• Wednesday, 20 Apr, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Manolitsis’ second shot at ‘gold’

Superbly-bred youngster Madigan will take aim at his second feature maiden in four days on Wednesday night at Ballarat, when he lines up in the $11,600 Vic Bred Maiden final over 450m (Race 1 at 6.55pm).

Trained by multiple Group 1-winning owner/breeder Harry Manolitsis, Madigan is backing up after running third to boom prospect Aston Exceed in Bendigo’s prestigious Gold Rush Maiden final on Easter Sunday.

A June ’20 son of Barcia Bale and multiple Group finalist Elevated, Madigan debuted in the heats of the Gold Rush series, where he started even-money favourite but was edged out by Fire Hose in a smart 23.76sec.

He then ran fourth to Aston Exceed in his semi-final but secured a start in Sunday’s final as second reserve.

WATCH: Beautifully-bred MADIGAN (1) just missed in a tight finish on debut when runner-up to FIRE HOSE (8) in a heat of Bendigo’s Gold Rush Maiden on April 7.

A $20 outsider from Box 6, Madigan missed the start badly but came from last to finish third, albeit the best part of eight lengths behind flying 23.50sec winner Aston Exceed.

“He’s pulled up really well after Sunday and has had a couple of starts to learn his craft now, so I’m happy to back him up,” said Manolitsis, who’s raced G1 winners Moreira and Get It Gizmo, among other top shelf performers.

“He was only beaten a nose in his heat at Bendigo in 23.70-odd, so the ability is definitely there, but he lost his way a bit at the start in his next two runs.

“He didn’t come out at all in the final, for whatever reason, but he ran on well and hit the line nice.

“He doesn’t have what you would call blistering early speed, but he’s not slow either. He’s somewhere in between, but he’s definitely better than he showed in his last two runs at Bendigo.

“He hasn’t drawn the best in Box 6 on Wednesday, but he will go straight. I’d just like to see him get out the way he had been before his last two runs.”

Numerically, Jeff Britton looms as the greatest threat to Manolitsis’ plans, supplying four runners; first starters Wobbly Boots (Box 1), Multi Matt (Box 7), a half-brother to Group finalist Mepunga Mustang, and My Bro Blazer (Box 8), along with Sweet Vibes (Box 5), which has a third placing from two starts.

Madigan is from the second litter of Manolitsis’ former star sprinter Elevated, runner-up in the G2 Shepparton Cup in 2018, with the Barcia Bale mating also including Deadly Class, a finalist in the G3 Vic Bred Maiden on Australian Cup night.

“I’m really looking forward to Revolution returning. He’s a very nice dog with high speed.”

“The three boys in the litter (Deadly Class, Deadly Rookie and Madigan) broke in top class and there was only about a length between them,” Manolitsis said.

Anthony Azzopardi reared the litter for me, so he got two to train. Karen Leek was one of my closest friends and reared all my dogs for 35 years, so I was very grateful to Anthony for helping out and rearing this litter.

“I gave Anthony first pick, and he chose Deadly Rookie and then I picked Madigan next, so Deadly Class was the number three pick.”

Elevated’s first litter, to Fernando Bale, features Levitation, a finalist in the G3 Launching Pad last Thursday, and Revolution, which has demonstrated immense potential in winning six of his nine starts, but has been sidelined since October.

“Revolution injured a plantar ligament in his back hock,” Manolitsis explained.

“He had a little setback but he’s back in work and I’m really looking forward to him returning. He’s a very nice dog with high speed.”

Exciting sprinter Revolution won six of his nine starts before being sidelined by injury.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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