THE application of cheekpieces worked the oracle with Manuka, who landed the feature race at Ballinrobe, the McGrath Limestone Works Ltd. Handicap Hurdle.

Karl Thornton's charge swept into the lead before the final flight under Johnny Barry, and catapulted around the final turn full of running. The 8/1 chance kept on gamely to beat pat's Pearl by three and a quarter lengths, with Freedom Statue running on for third.