Back as a winner after 22 years

By Tayler Strong

John Cleland was back as a winning owner after a break of 22 years when Captain Mannering cleared out from his maiden rivals at Forbury Park last night (Thursday).

Cleland, of Waikaka (Southland) came back into  ownership to race Captain Mannering with his sons, Jason and Shane.

The 3-year-old trained at Gore by Tony Stratford had been minor placed in four of his other seven starts. Captain Mannering belongs to the family that provided Cleland with his previous winner, Jay Cee’s Fella in the 1995 Roxburgh Cup.

Jay Cee’s Fella was then sold to Australia. Cleland raced Jay Cee’s Fella (Son Of Afella – Wild Vine) with trainer Ken McRae, then based at Waikaka. Jay Cee’s Fella (Son Of Afella – Wild Vine) won five races in New Zealand. His sister, Canshe Win won a race for Cleland and McRae at Gore in 1994 and she was sold cheaply as a broodmare to Owen Crooks. She left Check Back (by Live Or Die), who won races at Addington and Rangiora  for Crooks when trained by Margot Nyhan. Check Back is the dam of Captain Mannering (by the Christian Cullen horse Justa Tiger), the last of her four foals.

Captain Mannering settled seventh after starting from outside the front line. He improved  from the 800m, led at the 400m and won by eight and three quarter  lengths.

Pembrook Ideal ran a track record for a 3-year-old of 2.40.5 for 2200m (mobile). Her time, a 1.57.4 mile rate, bettered the mark of 2.41.1 set by Howard Bromac in 2003 and equalled by Bakari last year. The previous best for a filly was 2.41.4 by Cullen Who.

Pembrook Ideal led over the last 1500m.

“She just pulled too hard last week and choked down. I didn’t give her the chance tonight,’’ said her driver Dexter Dunn.

The 3-year-old trotter The Dominator, tried with removable deafeners, won at his fourth start. He is trained at Washdyke by Donna Williamson for Pleasant Point breeder Stephen Bell.

The Dominator (by The Pres) is a half-brother to Rydgemont Milly, who has won two races this season from the Invercargill stable of Mark and Debbie Shirley. Rydgemont Milly (by Monarchy) is leased to Debbie.These are the first two foals of Domination, who won 10 races for Bell and Ray Scott when trained by Murray Tapper.

Williamson, a veterinarian, has five standardbreds and a thoroughbred in work. She is also weaning 25 foals at present. She provides agistment for mares including those owned by Gavin Chin, of Dunedin, the co-breeder of Lazarus. She prepared five for the premier yearling sale in February, among them a half-brother by Art Major to Lazarus sold for  $120,000  Williamson also operates a base for artificial insemination, handling some 120 mares each season.

Tahlia Franco was claimed for $5000 by Tracey Whittaker, of Christchurch after finishing fourth to Machie Mach. The claim was decided by ballot between two entries.