Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Caulfield horseman Mick Price will use a run at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Moir Stakes Night this Friday as a lead-up for his Toorak Handicap 2015 bound galloper Moonovermanhattan.
Looking to earn a place in the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) field run over the mile at Caulfield Racecourse on Caulfield Guineas Day Saturday week, October 10, the four-year-old grey is nominated for a Benchmark 90 Handicap at the start of a bumper long weekend of racing.
The fourth race on the night program at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit, the Handicap is run over 1500m and has attracted a bumper 22 nominations.
Moonovermanhattan is the highest rated of the early entries and is allocated the hefty 61kg top weight.
Other notable nominees include the ultra-consistent Cellarmaster (60kg), Brisbane raider Harada Bay (58kg), the Darren Weir-trained Burning Front (57kg) who has run top three in his past 11 starts and Robert Smerdon’s in-form Testa Rossa gelding Real Time (56.5kg).
Manhattan Rain stallion Moonovermanhattan has won just two of his 12 starts to date, but has a good Moonee Valley track record (3-1-1-0) he’ll be out to add to on the weekend.
A Group 3 winner in Adelaide on debut back in May last year, the galloper’s last victory and most notable run to date was his one and three quarter length victory over Atmosphere in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day last October.
This time in he has had two runs, the most recent being a narrow third when defeated only a neck by Good Value over 1400m at Caulfield on September 19 carrying 55kg.
Price has prepared two Toorak Handicap winners over the years with Red Dazzler (2006) and Alamosa (2008) and hopes to get Moonovermanhattan into the mix to give him a shot at a third this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The horse galloped on the course proper at Caulfield this week alongside stablemate Pressing who is accepted for a Sydney run on Saturday in the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
“He’s going really well and I’m very happy with him,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“I think he’ll be hard to beat at Moonee Valley and hopefully he wins and gains a few ratings points and gets a start in the Toorak.”
Four-year-old Sebring stallion Pressing meanwhile will also be accepted for ‘Plan B’ options in Caulfield (Saturday) and Flemington (Sunday) as well as the Epsom over the Randwick mile, Price hoping for rain in Sydney to confirm the youngster’s run in the Group 1.
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