Wednesday, 8 October 2008
: Members of the Manangatang Racing Group will descend on the Manangatang Cup meeting for their annual reunion on Saturday.
Manangatang Racing Club vice-president Barry Caccianiga, who manages Manangatang Racing Group, declared Cup Day eclipsed Christmas Day as a family catch-up.
“This is a real reunion day. It is terrific day for the community and family gatherings that is bigger than Christmas now, with people having moved away, it can become awkward getting back to Manangatang for Christmas every year.
"So this is the annual reunion day when most people get to Manangatang,” Caccianiga said.
However, the 2008 Manangatang Cup (2000m) has a special feeling for this massive syndicate, which totals 19 members but has many more supporters and interested parties.
This year the Manangatang Racing Group has a Cup runner, Agents Dream.
Trained by Austy Coffey at Swan Hill, Agents Dream is a 6YO gelding by Lacryma Cristi with five career wins from 42 race starts.
“It has always been our goal to have a runner on Manangatang Cup Day, but to have a runner in the Cup is sensational,” Caccianiga said.
“We had a win a few years ago in a minor race and that was pretty exciting. It would be extraordinary if we could win the Cup.
“There will be a huge surge of emotion on the day and it'll be enormous if we win something like that.
In 2002 the entire group and subsequently the entire town celebrated a Class 1 victory by Manang Gatang, which was the group's first horse.
Since then they have been involved with Saint Manangatang, which finished ninth in the 2004 Manangatang Cup, and Canny Lover, which finished eighth in a Maiden at Manangatang in 2006.
Caccianiga and the Manangatang Racing Group had a meeting just two months ago when a 50% stake in Agents Dream became available, with trainer Austy Coffey indicating the horse was a Manangatang Cup candidate.
They have joined Stephen Foott from Swan Hill and Patrick Sheehan from Bendigo as part-owners.
Agents Dream will carry the Manangatang Racing Group colours on Saturday, which are based on the local football team the Saints – White, Red and Black Crossed Sashes, Red Cap and Sleeves.
Agents Dream hasn't had a start over 2000m previously, but has second and third place finishes from two starts over 1900m at Kyneton.
He tuned up for the Manangatang Cup with a second in the Quambatook Cup at Swan Hill on 28 September.