Federal Morgan All The Rage For Golden Chase

SIX weeks of intense qualifying action wraps up at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday afternoon when the $25,000 Golden Chase Final (457m) is decided.

Peter Fenemor

29 March 2021

SIX weeks of intense qualifying action wraps up at Manawatu on Thursday when the $25,000 Golden Chase Final (457m) is decided.

The four x two dog match race event promises to be action packed, with Auckland Cup winner Federal Morgan hotly favoured to continue on his barnstorming winning way.

The Lisa Cole prepared Federal Morgan convincingly topped the qualifying leaderboard thanks to his recent 25.25 457m track record gallop.

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Federal Morgan is backing up from his outstanding victory in Sunday’s $80,000 Auckland Cup. Brendon Cole informs us that understandably, he has enjoyed a very-quiet week.

“He has rested up since Sunday and enjoyed his hydro-bath,” Cole said.

“He has shown us no ill effects from the two-weeks on the road, plus his Auckland 527m races. He is likely to punch up along the rail in his match, then bring it home strongly.”

Federal Morgan will participate in the third match race from the one trap with his opponent the Gary and Sandra Fredrickson prepared Tekki Jim (25.71) which even though looks suited to the match race format, must find an additional few lengths.

Drink Shoeys (25.52) will kick off proceedings, wearing the red racing vest following his bold third in Sunday’s Auckland Cup.

He is looking to provide his conditioner Peter Ferguson with his second Golden Chase winner after Robson won the inaugural running of the event two-years ago.

“Yes, he’s a relaxed dog who came through Sunday all-good,” Ferguson said.

“Hopefully he can set up a good time straight off the bat and force Federal Morgan to step up to beat him.”

Matching him will be Broke Brad (25.79s) from the locally based Angela Turnwald kennels. Strength is his biggest asset, although it is hard to visualize how he can maintain close contact with his rival during the early rush.

The match up that potentially holds the most intrigue is the second pairing which sees the Lisa and Tracey Craik trained Portland Berty (25.80) clashing with Nangar Ridge (25.77) from the Cole kennels.

Both greyhounds have limited track experience with the northern based Portland Berty suffering from interference in his only Manawatu 457m race day assignment. He booked his place in this decider via a 25.80 solo trial. 

Portland Berty has been responsible for some slippery 457m times around the quicker Cambridge circuit with his best being delivered in a hot 25.19. He is likely to hold the rail from the ace-trap.

Cole harbors a fair amount of respect for his foe saying, “Portland Berty has had a couple of looks at the track down here and his Cambridge 457m races have been strong.”

“Nangar Ridge is coming into this race with fresh legs which I feel will assist him. He holds a fair amount of potential,” added Cole.

Nangar Ridge made his track debut when booking his place here with this former New South Wales chaser illustrating his ability with his prior tidy Hatrick 30.05 520m win.

The final match up has the Ferguson prepared Pedro Lee (25.57) drawn on the outside of the third Cole trained contender Big Time Pluto (25.72).

And that is where a possible issue could unfold as Big Time Pluto is likely to ease away from the rail.

“I’m hoping that Pedro Lee will jump cleanly. He didn’t cop the Auckland track last time out, however he is proven at the Manawatu. He trailed nicely at Cambridge on Monday and he’s as bright as a button,” advised Ferguson.

“Pluto has also had a bath and a quiet week since her Sunday Manukau 527m race. Put simply, she has to outjump Pedro Lee,” suggested Cole.