Glyn Schofield is rapt with Manawanui ahead of his belated spring return but the Group One winner’s trainer is slightly more guarded after a chequered start to the campaign.
Manawanui is scheduled to resume in Saturday’s Group Three Shorts (1200m) at Randwick after his initial spring targets were shelved when he went off his feed for a few days following an exhibition gallop a month ago.
Last year’s Golden Rose winner impressed Schofield in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday when second to McClintock.
“He was super,” Schofield said.
“He trialled really well and felt good. He had a little blow afterwards but he’s on track. I’m very happy with him.”
Trainer Ron Leemon was also happy with the gelding’s trial but believes he could take a run to really hit his straps.
“Glyn is very happy with him. I’m a little bit more conservative than what he is,” Leemon said.
“I thought he trialled quite well. We wanted Glyn to get back and let him run home which he did.
“He got a little tired the last little bit which we expected because he’s still fairly big.
“He probably won’t be 100 per cent going into The Shorts.
“Just looking at him I still think he will probably need a run to top him off for his next one.”
Leemon said Manawanui’s revised two-start Sydney spring campaign – The Shorts and then the Premiere Stakes on October 6 – would be crucial in deciding whether last year’s Caulfield Guineas runner-up heads to Melbourne later in the carnival.
“To me, he’s got to run really well in those two races to justify going to Melbourne,” Leemon said.
“You’re meeting the top end of the horse world there. So I want to make sure he’s 100 per cent before we go down there, and that he’s going to be competitive in what we pick out for him.”
Manawanui won the Golden Rose a year ago before his gallant second to Helmet in the Caulfield Guineas.
He then won The Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley before finishing sixth as favourite in the Victoria Derby.
Manawanui’s autumn campaign was cut short after his third run when he finished fifth as favourite in the Randwick Guineas.
Queensland sprinter Spirit Of Boom, a half head second to We’re Gonna Rock in the Group Three Bobbie Lewis Quality on September 8, will be among Manawanui’s opposition in the Shorts.