Lisa Cole claims Wanganui Group race double

Federal Infrared was too good in the Group 1 Wanganui Cup.

The stress-free way to win Group races is to quickly get out in front and out of trouble. Those were exactly the tactics that Lisa Cole-prepared greyhounds used to stylishly win the two Group races decided during last Friday’s Hatrick hosted Premier meeting.

First up, it was the electric Federal Infrared who blasted away from the 520m seven-trap and she was never challenged when she free-wheeled her way to her slick personal best 29.83 victory in the Group 1 $30,000 Wanganui Cup, scoring by a comfortable 2.25 lengths. 

A quick 4.82 first sectional did the damage to Federal Infrared’s opposition, and that pace set up the victory for last season’s Group 1 Spion Rose Cup 520m winner.

Garry Cleeve adequately covered expenses for his trip north from his Rangiora training base when his pair of Mepunga Blazer and Know Jinx littermates claimed the minor placings.

Know Expense punched home solidly for his second placing while his brother Know Speed was sighted doing his best work during the run home when winding up a further 3.25 lengths astern after being checked back to last going into the first turn.

Federal Infrared was in a class of her own, with this being her 34th career victory from just 52 raceday assignments.  

“Federal Infrared went terrific. She had to begin as quickly as she did, owing to wide runners being drawn inside her. Once she was in front, nothing else was going to catch her with the sectionals she runs,” advised Brendon Cole, who added, “We will look at the New Zealand Cup for her next major target.”

The daughter of Aussie Infrared and Flo Jo Focus has now banked $235,679 for her owning Fairbairn Benjes Partnership, while the Cole kennel has now provided eight Wanganui Cup winners, with the last four wins being consecutive at Group 1 level.


Wanganui Stayers Final

A big group of owners were on track for Space Boy’s Group 2 win on Friday night.

The Lisa Cole-trained Space Boy made full use of his one-trap draw when he seized the early race lead. From there, he was never headed, with the son of SH Avatar and All About Space reeling off tidy sectionals when outstaying his rivals to post his 44.85 win in the Group 2 $20,000 Wanganui Stayers Final over the 755m distance.

Speaking of slick sectionals, it was his 17.56 first 305m split that left his opponents grasping.

Space Boy was the medium of strong betting support, starting the event as the warm favourite. He never gave his army of supporters any concern whatsoever.

“Space Boy went super – he flew. Yes, I did expect him to improve after his heat run, which was his first race over 755m. He did the same after he won his first 660m race, improving his time over 660m next up,” stated Brendon Cole.

At this stage, he is undecided if the team will target Space Boy at the New Zealand Cup heats, or have a crack at the New Zealand Stayers Cup.

“We’ll make that call in a couple of weeks. There’s a Premier meeting coming up there (Addington) soon (October 19). He is a versatile dog and we are excited about the staying prospects for others in his litter. They are super strong dogs,” explained Cole.  

Making up solid late ground was the Corey Steele-prepared early race favourite Opawa Rat, and he finished resolutely to claim the runner-up prize a length behind, while the winner’s kennelmate Big Time Brynley kicked on stoutly when finishing a further 1.75 lengths back for her third placing.   

Space Boy has now raced on 46 occasions, winning 19 of those. He has placed in another 10 races, accumulating $121,095 in stake earnings for his owning Conspiracy Theory syndicate.

Quality racing was the order of the Premier evening’s support card, with the Cole kennel also annexing another six races, including both of the feature $10,000 305m sprints with Big Time Zola (17.54) and Big Time Atlas (17.53) both prevailing.

Other Cole kennel mentored winners included the C2 520m victor Big Time Hugo returning 30.26, while Big Time Trade was successful in the C3 520m event in 30.31. Eytukan took out the C5 305m sprint clocking 17.55 and the C4 305m dash fell to Big Time Kenzie in 17.66. 

The meeting opened with a win for the visiting Garry Cleeve prepared Who’s Jealous, who picked up the C1 520m event in 30.48. The Canterbury 520m winning sequence continued with Matt Roberts presenting Silky Adobe for his tidy 30.08 C4 520m win.

Dave and Jean Fahey joined the winning trainers ranks, with Rapaki Rocks securing the win via his 30.16 C5 520m win, and it was over to the Foxton based conditioner Marcie Flipp to wrap up the evening’s action when she produced Go Tina for her easy 17.71 C3 305m sprint win.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 10 October 2023

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