Trainer Tony McEvoy is ruing the decision not to enter recent Adelaide winner Manhattan Blues for the upcoming rich two-year-old races.
A debut winner at Morphettville on January 10, Manhattan Blues heads to Sandown on Australia Day where he lines up in the colts and geldings division of the Blue Diamond Preview (1000m).
A $20,000 yearling at the Melbourne Premier Sale in March last year, Manhattan Blues was immature when nominations were taken for the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.
“They close so early those nominations and you just have to make a call,” McEvoy said.
“When the noms were coming up for the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper he was a big, raw bugger, so I didn’t enter him and probably wish I had have now as he’s really turned the corner.
“He’s really thrived in what he’s doing and he’s going really well.”
McEvoy said Manhattan Blues had impressed with his debut win, accounting for Karlovasi and Comprende, with the latter, trained by Phillip Stokes, an entry in the fillies division on Monday.
He said the gelding deserved his chance against the better two-year-olds in Melbourne.
“He’s done very well since his win and I’d like to bring him over and see where he sits in the food chain,” McEvoy said.
Nominations have been extended for the colts and geldings Preview in which Robbie Laing has five of the 14 entries.
The Cranbourne trainer also has four nominations among the 22 in the fillies division headed by Moonee Valley debut winner and Blue Diamond favourite Fontiton.