Horses To Follow » Manighar


There was a lot to like about the performance that Manighar put up in finishing second to Americain in the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay run over a mile and seven furlongs at Deauville on Sunday. Held up out the back in the early stages by Kieren Fallon, the Luca Cumani-trained gelding didn’t appear to be that happy crossing the all-weather part of the track as they turned down the back straight, and Fallon just had to nudge him into the bridle after that for a little while. As well as that, he was disputing last place when they left the back straight, he wasn’t really ideally positioned given that Dominique Boeuf had been allowed set no better than a moderate pace on Tres Rock Danon. That said, he travelled best at the top of the home straight with two and a half furlongs to run. He was a little short of room a furlong and a half out, the meat in the sandwich as Sybelio and eventual winner Americain converged, but it still looked like he was going to prevail when Fallon pulled him to the outside and asked him to pick up. As it turned out, he didn’t quite get there, Americain also picked up well for Gerald Mosse on the far side and just about held him off, but it was noticeable that Fallon wasn’t overly hard on the runner-up, he just gave him one smack with his whip as he picked him up and rode him out with hands and heels thereafter, and there was no disgrace in getting beaten a head by a talented individual who was completing a hat-trick, with the pair of them coming clear of the highly talented stayer Blek in third.

This was much more like it from Manighar. A Group 2 winner for HH The Aga Khan and Alain de Royer-Dupre last season, he shaped with a lot of promise on his debut for Cumani when he finished second to Holberg in a listed race at Goodwood in June, in front of Opinion Poll and King Of Wands. He did disappoint on his two subsequent runs, however, although both of those could conceivably be attributed to the fast ground, despite the fact that his Goodwood run was on good to firm ground. He is a son of Linamix, and all of his best runs last season were on easy ground, so it may be that he will need at least ground that is on the easy side of good to firm. The Melbourne Cup is apparently his target, and has probably been since he joined Cumani. He has the blend of stamina, speed and class that is required to win that race, and his trainer knows how to prepare one for it, having gone so close with Purple Moon and Bauer in the last three years. If the ground were to come up not too fast at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, and as long as everything goes well between now and then, he would have a better chance than current odds of 33/1 suggest.

22nd August 2010

© The Irish Field, 28th August 2010