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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Thursday, April 19 2018

It’s the changing of the guard at Ralph Manning’s Cambridge stable with his winter team gathering momentum, but he still has a few shots to fire with his out-going squad.


Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning is eyeing winter racing with his stable - Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)Manning lined up several of his winter team at the Te Awamutu trials on Tuesday, including his problem-plagued galloper Wanabefamous, who won an open 1400-metre heat in the hands of his Mauritian apprentice, Ashvin Goindasamy.

Though Manning has gathered some success with 13 wins so far this season, including such recent winners as Stand Tall, Cutting Up Rough, Lala Land and Sleek Secret, he is looking forward to stepping out his winter squad, especially Wanabefamous, whose seven wins include the 2014 Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup (2100m).

With the injuries he has suffered, it’s a miracle Wanabefamous is still alive, let alone racing.

“He fractured a hind leg and had two years off after the year he won the Taumarunui Cup then we brought him back and had him ready to go and he fell in his paddock and broke his neck in three places,” Manning said. 

“You could see the breaks and I didn’t think we’d save him. But he came right and we got him going again then he went sore. We never really found out what it was so we chucked him out and he has come right.

“He also had surgery on a hock as a three-year-old.

“I’ve always thought he could be a Group One horse, but he’s had three major injuries and that’s stopped him getting there.”

Though he hasn’t won for almost four years, Wanabefamous has had only nine starts in that period and picked up six placings.

“It was his first trial back on Tuesday and he’s a lot fitter than he’s been at the same stage before,” Manning said. “He’s done a lot of work and I was rapt in his trial. It was good for Ashvin, too. He’s had his (apprentice) licence approved now and he’s ready to start off riding on raceday.”

Manning is planning to aim Wanabefamous at the Gr.3 Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup (2200m) at Rotorua on May 12.

Manning had a further eight members of his winter racing team step out at the Te Awamutu trials, including In A Minute and Into The Mystic who will be jumping this year.

But before he concentrates fully on Wanabefamous and his other winter squad, Manning is hoping for a well-overdue win with his mare Korakonui at Te Aroha on Friday. And such a result would give Manning the joy of taking some cash off fellow Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh, who sponsors the 2200-metre Rating 65 event.

Korakonui has won twice from 16 starts and was considered good enough to have a tilt at black-type races last season.

“She’s not as good right-handed as left-handed, but this looks a nice race for her. I just don’t know about a heavy track.

“She’s run good races all season but had so much bad luck. She’s been constantly in the stipes report for that.”

Manning has one other starter at Te Aroha, the debutante Mia Madre, in the first event. 

“She’s had a few trials and goes all right, but we’ll know more after this one,” he said. “She’ll be better for it.” 

Posted by: AT 07:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email