Knight ‘peppers’ Shepparton 650m TR

Middle-distance revelation Manila Knight last night smashed Shepparton’s 650-metre track record.

Trained at Tuerong by Mario Briganti, Manila Knight (May ’18 Barcia Bale x Angie Rocks) clocked a stunning 36.88sec – carving almost two lengths off the 36.99sec mark set by Pepper Shiraz on April 19, 2018.

Contesting a GDR Special Event, Manila Knight ($1.60F) led throughout from Box 5 to defeat I’m Easy Boys ($5.00) by 5.5L, with Burn Time ($4.50) a further 1.5L away third. It was his 14th win from 34 starts.

Briganti said Manila Knight’s track record didn’t totally surprise him.

“The track was on the quicker side of quick, which can be the case this time of year with humidity and no wind. But he still had to do it.”

Briganti added that Manila Knight would now have a crack at the forthcoming G1 Bold Trease (715m) series – part of the Metro Festival of Racing – at Sandown.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind to give him a shot at staying… I’m hoping he’ll shape up as a frontrunning stayer, they’re always hard to catch.”

Manila Knight has now notched five wins from eight middle-distance starts. And he was also a G3 Speed Star finalist (600m) at The Meadows and finished third in the G3 Cranbourne Classic (520m).

Manila Knight is a descendant of Briganti’s foundation brood matron Punk Rock Lass (May ’08 Vapour Whirl x Punk Portrait), who has left an enduring legacy.

His dam, Angie Rocks (by Kinloch Brae), is a daughter of Punk Rock Lass and a litter sister of Rhonda Rocks. She won 13 races from 40 starts and was runner-up in both the 2015 G1 Sapphire Crown and 2015 G3 SA Oaks. And Rhonda Rocks produced retired superstar Sennachie.

WATCH: Manila Knight (5) cruises to a new Shepparton 650m track record (36.88sec) last night.

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