After seven months on the sidelines, Manolo Blahniq is ready to return on Saturday at Flemington, a track that's been a happy hunting ground for the seven-year-old in the past.
Tony Noonan's gelding hasn't won since taking out the 2019 Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Headquarters almost 700 days ago.
The Mornington-based trainer admits it will be a tough task first-up for the son of Jimmy Choux, taking on the likes of Western Australian mare Fabergino, who's back over her preferred distance in Saturday's Living Legends Sprint (1000m).
Jake Noonan will ride Manolo Blahniq this weekend from barrier seven of nine, with the galloper meeting his more-fancied rivals much better at the weights carrying 56kg.
Prezadon is the topweight with 62kg, while Fabergino will carry 61.5kg and William Thomas has been allocated 60kg.
"He's in good shape for his return but may find the opposition a bit slick on Saturday," Noonan senior said. "I'm expecting he will run his usual honest race."
Manolo Blahniq is proven fresh and ran well when first-up last preparation in February's Listed ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap at Flemington, recording the second-fastest last 600m and 200m for the race to finish sixth behind Fabergino.
Bred by Nearco Stud, Manolo Blahniq was purchased out of Curraghmore's 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock draft for $115,000. -racing.com