Lisa Cole claims Group 2 double at Manawatu

Federal Infrared continued her winning streak at Manawatu on Tuesday.

Emphatic Group 2 victories were delivered at Manawatu Raceway on Tuesday, with the powerful Lisa Cole kennels mentoring Federal Infrared and Space Boy to their respective effortless wins.

Federal Infrared used her renowned explosive early pace from trap-five to quickly put the result beyond doubt in the $20,000 North Island Challenge Stakes when cutting out her first sectional in a swift 8.77.

From there, it was catch-me-if-you-can tactics applied – and they couldn't, as the Noeline Benjes-owned daughter of Aussie Infrared and Flo Jo Focus freewheeled her way to her 44th career victory, clocking 25.40 for her 457m assignment and in doing so, made it back-to-back North Island Challenge Stakes wins.

The Glen Hodgson-prepared Logger For Life quickly punched forward to at least attempt to make a race of it with the pacemaker. Swinging out a tad wide on the turn didn't aid his claim, allowing the Matt Roberts-trained Claws In Zorro to slip through along the rail to join the fray for the minor portion of the stake.

Claws In Zorro maintained his strong gallop to secure the runner's-up prize, three lengths behind the low-flying Federal Infrared. In doing so, he provided the same quinella result from the recent Group 1 Spion Rose Final.

The Group 2 305m Dash For Cash winner Logger For Life kicked on stoutly for his third placing a further neck behind, while shading the winner’s kennelmate Brighton Wave by a head margin.

"Federal Infrared just did her own thing and once again, she proved the point that she wins from any box, regardless if it’s night or day, racing on one-turn or two-turn tracks. She is just a really nice dog who is the complete racing package," stated Brendon Cole who advised that she is next likely to be sighted at the premier Cambridge New Year meeting.

The $10,238 winning stake advanced Federal Infrared's career earning out to $352,934, leaving her just $28,817 behind Little Mother's national $377,751 stakes earning record.


Group 2 Nancy Cobain Memorial

Many members of the Conspiracy Theory Syndicate were on track to cheer home Space Boy in the Group 2 Nancy Cobain Memorial.

Space Boy returned to one-turn track racing in crushing style, giving none of his competitive staying rivals a look-in when cruising to his impressive 720m 41.03 victory in the $20,000 Nancy Cobain Memorial.

It was a performance that Nancy, herself a renowned conditioner of stayers, would have been proud to have delivered.

As soon as the traps opened, it was the green racing vest worn by Space Boy that was first sighted. From there, this Group 2 staying event turned into a procession, with the son of SH Avatar and All About Space gapping his opposition, as seen by his comprehensive 9.75 length winning margin.

Again, this event resulted in the same quinella, albeit a reverse decision, as the recent Group 1 Wanganui Distance winner Sweet Buddy gamely led the vain chase after the free-striding pacemaker to claim second for his trainer Sam Lozell.

The Corey Steele-trained Opawa Rat showed the benefit of his recent racing by boldly kicking on for his third placing a further 2.5 lengths astern, while holding a 1.25 length margin over the Group 1 winning, Bob Pringle-prepared stayer Grande Vue Ace.

"Space Boy turned the race into a procession, getting so far in front of the others so easily. He has been racing good, today he was awesome. He's had some minor issues since Christchurch with a blood disorder and thyroid issues.

"We nearly had him right for Wanganui; today, he was spot on,” said Brendon Cole.

Space Boy, who is likely to be next sighted at Cambridge over the New Year period, has now won 20 of his 52 races, and after adding in another 14 minor placings, now sees his career stake earnings standing at $144,216 for his owning Conspiracy Theory Syndicate.


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 20 December 2023

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