European galloper Manndawi is set to join the Ballarat-based Darren Weir in Victoria after his penultimate run for English horseman Ed Dunlop in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes this Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Dunlop is best known down under for his three Melbourne Cup seconds with veteran stayer Red Cadeaux, the Newmarket-based trainer in with another strong chance in this year’s ‘race that stops a nation’ with his Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris.
After crossing second to Kiwi visitor Mongolian Khan in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Trip To Paris shot up the early Melbourne Cup odds and is now the $7.50 second pick behind Japan’s Fame Game at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Group 1 Melbourne majors this season.
Dunlop also has Dalakhani grey Manndawi in Australia this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the six-year-old debuting in Oz in Wednesday’s Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
There he ran third crossing five lengths off the runaway David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained winner Almoonqith, who received a 1kg penalty for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) and is now right on the cusp of a start in Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 3.
Almoonqith is a $17 hope in futures Melbourne Cup betting, his co-trainer Hayes having saddled up a total of 21 runners in the world’s richest handicap for just the one third.
Manndawi meanwhile will also head to Flemington for a staying race during the Cup Carnival, the $300,000 Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on Emirates Stakes Day, November 7, before his likely last start for Dunlop in the Sandown Classic the following weekend.
“The Queen Elizabeth Stakes on November 7 or the Sandown Classic on November 14 could be his final port of call for us,” Dunlop told Racing Victoria.
Dunlop is hoping the OTI Racing-owned improver gets a clearer run next time out after his luckless passage down the straight at Geelong hampered his chances.
“Manndawi [was] shuffled back behind a wall of horses turning for home before being rousted into the frame by jockey Kerrin McEvoy,” Dunlop said.
Weir is then set to take over the training of Manndawi who has plenty of racing left in him having had just nine career runs for a single win to date.
Manndawi is a half-brother to top import Manighar who first ran down under in the 2011 Caulfield Cup when fourth to Southern Speed.
A fifth in that year’s Melbourne Cup followed and then a Sandown Classic second behind the previous year’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
The former French-trained galloper transferred from Luca Cumani to Peter Moody and proved a genuine weight-for-age star the next year taking out the Australian Cup – Ranvet Stakes – The BMW hat-trick in the autumn, which would prove to be his final turf triumph.
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