Potential buyers continue to circle exciting three-year-old Manawanui but the Golden Rose winner remains off limits, trainer Ron Leemon says.
“They (the owners) are just loving it at the moment but as I have always said sometimes the offer becomes (too much) and you can’t knock it back,” Leemon told Sky Sports Radio.
“(But) at this stage he’s not for sale.”
Leemon said an offer from a prominent bloodstock agent before Manawanui’s Golden Rose win on Saturday remained on the table.
“The offer is still there but (the owners) are not interested,” Leemon said.
Leemon has all but committed Manawanui to one more Sydney start before the gelding is sent to Melbourne to contest next month’s Caulfield Guineas.
Jockey Glyn Schofield suggested Manawanui be given a preparation run at Caulfield – a track where Sydney horses have historically had difficulty coping with its configuration.
But Leemon is adamant Manawanui won’t need a lead-up run in Melbourne and will prepare the horse for his next start to be the $250,000 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill on September 24.
The Warwick Farm trainer said a Guineas Prelude start at Caulfield didn’t appeal as much as the Stan Fox, a Group Two race run under set weights conditions.
“He would get the maximum penalties for his last two Group wins (in the Guineas Prelude) and I think it might be a tough, rough-house race,” Leemon said.
“I’m going with the easier option, plus it is also supporting local racing.”
Leemon said any doubts about Manawanui safely negotiating Caulfield were not a concern.
“He’s one of the most extremely adaptable animals I have come across,” Leemon said.
Despite relegating Smart Missile and Helmet into the Golden Rose placings, Manawanui remains on the third line of Caulfield Guineas betting at $8.
Smart Missile is the Guineas market leader at $4 with Helmet next at $7.