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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Talented driver Maddison Brown has forged a wonderful association with WA-bred four-year-old Manning, who is proving a great bargain for a band of Trotsynd members.

Brown gave a splendid exhibition in the sulky to land Manning, a $5.90 chance, an easy winner of the 2130m Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. 

This took Manning’s record to eleven wins and four placings from 36 starts for $164,585 in prizemoney — a splendid return for a pacer who was sold for $19,000 at the 2018 Perth APG yearling sale.

Brown has handled Manning in 18 of his starts for seven wins and a second placing. “Maddy has a really good affinity with Manning, and he runs well for her,” said trainer Justin Prentice.     

Manning began well from the No. 2 barrier and led for the first 150m before the $2.75 favourite Tyler Brett burst to the front, with the fast starting $3.60 chance Euphoria in the breeze.

Brown was able to ease Manning off the pegs 250m from home and the Sportswriter gelding went three wide on the home turn before charging to the lead with 80m to travel and going on to win by 5m from Euphoria, with $5.50 chance Boom Time finishing fast out wide to be third. The final quarters were covered in 27.7sec. and 28.7sec. and the winner rated 1.57.5.

“Manning has been a good horse,” said Prentice. “But he is pretty frustrating in a way because he is pretty hard to get out of first gear. He is just so laid back. The harder you drive him, the better it suits him. If you drive him too cute, he goes to sleep, and you can’t wake him up. Maddy wanted to lead tonight, but she couldn’t hold out Tyler Brett.

“Things will probably be a bit harder for him when he goes up a grade and faces horses who are in form. It’s not that he can’t run the time against the better ones; it is just that when he gets back in the field, he is happy to follow them around all day.”

Manning, who won the group 1 Pearl Classic in June 2019, is the seventh foal out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Stephanie Rose, who also produced handy performers in Arts Gangsta (112 starts for 11 wins, 25 placings and $66,827) and Brotha Ofa Gangsta (82 starts for 12 wins, 18 placings and $92,851).