Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
16 Dec 2021
10:46 am

Highveld raider Puerto Manzano a Greyville banker

Mike Moon

His main danger is Dean Kannemeyer-trained Favour, who did well after a recent freshener, and has a good record in second runs after a break.

Puerto Manzano is strongly expected to get back on the winning trail when he runs in Race 5 at Greyville on Thursday. Picture: JC Photographics

After a good effort in the Summer Cup a fortnight ago, Puerto Manzano has been shipped to the coast to raid a Pinnacle Stakes race on Thursday.

Joburg trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren is never shy to plunder around the country and could snatch two wins on the public holiday card on the Greyville turf track. His other loaded gun is Abbacadabra, who starts at short odds in the first race.

Puerto Manzano will also be a popular choice with punters and an obvious exotics banker possibility in the fifth.

The Argentinian-bred four-year-old lined up for Gauteng’s premier race with four wins from eight starts but languished at longish odds thanks to a crummy draw and the presence of a couple of star runners in opposition.

Instead of dropping out from the wide gate and facing the prospect of having to chase top-class gallopers on softish ground, Van Vuuren and jockey Keagan de Melo chose to skedaddle and try to steal it from the front. In the end, it wasn’t the hotshots that overhauled the game pacemaker as he tired at the end of 2000m but a gaggle of roughies that delivered a train-crash of a result.

Puerto Manzano finished in sixth place, just 2.40 lengths behind winner Flying Carpet, and emerged with a lot more credit than several better fancied rivals. His merit rating of 113 remained unchanged, so he comes into Thursday’s contest as by far the highest rated runner and is weighted to win.

It’s his debut at Greyville and he hasn’t been tried over this distance, but the course isn’t the hardest and he should do well – with a No 2 draw and the magic hands of S’Manga Khumalo making the task just a little easier.

His main danger is Dean Kannemeyer-trained Favour, who did well after a recent freshener, and has a good record in second runs after a break. Aforementioned De Melo rides.

SELECTIONS

1: 3 Abbacadabra, 1 Ladies Day, 4 Raspberry Beret, 2 Perfect Appeal

2: 8 Pelargonium, 4 Aunt Lizzy, 7 Looking Hot, 3 Purple Merchant

3: 6 Bombay Circus, 8 Syx Hotfix, 4 Grey Linngari, 7 Atlantic City

4: 7 Rise, 2 More Than A Dime, 8 Jacqueline, 4 To The Max

5: 2 Puerto Manzano, 1 Favour, 7 Wealthy, 3 King’s Cove

6: 3 Noble Striker, 8 Love On Time, 2 Preemptive Strike, 5 Pashtunwali

7: 5 Shampompo Shampizi, 4 Time Taker, 6 Fight Song, 2 Ralph The Rascal

8: 8 Rockie Reef, 4 Golden Grove, 3 Sparkling Flame, 10 Claudina

Pick 6: 2,3,4,6,7,8 x 1,2,4,7,8 x 2 x 2,3,5,8 x 4,5,6 x 3,4,8,9,10 (R1800)

PA: 4,7,8 x 4,6,8 x 2,7 x 2 x 3,8 x 5 x 4,8 (R72)