Manolo Blahniq is out of Railway Stakes at Ascot but may still have a tilt at riches in the west. Picture: AAP
Manolo Blahniq is out of Railway Stakes at Ascot but may still have a tilt at riches in the west. Picture: AAP

Noonan weighs up Classic bid after skipping Railway Stakes

TONY Noonan hasn't given up hope of Manolo Blahniq still heading to Perth for the Kingston Town Classic on December 7, despite the horse missing Tuesday's rescheduled flight due to an elevated temperature.

Manolo Blahniq had been one of 18 horses stranded at Tullamarine on Monday night after a fuel leak uncovered during a pre-flight check caused the plane to be cancelled.

Noonan  found that out only when he arrived in Perth on another flight, receiving a text message with the information that the horses bound for Perth's rich summer carnival would instead have to fly out on Tuesday.

But the Mornington trainer made the decision to abort Manolo Blahniq's quest for the Saturday's $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) - after consultation with his vet - saying the risk wasn't worth taking given the horse had lost some weight after having to stand about for 12 hours on the Monday.

"It was just a timing thing," Noonan said.

"He (Manolo Blahniq) had a fairly long day on the Monday and he left a bit of feed on the Tuesday morning.

"His temp was up a bit. We thought it was a bit risky flying him, so we remained a bit cautious and we will see how he is in the next few days."

Noonan, who arrived back in Melbourne late on Wednesday, said Manolo Blahniq would need to have another run beforehand if the Kingston Town Classic remained on the agenda.

That may come in Sunday's Kilmore Cup, if the horse continues to improve in his condition.

"It would be a chance," Noonan said of the $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m). "But it just depends on what transpires in the next week and then we will make a decision from there on how he is."

"He couldn't go straight to the Kingstown Town if he hasn't had another run ... as he wouldn't have had a run for month then.

"He is nominated for the Kilmore Cup on Sunday, so we will make a decision (on Thursday), depending on how he is."



Noonan said as frustrating as the cancelled flight had been earlier in the week, "you understand these things are going to happen … it just wasn't meant to be".

Manolo Blahniq had been rated a $26 chance to win the Railway Stakes, but the six-year-old gelding's form last summer when he won the Chester Manifold Stakes in January showed this is the time of the year when he hits his peak form.

"It is his time of the year," Noonan said of his stable star who has won almost $500,000 in prize money. Hopefully things can work in his way (after this little setback)."