Day At The Track

Romero enjoying life at Great Western

10:00 AM 16 Apr 2020 NZST
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Romero has had two starts in Victoria for Kerryn Manning, for two wins,Harness racing
Romero has had two starts in Victoria for Kerryn Manning, for two wins

Astute Victorian horsewoman Kerryn Manning has put the polish on a number of former NSW harness racing horses over the years-and there are signs she might be shaping up to do it again.

"I've built up a great relationship with Ashlee Grives, of Bathurst, and she recently sent another one down to us to give it a try," Manning, of Great Western, said.

"He's a nice little fella and if he can get a bit tougher, you just never know how far he might go," she said.

And there are certainly some positive signs with brown gelding Romero (Million Dollar Cam-Athletic River (River Khan), who, before being sent to Victoria, had won four for the Grives team. Stepping out on two occasions this month for Manning, Romero has the perfect result of two impressive wins.

The four-year-old scored at Stawell on April 1 and then repeated the dose last Monday afternoon in virtually identical fashion by zipping to the head of affairs and leading all the way.

"He pulled quite hard in his first win for us, but surprisingly ran a faster mile rate with 1.58-7. He didn't come with a lot of points, so we were getting balloted out. In the end we were forced to run him out of his class," Manning said.

"He's a funny horse to drive. He runs with his head down but gets over the ground okay. A great thing about the horse is that he's kept improving.

"The most recent Stawell meeting was a great day for us because (husband) Grant also drove a winner in Glenavril King, which he trains. It's not far to travel, just a bit up the way so under the new zoning conditions we can compete at Stawell and Terang."

Manning said in the past she had taken on a few horses from Ashlee, who she become friends with years ago.

"Probably a standout was Ameretto which was a lovely mare. We won several nice races in Melbourne with her. One was a Group One feature in the Queen of the Pacific, the first that she had ever won, but thoroughly deserved," she said.

Ameretto (Million Dollar Cam-Eyes of Courage (Courage Under Fire) had won 17 races before being sent south to Manning in search of more suitable handicapping conditions. Her record shows she won 27 races and had 20 placings for $565,000 during a career full of highlights. Under the care of Manning, the mare won 10 races-six of these in a row. Her biggest scalp was the $100,000 G1 Queen of the Pacific in May, 2018, but victory in the $60,000 G2 Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate FFA in August, 2017, was also memorable.

Ameretto returned home last year, but tragically died on the comeback trail after a suspensory injury. She contracted severe colic and failed to recover after two major surgeries.

However, thanks to embryo transfer technology the mare's line continues with a Warrawee Needy filly foal born to a surrogate mare.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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