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By Glenn Davis
Trainer John Manzelmann’s quest for the Country Cup Challenge final at Doomben in December will become a little clearer after the Yeppoon meeting in central Queensland on Tuesday.
Manzelmann has four runners in Tuesday's Open Handicap over 1400 metres, all bidding for a place in the $105,000 Country Cup Challenge final.
The final is the culmination of 16 qualifying races around the state, and will be run at Doomben on December 5.
Townsville Cup winner Shiranda spearheads Manzelmann’s quartet, and will be joined by Elle A Walking, Cinnamon Missile and Don’t Doubt Lara.
“All four are trying to qualify for the Country Cup Challenge final and all will be headed to Brisbane at some stage in the coming months,” Manzelmann said.
“Of the four that are racing tomorrow, Shiranda looks to be my best chance.”
Yeppoon | Rockhampton Jockey Club Inc | 2:57 PM
Shiranda was a brilliant winner of the Townsville Cup over 2000 metres at Cluden Park on August 14 before the five-year-old only beat two home in the Cairns Cup two weeks later.
“His win in the Townsville Cup was a real good effort,” Manzelmann said.
“He got carted off on the first corner in the Townsville Cup but he got over it and fought them off well.
“I’m overlooking his run in the Cairns Cup as it was a muddling run affair and they were all getting to the outside that day as the inside was off.
“All four of these are aiming for the Country Cup Challenge and they all have got good eachway chances.”
Manzelmann warned punters not to underestimate Don’t Doubt Lara despite her two recent failures at Mackay.
Don’t Doubt Lara won a Class Six over 1560 metres on her home track three starts back before finishing seventh at her past two starts over the same trip at Mackay.
“Before her last two starts she had won three of her previous four starts so she should be a good chance,” he said.
“Elle A Walking and Cinnamon Missile also have been racing well and will be competitive again.”
Townsville | Townsville Turf Club | 4:27 PM