Day At The Track

Manning accepts Swedish driving invite

07:10 AM 07 Aug 2018 NZST
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Kerryn Manning, Harness racing
Kerryn Manning

Lazarus has a rival for the biggest Down Under name to tackle some of the world’s best over the next week.

Record-breaking Aussie driver Kerryn Manning (pictured) celebrates the 21stanniversary of arguably her most amazing achievement when she heads back to Scandinavia this weekend.

It was 1997 when Manning teamed with star Aussie trotter Knight Pistol to win the Harley Davidson Trot in Norway, becoming just the second female to drive a Group 1 winner in Europe.

Manning made such an impact with the a win and during an extended stint driving Knight Pistol in Europe, she got a call “out of the blue” from Swedish officials with an all-expenses paid trip across to drive in the Ahsell Legends Invitational Drivers’ race at Solvalla in Stockholm on August 14.

“It’s half a lifetime ago, literally, for me. I can’t believe they still remember,” Manning said. “Obviously they do. Fred Crews has just been across there for the Elitlopp with Maori Time and told me there were lots of people asking after me. It’s amazing really.

“It was only three or four weeks ago I had a missed call from a Swedish number and I thought it might have been one of scam calls. I listened back to the message and it was the invite to come across for this race.

“It’s a busy time with the Breeders Crown just around the corner here, but Grant (Campbell, Manning’s husband) talked me into it. He can’t come, so Mum (Barb Manning) is coming with me instead.

“We leave Friday, have Saturday at the big race meeting in Gothenburg then the race I’m in is back in Stockholm (Solvalla) next Tuesday.”

Manning was told the race has become an annual highlight for the Swedes since being launched in 2013.

Stig Johansson is the legend over there. He retired from driving to focus on training a few years back, but he makes a one-off comeback every year to drive in this race only,” she said.

“My experience over there with Knight Pistol was incredible it will be great to get back over there, even if it’s just for a few days.”

Closer to home, Manning said her pair of glamour mares – Ameretto and Our Golden Goddess – could both be Inter Dominion-bound.

“Ameretto has proven herself at Grand Circuit level and she’ll definitely go to the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion,” she said.

“Ability-wise Our Golden Goddess is right there with Ameretto and she looks to have come back better than ever. The next few runs will shape what we do with her. She’s got the Breeders Crown mares’ free-for-all and then the Breeders Crown Open free-for-all as well. Ameretto won both last year.”

Our Golden Goddess has looked fantastic winning both runs this campaign.

 

Adam Hamilton

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