Manning’s Cup hopes resting with Innovation

Ralph Manning’s chances of a two-pronged attack on the Group III $100,000 Estaronline Winter Cup at Riccarton on Saturday looked to be ruined.

The Cambridge trainer had planned to start both Innovation and Wanabefamous in the 1600-metre feature, but the latter is 24th in the order of entry and would need a miracle to get a run in the 16-horse field.

“It’s disappointing because I gave him a good chance in the race,” said Manning, who will know at 10am tomorrow when acceptances closer whether there is any prospect of getting a start with Wanabefamous. “I’ve got Rosie Myers on standby to ride him if by some chance he sneaks into the field. Otherwise he will run in the Rating 85 race.”

Wanabefamous earned his trip south when a runaway winner at New Plymouth last start, taking his record to three wins from 10 starts. “I think he’s pretty good and though he hasn’t been tried in the really heavy stuff I think he could handle it down there,” said Manning.

Despite the disappointment with Wanabefamous, Manning is happy with the prospects of Innovation, who will be chasing her fifth win in succession. “She’s done well and with her sex allowance she comes into the race well, just one kilo above the minimum,” said Manning. “She’s been up for a long time, bhut she hasn’t run for six weeks and has done well since she won at Tauranga.”

Manning sent five members of his team south to Riccarton yesterday and he will head south tomorrow night to oversee their work on Thursday morning.

Also in the squad are Snow Excuse, Civics Rock and Old Drumble. Snow Excuse will run in the Rating 75 1200 metres and Manning is looking forward to the horse’s performance back on a heavy track, while Civics Rock will start in the open sprint and Old Drumble will be a rival for Wanabefamous in the Rating 85 1800 metres.