Milestone win for Mitchell

By Brigette Solomon

Fred Mitchell celebrated his 50th training win at Manawatu on Thursday when Manchester In Time scored his second win of the two day meeting.

“I was very pleased to get my 50th win and I wasn’t expecting the horse to win after the tough run he had on Tuesday,” said Mitchell, “but he stuck his head out and really kept on.”

Manchester In Time took out Race one, the Marty & Di’s Catering Handicap Trot over 2500 metres, narrowly beating Joca’s Hill by half a head.

The gelding started off a 10 metre handicap and driver Sailesh Abernethy allowed the horse to settle into running four back on the fence. Upon entering the second lap, Abernethy sent the gelding forward comfortably obtaining the lead and it wasn’t until the final 600 metres when the challenges started coming.

Abernethy let Manchester In Time slide from the 400 metre mark where he put two lengths on trailing runners and managed to keep his head in front of the fast finishing Joca’s Hill.

“He’s still green and only a tiny fella of about 15 hands and time has been good for him,” says Mitchell.

“We’ll see how he comes through this week but there’s a couple of races with good stakes at Manawatu in a fortnight so he’ll likely stick to racing here.”

The four-year-old gelding by Peak initially had two starts as a two year old with Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett but he wasn’t quite up to the standard for age group racing, which is how Mitchell first acquired him as a suitable Central Districts horse. Manchester In Time now has five wins and five placings to his name and Mitchell is confident he’ll have a few more to come.

Mitchell also had a third placing with his other runner Prince Envy in Race three rounding out a good day for the Hawera based trainer.

“I’ve been training about nineteen years and knew absolutely nothing when I started out,” said Mitchell.

“Most of the horses I’ve had right from the start have been older horses and other people’s hand me downs, but I’ve had good success with them and learnt so much from them.”

“I find training these horses a challenge and it’s very rewarding to win with them after spending the time getting them right.”

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