Sydney Cup Bound Junoob Heads 2014 NE Manion Cup Nominations


2014 Sydney Cup hope Junoob heads the NE Manion Cup nominations for the weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

A top fancy for the 2014 Sydney Cup next month, Chris Waller’s smart stayer Junoob heads the nominations for this Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m).

One of the key support races at Rosehill Racecourse on the weekend, the 2014 NE Manion Cup nominations feature 13 entries including a Chris Waller-trained quartet.

Leading Waller’s charge in this $1 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) lead-up is his six-year-old Haafhd gelding Junoob.

Junoob is a $9 fancy in the futures Sydney Cup odds at for the April 19 classic, markets led by Roger James’ Ranvet Stakes winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever at $6.

A consistent British import, Junoob has been racing down under for less than 12 months and was last seen blowing away their rivals to win the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) by five lengths on March 15.

Also coming via a good run in the Randwick City Stakes are runner-up Opinion, a stable mate to the winner, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained The Offer who follow Junoob in the Sydney Cup odds paying $10 and $11 respectively.

Oasis Dream gelding Opinion is another Waller-trained import who has had just the five runs in Australia.

They are just now acclimatising and hitting their stride, their Randwick Stakes effort coming one run after a three length Parramatta Cup success where they relished a wet Rosehill track.

The Offer meanwhile has had two runs this time in, the Montjeu five-year-old looking to win third-up like they did to take out the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) in the mud last November.

Waller’s two other NE Manion Cup nominees are then Lunayir out to improve on their dead last in the Sky High Stakes where they missed the start by two lengths and rising eight-year-old Permit who pulled up lame after their Parramatta Cup failure after back-to-back stakes wins at Randwick during the holiday season.

Waterhouse also has multiple entries with hit-and-miss mare Vaquera her other hopeful, as does Robert Hickmott with a trio of chances.

Owner Lloyd Williams’ head horseman, Hickmott has entered Bendigo Cup runner-up Massiyn, reigning Sydney Cup winner Mourayan coming off an Australian Cup fourth and Group 2 winner Tanby.

Also in the mix are the likes of the Nigel Blackiston-trained Desert Jeuney and Queensland Oaks winner Gondokoro who is a dual nominee also entered for the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) against her fellow mares.

The full NE Manion Cup 2014 nominations are listed below with final acceptances closing on Wednesday morning.

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2014 NE Manion Cup Nominations

Rosehill Gardens – 29/03/2014

# Horse Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 DESERT JEUNEY Nigel Blackiston 92
2 GONDOKORO (NZ) Pat Carey 101
3 JUNOOB (GB) Chris Waller 101
4 LUNAYIR (FR) Chris Waller 89
5 MASSIYN (IRE) Robert Hickmott 101
6 MOURAYAN (IRE) Robert Hickmott 111
7 OPINION (IRE) Chris Waller 99
8 PERMIT (GB) Chris Waller 104
9 RAWNAQ David Hayes 77
10 TANBY Robert Hickmott 103
11 THE OFFER (IRE) Gai Waterhouse 95
12 TREMEC (NZ) John P Thompson 96
13 VAQUERA (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 89


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