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Shiranda on track for Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival

By Glenn Davis

Trainer John Manzelmann has called on rookie apprentice Tahlia Fenlon to give last year’s Townsville Cup winner Shiranda some welcomed weight relief at Mackay on Thursday.

Fenlon - the daughter of Rockhampton Jockey Club chief executive Tony Fenlon - will partner Shiranda for the first time in the Open Handicap over 1560 metres.

Shiranda received 59kgs but will carry only 55kgs with a four-kilogram claim from Fenlon, who made her race debut at Emerald last month.

Fenlon won Manzelmann’s vote of confidence after three polished wins in only 15 central Queensland rides.

“Tahlia’s only had her licence about a month or so and she’s already ridden a few winners,” Manzelmann said.

“Shiranda hasn’t carried 55kgs for quite a while so he should be up to his eyeballs in the finish with the weight relief.”

Shiranda

Shiranda is being aimed for the major Cup races during the Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

The five-year-old ran third to Absolut Artie in last year’s Rockhampton Cup over 1600 metres and third to Best Hoffa in the Mackay Cup over 1800 metres before winning the 2000-metre Townsville Cup last year.

He wound up his winter campaign finishing with the tailenders but less than three lengths from winner Paniagua in the Cairns Cup over 2100 metres last August.

“He’s going well and he should be around the money again,” Manzelmann said.

“He hasn’t had the races to suit him of late but he’s getting ready for all the major winter races here.

“He ran third in the Rocky Cup last year then he pulled too hard when third in the Mackay Cup.

“He then won the Townsville Cup but he got caught in the quicksand when he was well beaten in the Cairns Cup.”

Shiranda won the Emerald Cup over 1615 metres three starts back on May 22 before failing at his subsequent two starts at Mackay and Moranbah.

The gelding had won one race for former Melbourne trainer Darren Weir when Manzelmann bought him for $15,000 three years ago.

Since then, he has gone on to win a further 10 times taking his prizemoney haul to more than $210,000.