Exciting replacement for Manolo Blahniq

Manolo Blahniq, who is now in Queensland.

Manolo Blahniq, the former Cambridge galloper who is now in Queensland

Craig Thornton was sad to see Manolo Blahniq leave his Cambridge stable, but he is excited about the replacement he welcomed from Melbourne trainer Tony Noonan.

“I’ve got a three-quarter brother to Criterion who is being broken in by Paul Pertab,” said Thornton.

The Sebring colt is from the Group Two-winning Redoute’s Choice mare Varenna Miss, a half-sister to the multiple Group One winner Criterion who has recently been retired to Newgate Farm by his New Zealand owner Sir Owen Glenn.

Manolo Blahniq, a son of Jimmy Choux, impressed in his brief career from Thornton’s stable and it was always the intention that the colt would do his future racing for Noonan.

Noonan purchased Manolo Blahniq for $115,000 at Karaka last year with the pre-sale plan of placing him with his long-time friend Thornton for his early education.

Manolo Blahniq was the beaten favourite in the Listed Karaka Million after he had finished runner-up on debut in the Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes then won the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes.

He returned to work last month following a break and Thornton said he was coming up particularly well.

“He left here in good form. He’s a very serious horse,” said Thornton.

The smart youngster is in Queensland, but whether he makes an appearance during the winter carnival is yet to be decided.

“He’ll probably have a couple of trials in Queensland and it depends how he goes and then Tony will make a decision,” said Thornton.

“If he’s happy with the horse then he may run him there, but the main priority is Melbourne in the spring.”