Flame too fleet-footed in mud

Manhattan Flame (Troy Harris) scoring a convincing debut win at Woodville.

Manhattan Flame (Troy Harris) scoring a convincing debut win at Woodville.

Cambridge galloper Manhattan Flame shook off his hoof problems when he ploughed through a heavy track for a debut win at Woodville today.

Manhattan Flame had been given seven trials by trainer Shane Crawford going into today’s Placemakers 3YO Maiden and he had shown a glimpse of talent with a win (dead heat) and a couple of seconds.

The first of those trials placings was at Cambridge last month when beaten a short neck over 800 metres and the most recent, behind Richmond at Taupo nine days ago.

Crawford was quietly confident Manhattan Fire would go well in his Woodville engagement and was relieved to see him break through for the debut win.

“We’ve had a lot of problems with him,” said Crawford. “He’s got terrible feet.”

Ridden by Troy Harris, Manhattan Flame settled fifth on the inner and closed on the leaders nearing the home turn.

Harris had him up challenging with 200 metres to run and urged him clear over the final stages to score by a length and half.

“He’s a work in progress,” said Crawford. “We thought he’s get through it (the heavy track). I think he’s above average.”