Manolo Blahniq unplaced, Noonan humbled by support

Jan 25, 2016

Although Manolo Blahniq ran unplaced on Sunday in the Karaka Million, Mornington-based trainer Tony Noonan was overwhelmed by the incredible support of his ownership base before and after the race.

“No doubt – it was a tough day,” Noonan said.

“Going into the race, my phone just kept going off with messages of good will from owners of the stable. People I hadn’t spoken to in years were texting me.

“It was great to get so many well wishes from owners of other horses in the stable because it really meant a lot to me."

Jumping as the $2.00 favourite, Manolo Blahniq was driven out of the gates by rider Matthew Cameron to sit in a handy position just outside the leader Xiong Feng.

Upon straightening, Cameron made his move to level up to the leader. But 200m out, Cameron knew he was in trouble with Manolo Blahniq struggling to keep up with Xiong Feng who ultimately kicked clear to win as Cameron eased his mount up to finish tenth.

The result left Noonan and his group of 25 owners deeply disappointed.

Following the run, Manolo Blahniq was found to be extremely shin-sore.

“It was very warm these last few days and he definitely felt the ground today,” Noonan said.

“I walked in today and a horse trainer but I probably walked out a grief councilor. Thankfully though, there is an incredible circle of support around this horse and I really want to thank everyone for their messages.”

Whilst Noonan had originally planned to bring Manolo Blahniq straight over to Australia after the Karaka Million, plans are now on hold depending on the severity of his shin-soreness.

“He’s nominated for the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper but we’ll just have to take it one day at a time.”

Noonan purchased Manolo Blahniq for $115,000 at the 2015 Karaka Select Sale where he elected to leave the Jimmy Choux colt in the care of close friend Craig Thornton with the intention always being to bring the horse over to Victoria following the Karaka Million.