Vincent Mangano reels in Celeris. Colin Berry, Race Images Christchurch
Vincent Mangano (5 B. G. No Excuse Needed – Rationable, by Housebuster) produced a magnificent rehearsal for the Group III Stewards Handicap at Riccarton on Wednesday when he flashed home from last to win the $45,000, Listed, Yesberg Insurance Services Pegasus Stakes over 1000-metres on Saturday.
The inaugural winner of the Karaka Million as a two-year-old, Vincent Mangano settled last of eleven over the sprint distance and was still giving the leader, Celeris (Fusiachi Pegasus), a seven length head start as the field linked back to the rail on the course proper at the 500m.
Able to find a gap through the middle of the pack at the 200m, he was set alight by rider Samantha Spratt and such was his momentum when collaring Celeris in the shadows of the post that the margin at the line was one-length.
On footing downgraded from Slow8, caused by consistent rainfall in the 24-hours leading up to the meeting, to Heavy10, Vincent Mangano still clocked a very respectable time of 57.98.
Trainer Peter McKay said, “From where he was, ten lengths off the pace, finishing second would have been a big run, but to win a 1000 metres was incredible. There will be a couple of new entrants to make a stronger field but the Stewards Stakes is the race we’ve been trying to set him for.”
It was a no panic ride by Spratt who said, “He’s just a horse that’s got such an enormous turn of foot and he was so well behaved and settled really nicely.”
Vincent Mangano has drawn barrier ten for the Stewards and drops one-kilo in weight to carry 52.5kg.
McKay suggested that a four day backup would pose no problems, while the expected improvement in the footing would also work in his favour.
“He has won heavy ground, but that was on debut as a two-year-old when he was a flying machine, but can switch off on heavy footing at times”, said McKay.
McKay owns Vincent Mangano with his wife Kim, after purchasing him for $80,000 at the 2007 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Waikato Stud.
After he won the Karaka Million at Ellerslie, McKay said, “He is one of the most amazing horses I have ridden in track-work. He drops the bit and can really ignite when asked to go. He explodes this horse”.
It is that type of explosion that should allow Vincent Mangano to threaten in his upcoming group three assignment.