Ron Leemon trained Manawanui has won today’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes in a canter from the outsider of the small fied David Hayes trained Roman Giaconda and Cocky Raider was gallant in third.
Manawanui served notice he would be a major force in next month’s Caulfield Guineas, barely getting out of second gear as he coasted to victory in the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill.
The 1400m feature was expected to be a virtual track gallop for Manawanui who was sent out at the prohibitive odds of $1.12 and that’s how it panned out, much to the relief of trainer Ron Leemon.
“It is a relief,” Leemon said.
“To me he was the best horse in the race but you always know something can come from behind.
“He’s got a little bit of quality about him.
“He just controlled the race beautifully. It was like a good barrier trial for him.”
Leemon elected to keep Manawanui in Sydney for his final Caulfield Guineas lead-up while the two colts he relegated into the placings in the Golden Rose – Smart Missile and Helmet – headed to Melbourne.
He was happy with that decision following the Stan Fox and said the small field and lack of pressure meant Manawanui would go into the Guineas (1600m) on October 8 without having had a tough run.
“I’m pleased about that, he didn’t have a hard hitout so he’ll recover nicely,” Leemon said.
“That was one of the reasons I stayed here, we duck the high pressure and go in as the fresh horse.”
Manawanui went to the line under his own steam to score by 1-3/4 lengths over filly Roma Giaconda who did a good job to make ground from the tail of the field.
Cocky Raider battled on for third another half-length away.
Winning jockey Glyn Schofield said Manawanui “did it pretty easy” and he didn’t think the gelding would have any trouble adapting to the Melbourne way of going next start.
“I don’t think he’ll have a problem,” Schofield said.
“You never know until you go down but we’ve got a lot of confidence in this horse, which is what he gives you.”
Manawanui’s win gave Schofield an early double after he took out the opening race aboard the Chris Waller-trained Marden.
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