Hulbert's confidence on the rise with Hail Manhattan

The early withdrawal of Epsom winner Private Eye from the Tails Stakes at Doomben on Saturday has dramatically boosted the chances of local hope Hail Manhattan.

Hail Manhattan steps out in the 1640 metre Listed feature off the back of two seconds in the Members Cup at Toowoomba and the Gold Coast Stakes last month.

Peter Hulbert, who trains in partnership with son Will, rated Private Eye the one to beat and was elated when hearing the news that Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride had scratched the Sydneysider.

Private Eye, a winner of last year's Group 2 Queensland Guineas, had a horror barrier in 19 and was top-weight with 61kgs.

He was due to head north after struggling on heavy tracks during Sydney's autumn carnival.

"He's a winning chance now with Private Eye not running," Hulbert said.

"His scratching puts us right in the race now."

Hulbert conceded the Tails Stakes was a sharp rise in class for Hail Manhattan, who has won seven of his 28 starts, including last year's Mackay Cup over 2000 metres.

"He's up in class but he drops dramatically in weight to 54 kilos after being used to carrying 58 kilos and more," Hulbert said.

Hail Manhattan missed out on claiming back-to-back Listed Members Cup wins at Toowoomba on March 5 before a similar placing in the Gold Coast Stakes.

"He copped some interference last run and got second on protest but he would never have beaten the winner," the co-trainer said.

"We haven't definitely decided what to do with him after this but he could go to the Hollindale Stakes or we could go back for the Toowoomba Cup later this year."

Hulbert hasn't ruled out sending Hail Manhattan south for the Scone Cup over 1600 metres on May 13.

"We'll see how he performs on Saturday and if he wins, he might go to the Hollindale but that would be another jump in class," he said.

"The Scone Cup might be an option as well."

With Private Eye scratched, Hulbert rates another local, Profit, as one of his main threats.

Profit also is in line for the Scone Cup if he performs well.

Trainer Chris Anderson believes Profit may be a run short but has been working strongly since his last start fifth to Sea Raider in the Members Cup at Toowoomba.


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