Federal Infrared earns likely favouritism for Springston Hotel New Zealand Cup

Federal Infrared was too good in Thursday night’s $15,000 Selwyn Rakaia Vets Ltd Stakes Feature. Photo credit: Dave Robbie.

The high-flying Federal Infrared and the consistent stayer Centurion stylishly won the headline events during Thursday’s Christchurch GRC-hosted premier meeting at Addington Raceway.

Federal Infrared is currently jet-propelled, and she clearly illustrated that fact when delivering her freewheeling 30.01 520m victory in the $15,000 Selwyn Rakaia Vets Ltd Stakes Feature.

The Lisa Cole-prepared daughter of Aussie Infrared and Flo Jo Focus was in a world of her own going through her first sectional in 5.83 and then rocketing down to the back mark in a swift 17.65.    

The victory has virtually assured Federal Infrared, who has now won 36 of her 54 races and $246,545 in stake earnings, pre-post favouritism for the rapidly looming $100,000 2023 Springston Hotel New Zealand Cup series.   

Leading the chasing pack home, 4.75 lengths astern, was Opawa Conan for local conditioner Bruce Dann, while a further 1.25 lengths back in third was the Dave and Jean Fahey-trained Let’s Party.

Centurion had to pull out all stops for the Faheys, when he dug in really deep to secure his gutsy win in the $15,000 Springston Hotel Distance Feature over the 732m trip. He began cleanly, then tracked the pace-setting Space Boy until the run home, where he strongly railed underneath the pacesetter to nail his 43.05 win.

Space Boy yielded over the concluding stages, with the Lisa Cole stayer being caught by 1.5 lengths, while Grande Vue Ace finished powerfully to finish just a neck behind in third. It was an eye-catching effort by the Bob Pringle-trained stayer, who was last sighted racing back on 31 August.

For Centurion, it was his 17th career victory. After adding in a further 22 minor placings, The 19th Hole syndicate-owned son of Dyna Double One and Andrea has now advanced his stake earnings to $102,426 from his 64 raceday outings. 

As expected, the premier meeting undercard provided quality chasing action, which included the Craig Roberts-trained current NZ Sprinter of the Year Levi Bale sprinting to his 34th career victory when outgunning his 295m rivals in the $10,000 Garrards Sprint Feature, clocking 17.05.

The quickest 295m sprint time for the meeting was posted by the Riley Evans-mentored Goldstar Dynasty, who returned 17.03 when he effectively used his ace-trap draw to lead throughout in the $10,000 O’Shea’s Public House Sprint Feature.  

The slickest 520m time for the evening came in the $7,500 The Fitz 2 Sports Bar Stakes Feature opening C2 event, when Garry Cleeve produced his exciting two-year-old chaser Charlie Horse to demolish his rivals in a slippery 29.82. In doing so, he brought up his fifth win from just eight races.

Speaking of promising greyhounds, Matt Roberts presented Claws In Zorro to complete his 520m assignment in 30.22, when he posted his eighth win from 16 races in the $7,200 Homekill Guys Stakes Restricted Age Feature.

Evans also tasted early success, with his charge Goldstar Rita prevailing in the $7,900 C3 Real Pet Foods Stakes Feature in a tidy 30.02.

The $8,600 Thursday Place Pick Stakes Feature saw Evans landing back-to-back training successes via Goldstar Brooks, who completed her 520m task in 30.39.

The $9,400 Steve Anngow Drapes & Blinds Ph.0272719588 Feature over 645m resulted in a resounding pace-making win to the team Fahey-mentored Opawa Gina. She was always in control of the pace, when she cruised to her 37.90 win.

The Faheys claimed another win with Sefton Heights delivering a professional performance in the C5 Red Snapper Seafood Sumner Stakes Feature 520m event in 30.10.

Calum Weir joined the ranks of the winning trainers when Talk Tonight proved to be too quick for her opponents when returning 17.39 for her 295m win the $6,600 Racing Again Friday 20 October Sprint Feature.

Lisa Cole concluded the meeting when her promising sprinter Boot Scoot Boogy stylishly handled her track debut 295m sprint, dashing to her convincing 17.16 win in the Rose & Thistle Sprint Feature.    


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 24 October 2023

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