After asking for a good barrier local trainer Danny O’Brien was rewarded with his 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes hopeful Decircles drawing well for Saturday’s black-type feature at Flemington Racecourse.
The Encosta De Lago six-year-old is one of 13 hopefuls making up the field for this year’s $120,000 Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m), Decircles to jump from barrier three with Stephen Baster in the saddle.
Last time out the gelding broke a lengthy drought to win the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m), with Baster aboard, by three-quarters of a length over Lord Of The Sky.
He did early work in that New Year’s Day event from a wide barrier 10 of 11 draw to sit on the leader, travel sweetly into second and then chase down the frontrunner to grab him and win drawing away over the final 50 metres.
Before that Decircles hadn’t won a race since the $80,000 Leonard Handicap (1410m) at the track in January of 2014 and it was a relief to O’Brien for him to be back in the winners’ stall.
Now the horse runs in the race his trainer has had picked out for him all summer, the Chester Manifold Stakes, with Ladbrokes.com.au paying $10 for the galloper to win.
“He was always heading towards this race it was sort of part of the summer program we had mapped out for him,” O’Brien told RSN’s Racing Ahead on Wednesday morning pre-barrier draw.
“Obviously we got away with the Standish on the way to it.”
O’Brien is happy with the way the horse came through the Group 3 and is looking forward to more stakes success on the weekend in a race he places Decircles very well in.
“It was just an even gallop the Standish…he didn’t have a gut buster,” he said.
“He certainnly looks to be in good form heading into Saturday.”
Decircles will jump from barrier three and from there should have far less work to do than in the Standish, boosting O’Brien’s confident of going back-to-back.
“As long as he draws in the right part of the track,” he said.
“He needs the run behind the speed without having to do too much work early when it comes to a 1400 metres race.
“If he can get that right run he should be very competitive again.”
The Chester Manifold Stakes odds are a very even affair with five single figure chances led by the Gerald Ryan-trained gelding Red Excitement ($4.60) out wide in barrier 12 shooting for his fifth win on the trot.
The other single figure chances are then the rails-drawn Christmas Stakes winner Tried And Tired ($5), 60kg top weight Reparations ($6) coming off a Standish Handicap third, runner-up in the race Lord Of The Sky ($7) with 59kg on Saturday and possible 2015 CF Orr Stakes hopeful from Adelaide Boristar ($7.50).
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