Ever improving stayer Coliseo will continue his transition from a provincial runner to a metropolitan mainstay when he runs in the 2012 NE Manion Cup (2400m) at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
The Norm Gardner trained five-year-old started his career on the country tracks of Wagga and Goulburn before stepping up to race at provincial meetings at Canberra and Kembla Grange.
He ran third in the Listed Canberra Cup on March 11 before finishing a respectable fifth in his Sydney debut in the Randwick City Stakes.
Damien Oliver will be in the saddle on Saturday when he runs from barrier three with last-start jockey Craig Williams on duty in Dubai.
Trainer Gardner said he was confident the horse would again step up in his second race in the harbour city.
“I’m not sure if this race is any stronger than the other day. The horse is going well and I’m happy with him,” he said.
Saturday’s distance of 2400 metres is 400 metres longer than the Randwick City Stakes but it shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle for the gelding who finished second at the distance in the Sharp Handicap at Kembla Grange earlier this year.
To win the NE Manion Cup on Saturday, Coliseo will have to overcome a quality field of international stayers that includes Australian Cup runner Precedence and Randwick City Stakes runner-up place-getters Herculian Prince and Permit.
British horse Permit has shown impressive form in 2012 by performing well in lesser quality races before producing a third-place effort in the Listed Randwick City Stakes.
Bart Cummings trained New Zealand horse Precedence will start as favourite after showing improvement with a fourth-place finish in the Australian Cup.
He is chasing his first victory since he won the Group 2 MV Gold Cup over 2500 metres in October 2010.
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