Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Not settling for just saddling up the pronounced favourite Manighar, premier Victorian horseman Peter Moody also plans to run his one-time Caulfield Cup fancy Lights Of Heaven in the Doomben Cup 2012 this Saturday.
Moody’s star import Manighar has had a stranglehold over the betting markets for the $500,000 Group 1 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) since futures odds were released, the Linamix six-year-old having won a trio of thoroughbred majors earlier in the year.
Winner of the Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and The BMW this season Manighar comes off a second to Gai Waterhouse’s pinup mare More Joyous in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, a good run according to Moody.
“Manighar’s run in the Queen Elizabeth was very good,” Moody said.
“He got trapped on the fence in a slowly run race.
“That won’t happen to him at Doomben.”
They are out to become the third horse in 14 years to back up from a Queen Elizabeth Stakes run and win the Doomben Cup.
Three before them have won the double with Might And Power (1998), Intergaze (1999) and Sarrera (2008).
My Kingdom Of Fife meanwhile won the Queen Elizabeth last autumn before running second to Scenic Shot in the Doomben Cup – Scenic Shot having also won the 2009 Doomben Cup.
Manighar faces a slick field on Saturday that will include the likes of dual defending champ Scenic Shot, Auckland Cup winning Kiwi filly Shez Sinsational, Anthony Cummings’ smart German import Mawingo, the Chris Waller-trained Foreteller, and their stablemate Lights Of Heaven.
Winner of the 2011 Schweppes Oaks as a three-year-old, Zabeel mare Lights Of Heaven showed nice improvement after a string of below par runs when she came within a nose of Shez Sinsational in the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 5.
While most trainers would be thrilled to have two livewire chances in a Doomben Cup, Moody regrets having to run Manighar and Lights Of Heaven up against each other.
“They’re both going so well it’s a pity they have to clash in this race,” Moody, who prepared 2007 Doomben Cup winner Cinque Cento, said.
“The mare (Lights Of Heaven) ran super in the Hollindale.”
Moody tipped Manighar as the horse to beat but was also pleased with Lights Of Heaven’s progress.
“He’s in great shape,” Moody said of Manighar.
“I looked at him closely at Eagle Farm on Thursday morning and I was surprised at how well he has come up after the trip up from Sydney.
“There is no doubt he is my preferred runner even though Lights Of Heaven is going into the race in good touch as well.
“Taking Manighar to Brisbane was an easy decision. He’s in a Group 1 race worth half a million dollars. Why wouldn’t you take him there the way he is going?
“Because horses thrive in the weather in Queensland, he can get by with a couple of weeks’ break and then begin working towards the Melbourne spring carnival.”
Moody is expected to announce Luke Nolen as the Doomben Cup jockey for Manighar.
Nolen rode Manighar for their opening five starts under Moody’s preparation including their trio of Group 1 wins before being replaced by Damien Oliver last start.
The official 2012 Doomben Cup field, barriers and jockeys are due out on Tuesday.
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