Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa is hoping Plan B will pay dividends for his smart mare Manaya in Saturday’s Listed $125,000 Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich .
Costa had originally planned to target the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 22 with Manaya as well as the Group 2 $200,000 Pages Event Hire Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
A minor virus early in her campaign put Manaya back in her Winter Carnival preparation and now the Hinchinbrook mare is lining up against the fillies and mares on Ipswich Cup Day.
“She contracted a minor virus which put her behind a week and we ran out of time getting her ready for those races,” Costa told Racing Queensland News Desk.
Manaya has still had a rushed preparation and resumed from a short break with a dramatic win at the Gold Coast last Saturday in a 1300m Handicap.
Jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester had Manaya travelling cpmfortably midfield before the mare took off from the 800m, making a long sweeping run and went on to score a runaway three lengths win.
Costa was a bit bemused watching from the stand as they were not the pre-race riding instructions given to Guthmann-Chester but it was revealed on the mare’s return to the winner’s stall that all did not go to plan.
Manaya’s near side rein had snapped at the 800m and Guthmann-Chester had little control over the mare, but luckily she knew her way around her home track and completed the race without further incident and even pulled up by herself past the 1600m mark.
“I thought her saddle slipped because she just took off at the 800 metres,” Costa said.
“It was a difficult ride for Jag (Guthmann-Chester) and luckily it was her home track as she knew where to go.
“She even knew where the crossing was and where to pull up as she gallops there every Tuesday.”
Guthmann-Chester has retained the ride on Manaya who has drawn the rails in the Gai Waterhouse Classic and the mare is on the second line of betting at $4.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The James Cummings trained Organza heads the market order at $2.50 and will jump from gate five with Larry Cassidy in the saddle.