Manning’s judgement spot on but not the Cup

Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning (pictured) had mixed feelings after watching his mare Peace Lily win the Bay Betta Electrical 2100 at Tauranga yesterday.

Naturally he was very pleased to have won the event, but on the other hand he would rather have been at Riccarton the same day with her. Peace Lilly had been entered for the Group III Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup, but had been left on the ballot list.

“She’d been set for the Cup and was meant to fly down last Thursday but being fourth on the ballot there wasn’t much chance of four pulling out so I scratched her,” said Manning. “I gave her a good chance in the Cup especially with the rain coming, not that she needs a wet track. She’s won on all types of going. She stays and she’s honest.”

Manning gained the satisfaction of knowing he had Peace Lilly ready for a winning run. “I suppose the win has backed my judgement at having her at her peak on this day,” he said.

Manning knows what is needed to win a New Zealand Cup, having done so with Oak Vue (1986) and Laud Peregrine. In the case of the latter winner in 1997 Manning “sneaked” the gelding into the field on a light weight.

“Laud Peregrine was a three-win horse when he won the Cup and that’s why I had a go at getting Peace Lilly in,” said Manning. “I hoped she’d sneak in, but it didn’t work out.”

Instead of taking on the open handicappers in the NZ Cup, Peace Lilly raced against Rating 80 opposition in the Bay Betta Electrical 2100 and the manner in which she won suggested she would have been a top chance at Riccarton.

Ridden by Leith Innes, Peace Lilly tailed the field and made a move with 500 metres to run. She swept up widest on straightening for the run home and raced away to win by three and a half lengths.

Peace Lilly has now won five times and will get her chance to chase black type in her next few races. “I’ll try and sneak into the Wanganui Cup with her and look at the Waikato Cup after that,” said Manning. “The Wanganui Cup is a week after the Counties Cup and all the good ones should be going for that.”

Peace Lilly was the first of two winners on the day for The Oaks Stud, of Cambridge. The Oaks Stud also won the final event with Single Minded, who is prepared by Graham Richardson, and actually also filled the third (Skysoblue) and fourth (Supreme Lady) placings in the same race.

Single Minded was the fourth winner on the day for jockey Craig Grylls, who started the day off on a high note with victory aboard the Murray Baker-trained Oak Park in the first race.