Know Keeper The Headline Act at Manawatu

IT'S a humdinger of a meeting carded for Friday’s Manawatu holiday chasing action, featuring the recent the pair of recent Manukau Group 1 winners.

Peter Fenemor

23 June 2022

IT’S a humdinger of a meeting carded for Friday’s Manawatu holiday chasing action, featuring the recent the pair of recent Manukau Group 1 winners.

The premier meeting marks the inaugural New Zealand Matariki Day national holiday with feature events recognising the significance of Matariki Day.

The first three finishes in the 779m Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar will clash again in the Matariki Distance over the shorter 660m trip. It is a field that, aided by the box draw, presents an intriguing line-up.


The high-flying Garry Cleeve prepared Silver Collar winner Know Keeper will exit from trap eight which should work out okay for the winner of all 17 of his staying assignments.

He is the winner of his only 660m outing on the big, spacious one-turn track which he completed in 37.74s when setting the current 660m track record.

Northern conditioner Karen Walsh heads south with her brave Silver Collar runner-up Thrilling Rogue who will be loaded away into the seven trap. Potentially, he could offer Know Keeper a clean slingshot into the first turn as he’s normally quickly away while heading inwards.

Walsh has a serious contender drawn in the ace-trap. Her charge Thrilling Fern has displayed exciting staying potential and she was a bold freewheeling last start Manukau 603m winner.

Mr. Farenheit was solid when delivering his Silver Collar third placing and trainer Carol Morris has produced him to win three previous 660m races here.

The Craig Roberts kennels is currently firing on all cylinders and his charge Raja Bale can be expected to be sighted doing his best work over the later stages.

Three 457m heats was held last week to finalize the field for the $30,000 Matariki R/A Stakes. Stamping his authority on his heat rivals was the Tony Hart prepared Master Phorthos who skipped through his task in a tidy 25.49s.

He thrives racing on the horseshoe shaped tracks, however he will have to break quickly from the six-trap.

His talented kennelmate Charlotte Lu has drawn on his immediate inner. The recent NZ Oaks winner was solid when she went under to the exciting chaser Federal Infrared by three-quarters of a length in her heat.

Federal Infrared was having just her fifth career outing when she landed her 25.70s heat win. She has stylishly won all three of her races since she crossed the Tasman, entering the potent Lisa Cole kennels. Drawing the ace-trap has greatly enhanced her claims.

Cole has advanced two other contenders with Allegro Mars taking out his heat in 25.78s, while another former Aussie Tap Out Classy gamely chased home Master Porthos for his 3.75 length second.

The way the draw has panned out presents the Cole mentored Typhoon Tim with sound prospects in the Matariki Sprint final over the 375m dash. 

Yes, he tasted defeat in his heat when going under by 5.5 lengths to Screaming Viking, however drawing out in trap-seven presents him with sound looking swooping claims. 

Kennelmates Big Time Katy (21.25s) and Big Time Prada (21.62s) were heat winners while local conditioner Marcie Flipp will be seeking to deny the Cole trained five-dog attack on this final with her 21.17s heat winner Screaming Viking.

Another meeting attraction is the presence of the Waterloo Cup winner Talbingo Bale who has drawn to extend his current imposing six-race winning streak.

Craig Roberts will parade the swift son of David Bale and Dyna Zesty to the 457m traps wearing the red racing vest for the last race.