Tommy Berry has given barrier 11 the thumbs up for his prized mount Manawanui in the Randwick Guineas 2012 in Sydney this Saturday, the in-form hoop brimming with confidence heading into the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
The Ron Leemon-trained Manawanui, out to atone for his loss on protest in the Hobartville Stakes last start, came up with barrier 11 of 17 for their third-up assignment in the $500,000 Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m).
While on paper the gate may seem awkward Berry, who gets the ride on Manawanui in replacement of the suspended Glyn Schofield, believes it is ideal for the reigning Golden Rose winner.
“Drawing barrier 11 is perfect because instead of everyone worrying about us, I can just let it all unfold inside me,” Berry said.
“I think we will be best saving him for a dash, he is working a lot more like a miler not a sprinter.
“It is good to be back at Randwick where you have that big long straight because we can take our time.”
Berry, who rode his 10th winner for the week at Gosford on Wednesday, will be partnering with Manawanui for the second time having ridden him for their close first-up second to Hot Snitzel in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
“It is a massive confidence boost that the owners have stuck with me, I think they had about nine jockeys that wanted to ride so obviously I am happy to be in the saddle,” Berry said.
“I think he is one of the best horses in Australia so if he turns up with his best he’ll be the one to beat.”
It seems the bookies agree and our favourite, bookmaker.com.au, have installed Manawanui at the top of their Randwick Guineas odds at a quote of $3.10.
Second favourite in the Randwick Guineas betting markets is then Robert Smerdon’s Crown Oaks – Australian Guineas winning filly Mosheen at a quote of $3.50 through bookmaker.com.au.
Mosheen too has come up with double digits and will jump from barrier 14.
Her regular rider Danny Nikolic pulled out a masterful ride last-start as he guided Mosheen into the history books as the first Australian Guineas winner to do so from double digits (barrier 16 of 16).
Berry is aware of Mosheen’s talent, however he doesn’t know if she and Nikolic can get the job done from another horror gate again.
“I was happy to see Mosheen draw out in barrier 14, she is going to need another freakish ride to beat me, which Danny (Nikolic) is capable of producing,” Berry said
The biggest loser in the Randwick Guineas barrier draw for 2012 was Manawanui’s last-start conqueror upon protest, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wild And Proud who will have gate 17 of 17 to overcome.
Wild And Proud is rated a $12 chance in the bookmaker.com.au Randwick Guineas markets as is Waterhouse’s other rep, the undefeated Laser Hawk in barrier six with Nash Rawiller to ride.
Check out the full range of bookmaker.com.au’s exclusive Randwick Guineas betting odds and options now and get in on the action.