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Winx comeback could be delayed

Winx’s return to racing could be delayed after her regular rider, Hugh Bowman, failed to have a suspension reduced.

The mare was due to meet an engagement in the Apollo Stakes on February 17 that is in the balance now, the decision is whether Chris Waller would engage another jockey, or delay the mare’s return to racing

After Winx finished fifth in a second barrier trial earlier in the week, no decisions have been reached at this stage.

Bowman has ridden the mare in 20 of her 22 wins, however, Waller is not going to be rushed into hasty decisions, there is a lot at stake, he is juggling a time bomb at the moment, he cannot afford to make a mistake.

“Do we risk another jockey? Or does she have to run in the Apollo Stakes, that is the other question, that is what we have to work out,” said Chris Waller.

The Chipping Norton could be the decider; all parties should be comfortable with that, another couple of weeks may be the best decision.

Chris Waller Mobile

Chris Waller

 

M R C honour Manfred

Manfred was a very good racehorse; he could have been a champion, except his temperament didn’t mix so well on some occasions.

He was by Valais, who sired Heroic 12 months earlier, a much better racehorse and leading sire seven times in succession.

Manfred was raced by Ben Chaffey, Chairman of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club; he raced Whittier earlier who had won the Caulfield Cup twice in three years.

Manfred was trained by Harry McCalman, at Bendigo, in stables opposite to the member’s car park.

After a few disappointing runs, six starts in all, there was still a few quirks in his makeup that McCalman had to work on.

He turned to Warwick Farm; it was worth the risk, at 10-1 he cantered in by four lengths, it was too good to be true, ridden by Bill Duncan.

Duncan couldn’t wait about for the Sires Produce Stakes, he had to get back to Melbourne, Jackie Toohey, a competent jockey, was engaged to ride Manfred.

When the starter sent the field away Manfred stood flatfooted,with all the persuasion he never moved, the 6-4 favourite was taking no place in the race.

Punters are a resilient group, they lined up two days later for the Easter Stakes at   Randwick as if nothing had happened, all was forgiven, Manfred starting favourite at 10-9, he was untroubled to win, with a bit in hand.

The Champagne was a further two days away, Manfred won with a leg in the air by eight lengths, starting at 6-1.

Manfred retuned to Bendigo for a break of four months before he would race again, he ran unplaced in a three year old race at Flemington.

However, after winning the Heatherlie Handicap, he ran second to The Hawk in the Hill Stakes, starting at 1- 3

The A J C Derby was next, what a furore, at 2-5 favourite he took no notice of the starter’s   lever, all he was interested in was a lady leaning over the rails wearing pink hat.

Under strong persuasion from Billy Duncan, he coaxed Manfred to join in the race when the horses were turning out of the straight, with a lap to complete.

Manfred won that Derby, another as well, a Cox Plate and a Caulfield Cup, he was beaten a half length by Windbag in a Melbourne Cup.

He was a champion, but he only raced on his terms, six times he refused to join in the field, he almost threw a Derby away.

Manfred Mobile  Manfred with Bill Duncan

 

First Flemington winner for Nick Ryan

Flemington is no stranger to Nick Ryan, he has been there often in a career riding over 500 winners as a jockey, and now has trained his very first winner when Mahamedeis won at Flemington.

He was the only apprentice rider in the history of Victorian racing, since records were kept from 1900, was premier jockey, with 83 winners in season 2004-05, he defeated Damian Oliver by 6 wins.

After a very successful apprenticeship with Robert Smerdon, Nick didn’t wait around for long, he retired from riding in 2009, he was seldom seen at the races since.

His dad, Brendan, was also a jockey apprenticed to the late Bert Honeychurch at Berrigan, he had had a number of good riders attached to the stable, among them was Brendan.

It didn’t take Nick long to follow in the footsteps of his dad, he had to be good he was out in the same era as Blake Shinn, both were gentlemen and exceptional jockeys.

Mahamedeis was not an expensive yearling, he is by Magnus, he cost $24,000 as a yearling, and has shown a return of $108,205 in stakes from 5 starts, he is certainly paying his way.

Ryan Maloney who is riding on the crest of a wave at present, allowed the colt to settle well before his assault on the leading division.

This is the first horse that Nick has syndicated; he had a happy bunch of owners after the race, including John Cole, a son of former Flemington trainer Les Cole, who operated out of stables in Fisher Parade. That was a long time ago.

Nick Ryan Mobile   Ryan Maloney and Nick Ryan all smiles after the win

 

Willi Willi Likes Flemington

Willi Willi looks a talented performer once he develops that rhythm, he is like a dog with a bone, he does not give in easily.

That was about the pattern of the Bitalli Handicap at Flemington, on Saturday, he again refused to give in, he had three parts of a length to spare when the judge called a halt.

The gelding was the junior in the field, he is a four year old, his trainer, Craig Widdison, has another run pencilled in at headquarters before the horse has a break.

Craig has a team of around 25 horses in work, and a few spellers at Wodonga, there is plenty of opportunities for horses that are not up to city class, as racing is strong in the North East, and over the border, at Albury and Wagga.

He is an excellent young trainer with a bright future, he was formerly in a training partnership with Peter Morgan at Whittlesea .

Craig Widdison Mobile

Craig Widdison

 

V R C Announces New C E O

Victoria Racing Club Chairman, Amanda Elliott, announced today the appointment of Mr. Neil Wilson as Chief Executive (CEO) of the Club.

“On behalf of the board of the V R C, I am delighted to announce Neil Wilson as the Club’s new CEO, and we congratulate him on this important appointment.”.

“In his seven months as VRC Interim Chief Executive, Neil has made a very positive impact across the whole Club.”

“Amongst other significant outcomes, he led the delivery of last year’s highly successful Melbourne Cup Carnival.”

“Neil’s appointment will provide stability and continuity as the VRC cements its long term strategy, and evolves to set Flemington up for the next generation and beyond.”

“It’s an exciting time for the VRC, headlined by the opening of the new Club Stand later this year.”

Neil was appointed to the V R C Board and became Honorary Treasure in 2017, he will remain a member of the Club’s Board in his capacity as CEO.

Neil Wilson Mobile Neil Wilson C.E.O. of the VRC

 

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