IN Racing
Regally-bred mare vying for black-type
The five-year-old mare has won four of her starts to date and while she finished last in her maiden stakes outing in the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) at Trentham in December.
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 21, 2024
Manifique will contest the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes (2000m) on Saturday. : Photo Race Images

Regally-bred mare Manifique is already assured of a broodmare career, however, trainer Peter Didham is keen to gain some black-type with her before she heads to the breeding barn.

A daughter of New Zealand Champion Sire Savabeel and four-time Group One winner Shez Sinsational, Manifique is also a half-sister to Group One performers Sinarahma and House Of Cartier, and Didham believes his mare is just as capable.

The five-year-old mare has won four of her starts to date and while she finished last in her maiden stakes outing in the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) at Trentham in December, she bounced back to finish fourth in the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Tauherenikau earlier this month.

Didham has been pleased with the way she has progressed and will head north with her on Saturday to tackle the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata.

“It was a great run at Tauherenikau over a mile,” Didham said. “Another 20m and she would have got up. She is a 2000m horse with a turn of foot. I am excited with the way she has come back, we still don’t know what went wrong at Wellington in the Manawatu Cup, but she seems to be over that.

“It was a great run at Tauherenikau and I expect her to go really well.”

Didham believes his mare is still on the way up and thinks she will peak next season as a six-year-old.

“We have started to aim for that (black-type). Next year will be her year, she has just been a year behind all the time. She is not the biggest Savabeel but she is very talented,” he said.

Manifique will be Didham’s sole representative in the north on Saturday, while he will have two runners at Otaki – Danjuro in the Cavallo Farm & Chris Rutten Bloodstock 3YO (1600m) and last start runner-up Voice Over in the Riverstone Café Handicap (1200m).

Danjuro showed a lot of promise in the spring, winning on debut before his runner-up performance at Trentham led to a tilt at the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November where he finished sixth.

He disappointed in his resuming run when ninth over 1200m at Trentham last month and Didham said his performance this weekend will dictate his autumn plans.

“It is hard to get a gauge on him,” Didham said. “I thought his trial was a touch disappointing the other day. He was really promising last year. I can’t find anything wrong with him and he needs to show me what he has got again this week.

“He has been galloping with Manifique and galloping well. It is hard to get a line on him because he doesn’t work that great, he just does what he has to do. Joe Doyle (jockey) will be on and I expect to get some feedback from him on where I am going.”

Didham is also hopeful of a good showing from Voice Over, who will have Matt Cameron in the saddle.

“He deserves a Saturday go, it was a good run at Tauherenikau,” Didham said. “He is not very big but he has got a big heart and tries hard.”

While looking forward to the weekend, Didham’s attention is currently set towards Wanganui’s Thursday meeting where he will line-up a trio of runners.

Consistent mare Hasbulla will attempt to break maiden ranks in the Mad Butcher Wanganui Maiden 1360, while Lemaitre will make his debut in the Wanganui Insurance Brokers Maiden 1200, and Kana will be looking to recapture form in the Jolt Coffee House 1200.

“Hasbulla has had a few issues in the past, but it’s a nice race for her, she has got a nice draw (1) and we have gone for a claim. It will be her first time with a hood on as well,” Didham said.

“She has only had four starts and she has been competitive every start. She is a nice horse, she tries hard and tomorrow she should be hard to beat.

“Lemaitre shows promise, he is a half to Wakari that Roydon Bergerson trains. Denlee, his mum, was runner-up in a Cuddle Stakes (Gr.3, 1600m). He is a big, raw horse that wants further and probably a cut in the track, but he is a nice horse.

“Kana had no luck at Wellington, the track was against her. She trialled well at Foxton last week, I was really pleased with it. I think she will be back and storming home in the top three, and then she will go to Saturday company.”