Manning puts Magorrian on the board

Lee Magorrian breaking through for his first win of the new season of Bella Blue at New Plymouth today.

Lee Magorrian breaking through for his first win of the new season of Bella Blue at New Plymouth today.

Lee Magorrian ended a frustrating run of placings with an overdue win at New Plymouth today thanks to the connections of Cambridge four-year-old Bella Blue.

The Byerley Park apprentice had been off the winner’s list since scoring on Classic Warrior at Te Aroha on July 24 and within the last 45 days he had to settle for minor placings in his search to add to his 95 career wins.

One of those placings, an unlucky one, was a fourth aboard the Ralph Manning-trained Bella Blue at Te Rapa on August 13. On that occasion Bella Blue was hampered early in the run home and got going again to finish just over a half-length from the joint winners, Blushing Moss and Lord Snow.

Third home in that Te Rapa race was De Chine, who followed up with a win at Pukekohe on August 31, while Lord Snow carried on to finish second in his next start, also at that same Pukekohe meeting.

With that sound form emerging from the Te Rapa event it seemed likely Bella Blue would break through today and the Makfi mare lived right up to expectations, winning by a length and a quarter from Dai Kilchoan to give Magorrian his first win for the new season.

It was a well-deserved win for Bella Blue after three placings in her previous five starts with Magorrian aboard on each dividend-bearing occasion. The first of those placings was a second at Te Rapa on July 2 when beaten a mere nose and Bella Blue was then beaten a short neck in her next start when second at Tauranga.

Bella Blue’s win also marked Magorrian’s first success for Manning after five placings from 16 previous rides for his stable.

Bella Blue is raced by her breeder Coralie Eagle, who raced and co-bred her dam, Blue Skies, a winner of two races from Manning’s stable.

Manning took two other stable representatives to today’s New Plymouth meeting and both weighed in. Dowry Duty was fourth in the first event and Into The Mystic finished fifth behind Bella Blue.

Manning’s attention will now switch to runners at Awapuni and Ruakaka on Saturday and Rotorua the following day with most interest focused on the unbeaten McCullum at the Marton meeting at Awapuni.

McCullum, a five-year-old of Shinko King, won on debut at Tauranga despite a slipped saddle making it a tough ride for Manning’s apprentice Zy Nor Azman. The same combination then succeeded at New Plymouth when beating Art Deco, who was a winner on that course today.

McCullum, who is part-owned by co-breeder and former successful jockey Gavin McKeon, will again step out over 1200 metres this weekend, contesting the Nufarm/FPanz Handicap, the same event in which Manning’s other Awapuni runner, Tranky Doo, will compete.

Tranky Doo has won three of her last five starts and has been freshened since she was third to Bannockburn at Trentham in mid-July.

Cutting Up Rough, a fresh-up third at Taupo last month, will be Manning’s sole runner at Ruakaka, while the stable’s interest at Rotorua on Sunday will be on In A Trance, Bonnie Sareeh and Enjoy The Ride.