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MANBOW. 15 April 1998 Mandalus-Treble Base. Owner-Hope Springs Eternal.

Manbow was a big horse that was always going to need plenty of time, so looking back it was quite surprising that he went off at only 9/2 for his debut in a Carlisle bumper in March 2003, perhaps the booking of Richard Johnson had something to do with it.He ran very green in the race, never getting involved, and hanging badly.It was a full 10 months later until his next racecourse appearance at Wetherby, staying on promisingly to finish eighth in the bumper, this time with Graham Lee in the saddle.His next three runs were all over hurdles, showing next to nothing, pulling up twice. and beaten sixty lengths in the other.

After a five months break, he returned in October 2004, making his chasing debut in a novice handicap at Kelso, from the very low mark of 75. We were now to see a very different Manbow, the combination of fences, and a generous handicap mark had done the trick, as he held on well to win at 14/1.At Wetherby just ten days later, off a 7ib higher mark, and with Graham Lee once again riding, he followed up, staying on well, over the extended two miles and seven furlongs.The treble was completed at the same venue a month later, taking his mark to 97, a rise of 22lb's in 41 days.He went down to Sandown in December, and just failed by a neck under Tony Dobbin to complete the four timer.He returned to Sandown in February 2005, but Tony Dobbin pulled him up, reporting that the horse had breathing problems.That didn't stop him from winning next time, on his final appearance that season, at Wetherby, he won by two and a half lengths, taking his rating to 110,

Manbow was off the track until October 2005, when returning he finished second at Haydock, in November at Wetherby he was second again, the handicapper appeared to have finally caught up with him. At Wetherby on Boxing Day, he failed to complete in tacky ground that didn't suit, and the following March in Class 3 company at Newbury, he was never involved.On his final start of that season, back at Wetherby again, and with Neil Mulholland riding for the first time, he ran his race, to finish second.

After his Summer break he returned at Wetherby in October 2006, finishing third of six, before having a go over the big fences at Aintree, where he took a very heavy fall at the twelfth fence.He was off the track a further 11 months, but the break did him the world of good as he came back to win by five lengths at Wetherby in October 2007, Off a career high mark of 116, he finished runner up next time, once again at Wetherby, and that was to prove the peak of his form.

On his final two runs of the 2007-2008 season he struggled to find any kind of form, and it was the same story on his first three runs in October, and November of the following season.It wasn't until the following March, again at Wetherby where he showed us some of his old self, when just failing to give 15lb to stablemate Dawn Ride.He would race just the twice more, finishing his racing career at Towcester in October 2009. Manbow still lives in Middleham, spending his days in the loving care of a lady by the name of Tina.

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