Smart four-year-old Manning returned to form with a vengeance when he started from the No. 6 barrier and raced three wide for the first 400m and then in the breeze before getting up in the final stride to defeat the pacemaker Im Rocknroll Magic by a nose in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Maddington Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Manning, a $19,000 purchase at the 2018 APG Perth yearling sale and raced by the Trotsynd No. 16 syndicate, was a solidly-supported $2.60 favourite. This was his ninth win from 30 starts and boosted his earnings to $142,328.
Manning, trained in Boyanup by Justin Prentice, had disappointed when unplaced at four of his five previous starts when driven back in the field. Stable foreman Cody Wallrodt explained that the plan for Friday night’s race from the No. 6 barrier was for Maddison Brown to go forward at the start and position Manning in a prominent spot.
“And that suited him, up on the speed,” Wallrodt said. “When he gets back in the field he doesn’t seem to go as well. Tonight, the plan was to go forward and that gave him a bit of confidence.”
Wallrodt chalked up an important victory as a trainer when he prepared $16 chance Babyface Adda for an upset victory over the $1.85 favourite Withoutthetuh in the $30,000 Northam Cup at Burwood Park on Saturday night. Babyface Adda was handled by claiming reinsman Mark Johnson.
By Ken Casellas