He is no shoo in, but Manolo Blahniq has the chance to give Jake Noonan and his father Tony a first stakes winner as a jockey-trainer combination in the Manfred Stakes at Caulfield.
Jake Noonan has ridden more than 70 winners for his father but a black-type win together has eluded them, although each has individually won at Group One level.
“We won the Magic Millions in Adelaide which was a feature race but we’ve never had any black-type success together,” Jake Noonan said.
“So tomorrow would be a good way to kick off.
“He’s been my biggest supporter and I’ve probably ridden the most winners for Dad.
“Unfortunately within the period that I’ve been riding he probably hasn’t had the class of horses he had say five to ten years ago.
“I missed the boat a bit so it would be good to find a classy horse and share some black-type success together.”
By Jimmy Choux, Manolo Blahniq is named for another high-end shoe manufacturer Manolo Blahnik.
He is on trial for the Australian Guineas (1600m) and will test his credentials in Saturday’s Group Three 1200m race for which he is at $9.
Noonan said he and his father had been working to get Manolo Blahniq to settle better and he was encouraged by the colt’s return at Moonee Valley last month.
Manolo Blahniq settled back in the field before hitting the line for fifth over 1000m against older horses.
“His run was huge,” Noonan said.
“I thought there was going to be more speed on than what there was in that race which in the end was probably the difference between him running fifth and in the first three.
“He was only getting warm late and the best thing about the race was that he settled really well.
“So going to the 1200 metres and beyond this preparation, we can be confident that he’s learning to settle and is going to give himself every chance to finish off.”
Manolo Blahniq won a Group Three race in New Zealand at his second start last year but is yet to win in Australia from five starts.
He finished sixth, beaten just over 1-1/2 lengths, in a star-studded Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring.
“He’s going to have to level up tomorrow to show that it’s worth pushing on to the Guineas,” Noonan said.
“But his run in the Coolmore against the top three-year-olds in the spring was good enough to say that he should be competitive.”No tags for this post.