Jockey Brad Rawiller is in an enviable position heading towards the Group One Australian Guineas.
But it’s one that might come with a tough decision.
Rawiller will ride the Darren Weir-trained Palentino in a race for the first time when the colt resumes in Saturday’s Group Three Manfred Stakes at Caulfield.
Rawiller is also the regular rider for the Weir-trained Mahuta who is the Guineas favourite at $6 ahead of Palentino at $7.
“Mahuta at this stage has got the score on the board. They’re both going to have a couple of runs beforehand and we’ll worry about it then,” Rawiller said.
“But Mahuta, certainly at this stage is a horse that’s given me a great ride and I wouldn’t be wanting to be jumping off him without it being something pretty good.
“Hopefully Palentino is that. We’ll see how we go.”
Rawiller is unbeaten in three rides on Mahuta in the Carbine Club Stakes, Sandown Guineas and the Magic Millions Guineas.
Palentino is the $4.80 second favourite for the Manfred having won two of his three starts in his first preparation including a Listed 1400m race at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Rawiller said Palentino was talented although he believes 1200m is short of the colt’s best distance heading towards the Australian Guineas.
“He’s definitely got the ability there and has shown all signs that that’s the right path to be heading on,” he said.
The Lee Freedman-trained Golden Spin makes his stakes racing debut in the Manfred and is the $4.40 favourite.
Golden Spin has won his three starts this campaign in benchmark races.
“We keep putting the bar up for him and we’ve got the bar up a bit higher this week in a Group Three,” Freedman told radio station RSN.
“But the way he’s racing and the way he loves to win, I wouldn’t rule out the fact that he could beat Group Three horses.”