Aussie Debut in San Domenico for Manolo Blahniq

Tony Noonan’s Kiwi expat Manolo Blahniq debuts down under in the 2016 San Domenico Stakes on Saturday in Sydney with his performance in the Group 3 to determine where to next for the son of Jimmy Choux.

Christian Reith

Christian Reith rides Manolo Blahiniq for his Australian debut in Saturday’s San Domenico Stakes 2016 at Rosehill in Sydney. Photo: Daniel Costello.

New Zealand-trained champion Jimmy Choux enjoyed plenty of success in Australia as a three-year-old winning the 2011 Rosehill Guineas and also returned that spring for a second to Pinker Pinker in the Cox Plate.

Mornington horseman Noonan is hoping to also achieve Group 1 glory this season with a son of the former John Bary-trained Jimmy Choux, with a spring path to be plotted for Manolo Blahniq after his first-up run on the weekend.

The youngster has his first start as a three-year-old in a small field of just six at Rosehill Gardens in the $150,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) that also features the return of the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist.

Winner of the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last time out in March, Capitalist is the obvious odds-on favourite in San Domenico Stakes betting through

Capitalist’s two lead-up trials have been impressive and Noonan knows the son of Written Tycoon is the one to beat after his returning run was put back a week due to his Missile Stakes scratching on a wet Randwick card last Saturday.

“There’s a Golden Slipper winner in the race and if he comes back in that sort of form he should win,” Noonan told Racing Victoria speaking of Capitalist.

“Our horse hasn’t had a run for six months and this is not his Grand Final.”

Manolo Blahniq is drawn in barrier two with Christian Reith to ride and is a $16 outsider in the San Domenico Stakes odds.

A Group 3 winner back on New Year’s Day in New Zealand, the up-and-comer was last seen crossing a disappointing 10th as the beaten odds-on favourite on January 24 in the Listed Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.

He has trialled twice since in Sydney, most recently finishing a mid-field sixth behind Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility over 850m at Randwick on July 29.

Noonan isn’t expecting Manolo Blahniq to win first-up on Saturday, but hopes to see a positive showing as he tracks towards a tougher spring run.

“He’s pretty keen-going, so I just want him to relax and get a guide on him,” he said.

On the cards is a second possible clash with Capitalist back at Rosehill on September 10 in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) after a second-up run in the $175,000 Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) on August 27.

Capitalist is early $4.40 favourite in futures Golden Rose odds as well, while Manolo Blahniq is a $61 roughie in the same all-in markets.

If he shows signs of stretching out to a mile, Noonan could be tempted to head south for the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24 and then the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8 in Melbourne.

“I’m not sure whether he’s a sprinter or a 1400, mile horse, so our first couple of runs will help us work that out,” Noonan explained.

“He’ll go to the Run To The Rose after Saturday then we’ll make a decision on whether we go to the Golden Rose or the Danehill Stakes or head to the Guineas Prelude and the Guineas.”

Noonan also a runner on the P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day card at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend with She’s Positive racing in the $150,000 Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m).

The consistent Sepoy filly is first-up following her win in Adelaide’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) back in mid-March and is tracking towards a $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) assignment.

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