Manawanui might be the least favoured of the Caulfield Guineas big three in betting but jockey Glyn Schofield has no doubts the gelding is capable of toppling the favourites once again.
“He’s just done what he has been asked to do and he’s done it well,” Schofield said.
“Saturday is another challenge for him and if he’s up to it, he’ll win.”
Manawanui got the better of Guineas rivals Smart Missile and Helmet in the Group One $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10 before the trio went their separate ways for their final Guineas lead-ups on September 24.
Despite easily winning the Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and beating Smart Missile and Helmet in the Golden Rose, Manawanui is on the third line of Guineas betting at $6 behind Helmet at $2.45 and Smart Missile at $3.20.
Melbourne colt Chase The Rainbow is the only other runner under double-figure odds at $8.
While Manawanui, who has already earned prize money close to $1 million, has nothing to prove to Schofield on Saturday, the internationally-experienced hoop said it would be great to add the Guineas to his winning run this spring.
“To emulate what he’s done before and reconfirm that form would be fantastic if he can do it again on Saturday, and I have every confidence that he’s up to it,” Schofield said.
Trainer Ron Leemon took Manawanui to Melbourne just a couple of days after his most recent win in Sydney to give the gelding time to settle into Caulfield ahead of his major spring goal.
Schofield has been down to ride Manawanui in work on Saturday and again in a course proper hitout on Tuesday and can’t fault him.
The hoop also has no concerns with Manawanui racing over 1600m and at Caulfield for the first time.
After riding Manawanui to an effortless Stan Fox win two weeks ago, Schofield then kept an eye on the action at Caulfield where Helmet impressively won the Guineas Prelude and Smart Missile had no luck in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes after jumping slowly and settling at the tail of the field.
“Helmet’s run in the Golden Rose with blinkers on, you can’t really judge him on that,” Schofield said.
“Obviously his Prelude form and his two-year-old form is outstanding. He’s a top horse as well as Smart Missile.
“We beat him (Smart Missile) in the Rose, then he didn’t have any luck at Caulfield last start.
“It’s a small field, he’s got an inside gate and he is going to get all the favours as well. It would just be nice if the same result happens (as the Golden Rose).”