Manila Playboy has never been better – watch out!

By Duane Ranger (courtesy of Redcliffe Paceway)

How appropriate it was for Shane Fraser to notch up his 50th career win with his best horse on his favourite track last Wednesday (December 21).

The Cobaki (Tweed Heads – NSW) trainer-owner-breeder, who this year also notched up a half a century on earth, said he hardly noticed the 732km round trip to Redcliffe Paceway (just over four hours) – especially when Manila Playboy was in the horse float.

The Shane Fraser trained and Angus Garrard driven Manila Playboy is back big-time!!! Here the multiple Group winning 4-year-old resumes from a seven-month spell with a win in the 2022 Christmas Cup at Redcliffe Paceway. DAN COSTELLO PHOTO.

The multiple Group winning son of Pet Rock, who turns five on Sunday, gave his opposition another pacing lesson – this time in the fifth event – the $12,000 Christmas Cup.

That was his first run back since July 16 and Fraser believes he will strip even fitter for this Saturday night’s (December 31) fourth event in the city where he has drawn five in race four (6.53pm).

Fraser only needs $484 more in training purses to topple the $500,000 mark.

The genius, Angus Garrard, will do the driving again.

The Fraser family (from left) – Lilah 9, Shane, Lachlan (5), Jaina, and Leo((8). Note…the family went out of their way to take this photo in the rain for me today…legends!!!!

“This is the healthiest and fittest he’s ever been. After his last campaign I gave him a complete change and sent him to the paddocks of Toowoomba. We took his coat off him and let him loose, We just wanted him to be a horse and enjoy the environment.

“He’s come back bigger and stronger than ever. No more health or niggly issues… touch wood. He’s such a tractable horse now. That is very evident at Redcliffe,” Fraser said.

“We love coming to ‘The Paceway’. Unlike a lot of horses, this fella has an ability to take that final corner at high speed. He seems to have no problem with the triangle shape of the track,” he added.

Manila Playboy boasts eight starts at ‘The Triangle’ for six wins and two placings, and two of his three Group victories have been at that venue.

They were the Group One the Garrards Group One 2020 Redcliffe Yearling Sales 2yo Pace; and this year’s Chris Garrard Group Three Patrons Purse. He also won the 3yo Qbred Triad Final at Albion Park last year.

All-up he’s now won 13 of his 29 starts and placed in seven others for $243,852 in stakes. Four of those victories came in 2022. He’s also paced a 1:53.4 mile.

Fraser paid tribute to Garrard saying the 19-year-old had got to know the horse really well, and they had built up a close bond since Garrard first drove him in a trial at Redcliffe on October 28 last year.

Dan Costello (@DanRacingWrap) / Twitter
Dan Costello’s photo says it all.

“They both suit each other. Angus drove the horse really well again last week. There are so many positives about this horse. He’s the best horse I’ve put a bridle on, but then again, his mother was pretty special too.

Bangkok Dancer (2005 P B Bullville mare) has done a good job, She won 11 races herself ($45, 595), and would now have to be one of Queensland’s leading broodmares.

“She left us six foals, including Manila Playboy (foal four) and the one after him, Bangkok Deejay (2018 A Rocknroll Dance six-win gelding), who is also racing.

May be an image of 3 people and indoor
Cobaki (Tweed Heads – NSW) trainer-owner-breeder, Shane Fraser with his sister, Michele.

“She has also had a Lincoln Royal (Sir Lincoln NZ) rising 3-year-old filly named Brookfields Beauty, and then she has missed the last four services in 2020 and 2021.

“She’s been a quality broodmare for us, and we are doing everything we possibly can to get her back in foal. All-up her five foals to the races have won 39 races and nearly $400,000,” Fraser said.

He said Manila Playboy was a family horse, that his family bred and owned. He was actually a buy-back at the 2019 Redcliffe Yearling sales.

“We paid $8,000 for him, and were prepared to go to $12,000, but anything above that I would have let him go.

Shane Fraser with Lilah and Leo several years ago.

“I had a reserve of $14,000, but would have probably sold him for a little bit less than that, perhaps $12k,” Fraser said.

“I also bought back his little half-brother Bangkok Deejay at this 2020 Redcliffe Yearling Sale for $6,000.”

Fraser said he never forgot people like, Vic Frost. I am stabled at his Sleepy Hollow complex, both Vic and Gail (Geeson) were very good to me when I had nowhere to train when the Tweed Heads Trotting track closed down.

“At that time, I had purchased 13 acres at Cobaki and was planning on putting a track and stables in. Vic steered me back into harness racing breeding, ownership, and ultimately training. It was a great experience to be working alongside the legend that is Vic Frost. He’s a tremendous horseman and even better bloke,” Fraser said,

Fraser said he couldn’t believe the progeny he had now.

“Our family has been involved in this great sport for more than half a century and it’s still hard to take in I’ve won two Group Ones, all due to our brood mare Bangkok Dancer

“Dad (Ian) has had some good horses going back to the late 1960s, and I’ve taken over from him. He has been my pillar to lean on since taking over the training.

The Fraser family, Manila Playboy, and connections with the 2022 Christmas Cup. DAN COSTELLO PHOTO.

“Dad was very good with the young horses and getting them going. Chris Frisby and Dean Cernovskis have also been a big help in recent times. They are always there to offer valuable advice when I need it,” Fraser said.

He has trained 50 winners from 460 starters since 2008/2010. He’s also placed 101 times and banked $499,516 in stakes.

Fraser, who attended Tweed River High School, is married to Jaina and they have three children – Lilah 9, Leo 8, Lachlan 5.

He has also worked as a licensed builder constructing new homes, as well as undertaking ‘renos’, and extensions.

Photo Finish
Manila Playboy (Angus Garrard) notched up his 13th win in 29 starts (eight placings also) in the 2022 Christmas Cup at Redcliffe Paceway. The rising Pet Rock 4-year-old has now banked $243,852 in purses.

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