Day At The Track

Plethora of future stars at Menangle today

09:10 PM 21 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Lachie Manzelmann, harness racing
Lachie Manzelmann from Queensland now calls Sydney home.
Club Menangle Photo

It seems that harness racing at Menangle suddenly has a plethora of future stars with several young drivers poised to dominate the sport for the next few years.

And that might start today at Tabcorp Park Menangle with amazing talent expected to dominate this afternoon’s eight-race card.

Race one looks the perfect case in point with four of our ‘young guns’ to do battle.

Cameron Hart will handle polemarker Aichbechateaunoir for former Victorian trainer Shane Sanderson while Jason Grimson will be aboard outsider Vivian Knox for Troy Williams; the seasoned young ‘veteran’ Chris Geary drives No Transactions for Tim Butt while Codi Rauchenberger will partner Majestic Whiz for Peter Carson.

All four drivers have been in good form around the provincials in recent weeks and could easily pull off an upset here.

While Geary, Grimson and Hart are in heavy demand in other races, another young reinsman will be hoping to add to what is already becoming an outstanding strike rate when former Queensland reinsman Lachie Manzelmann [pictured] drives Countdown for Leon Jurd in Race Four.

Manzelmann took a massive gamble when he left his home state to take up a spot working for the powerful Shane and Lauren Tritton stable at Menangle a few months ago.

His gamble has worked a treat as he is working horses, including some of the best in training, most mornings on the best harness track in the Southern Hemisphere and his efforts are now beginning to catch the eye of other trainers.

“I’m glad I made the move to Menangle because I had never left home before and it has done me the world of good,” said Manzelmann, who gives Countdown a good show Menangle in Race four today and believes his chances might be further improved if he can hold the lead.

“I think that’s when Countdown ran his best races when he was in Queensland,” he said.

“But I’ll have a talk to Leon [Jurd] before the race and see what we’ll do.”

Manzelmann says he found the pace of the racing in Sydney took a bit of getting used to when he first made the move south.

“They go a lot faster down here and there’s no real backing off of the speed,” he said.

“But I am loving the challenge and no, I haven’t really felt homesick.

“I went back to Queensland for a drive last week and managed to get into a little bit of trouble with the stewards, but it was just a one off and I am happy to stay here.”

Manzelmann has one horse in work himself but has been delighted to sit behind horses like Franco Nelson and Reaza Grunter.

“I think Reaza Grunter is probably the fastest horse I’ve driven in a race, at this stage,” he said.

Michael Court

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