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Kerryn Manning Pilots 4,000th Winner

Published: January 26, 2021 9:57 am ET

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The legend of Kerryn Manning soared to new heights on a quiet Monday afternoon (Jan. 25) at the Stawell Harness Racing Club in Victoria, Australia. There might have only been a handful of patrons on track, but they were treated to a moment they will never forget when the champion Great Western driver claimed her 4,000th career victory in the sulky.

Manning, who is already the winningest horsewoman in history, produced a perfect steer on Glenavril King – a horse she also trains – to win the Become A VHRC Member Today Pace.

The sprint lane triumph brought up a milestone close to 30 years in the making, with Manning’s first successful drive being all the way back in 1993 behind Gorgeous Gambit. That horse was prepared by her father, Peter, who was also on track on Monday to witness the occasion.

Manning went within inches of reaching 4,000 wins on Saturday night (Jan. 23), when top trotter Red Hot Tooth was outgunned by a bare margin in the E B Cochran Trotters Cup at Ballarat. She also had four early drives on Monday before Glenavril King got the chocolates.

“It’s certainly good to knock it (the milestone) on the head, and it’s very fitting that it was at my favourite home track of Stawell and on a horse that I trained,” Manning said.

“It was good to get it out of the way. I like coming to Stawell and racing here, and usually get a winner here. I was hoping today would be the same and that I could nail the number.”

Manning sprayed a bottle of bubbly as part of the post-race celebrations and then quickly went back into the zone for her drive in the last event on the card.

The 44-year-old has been - and still is - an inspiration to many young girls and women chasing a dream in harness racing, and that positive influence is something that sits well with the sport’s undisputed queen.

“It makes you feel like what you’re doing is worthwhile and (that) you get out of bed every day to be an inspiration to somebody is pretty good,” she said.

“Certainly the young generation is coming through now and we are getting a bit older, but it’s still nice to knock up a milestone and say, ‘I’m still here and I can still do it’.”

Manning, who was inducted into the Caduceus Club of Victoria’s Living Legends early last year, rates her wins with Knight Pistol (1996 Norway Harley Davidson Trot), Arden Rooney (2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup), Allbenz (1995 Edgar Tatlow Memorial Stakes for two-year-old colts and geldings) and Lombo Rapida (2000 Chariots of Fire) among her most memorable.


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