Littermates headline big afternoon of greyhound racing at Manawatu Thursday

Pictured: He’s All Go has won nine from 10 races so far. Photo credit: Dave Robbie.

A pair of exciting young siblings dominate the discussions for the Palmerston North Greyhound Racing Club’s feature meeting this Thursday afternoon.

Headlining the meeting is the presence of the dual Group 1 winner He’s All Go, who will start as the raging hot favourite in the $20,000 Golden Chase, as will his sister Big Time Lauren who will be warmly supported in the $15,000 Golden Maiden Series Final.

The Lisa Cole kennels were on fire during last week’s Manawatu meeting, mentoring the winner of 12 races from the 15 races contested.

And there’s every reason to think she can do likewise again during this meeting, headed by this month’s emphatic New Zealand Derby winner, He’s All Go.

The son of Aston Dee Bee and Big Time Izzy is chasing after his 10th win from just his 11th raceday start, and he will be sighted wearing the blue racing vest in this 457m invitation event.

“I consider this race will be his toughest career test, as he’s racing against hardened, conditioned dogs. In saying that, he doesn’t know that, as he’s such a professional greyhound, and he can handle the rise in class he meets here,” advised Brendon Cole.

Kennelmate Aston Bundy has set Manawatu Raceway alight while coming through the grades, and Cole explains why the kennel nominated the current C3 graded chaser for this race.

“We hadn’t initially considered this race for him; however, his 25.35 457m time here last week says he’s right in this race up to his ears. The one-turn track is ideal for him.”

The current Auckland Cup title holder Blazin’ Master warmed up for this assignment via his quick 25.39 457m win at this venue last week.   

“At least he’s in the field, and he is racing in super form at the moment. The worry we have is the seven-dog coming down on him,” suggested Cole about the trap-6 drawn runner.

Federal Aussie is the fourth in-form Cole-mentored runner in the field, but there are concerns about his trap-8 draw.

“He has drawn upside down being out there. This field could be a bit rich for him and he’ll need to lead them out. All of our runners are good to go,” confirmed Cole.

Claws In Zorro stylishly took the race during the mid-stages of the New Zealand Derby to the freakish He’s All Go, and he kicked on stoutly for his Group 1 second placing. He produced that from trap-5 and he has to contend with the same draw in this event.

“Yes, I thought he deserved to have a crack at the race, but unfortunately, like the Derby, he has drawn the five again. Hopefully, he gets underway quickly. I was happy with his Derby effort and he’s doing everything right. Fingers crossed for a clear early run,” said trainer Matt Roberts. 

Riley Evans, whose team is currently ticking over really nicely, is rightfully excited about the future racing prospects for Goldstar Mostert, who heads north following his tidy Addington 30.13 520m win last Thursday.

“He has the Box again (1) and hopefully he’ll jump and use it. He’s a promising dog for the future, as seen by his two Group 1 placings. He has come through his recent racing really good,” said Evans.

Dave and Jean Fahey will venture north with Palawa Queen on board, after she dealt to her C5 rivals when delivering her slick pace-making 29.78 520m Addington win last Thursday.

“Yes, she has gone better lately, although I would have preferred her to have drawn out wider (2). She should be all right up there, and she has come through last week good,” confirmed Dave Fahey.

Veteran trainer Bill Hodgson first picked up the collars and leads in 1978, and he has always had a more than handy greyhound under his tuition ever since then. On Thursday, he will load away his charge Thrilling Rush into the seven-trap following his bold Friday Hatrick 520m win.

“He’s going along alright, but unfortunately, he doesn’t get a decent draw. He’s a dead set railer. It’s a top class field he’s against and I know he’ll go alright against them,” said Hodgson, who also advised he’s excited about rearing a litter of nine-week old pups sired by Thrilling Sam, who is a greyhound that he mentored to victory in the 2005 edition of the Wellington Cup.

“They will keep me ticking over for a while yet,” chuckled Hodgson.


Golden Maiden Race Series Final

The credentials of numerous very exciting young chasing prospects were revealed during the five 457m heats held for this rich maiden series.

Included was the much-anticipated race debut appearance in the 457m Golden Maiden heats by the Lisa Cole-prepared Big Time Lauren, following her impressive qualifying trial which included leading home her brother He’s All Go in a slick 20.93 for her 375m dash.

The daughter of Aston Dee Bee and Big Time Izzy pressed forward from her eight-trap draw, taking control of her 457m heat by railing underneath the pace-setting Russian Ahead to slip clear for her strong 25.64 debut win.

“We expect further improvement from her, as she has just returned from a seasonal break. She is a very fast greyhound,” enthused Brendon Cole about the trap-3 drawn contender.

Also making an impression during the heats were members of the promising Cole trained, Zambora Brockie and Fools Russian litter, as seen by Fool Me Once (7) who stylishly won his heat in 26.04 when making his race debut.

“He’s from a very promising litter; however, he isn’t electric early. He will learn a lot from the raceday experience,” advised Cole.

Littermate Vodka Reckon was also tidy, when also making his debut outing, in the manner that he that he cleared out for his five-length heat win, clocking 25.96. 

“He’s a handy pup, who does have a lot of early speed. It’s a tricky draw (8) for him, while it’s also a learning curve for him,” said Cole.

However, the most impressive litter sibling from the heats was Russian Ahead, who by finishing just 1.5 lengths behind Big Time Lauren, actually recorded the second quickest overall heat time.

“She is most definitely on the improve. She has plenty of early pace and she can feature from her good draw (3),” stated Cole. The owning Funky’s Boy’s Syndicate are going to enjoy a lot of success with their litter.

The opening heat was taken out by Big Time Slim for Cole in a more sedate 26.24, and the sixth Cole finalist is Big Time Ronald who wound up 1.25 lengths astern of Fool Me Once in his heat.

“Big Time Slim is a very smart dog who will keep on improving, while developing into a nice dog. He has the draw advantage. Big Time Ronald does everything right, although others are faster than him at the moment. Keep an eye on him as he matures,” advised Cole, while adding, “All six of out runners are all good to go.”

Canterbury-mentored maidens complete the final field line-up, with Bruce Dann returning north with Opawa Weatherley, who extended strongly during the run home to claim victory in his debut race running a tidy 25.77.

“Opawa Weatherley is a nice, young dog. He probably wasn’t ready for his heat, as I pushed him forward to get him there after Robin (Wales) told me about the race. I think there will be natural improvement from him for Thursday. He’s pulled up a box of fluffies – actually, he travelled better than me,” commented Dann.

Dave and Jean Fahey had presented Very Rarely to effortlessly win his 520m race debut at Addington the previous Friday, and he set up the pace in his heat prior to being claimed late by Opawa Weatherley by a neck margin.

“He goes pretty good and he should be right in it, providing he leads them out, which he is capable of doing. Everything is all right with him,” said Dave Fahey.

Three consolation 457m races will be contested for the maidens, with an enticing $5,500 being raced for by the heat second, third and the fastest fourth placegetters.

Obviously, the reserves for the Golden Maiden Race Series final will take a power of beating in the first consolation race. Lisa Cole provides both of those runners, with Big Time Elect and Big Time Fern in that order.

“Big Time Elect is a pretty good pup, who was unlucky not to make the final. Big Time Fern just keeps on running into good dogs. He’s a rocket who will get his turn (winning),” stated Cole.

It’s a strong overall card for Thursday’s racing, which starts off with a tidy looking field of stayers racing over 720m, headed by the last start Cole prepared Cambridge 650m winner, Space Boy.


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 26 March 2024

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