Harlem Shuffle is no Manawanui but a one time school teacher is more than happy to have the filly in the Warwick Farm stable.
Harlem Shuffle, which goes round at Canterbury on Wednesday having won on debut at the track under lights, is housed alongside trainer Ron Leemoon’s group 1 winner Manawanui.
“She is only a small filly out of the Hot As Hell family,” Leemon said on Tuesday.
“She had been shin sore a couple of times and was in and out of the stable but she does have the ability.”
For that very reason Leemon, who prepares a team of eight horses, took a different path and decided to start Harlem Shuffle off in town.
Usually Leemon takes the out of city path ensuring his equine students are given every opportunity to develop a winning attitude.
“I was happy enough with the trials she had so we went to town,” Leemon said.
“A bit similar to what I did with Manawanui although she was a year older. She was always on the small side and we did have shin soreness issues early on.”
Leemon pointed out only two members of the syndicate that race Manawanui didn’t bother paying up for Harlem Shuffle. The filly, who is by Manawanui’s sire Oratorio, was purchased out of the William Inglis Scone Sale for $34,000.
“I’m going to take it a race at a time with her,” Leemon said.
“Normally I like to give them three weeks between runs after their first run and this was the only suitable race for her since the debut run on January 25.
“I could have taken on the older mares but I wanted to find a three-year-old fillies race for her and this was it.
“It is a hot field tomorrow but she should be very competitive.”
Former bush apprentice Rachel Murray retains the ride on Harem Shuffle.
“A very good young rider and the ride the other night was superb,” Leemon said.
“I’ve know about her for a while, a smart young lady who has a university degree….in her first year of riding she rode 80 winners and she is now with Grahame Begg at Randwick.”
As for the Golden Rose winning, Caulfield Guineas runner-up Manawanui, well, all is going to plan. The now four-year-old is gearing up for a return from a bleeding attack and Leemon has sought advice from many a fellow trainer on how best to handle the situation.
“They’ve been very helpful,” Leemon said.
“Chris Waller told me to make sure the horse is fit before you step up the work and put pressure on the lungs.
“The horse could trial in about two to three weeks, he is about 530kg at the moment and I’d like to get another five kilos off him but it is hard because you cannot gallop him hard on the track.
“You do a lot of pacework with him. I’m also working closely with the vets and if he trials well I’ll sit down and work out where we’ll go with him.
“He does look tremendous, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong with him.”
By Craig Young