Leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody refuses to concede there is anything wrong with triple Group 1 winner Manighar except a lack of fitness and will start him in the Group 1 2013 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The seven-year-old import was one of last autumn’s shining lights when winning three times in the top grade but has beaten just one runner home in two starts so far this campaign.
Moody had originally planned to next run the grey gelding in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 27 but will instead send him to the races this weekend in an effort to build his fitness.
“I just think he looks way too pretty and after I watched him gallop on Saturday morning I thought that I might run him again to try and bring his fitness levels up,” Moody said.
Moody points to his last autumn preparation where he won the Australian Cup at his third start and the Ranvet Stakes at his fifth as evidence he can take some time to reach his best.
“Last year when he won the Ranvet Stakes he won it at his fourth run in and he won the Australian Cup third up,” he said.
“This year he’s only had the two runs so he’s a long way behind the eight ball.”
Given Manighar’s terrible autumn form thus far, he looks an unlikely chance in the George Ryder, which boasts a star-studded field.
Included in the $400,000 event is superstar colt Pierro who will chase a third consecutive win after winning the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes and Group 1 Canterbury Stakes to begin his autumn.
Also out to back up impressive early autumn form is Chris Waller’s gelding Shoot Out who won the Chipping Norton Stakes first-up after getting stuck in an awkward position.
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