Manihi was a South Australian bred Chestnut horse sired by the leading colonial sire Matrice, owned and bred by Mr. Bert Just and his son Ern.
Trained by Tom Jenner, Manihi only started 16 times for 11 wins including the Newmarket Handicap of 1967.
His trainer was adamant that Manihi was at least the equal if not better than his champion sprinter Pago Pago but it was his erratic behavior in fact almost cranky at times that caused his trainer most grief.
He opened his two-year-old career in outstanding fashion winning his first five starts followed by a third in the Merson Cooper Stakes (now known as the Blue Diamond) behind Quezette. On that occasion her veered to the outside rail and lost all winning chance then started even money favorite in the VRC Sires Produce but failed to finish after running off the course despite the efforts of jockey Jim Johnson.
As a three-year-old he had two wins in Adelaide before venturing to Flemington to contest the Newmarket, nearly 12 months to the day where he made himself one of the bad boys of racing. In this period his trainer did not lose faith and worked on the colt in an endeavor to make him go straight, and go straight he did winning the Newmarket by a head when ridden by Harry White.
He won three more races in Adelaide as a 4-year-old but was retired to Noonamah Stud at Echunga where he more than made a name for himself.
He will be best known as the sire of Manikato one of Australasia’s greatest sprinters ever and winner of five William Reid Stakes, four Futurity Stakes, the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper.
Recognized by the SAJC to have a race named after him the Manihi Classic he is a worthy Inductee into the South Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to Manihi.