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Manzelmann chasing another first in Rocky Newmarket

10 July 2024

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By Glenn Davis

Champion country trainer John Manzelmann claimed his first Battle Of The Bush crown this year with Tiger Legend and is hopeful the gelding’s form extends to the Newmarket Handicap at Rockhampton on Friday.

The widely travelled Tiger Legend led all the way to win the $200,000 Battle Of The Bush Final at Eagle Farm last month to make it nine wins and eight placings from 27 starts.

“It was a sensational win in the Battle Of The Bush and he hasn’t gone backwards since coming home,” Manzelmann said.

“This looks a stronger field but he he’ll acquit himself well.

“He led in the Battle Of The Bush Final but he doesn’t have to lead in this.”

A son of Better Than Ready, Tiger Legend started his career with Tony Gollan in Brisbane and had a stint with Sydney trainer Les Bridge who sent him to Hong Kong before he returned to Australia after only two overseas starts.

Manzelmann has had runners in every Battle Of The Bush since it was first run in 2018 and finally cracked it when Tiger Legend held off the Corey and Kylie Geran-trained Jack Be Lucky for a dominant win.

Tiger Legend
John Manzelmann Next Racing
Art By Concorde
Ashley Butler and John Manzelmann celebrate the Battle Of The Bush Final win.

Tiger Legend’s Battle Of The Bush triumph was his third win from his past four starts with his only blemish when seventh behind Clinton Taylor’s Honkytonk Diva in a 1200-metre Open at Rockhampton on June 15.

Tiger Legend is set to continue his winter sojourn up the Queensland coast and will be aimed for the Cleveland Bay Handicap inn Townsville as well as the Newmarket's in Mackay and Cairns.

Manzelmann has an uncanny knack of turning cast-offs from other stables into success stories and Tiger Legend is another in a lengthy list after buying him for $35,000 at an online auction.

Tiger Legend will be Manzelmann’s first Newmarket starter, and he’s named former Battle Of The Bush winner Art By Concorde as the main threat.

Art By Concorde - a Marnu Potgieter mount – will attempt to turn the tables on Tiger Legend after finishing fourth in last month’s Battle Of The Bush Final.

Art By Concorde was worse than midfield in the Battle Of The Bush Final before flashing home late to go under by less than two lengths.

A rising six-year-old, Art By Concorde has started 30 times for 11 wins and 10 placings with career earnings of more than $275,000.