Andrew Eddy | Racing.com | 12 December 2016
The outstanding SA Derby class of 2015 could continue to impact feature races in Australia and overseas in 2017 with the impending return to racing of Manapine.
Trainer Nigel Blackiston took Manapine to Werribee on Monday morning for a jumpout and after the horse held his rivals over the 1100-metre trip, Blackiston announced the five-year-old’s recuperation from a tendon injury was all but complete.
“He’s a done a lot of work over the past year as we kept him walking on the treadmills and kept him moving,” Blackistson explained on Monday.
“Since then we’ve taken our time over the last three or four months to get him to this stage and hopeful it pays dividends.”
While the impacts are still being felt from the 2015 classic races in Australia, the SA Derby shapes as being the most influential in the country for that season.
The winner was the extraordinary Perth filly Delicacy, who finished her racing career earlier this year when she conquered Black Heart Bart in the Cox Stakes before waltzing home in the Perth Cup.
The runner-up of the 2015 SA Derby was Werther, who is now one of the best horses in the world.
After racing in Australia as a three-year-old, he went to Hong Kong to win the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby and Group 1 QE11Cup and is set to return in 2017 after an injury-enforced lay-off.
WATCH: Manapine’s jumpout (black, bronze quarters)
The third placegetter was Allergic, who despite not being able to win a Group 1 since has been placed at the elite level in the Metropolitan at Randwick this season following his Group 3 Colin Stephens win.
Magicool ran fourth in the Adelaide Derby that season and a month later won the Group 1 Queensland Derby.
Fifth was Manapine, who has only started once since -more than a year ago at Ballarat. But before injuring his tendon, Blackiston rated the staying horse highly.
“He’s shown great potential to be a good stayer,” the Flemington trainer said. “The plan will be to head towards Sydney and then hopefully Queensland.”
Blackiston said he has taken time with the horse to ensure he is ready for his return to racing, possibly on the first day of next year.
“He had a little quiet jumpout a couple of weeks ago at Flemington to give him a bit of match practice and we came here with the view of a more solid hit-out today over the 1100 (metres) and I’m really pleased with the way he’s come through,” Blackiston said.
“Mentally, he’s grown up a lot. He’s a lot stronger physically and hopefully there’s a nice race for him on New Year’s Day to start him off in.”
Manapine might have added another string to his bow in his time away from the track as he showed a deal of speed in the jumpout.
“He actually jumped and led, which is something he’s never done before so he’s obviously come back in good order,” Blackiston said.