Trainer Lance Noble is enjoying an exciting season with a number of three-year-old fillies this term and he will attempt to add black-type to one of their pages at Awapuni on Saturday.
Manchu will contest the Group 3 Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) and she takes some solid form into the race, with a win and three placings from her five starts-to-date. “She has been racing pretty solidly and just got beaten last week,” Noble said. “The start before that she finished third to Riodini, so the form stacks up okay. “We originally weren’t going to go to Manawatu, we were going to go straight to Ellerslie, but when the field came up with only seven nominations, we changed tack.”
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice will be tested for the first time over a mile on Saturday, but Noble believes she will thrive over the distance. “I think 1600m should suit her and Manawatu has got a big, roomy straight, so that should suit her as well,” he said. It will be Manchu’s second tilt at stakes level, having finished unplaced in the Group 2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa in October, but Noble said she can be forgiven for that run. “She just drew wide that day and we got caught three and four wide the whole trip,” he said. “Nothing quite panned out, it was mission impossible from where she was.”
Noble is pleased with his filly ahead of Saturday where she will jump from barrier six. “She has been good. We haven’t done a lot with her since her last start, it was only a week ago that she ran. She is pretty fit now, so it’s just a matter of keeping her happy. “She will travel down on the Friday and I am looking forward to it.”
Manchu’s Eulogy run will likely be her last this preparation, and Noble said she would likely be set for an autumn resumption. “She has been in work a little while now and the real hard tracks might get to her. “We will see how she performs on Saturday, but she will probably have a freshen-up and aim for the autumn.”
Noble’s attention will turn to Ellerslie on Sunday where he will line-up three-year-old fillies Origineel and Meghan. Meghan will contest the DDB 1600 and Noble is relatively pleased with her heading into the race, despite her disappointing last start performance over a mile. “Meghan’s last start effort was a little bit disappointing at Te Rapa,” he said. “But I am not sure whether the form out of Te Rapa quite stacks up. “She looks well and her work has been very good. It is always hard after they slightly disappoint in their previous start, but I can’t find any reason why she shouldn’t run well.”
Savabeel filly Origineel is in a similar scenario, having finished fifth over 1400m at Te Rapa last start. “Origineel was asked to make a run from a long way out,” Noble said. “She got back a little bit and commenced her run from a long way out and couldn’t quite sustain it. “We will probably just be riding her a little bit quieter for one last run at them. Her work has been good, so we will see how we go.”
Meanwhile, Noble is looking forward to contesting a number of black-type assignments over the coming months with fellow three-year-old fillies Familia, Avadane, and Bavella. “Familia was a nice third last start (Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes, 1400m) and she will head to the Ladies Mile (Group 2, 1600m) on Boxing Day,” he said. “Avadane had a couple of weeks off after Riccarton and there is a Listed 1400m (Uncle Remus Stakes) race for her on Boxing Day. “Bavella, we are just going to keep her fresh and she will wait until Karaka Millions night. There is a three-year-old Group 3 1200m race (Mr Tiz Trophy) for her.”