The Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) is the feature race running at Flemington this Saturday, which attracted a capacity field of 16 runners plus one emergency when the field was released earlier this week.
The lone emergency Manapine has been given the call to step up to the plate after Testashadow was scratched this morning (Thursday).
Gary Portelli’s three-year-old gelding unfortunately drew the second-widest barrier (16) with Dean Yendall to ride but the trainer wasn’t confident the gelding could figure in the race from such a wide start.
He opted to scratch Testashadow from the race early, keeping him fresh for the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) next Saturday instead.
“He’s just not good enough to win the race from that gate (16 of 16),” Portelli told TVN.
“You’ve only got one option and that is to go back, and he can’t win the race coming from last.
“So, we’ll bring him home and save him for the Phar Lap Stakes next week over 1500.”
Testashadow has placed in seven of his 11 career starts and has finished in the first two in three of his five starts this campaign. The gelding won a Benchmark 72 over 1400m back in December before finishing runner-up in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
The gelding was last seen finishing midfield in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on February 21. He landed in the one by one spot and was just a length back 500m out but failed to hold the back of the speed, finishing four lengths off winner Wandjina.
Nigel Blackiston’s Manapine has earned his place in the 2015 Australian Guineas field, set to jump from barrier nine with James Winks to ride.
The lightly-raced gelding has just three career starts to his name. Manapine finished second on debut back in August but didn’t get another chance to score his maiden until five months later when he won the Evergreen Turf Maiden Plate (1400m) by over three lengths on February 12. He was last seen finishing twelfth (of 16) in a Benchmark 64 at Sandown on February 25, and now he’s running in a Group One race.
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