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Fraser stable excited about new two-year-old ahead of debut

By Jordan Gerrans Dan-Costello-Manila-Playboy-3-1.jpg

It was the moment Tweed Heads trainer Shane Fraser stood up and thought “hell, we might have something nice here” with a brand new two-year-old.

Against the older horses in a trial at Albion Park in early February of this year, Fraser’s newcomer, Bangkok Deejay, sat at the back of the field for much of the way over 1660-metre trip.

It was just before the final turn where usual stable driver Kelli Dawson snuck around the small field and went bang down the outside to collect an eye-catching victory.

After the Fraser and Dawson team claimed the Group 1 $100,000 Redcliffe Yearling Sales 2YO Series Final with Manila Playboy in June of last year, it looks as though they have another exciting youngster on their hands.

Bangkok Deejay heads to the races for the first time on Saturday evening at Albion Park in the 2021 Changeover 2YO Classic.

Bangkok Deejay and Manila Playboy are out of the same dam – Bangkok Dancer, with Saturday’s debutant costing just $6000 at the Redcliffe sales.

According to Fraser, two-year-olds do not always show their potential and ability straight away, while Bangkok Deejay has displayed it from early on.

“He has been a pretty easy horse, he is a natural athlete that has progressed lovely,” Fraser said.

“We have just poked along with him, educated him and brought him along.

“He surprised us with his first educate trial; he went nice, and then he came out in his first qualification trial against three and four-year-olds, he came from last at the top of the turn and went straight past them.

“We thought 'hell, we might have something nice here'.”

He would trial again after that, just over a month later, where Bangkok Deejay showed good early speed, leading for much of the way before being run down in the home straight by Dangerzone.

All the trial form suggests he will be one to watch come Saturday evening.

Fraser’s father, Ian - who trained some good horses a few decades ago - is one that Shane listens to for advice when preparing any of his horses, but specifically two-year-olds around breaking them in and getting them going.

His advice is to not rush them, let the horse just show what they can do and ultimately keep them happy.

With the ability he has shown so far, Fraser says he will look after the A Rocknroll Dance gelding to ensure he has a progressive horse into the future.

Fraser breeds many of his own horses - including Manila Playboy and Bangkok Deejay - declaring Bangkok Dancer, who won 11 races, is becoming a great producer.

Bangkok Dancer was nominated as one of three Queensland Broodmares of the Year at the 2020 TAB Queensland Harness Awards.


Dan-Costello-Manila-Playboy-3.jpgHe describes Manila Playboy (pictured) as the “jewel of his stable”, who is on the way back soon for his three-year-old campaign.

“He was a great two-year-old and hopefully he can go on with it as a three-year-old,” Fraser said.

“It is a bit unreal because we are not used to having such good horses (laughs).

“He will trial in mid-April and he work his way into the Triad later on, that is the direction we are heading with him.”

Last year's Group 1 victory with Manila Playboy was the trainer and driver duo’s maiden triumph at that level.

Manila Playboy has four wins on his resume from 10 starts, bringing in almost $90,000 in stakes.

Based in northern NSW, Fraser had troubles working his horses over the past week following the heavy rain and floods.

He will use Pottsville beach at times with some of his older horses, but not Bangkok Deejay just yet.

“We cop the weather at times, we had this system and this weather come through last week and it has been pretty chaotic,” Fraser said.

“On Sunday afternoon, the flat and the track went under water and we will have to fix it up again.

“We had another flood last December and we fixed it up after that, so we are sort of used to it.

“We usually have a flood every two-and-a-half to three years, but it is a bit unfortunate at the moment and we just have to pick ourselves up and keep going.”

The first two-year-old race of the season - the 2021 Changeover 2YO Classic - will be one of nine races from Albion Park on Saturday night.

The 2021 Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale will be held at Redcliffe Paceway on Sunday, March 28 at 12 noon.