Manhattan sizzles in Menangle win

By Adam Hamilton

Classy Kiwi-owned mare Manhattan scored one of the best wins of her career so far at Menangle last night.

Now in the care of Jack Trainor, the six-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight engaged in a blazing duel with another former Kiwi, Illavabubbles, for the lead and they stopped the clock at 54.5sec for the first half.

Illavabubbles eventually found the front with Manhattan camped on her back, but she was left a sitting shot when the leader stopped soon after straightening for home.

Despite the early work, Jack Callaghan kept getting something out of Manhattan and she held-off Group 1-winning stablemate and yet another former Kiwi, Braeview Kelly to win by a neck in a 1min51.2sec mile.

Manhattan, who won 10 races in NZ for Bob Butt, is now two-from-two since joining Trainor’s Menangle stable.

She looms as one of the major players in the rescheduled Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Mile (formerly Ladyship) at Menangle early next month.

Top seed for the race will be champion Victorian mare Ladies In Red, who sparkled in a Melton trial last Tuesday and is primed for a racetrack return.

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Miracle Mile placegetter Speak The Truth is right on target for Friday’s $1mil Race By Grins.

The Shannon Price-trained five-year-old is scheduled on a flight from Sydney to Auckland today (Sunday).

Price is adamant the Miracle Mile placegetter is as good as she’s had him.

Speak The Truth sparkled with a 1min53.5sec mile rate for a 1660m Albion Park trial early last week. He ripped home in 54.3 and 27.3sec to win easily.

“He’s really well. It was great to keep him up to the mark with the trial and now we just need the barrier draw to be kind on Monday,” Price said.

Speak The Truth will stay in NZ for the Taylor Mile and Messenger after Friday’s feature.

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Partly Kiwi-owned pacer Minstrel looks certain to take his spot in Friday week’s $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor after a powerhouse Gloucester Park win last Friday night.

The seven-year-old made it six wins from past seven starts when he sat parked against many of WA’s best pacers and dug deep to win the $50,000 Group 3 Governors Cup in a 1min54.6sec mile rate for 2130m.

Minstrel, who now boasts 24 career wins and over $835,000 in prize money, looks a lock for the Team Bond slot in the Nullarbor, especially after sitting outside and beating stablemate Tenzing Bromac, who looked his main rival for the slot.

“He was awesome tonight,” driver Deni Roberts told the West Australian. “We had no luck in the early stages, but he kept charging.

“Minstrel is now right in the zone and I’m happy the Nullarbor is just around the corner.”

Tenzing Bromac led and ran a brave second, beaten only a head, while Lavra Joe got clear late and ran third.

Despite finishing back in 11th spot in the Governors Cup – albeit only beaten 8.5 metres – Jumpingjackmac should land the Gary Hall Sr/Steve Waters slot.

Trainer Justin Prentice has a big decision to make for the slot he and some fellow owners have in the Nullarbor.

Prentice already has Never Ending in the race through the Entain (Ladbrokes) slot, but will use his own stable slot on either Mighty Ronaldo or Tricky Miki, who finished alongside each other in fourth and fifth spots respectively last Friday night.

“Last Friday didn’t help us much at all. They both ran well and didn’t have much luck,” Prentice said.

Earlier in the night, Gary Hall Jr continued his fantastic record as trainer and driver with former Kiwi gelding Miki Jet.

Raced by well-known media man Steve Levar, Miki Jet made it six wins and two placings from eight starts since moving to WA and becoming one of very pacers Hall Jr trains in his own right.

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Much-travelled former Kiwi Hot And Treacherous looks right on target for his Perth raid despite being beaten at Menangle last night.

The six-year-old, who was having his sixth run for Jason Grimson, worked to the lead and dictated terms, but simply didn’t have the brilliance to hold-off classy stablemate Nerano in what was basically a 200m dash home.

Nerano, just second-up from a spell, camped on his stablemate and out-zipped him to win by 0.6m in 1min51.8sec mile.

Nerano ran his own last quarter in 25.9sec at the end of a 53.9sec last half.

Hot And Treacherous joins Spirit Of St Louis and star Victorian Catch A Wave on a flight from Sydney to Perth tomorrow (Monday).

The $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor is at Gloucester Park on Friday week.

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Some exciting “babies” are starting to emerge in Australia.

And the next couple of weeks will tell us a lot more as many of them sharpen-up for the rich Nutrien sales finals at Melton on April 20.

At Albion Park on Tuesday, Grant Dixon’s Always Be Miki colt Fate Awaits will be out to make it three wins from as many starts in his Nutrien heat.

On the same day, Menangle will host two heats, one for fillies and the other for colts and geldings.

Most interest will be in the colts and geldings where Russell Jack’s Poster Boy colt Its Confidential is chasing his third win from as many starts, while the talented Hezatreacherous looms large, too.

The Victorian heats, headed by another son of Poster Boy, The Highlight Reel, will be run at Ballarat on Thursday night.

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Young driver Abby Sanderson kept it in the family winning last night’s $50,000 Mildura Cup final on Dangerous.

Last year it was Abby’s older brother, Ryan, who drove Sahara Tiger to win for their father, Shane.

This time Abby won the race at the start by buzzing the talented four-year-old Dangerous, trained by Shane, out to lead from gate four and never looked in danger.

It was a female quinella with Ewa Justice driving talented Kiwi import Helluva into second spot after doing the work outside the leader.

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Former Kiwi gelding Aardies Flash continues to impress in Queensland.

Trained by Chantal Turpin and driven by Pete McMullen, Aardies Flash thrashed a handy field by almost eight metres in a slick 1min52.2sec mile rate for 1660m last night.

It was the sixth win from his past 10 starts as he races through to open-class ranks.

 

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