Allan Manwaring’s Dapto Delight

Allan Manwaring and My Bella Rose left Dapto Thursday night $75,000 richer after taking out the final of the Group 2 Country Motor Company Puppy Classic and celebrations continued well after the race. “It was a big thrill, we only got to bed at two o’clock in the morning and we still talked for another hour and a half after that.”

I had spoken to Manwaring earlier in the week about his chances and his summation of the race proved correct. “If the favourite repeats what it did last week it looks like it’s pretty much unbeatable, but young dogs don’t always produce what they do one week to the next, if it makes a mistake we’re a chance. We can run sections leading, so if you’re in front, fingers crossed they jam up behind you. The guys that picked the seven and eight are happy out there, but they can’t cross my bitch in the six, so I think I’m better drawn than the seven or the eight. If the two makes a little bit of an error, I look the leader.”

The race favourite, Exhibitionist, was held up at the start and it was Manwaring’s tiny 24kg chaser My Bella Rose that emerged as the race leader. “When you and I spoke, you agreed with what I was saying. As long as the two didn’t ping, it’s exactly what I thought would happen. The other boy, Obee One, he did his job coming across making no room for the favourite.”

Obee One, trained by Les Thompson, is My Bella Rose’s litter mate. The litter was bred in partnership between Manwaring and Les Thompson. “Les whelped the litter and then dropped them here when they were about eight weeks old. We finished rearing them and broke them in and at break in we just divided it up and Les took half to train and I took half to train. We kept halves in the whole lot so neither of us missed out in case there was just one good one.”

My Bella Rose had been run down and pipped by a nose in her heat run and then finished second in her semi-final. With the last part of the race her weakness, it was again her brother that stepped in to help her out in the final and it was at that stage that Manwaring knew he was a big chance of winning. “Down past the 600 metre boxes he ran cover for his sister. When I saw them all sort of check off each other I pretty much thought I could win. I knew the two (Exhibitionist) wasn’t there and I was looking for the three (Spring Creek Kev) or the five (Gold Hunter) as I knew they were strong run home dogs. They seemed far enough back so I rode her home in the straight which I don’t usually do. I’m usually a bit conservative, but I got a little carried away.”

Manwaring was able to enjoy the victory with his wife and four children, who provide all the help to Manwaring with the dogs. The victory was also special because Allan’s mum was there to see it. It was also great for the Thompson family as Les had recently been in hospital. “It was really good, he has been in hospital and got out Monday. He was there last night for it so it was pretty special for the Thompson’s and us. She’s no world beater, but I’ve just had a look and her first two sections were the fastest of the night and she’s done her job.”

My Bella Rose was part of a litter of seven pups that went through the auction. Manwaring ended up purchasing My Bella Rose back at the auction. “We had our target of $3,000 to $3,500 to let different ones go but they all sort of went for $2,500, so we bought them all back. People say it’s no good the auction, people just put them in to buy them back, but they’re there for sale. You still have to put your price on them that you are happy to let them go. Our price was 3, 3.5 and no one bid for that; you can’t take what you don’t think they’re worth.”

Manwaring has been around dogs his whole life. “Dad had them from when we were kids. When he died in 1997 I had a ten year break. I had a couple of paper shops. I’ve been back six years. That was the biggest success.”

“Our (families) best one was Husky Fran who was a litter mate to Kawati Boy. My best one would have been Puddy Muddles who ran third in the Vic Peters. He was the favourite in the auction race a few years ago so I know how the people with the favourite feel last night, it’s not very good.”

Apart from My Bella Rose there is another dog in the litter that is showing a fair bit of ability. “There’s her and her brother that has only been produced once. He’s a typical fast dog, he’s had a lot of injuries and Les is training him. He is on my farm now for a three month spell. We’re forgetting about him in the big paddock. He’s had a lot of little hock and wrist injuries, but he’s really fast.”

In terms of future plans for My Bella Rose, Manwaring plans to race her locally and target Wentworth Park on occasion. “She is what she is, there’s no great plans. I’m not overrating the bitch. She’s got early speed, that’s the only asset. She should be able to win a couple of weak ones in the city, but that is probably as far as she will go. I’d dearly like her to come on season now, she’s just turned two and she can have a little let up and see if she comes back a little stronger. I don’t know that she will, I think she is just a little speed dog that’s weak.”

The win of My Bella Rose and the celebrations that followed will be something the Manwaring and Thompson families will remember for some time. His young children will have fond memories and My Bella Rose is sure to be amongst one of the favourite greyhounds in the kennel.