Autumn star Manighar heads a strong group of nominations for the Group 1 2012 Caulfield Stakes which will take place as part of an action-packed card at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Peter Moody-trained gelding will be out to bounce back from a last-start sixth in the Underwood Stakes and return to the sort of form that made him a three-time Group 1 winner in the autumn.
Moody is aiming the six-year-old at the Cox Plate but another disappointing performance is likely to see that target change to the Caulfield Cup.
Manighar was one of the best performed gallopers of the autumn, with wins in the Group 1 Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.
But it will be no easy task to return to the winner’s circle on Saturday, with a number of strong nominations including Underwood Stakes winner Ocean Park.
Also being aimed at the Cox Plate, Ocean Park is chasing a third consecutive win on Saturday after winning the Group 1 Makfi Stakes in New Zealand first-up.
Glen Boss has been glowing in his praise for the New Zealand four-year-old since the Underwood win and will again assume the mount this weekend.
Looking to get his spring back on track is Mawingo who is joined by Fruehling as one of two Anthony Freedman-trained entries.
Mawingo won the Group 1 Doomben Cup in the winter but has so far failed to fire this spring, with back field finishes in both the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Underwood Stakes.
Emerging German import Fruehling is set to have his third start of the spring after a first-up win at Mornington was followed by a solid fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup.
Other key nominations include Lloyd Williams-owned pair Excluded and Midas Touch as well as Bart Cummings’ import Sanagas.
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Caulfield Stakes 2012 – Nominations
|3||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||97|
|4||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||116|
|5||MAWINGO (GER)||Anthony Freedman||108|
|6||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||107|
|7||OCEAN PARK (NZ)||Gary Hennessy||110|
|9||SANAGAS (GER)||Bart Cummings||108|
|11||SPIRIT SONG||Aaron Purcell||102|
|12||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||82|