There is a vast difference in the price of Lights Of Heaven and Manighar in Saturday’s Doomben Cup but should that be the case?
Not so if you talk to the man in charge, Victoria’s champion trainer and the man behind Black Caviar, one Peter Moody.
“He [Manighar] is the best horse in the race and she is in better form,” Moody told the Home of Horse Racing.
“Manighar is a weight-for-age horse, the best in the race on past performances, and Lights Of Heaven isn’t there just yet.”
The Moody duo fronted up in last year’s Doomben Cup but the import Marwingo won in controversial circumstances when beating Lights Of Heaven and Manighar.
Sent out favourite on the strength of a record setting autumn carnival Manighar struck interference early on in the group 1 event but Queensland stewards weren’t willing to uphold a protest lodged by the Moody team.
“He copped it last year while Lights Of Heaven enjoyed a nice run throughout,” Moody said.
This time round it has been all so different. Lights Of Heaven is being quoted on Luxbet as the $3.70 favourite while Manighar is around the $11 mark.
Lights Of Heaven won the Neville Sellwood at Rosehill back in April then emerged a month later to claim the Hollindale Cup at the Gold Coast last time round.
“She is going into this in the right type of form and has pleased since the Gold Coast win,” Moody said.
“Manighar is just about back to his best form, his work indicates that, he is much more switched on.”
Last year the former European galloper become the first horse to win the Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and the BMW but this time round it has been all so different.
On the strength of that form big things were expected of Manighar in the spring of last year but it wasn’t to be.
“He only had a couple of runs in the spring due to injury,” Moody said.
“He had a couple of bone chips taken out of a joint and had an extended break. Those English horses don’t have those types of a spell.
“He went into the Ranvet last year at his fifth run, this time round he was second-up, that’s a bit of a difference.
“As I said he has improved on the training track and appears to be much better physically.
“The race is not dissimilar to last year and both my horses are in good shape.
“He is the best horse and she is in the right form, I’m happy to be taking them to Doomben.”
Moody will also start Plucky Belle in the Dark Jewel Classic at Scone on Saturday.
“She’ll improve on her fourth in the Emancipation,” Moody said. “She is a good honest mare and needs a bit of luck in a tough race .”
By Craig Young