Sunday, 29 July 2012
Glyn Schofield has heard the talk about last spring's three-year-old form around Manawanui but isn't buying into it as he prepares to reunite with the Group One winner.
Manawanui won the Golden Rose last year and staged an epic duel with Helmet when a close second in the Caulfield Guineas.
Both Helmet and Manawanui, however, went winless in the autumn.
"For some people, they saw that spring form as not all that great with the three-year-olds, but for mine there's nothing wrong with Foxwedge's form," Schofield said.
"Helmet went to the Cox Plate in the spring and didn't run the trip and has gone overseas and hasn't had any luck over there but to say the form hasn't stood up, I don't agree.
"Foxwedge's form has stood up and Smart Missile went to stud. And no doubt in my mind Manawanui was better than all of them."
Foxwedge won at Group One level in the autumn when he beat Hay List in the William Reid Stakes.
Manawanui's season highlight was his victory over Smart Missile, Helmet and Foxwedge in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m).
The Ron Leemon-trained gelding ended his spring campaign with a weakening sixth in the Victoria Derby after winning the AAMI Vase.
His autumn campaign was cut short after three hard runs.
Schofield said Leemon couldn't have made a better decision than to spell Manawanui when he did after the three-year-old was fifth in the Randwick Guineas following his seconds in the Royal Sovereign and Hobartville Stakes.
"The horse didn't quite come back to his best in the autumn," Schofield said.
"He had a tough run first-up and didn't quite go on with it after that and we were kind of chasing our tails from that point.
"But he certainly feels great and has come back a better horse now."
One gallop late last week was all it took to convince Schofield Manawanui was on target for a successful spring campaign aimed at the Cox Plate.
"I went out and worked him on Thursday morning in a bit of pacework, or maybe even a bit stronger, and he certainly feels better than he did last preparation," the jockey said.
"If he comes back the way he feels at the moment, we're in for a good spring."