Manighar to find best form in George Ryder Stakes 2013

In his 33 race starts, Manighar has run bravely and well 31 times.

The problem for trainer Peter Moody is that the worst two runs of the old horse’s career have been his past two.

Manighar winning the Dubai Australian Cup at Flemington - photo by Race Horse Photos Australia

And his next one isn’t likely to be much better.

“I’m pretty sure it’s just been a lack of fitness,” Moody said.

In a bid to get Manighar back to the form that won him three of Australia’s best races this time last year, Moody is looking at making a small sacrifice at Rosehill on Saturday.

Manighar is entered for both the Group Three Neville Sellwood Stakes over an ideal 2000m trip, and the Group One George Ryder Stakes which at 1500m, with the boom colt Pierro among his likely opponents, is totally unsuitable.

But it is in the Ryder that Manighar is most likely to run.

Manighar’s spring campaign ended after only two runs when he had to have bone chips removed from his knees.

As a result he went into his autumn campaign without his usual residual fitness and slightly later than Moody would have liked.

“He looks way too pretty,” Moody said.

Manighar has beaten only one home in two runs this time in, the latest a last of 10 in the Ranvet Stakes.

As a result, Moody has decided to give Manighar a run on Saturday that wasn’t on his original agenda in a bid to coax him back to his best for the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 27.

“The ideal race would be the Neville Sellwood but he’s get too much weight so I might run him in the Ryder,” he said.

While Moody has landed three winners at each of the past two Melbourne Saturday meetings, he’s had a lean carnival so far in Sydney.

While Black Caviar is likely to turn things around when she runs at Randwick on Saturday week, Moody would like to strike a blow in Sydney before she gets there.

His best hope in that quest at Rosehill on Saturday is Caulfield Cup placegetter Lights Of Heaven who is set to carry topweight in Manighar’s absence in the Neville Sellwood.

Moody made up his mind to run her after she worked well at Caulfield on Tuesday in a gallop that followed her handy performance when runner-up to Spirit Song at Group Two level at Moonee Valleytwo weeks ago.

He will also run Mid Summer Music and There’s Only One in the Queen Of The Turf where they have little apparent chance of beating More Joyous at level weights.

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