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Manzelmann chasing personal best at Mackay

By Glenn Davis

Trainer John Manzelmann will be looking for a personal best when he saddles a massive team at Mackay on Tuesday.

Manzelmann has 23 starters of the 73 runners (including emergencies) entered for the seven-race program.

The 48-year-old trainer, who overcame a battle with leukemia early in his training career, has trained the card several times on smaller non-tab circuits in central and north Queensland.

However, his best training performances has been five winners.

“I’ve trained the program a few times but I’ve never trained more than five winners,” Manzelmann said.

“I’ve done it a few times at Twin Hills, Moranbah, Mackay and Clermont but I’ve never won six.

“It would be great if I could win six or more tomorrow but I’m not getting carried away.”

Mackay-based Manzelmann has won the local trainers’ premiership numerous times and has a team of 34 horses currently in work on his private training track.

Manzelmann, who started training harness horses more than 20 years ago before changing to thoroughbreds in 2007, rates Street Rogue in the TAB Maiden Handicap (1560m) as the best of his big team.

Street Rogue, a Brad Pengelly mount, has had had four starts this campaign and finished second at his past two outings at Townsville.

Street Rogue has only had the four starts for Manzelmann who was previously trained by Ron Leemon in NSW.

Manzelmann also will be the dominant player in the Open Handicap (1100m) with 10 acceptors in the 12-horse field which includes two emergencies.

He has given punters a strong lead by choosing Sweet Surprise as his preferred choice.

Sweet Surprise, a Bonnie Thomson mount, has drawn barrier seven but will come in two places if Manzelmann’s two emergencies don’t obtain starts.

Sweet Surprise won a Benchmark race at Rockhampton on February 9 before finishing second to Ruler in a similar 1000-metre Benchmark at Townsville on February 20.

At her last appearance, the seven-year-old mare finished third to the Janel Ryan-trained Space Time over 1200 metres at Townsville on February 29.

“Sweet Surprise is probably my best chance in the Open as she’s very consistent,” Manzelmann said.

“I lease her off Sydney trainer Graham Brown who has been one of my main supporters for many years.”

Racing Queensland webnews   March 16