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2011 Golden Rose winner Manawanui is fit and healthy and will return to the track in Saturday week’s Listed $100,000 2013 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
But where exactly the four-year-old’s major targets lie will depend on the movements of super mare Black Caviar.
Trainer Ron Leemon is keen to give the Oratorio gelding a chance to prove he can still cut it in the top grade if he can acquit himself in the Hall Mark.
The Group 1 2013 BTC Cup (Eagle Farm) and the Group 1 2013 Goodwood (Morphetville) both take place on May 11.
Wherever Black Caviar heads, Manwauni is likely to go to the other where he will be joined by a host of other Black Caviar dodgers.
Leemon said it has been a “long, slow, hard battle” to get his charge back to full health after a horror run with illness and injury.
Manawanui hasn’t raced since September when he bled during during his 14th-place finish in the Group 2 Shorts.
He hasn’t won since the Moonee Valley Case in October 2011 but scored runner-up finishes last autumn in both the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes and the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes.
Despite his bad luck, Manawanui has still proven a successful racehorse, winning six of 13 starts for more than $1.3 million in prizemoney.
The decision on Black Caviar’s future is likely to be known in the next couple of days when trainer Peter Moody sits down with connections.
Moody has made it known he would love to see the mare continue to race in Australia but the lure of Royal Ascot and a stud date with Frankel could be too strong.
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