Mornington’s Pat Carey will target his home town cup in April with Kareeming who kicks off a 2016 Morning Cup bid in the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
The five-year-old Nadeem gelding is one of just nine final acceptors for Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) that is due to jump as Flemington Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST) on the nine race summer program.
Drawn the rails with barrier one and Rhys McLeod to ride, Kareeming is first-up carrying 55.5kg in the Chester Manifold and looking to atone for a failed 10th when beating home just one other runner in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) last October.
Before that the galloper was runner-up to Digitalism in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) and to date he has run second once from three previous first-up runs.
Carey is hoping for a nice run from his stayer who has winning form up to 2500m and who has three minor placings with a second and two thirds from his seven Flemington starts to date.
Five of the nine horses in the Chester Manifold Stakes field are under double figures to win through Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the black-type feature on Saturday.
The John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo is the current $3.70 favourite in Chester Manifold Stakes betting to break a year long drought.
Kareeming meanwhile is the $71 roughie shot of the field, a price Carey hopes he can run better than on his way to the $350,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on April 2 despite the unsuitably short distance.
“He hasn’t shown lately that he’s got that sharpness in his sprint races but we’ve got to kick off his autumn campaign somewhere,” Carey told AAP.
“I’d rather be running him in an ordinary handicap than in a Listed race but the programming is not very kind to him.”
The Mornington Cup winner receives automatic entry into the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October, having another runner in which would be a dream come true for Carey.
Carey has saddled-up just one Caulfield Cup starter before when his upset 2012 Australian Derby winner Ethiopia ran 13th as a 40/1 shot behind Fawkner in 2013 beaten nearly 10 lengths.
The Mornington Cup prize would be more than enough for Carey however who has twice collected second in the race with Cedarberg (2011) nosed out by Guyno and Durnford (2013) narrow runner-up behind Tuscan Fire in his first attempt two years later.
“It’s generous prizemoney and on our home track,” Carey said.
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