2 WA guineas (1600m) and run third to Playing God in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back home at Ascot.
“It’s hard to judge him on that (run),” Andrews said.
“I didn’t have him cranked up and it was a pretty sharp race.
“Sure, you like to see them running home but it wasn’t that sort of race because they ran quick time and kept going.”
Andrews is hoping for a better performance from his galloper on Saturday with an eye on the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31, but knows the likes of Manawanui and Hot Snitzel probably have the quinella in the bag.
“His main goal is the Rosehill Guineas over 2000-metres so I wasn’t overly disappointed (first-up),” Andrews said.
“You would imagine the Hobartville would be pretty much the same race again but the 1400-metres will help him find his feet a lot more,” he said.
“Hopefully that will allow him to finish off a bit better and I doubt we’ll have any issues from here on in.
“He’s out of a Zabeel mare (Zendra) so the further he goes the better he will be.
“The Kingston Town was over 1800-metres so that gives you an idea that he will get better in Sydney as the distances get longer.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the final Hobartville Stakes 2012 field and barriers out on Wednesday.
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