2015 Sires’ Produce Stakes: Right Race, Right Track for Manhattan Blues

The Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) is one of nine black-type races running at Flemington this Saturday in an action-packed race card.

Mark Zahra will ride Manhattan Blues in the Group 2 Sires' Produce Stakes on Saturday.

Mark Zahra will ride Manhattan Blues in the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes on Saturday. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

12 two-year-olds are set to tackle the $200,000 supporting race, including the Tony McEvoy-trained Manhattan Blues.

The gelding won his maiden on January 10 but has failed to return to the winner’s circle in any of his three subsequent starts. However his trainer believes the 2015 Sires’ Produce Stakes is the ideal race for the big, strong Manhattan Blues.

“I can’t fault this horse, he’s in really good order,” an upbeat McEvoy told Racing Network on Thursday.

“You would think the 1400-metres at Flemington would be ideal for him.

“It looks the right race over the right distance and at the right track.

“He just might be a little under-rated this horse.”

After winning his maiden at Morphettville on January 10, Manhattan Blues ran sixth in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) 16 days later before finishing runner-up in the Inglis 2YO Premier (1000m) on February 7, really hitting the line powerfully over the concluding stages.

The gelding then earned his place in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28, finishing three lengths off winner Pride Of Dubai in fourth place. He was midfield and wide with cover before improving rounding the home turn and making good ground to finish just outside the placings.

Manhattan Blues will jump from barrier nine in the 2015 Sires’ Produce Stakes with Mark Zahra serving as jockey.

The gelding is the current $3 favourite in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, ahead of John O’Shea’s Sampeah ($4.20), Ciaron Maher’s Jameka ($4.80), and last-start winner Queen Of Wands ($7) who will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one.

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