Day At The Track

Females to the fore in cup qualifiers

08:43 AM 10 Apr 2019 NZST
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San Carlo,Harness racing
A close shave – San Carlo (outside) prevails over Brallos Pass
Terry Gange
Victoria’s premier female drivers appear to hold the keys to this Saturday night’s $60,000 Mildura Pacing Cup Final after dominating last night’s heats.
 
The Mildura Pacing Cup is the only event on Victoria’s country cups circuit to be run in a carnival format, with Tuesday night’s heats over 2600 metres, followed by a Saturday night final over the same distance.
 
Great Western pacer Reciprocity (Panspacificflight-Weka Lass (Badlands Hanover), driven by Kerryn Manning for her father Peter, scored an emphatic win in the first heat, over Perspective and South Australian Bulletproof Boy.
 
In the second, Shepparton pacer San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Garry), for driver Bec Bartley, ground out a narrow death-seat victory over leader Brallos Pass, driven by Ellen Tormey, with the pair 28 metres clear of their nearest rival, Emain Macha.
 
Barring accident or incident, Saturday night’s final is effectively at the mercy of the three accomplished reinswomen – and it’s shaping as an intriguing battle.
 
Reciprocity’s victory was comprehensive – and dispelled any doubts astute mentor Peter Manning had about the mare’s ability to handle the 805-metre Mildura circuit.
 
The five-year-old sat back in the early stages from her barrier eight draw. She was then sent three wide by Kerryn at the bell, then careered around the final turn at Mildura four and five wide, with all the confidence in the world, posting 2:00.4 for the journey.
 
“That was going to be the test – whether she would handle the track or not. We’ve found she does,so that’s all we needed to know,” Manning said.
 
With only five days between heats and finals, and with another night of racing on Thursday night, trainers often relocate to the remote Sunraysia region for the week, but Kerryn Manning said
 
Reciprocity would be home in her paddock by the early hours of Wednesday morning.
 
“She travelled up really well on her own, and we thought it’d be best to get her home again,” Manning said.
 
“She did an awesome job for us tonight, everything we wanted, so we’ll just hope for one better on Saturday.”

Kerryn Manning and her father Peter with Reciprocity, winner of the first heat

Reciprocity is owned by Henry Campbell and came to the Manning stable from the Tamworth region.

Since arriving late last year, she’s chalked up seven wins, including an MO and the Group 3 VHRSC Metro Pace Final, in Victoria.

But the Group 2 Mildura Pacing Cup would be her biggest win.

“I’d trained a couple of horses for a fellow up at Tamworth and he was the one who recommended to Henry that he send the horse down,” Peter Manning said.

“We’re pretty glad he did. She has improved in leaps and bounds, particularly in the past couple of months.

“She used to hop along a bit and we’ve done some work on her feet and let her hopples out and she’s just thrived on the sandy track at our place.

“She’s a very smart horse.”

In the second heat, Shepparton pair Brallos Pass (trained by Mark Watson) and San Carlo (trained by Stephen O’Donoghue) always looked the key chances on paper, and that proved to be the case, with only a head margin separating the pair at the post.

Brallos Pass was sent forward by Ellen Tormey from his extreme outside (barrier six) draw, and early leader Lucky Lombo (Zac Phillips) was content to hand up.

As Tormey crossed to the lead, Bartley, who had come from barrier eight, made a forward move to “death seat” outside Brallos Pass.

With a lap to go, San Carlo strode up alongside Brallos Pass, and the two went to war down the back straight.

"I wanted to be alongside Ellen as we got around the final corner, because I thought if she pinched a break on me, I might not be able to get it back – but I thought San Carlo would be tough enough if we were on terms,” Bartley said.

She was right – but only just. San Carlo raised a final effort on the line to score narrowly from a gallant Brallos Pass.

 

An elated Bec Bartley after Heat Two of the Mildura Pacing Cup
 
Bartley and San Carlo are spending the Cup week in Mildura, with Bartley super-keen to go one better this year, after finishing runner up last year to Im the Boss (with Shakahari).
 
“San Carlo has pulled up really well after the race, and he’s settled in nicely where we are staying,” Bartley said.
 
“He’ll have a day off tomorrow and then he’ll just have a jog leading up to the final. I’ve got no doubt he’ll handle the two close runs.
 
“We don’t have too many problems with him these days. He’s such a seasoned horse now. He eats everything you put in front of him and come Saturday I think he’ll be jumping out of his skin.”
 
The full list of 11 qualifiers includes one local horse, Brocks Territory trained by Luke Watson. Other qualifiers are Assassinator, Lucky Lombo, Bulletproof Boy, Ideal World, Perspective, Brallos Pass, Resurgent Spirit, Emain Macha, Reciprocity and San Carlo.
 
San Carlo looks likely to draw the extreme outside of the back row for Saturday night’s final, with Reciprocity right next door on his inside. Brallos Pass may face a tricky assignment, with an inside back row barrier draw if all qualifiers accept.
 
 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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