Manhattan Blues was one of 14 two-year-old male horses nominated for the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Sandown Racecourse on Monday but unlike the rest of the field will not be vying for his place in the main event one month later.
Trainer Tony McEvoy opted not to nominate Manhattan Blues for either the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 or the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 last year due to the gelding’s immaturity.
However the trainer has come to regret the decision, lamenting the fact that nominations close so early, since Manhattan Blues has matured into a promising sprinter over the past six months.
“They close so early those nominations and you just have to make a call,” McEvoy told Sky Racing.
“When the noms were coming up for the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper he was a big, raw bugger, so I didn’t enter him and probably wish I had have now as he’s really turned the corner.
“He’s really thrived in what he’s doing and he’s going really well.”
Nominations for both the 2015 Blue Diamond and 2015 Golden Slipper were taken in July last year, six months before Manhattan Blues would make his debut in the Schweppes 2YO Plate (1000m) at Morphettville.
He was an impressive winner of the January 10 race, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Karlovasi after being laid out in the straight.
With the two richest two-year-old races off the cards for Manhattan Blues, McEvoy has nominated the gelding for the 2015 Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) since he deserves his chance to run against a better range of juvenile horses.
“He’s done very well since his win and I’d like to bring him over and see where he sits in the food chain,” McEvoy said.
Betting markets for the Blue Diamond Preview will open shortly after the final field is released on Thursday.
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