Lachie Manzelmann set for new pursuit in racing

It is unlikely to ever overtake his involvement in harness racing, but Lachie Manzelmann is set to soon dip his toes into the thoroughbred racing game.

And, by doing so, the 23-year-old will follow in his father John’s footsteps working with gallopers.

The Mackay-based John has been a leading trainer on the provincial and country level in the Sunshine State over the last two decades after he also trained and drove in the harness game earlier in his life.

Lachie has recently taken out his own licence in the thoroughbred code – as well as organising his colours – after purchasing unraced mare Tycoon Baby.

The Group 1-winning reinsman admits to being a novice when it comes to training gallopers after a lengthy period of time working around the standardbreds in Queensland.

“I know nothing about training and what to do,” Lachie said with a laugh.

“I know nothing about training and what to do,” Lachie said with a laugh.

“I am going to play it as it comes as it is a bit tricky to get started when you haven’t done it before.

“She looks good, she is well-bred and is happy.

“We will get there with her.”

Lachie grew up in Mackay before relocating south in his high school years.

Lachie Manzelmann in the sulky.

He has driven more than 300 winners in harness racing as well as training more than 50 victories, as well. 

Tycoon Baby – a four-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon –  was previously in the care of Victorian trainer Simon Zahra before she was snapped up by Lachie through an Inglis online auction.

Lachie works in the harness code out of Jack Butler’s stable at Logan Village and will take Tycoon Baby over to Beaudesert for any of her fast work or jump outs.

She had three jump-outs for the Zahra camp before they decided to move her on and Lachie is keen to get another jump-out or two into her in Queensland before she is entered for her race day debut.

He is hopeful that she might be at the races for the first time before the end of the year.

Lachie – who claimed the Group 3 Trotting Feature at Albion Park earlier this month – doubts his new interest in the gallopers will ever overtake his involvement in harness racing.

“Harness racing is what I love to do, I love that I can drive them as I cannot ride a galloper,” he said.

“It makes it a little bit less interesting for me, the gallopers, because I do not get to hands on all the time.

“Ideally it would be good to get into training thoroughbreds and make some money off it.

“If this one can go ok, I might have a crack and buy another one or two.”

Lachie joins a small list of harness trainers who have held a licence in both codes over the years.

Tim Gillespie and Ashley Perks both have started horses in each code this year.

Julie Weidemann and Mark Dux are no longer licensed but previously held thoroughbred licences as well as their harness interests.

Al Barnes currently holds a gallops trainers license as does Neil Coy, Greg Minns and Lyn Paton.

Lachie will often turn to his father for advice with his unraced mare.

And, while he has opened the door to the thoroughbred code, he does not think he will pursue it as much as John would like.

“Dad obviously has been around for a long time and knows what he is doing,” Lachie said.

“I will often throw questions at him and listen to his answers as a guideline.

“It is really different training in Mackay compared to what we have done here, he uses his beach quite a lot up there and I need to take this one over to the race track to have a hit out.

“Dad is pushing me to get going and he would like me to do that so I can go up there to Mackay and work for him.

“But, I do not think that will happen any time soon (laughs).”

John Manzelmann is known for travelling his horses far and wide across the Sunshine State and is a regular visitor to the city for Finals of regional racing series’.

Mackay’s John Manzelmann and jockey Jade Doolan.

By Jordan Gerrans