Know Keeper ready for Round 2

Know Keeper will be hard to beat in Race 4 at Addington on Wednesday. Photo credit: Dave Robbie.


Rangiora trainer Garry Cleeve is one of the best in the business. He and his partner, Gaylene Turnwald, have spent many years perfecting their breeding lines, and have tasted success in numerous feature races across the country.

So far, the New Zealand Cup has eluded them. But this year, the couple has a strong winning hope in Know Keeper, who recorded the fastest time of the seven heats at Addington on Thursday night. He won stylishly by over nine lengths, and stopped the clock at 29.87, with a spectacular run home time of 11.95.

“I was very pleased with him going into the heat, and very happy with Box 1 for him. As the day drew closer, I took a closer look at the field and thought it might not be as easy as I first thought,” says Cleeve.

“So, I was a bit nervous walking down to the start, but it all went to plan, and he won pretty easily in the end!

“I’ve always known he has ability, but his lack of early pace to the first corner is the chink in his armour. Off Box 1, he was able to find a nice position and he was ready to strike down the back.”

Cleeve advises that his charge has come through the race “really well”.

“He had two easy days afterwards, then he did his normal gallop yesterday (Sunday) morning. Hopefully, we’ll give him a hydrobath today, and he’ll have a rest day tomorrow.

“It’s been a great preparation for him. A number of trainers opted to freshen their dogs before the heats, but we decided to push on, and that was more of a confidence booster for me that we had the dog where he needed to be.”

The greyhound has come up with Box 6 in Wednesday’s semi-final (Race 4 at 6:14pm), and while the draw isn’t ideal, Cleeve has faith in his ability.

“He’s probably the best dog in the field, but it’s going to be about how he navigates getting over from Box 6 to the rail, to get a possie going into the first corner without finding any trouble.

“Good dogs seem to find a way though, so hopefully he can,” he adds.

Know Keeper, who won the Group 1 NZ St Leger back in May and the GRNZ Nationals NZ Middle Distance in August, is bred to stay. His father, Know Class, was a talented stayer, while his mother, Know Jinx, was good enough to finish third in the 2017 Silver Collar behind Ring The Bell.

“I’ll step him up over more ground very soon,” says Cleeve.

“He does look like an out-and-out stayer in the making, and it’s a question of timing as to when we have a go over the distance. Looking at the calendar, the next premier meeting is at Palmerston North (on December 3).

“But going forward, the 520m still suits him down to the ground, and races like the Auckland Cup, which he finished second in this year, is still on the radar.

“When you have a dog capable of chasing good money, you’ve got to chase it.

“Next year, even races like the Sandown Cup could be on the radar.”


By Liz Whelan

Posted on 01 November 2021

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