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Manzelmann family chase Battle Of The Bush honours

Mon 6 June 2022

Photos: Peter Roy

By Garry Dell

The Manzelmann family will go head-to-head in the 2022 Battle of the Bush Final at Eagle Farm after trainers John and Joshua both won a heat of the  lucrative series on Saturday.

John was successful at Innisfail with four-year-old mare Ela Beach while Joshua ensured his spot in the Final field when long shot Such A Whit scored in an upset at Bowen.

Joshua is the son of one of John's cousins. 

Ela Beach gives Mackay master John a double-barrelled shot at victory in the Final on Tatts Tiara Day after Raiden won the Mt Isa qualifier on May 7 over 1100 metres following victory over 1200 metres at Birdsville on April 10.

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"I've had runners in every one of the Final's so far and reckon it's just about my turn this year," John said. 

"Both horses have come good at the right time and now it's just a matter of keeping them up to the mark and in good health.

"Ela Beach will have a couple of week's freshen up and head into the Final without another run.

"She usually gets on a winning wave when she hits her top, she won four in succession late last year at Cloncurry, Ewan and Cairns twice but she likes to have a bit of play around in the open spaces for a couple of days after she races."

Ela Beach beat home stable-mate Revenire, who again was slow to begin and finished off well on the revamped Innisfail circuit.

She provided the third leg of a winning treble for hoop Wanderson D'Avila, who won the first two races on the program.

John said D'Avila had put his hand up for the ride in the Eagle Farm Final.

"I was most impressed with his ride on the mare and he certainly put his hand well up in the air," he said.

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"I'll sit down with the owners and they will make the final decision by Wanderson's definitely in the running."

Meanwhile at Bowen, Such A Whit, ridden by Cody Collis, was a $13 chance in his heat win over a previous series winner in Mason's Chance, who is trained by Olivia Cairns.

It was Such A Whit's first win in 14 starts this season but she had won twice at Mackay in March last year.

The 23-year-old Joshua is putting together an imposing resume for a comparatively-newcomer to the training ranks and is looked forward to the step up to having a runner on the big day later this month.