IN Racing
Waller to guide Mana Nui’s future fortunes
Lightly raced Group winner Mana Nui has joined Chris Waller’s Sydney operation
NZ Racing Desk | December 20, 2021
Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Lightly raced Group winner Mana Nui has joined Chris Waller’s Sydney operation with the champion trainer handed the task of boosting the colt’s stallion profile.

The three-year-old was successful twice from Chad Ormsby’s Matamata stable before breeder and owner Tony Rider decided to send the three-year-old across the Tasman.

The Milan Park principal shares in the ownership of the Jamie Richards-trained Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner The Perfect Pink, who also has an autumn campaign in Australia on her program.

“Mana Nui should be ready to race at the end of January or early February. Obviously, we’ll put him in some of the big races like the Australian Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) to try and make him into a stallion,” Rider said.

Mana Nui was a maiden winner in the early spring and next time out showed his quality with victory in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

He suffered an interrupted run on an unsuitably wet track when unplaced in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m) ahead of a fourth placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) after making the running.

“He had a nice break after that and has been over there two or three weeks. He went to Chris Waller’s pre-training place and last Wednesday he went into Rosehill,” Rider said.

“He could perhaps race a bit earlier than the end of January, but that was the initial time frame that Chris gave me, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Mana Nui had been the subject of buyer interest after the Riccarton classic and Rider thought he had the colt sold.

“We had a very good offer for him, but it fell over. On the Monday after the Guineas, we trotted him up and he was very, very sore and that put the buyers off,” he said.

“It wasn’t as bad as everyone thought and come the Friday, he was 100 percent right again.”

Mana Nui is out of the Keeper mare Alpine Julz, who is from the family of the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) winner Adventador.

“The mare’s got a yearling filly by Saxon Warrior that I’m going to race and she’s got a Vancouver filly at foot,” Rider said.

Meanwhile, The Perfect Pink is back in work at Te Akau’s Matamata yard to begin her build-up toward the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), for which she is currently a $5 favourite.

“She was on the water walker for two weeks and has been back with Jamie for just over a week,” Rider said.

“Her aim will be the Oaks and then hopefully she’ll go over for the Australian Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m).”

The Perfect Pink made rapid progress through last spring and broke her maiden in September before finishing fourth the following month in the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) ahead of her Riccarton success.

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