By Glenn Davis
Central Queensland apprentice Elyce Smith has won a vote of confidence from Mackay trainer John Manzelmann with the ride on two of his Eagle Farm contenders on Saturday.
Smith, the daughter of Rockhampton trainer Fred Smith, is making her metropolitan debut after making a comeback in March following a serious race fall at Thangool in central Queensland 12 months ago.
Smith, who has ridden 109 winners, will ride seven-year-old mare Sensation Ally in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (2400m) and Zoffany Rocket, one of five Manzelmann runners in the Class Six Plate (1815m).
She also partners Mad Irish Tycoon for Rockhampton trainer Tom Button in the male’s division of the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1000m).
“Elyce has never ridden at Eagle Farm before but I’m more than happy to put her on,” Manzelmann said.
“She rides well and competes against the likes of Ryan Wiggins, Justin Stanley and Brad Pengelly every week.
“She’s got a good strike rate and has ridden five winners up our way in the last week.”
Manzelmann has a big team of six competing in two Eagle Farm races but the main reason he headed south was to give Sensation Ally a lead up run ahead of the $150,000 Cairns Amateur Cup (2100m) at Cannon Park.
The Cairns Amateur Cup is the final leg of the Northern Crown series for stayers on September 14.
Sensation Ally won the Townsville Amateurs Cup (2000m) last Saturday after returning home following a hit-and-run Brisbane trip when she finished seventh to Galtero in a Benchmark race at Doomben on August 10.
“She won well in the Amateur Cup and she’s the main reason I’ve come back again as she needs another run before the Cairns Amateur Cup,” Manzelmann said.
“She’s by Al Maher so she’s bred to get 2400 metres and I expect her to be competitive again.”
Apart from Zoffany Rocket, Manzelmann has topweight Calypso Bay, Shiranda, Stone Warrior and Baker’s Dozen entered in the Class Six Plate.
Zoffany Rocket is the form runner of Manzelmann’s team in the Class Six Plate with four wins from his past five starts.
The only defeat in the sequence was when he finished seventh in a 2200-metre Open Handicap at Doomben on August 10.
“He ran against open company horses when I brought him to Brisbane two runs back and he ran a fair race,” Manzelmann said.
“He drops back to a Class Six and will be competitive but Looks Like Elvis is the one to beat.
“He’ll hold his own and will run well but I think we’ll be running for second or third prizemoney.”
Racing Queensland webnews August 29