Day At The Track

Kez about being back, "I'm lovin' it"

01:11 PM 05 Jun 2020 NZST
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Glenavril King,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

Kerryn Manning's long-awaited return to Victorian harness racing headquarters was a successful one last weekend, but it wasn't necessarily the triumphs on the racetrack that gave her the biggest thrill.

Manning drove a winner and trained another at Tabcorp Park Melton and treated herself to a long-awaited feast of Maccas on the way home to Great Western.

"My most exciting part was getting McDonald's on the way home because I hadn't had it for a couple of months," Manning said.

"It was good. I was very hungry by then. I was definitely thinking about it half-way through the night when I was starving."

With the state's racing regions partially opening, Manning will be back at Melton this evening with exciting duo The Bull Pen and Rupert Of Lincoln.

And as far as racing tendencies go, the pair couldn't be any more different. A recent stable acquisition, The Bull Pen has been pulling hard and over-working in his races while Rupert Of Lincoln is described as a "lazy" customer by his trainer.

A former New Zealander, The Bull Pen broke through for his first Australian win at Stawell on May 28 and now sets his sights on the Allied Express Pace (1720m, NR 62-69) at Melton.

Manning said she had switched to an open bridle for the son of Tintin In America and hoped that would help him remain calm during the early and middle stages of the race.

"Hopefully he'll settle a little bit better and relax in the run a little bit," she said. "He worked good in it but he's good at home so it's hard to tell."

Manning said she was unsure if the gelding had the speed to cross the field from barrier six.

"He feels quite good and he was still a little bit fat that second run (May 28) so hopefully he has tightened up a little bit more and got a bit fitter," she said.

"It's a little bit stronger field (than Stawell) and he's drawn slightly awkward again. I'm not sure what the plan will be at the start - it depends on him a little bit.

"He does run on good from behind here at home, so if he did settle back he would still run on well I'd think."

Owned by the Butterworth family, The Bull Pen had 37 starts in New Zealand before being sent to Manning's stables following his last race at Alexandra Park in August last year.

Stablemate Rupert Of Lincoln was a country cups campaigner last preparation and returned from a spell in winning fashion at Terang on May 24.

"He's the opposite of the other one. He's very relaxed and you've got to make Rupert do everything," Manning said.

She said it's likely the son of Lincoln Royal would be sent forward from barrier five in Friday's TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m, NR 79-89).

"He's drawn a little bit awkward, but he will probably roll forward and see what happens," she said.

"He's always been better up the front of the field because he is a bit of a grinder. He's got a lot of stamina and he tries really hard, so he's got good qualities about him."

Friday's seven-race card at Tabcorp Park Melton will kick off at 5.22pm, with the last scheduled to go at 8.30pm.


Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. The show includes the Friday Good Form panel from noon.

Then from 6-10pm it's time to tune back in for Friday Night Trackside featuring Sam Hargreaves and Tim O'Connor. The duo stream on SENTrack (1377AM) for the entire show and SEN1116 (1116AM) from 8-10pm.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.


The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

Tabcorp Park Melton, R2 N7, Struve

Began quickly to find the lead and rolled along at a reasonable tempo before sprinting home quickly in the final stages. He dashed home in a sizzling final quarter of 26.9 seconds and scored by a large margin. REPORT

Tabcorp Park Melton, R7 N4, Egee Money

Settled last of the three runners before moving away from the inside at the 300m. She finished off well to get up and defeat the early leader FORGOT TO REMEMBER. REPORT


HRV - Tim O'Connor
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