Unwanted yearling – now a force in Oz

By Peter Wharton

The Art Major gelding Manameisjeff, who has won eight of his last nine starts at Menangle highlighted by a stunning mile in 1:48.6 – the equal ninth fastest time ever put up by an ANZAC bred pacer – has not done a great amount of racing. He has had a rather chequered career.

(C) Club Menangle

Bred by former Rolleston horsewoman Glenys Chmiel, Manameisjeff was offered for sale at the 2018 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch, but failed to attract a bid.

“Prior to going to the preparer he had a paddock accident and damaged his eye. He still had full sight but by the time he went to the sale it was still a little bit cloudy, so it put a lot of people off him,” Glenys said.

“We didn’t even get a bid for him.

Manameisjeff as a yearling – prepared by Aimee Edmonds

“We broke him in and got him up and going. He won a workout for us and then Tim Butt flew over and trialled him and bought him.

“He always gave us a real good feel as a young horse. He really wanted to run….he had some speed but the head didn’t match the body at that time. Nothing was co-ordinated,” Glenys said.

“We knew he was always going to be a good horse but time was always going to be the big thing for him.

“He’s the best horse I’ve ever bred.”

Owned by a syndicate headed up by big spending NSW owner Mick Boots and his partner Erica Tongs, Manameisjeff began racing as a three-year-old for Riverina horseman Rod Coelli, winning his first two starts at Wagga. He was later transferred to Goulburn Valley conditioner Russell Jack, who won seven races with the gelding including the Group 2 $50,000 City of Melton Plate.

Last August the seven-year-old gelding was entrusted to Menangle Park maestro Jason Grimson, and he’s hardly put a foot wrong since.

From 30 lifetime starts Manameisjeff has posted 17 wins and three placings for $205,320 in stakes.

Glenys, a daughter of leading Canterbury breeder-owner-trainer-driver the late Bryce Buchanan, began her association with Manameisjeff through a family friend, John Webber, of Auckland.

“John owned a mare called Honour Lady, who he didn’t want to race or breed from, so he gifted her to me.

“Terry and I trained her. She only had four starts and won one and was placed once but broke down.”

Retired to the stud, Honour Lady produced Shesheartandsole (by A Rocknroll Dance), a winner at Manawatu, as her first foal.

Manameisjeff was her second issue, followed by the Sportswriter filly Bree Mode.

“She could really run but had a paddock accident and never raced. She’s got a colt foal at foot by Capt Midnight,” Glenys said.

Honour Lady’s next foal, Mazikeen, an Always B Miki filly, was bought by the same interests as Manameisjeff as a weanling. The now three-year-old is in work with Peter Birks at West Wyalong (NSW).

“Her last foal was Arthurlee, a Stay Hungry colt. The mare died just before he was weaned,” Glenys said.

Offered by Andrew Stuart’s Loburn Limited at NZB’s National Yearling Sale at Christchurch last year, Arthurlee was knocked down to prominent NSW owner Scott Whitton, of Tumby Park Pty Ltd, for $42,500.

Chmiel, who trained successfully in partnership firstly with her father and later with husband Terry and did a four-year stint with Mark Purdon, has scaled back her interest in harness racing.

“I don’t have much to do with the horses now,” she said. “Though I have just started back helping Stonewall Stud’s Steve and Amanda Telfer with their yearlings.”