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    Caduceus Club introduces its 2019 Living Legend Caduceus Club introduces its 2019 Living Legend

    Race 8: Tabcorp Park, Saturday 7-2-2015 Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup (Group 1) (M0 or better.) Winner: Arden Rooney (2) Trainer: Kerryn Manning; Driver: Kerryn Manning Race Distance: 3,280 metres Mile Rate: 1.58.4 (New Course Record) photography: Stuart McCormick

    KERRYN MANNING – we salute you BORN in Melbourne on July 10 1976 to Peter and Barbara Manning, Kerryn Elaine Manning moved not long... Caduceus Club introduces its 2019 Living Legend

    KERRYN MANNING – we salute you

    BORN in Melbourne on July 10 1976 to Peter and Barbara Manning, Kerryn Elaine Manning moved not long after with the family to their current property in Great Western.

    One of four children Kerryn left school after year 10 to work with her father, an outstanding trainer of young pacers.

    With Peter a great mentor, at age 16 she drove her first winner on Gorgeous Gambit at Ararat in May, 1993 and quickly followed up the next night at Mildura on half-sister Gambit Girl in a race for women only.

    A year later Kerryn joined a select band, winning on talented youngster Scotty Wiper at her first metropolitan drive.

    Allbenz was bought by the teenage Kerryn for $500 as a weanling and after refusing a $45,000 offer in September, 1994 for the unfashionably-bred youngster, he and Kerryn recorded their first big success five months later, winning the Tatlow final and taking his earnings to over $100,000. He went on to win 24 races in total.

    A veteran of 22 race wins but none in his previous 28 starts, Knight Pistol joined the Manning stable in late 1996 and chalked up 17 wins in the next nine months.

     ‘An instant celebrity, Kerryn was all over not just the racing magazines, but the daily print and television media in Sweden and Norway.’

    His defeat in the 1997 Australasian Trotters Championship of international stars Wagon Apollo and Pride Of Petite caught the attention of renowned European facilitator Klaus Koch.

    Invited to run in Scandinavia, the old warrior was off to take on the world in August–September that year.

    Two harness racing champions were made on that trip – a handy 10-year-old pacing bred trotter and a 21-year-old female driver from country Victoria . . . and they did it together.

    After travelling poorly in a 56-hour marathon journey, “The Pistol” recovered sufficiently to line up for his first European start in the Group One Harley Davidson Trot in Norway and with Kerryn looking to get around safely at best, and against all odds, he won!!

    An instant celebrity, Kerryn was all over not just the racing magazines, but the daily print and television media in Sweden and Norway.

    An amazing warrior, Knight Pistol returned home and took up where he left off, winning another 22 races before retiring as a 12-year-old in 1999.

    That season Kerryn passed the century for the first time with 126 driving successes, included in those were big-race successes on Pelicanrama and Sky Strike .

    The following season she teamed up with champion mare Lombo Rapida to win the Mildura and Ballarat Cups, and the Chariots Of Fire at Harold Park, beating star pacer Shakamaker.

    Winning the Moonee Valley Drivers’ Premiership that year with 101 victories and 246 overall, Kerryn was a prolific winner in following years with her best ever, a record 371 victories in 2003.

    Her expertise with the trotter stood her in good stead in 2000 and 2001.

    Already a winner of nine races, La Coocaracha teamed with Kerryn and then husband Andy Gath, winning 15 times in 10 months for her new mentors.

    Included in those victories were the Australasian Trotters Championship, Australian Trotting Grand Prix and the Rowe Cup in New Zealand where she broke down, finishing with 24 wins in only 28 starts.

    In 2004 Emmas Only won a heat and $300,000 final of the 2004 Australian Pacing Gold series for Kerryn at his first two starts and later in the season the Breeders Crown at Bendigo, following up with the Victoria Derby at three.

    Winning over 300 races again in 2004, and in 2005 when Australia’s leading reinsperson for the fifth consecutive season, Kerryn gradually cut back her gruelling schedule to concentrate more on training – she trained her first winner with Special Game at Ararat in 2004 – but she still piloted over 100 winners each season through to 2012.

    Adding to her many prestigious awards the Rothacker Medal in 2014, she was now concentrating more on training, her greatest love, and she and husband Grant Campbell formed a fruitful association with leviathan owners Meg and Merv Butterworth.

    Their classy Kiwi pacer Arden Rooney won 11 races for the Purdon/Rasmusssen combination in New Zealand prior to transferring to Kerryn’s stable in early 2015.

    Three creditable performances in moderate company were little recommendation for his chances in the Hunter Cup five weeks later where he went around an $82 chance, but defying the odds he beat a stellar field. Then followed three country cup victories to round out the season.

    Set for the time-honoured New Zealand Cup in November, 2016, Arden Rooney won lead-up races the Swan Hill Cup and Kaikoura Cup before accomplishing his mission in all-the-way fashion, beating Mark Purdon’s Smolda in what was a great thrill for all involved.

    Six weeks later in a terrifying race fall at Charlton, Kerryn suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung and was off the scene for three months, exemplifying the fickle nature of racing.

    Keeping the flag flying high last season were a pair of quality mares in six-year-old Our Golden Goddess, another former Purdon trainee who won nine of 11 for Kerryn, including the Ladyship Cup, and seven-year-old Ameretto, who ran second in the Victoria Cup and won the Queen Of The Pacific.

    Now the world’s most successful female driver or jockey of both horse codes and in sight of the 4000 mark of winning drives and the 1000 mark as a trainer, we salute Kerryn Manning as the Caduceus Club of Victoria’s 27th, and first female Living Legend.

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    Michael Court

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