Locals keen to make their mark at Manawatu
By Brigette Solomon
Manawatu hosts the second of its two day meeting today and the locals will be looking for their share of the spoils.
Palmerston North-based trainer-driver Stephen Doody has five horses engaged with the first two starting in Race 1, the Visit The Rugby Museum Handicap Trot over 2500m.
“Mr Monty went a good race on Tuesday so he just has to do the same again and he should be a good chance,” says Doody, “and we have put removeable deafeners on Kingsclere in the hopes it might spark him up.”
On Tuesday Mr Monty led early, before handing up and being shuffled three and four back on the fence, Doody then popped off the fence to join the moving line with a lap to go before running home strongly in the straight finishing a close up second.
Bettor Grunter, who finished fourth in the Wairarapa Cup on Tuesday, starts in Race 5.
“He got home nicely after getting back in the field on Tuesday but having drawn one today he should be able to stay handy and hopefully finish a few spots closer,” says Doody.
Doody also starts Johnny Who in Race 2, and Toe The Line in Race 6, while also driving No Mercy in Race 8 for Cambridge trainers Andrew and Lyn Neal who placed second after leading throughout on Tuesday.
Fred Mitchell brings back his team of three horses, all who gave creditable performances on Tuesday. Prince Envy and Manchester In Time both contest Race 2, Happy Birthday Brian Gemmell Handicap Trot over 2500m. Mitchell’s two trotters finished third and fourth respectively on Tuesday despite Manchester In Time briefly breaking near the 200m mark.
“Both horses have pulled up brilliantly,” says Mitchell, “Prince Envy has been really happy and is working well, while the other fella is always pretty consistent.”
Mitchell’s other horse Voodoo Prince finished fourth on Tuesday after challenging the leader in the middle stages and having to travel three wide to avoid traffic from around 600m.
“He likes the pace on, and he’s drawn one today which should see him a bit handier and closer to the pace,” says Mitchell. Voodoo Prince starts in Race 6 at 7:19pm.
The majority of Tuesday’s winners back up in tonight’s meeting, alongside several horses who have travelled south from the Rogerson/Ferguson Stables, Stonewall Stud, and Nicky Chilcott’s Cambridge based stable.
Racing gets underway at 5:06pm.