A six-length drubbing of her opposition at Awapuni on Saturday has ghostly grey mare I Suggest ready to defend a unique title at New Plymouth later in the month.

Trainer Trudy Keegan has her heart set on a win in the "grey and roans" only race at the Taranaki meeting on September 24, a race the mare won in impressive fashion 12 months ago.

"We'd love to win that race again as it was a real thrill last year so we've been looking to get her ready to defend her crown," she explained.

"She won that race and then ran third in the Egmont Cup at her next start so we'd like to follow a similar path with her again."


Keegan was quick to admit the mare's campaign this winter had been a challenge due to a combination of factors.

"She just hasn't struck the tracks she needs this time in," she said. "She is quite picky and needs the going to be quite loose so she can get through it. She has also been slow away a number of times and just hasn't been able to make up ground due to being too far back.

"Her last 600 metres has often been one of the fastest in the race but when you are trying to come from the rear all the time it doesn't often work out," she said.

Keegan was expecting a similar result after I Suggest missed the jump again on Saturday, however a calm and collected performance from rider Zinjete Moki had her singing the apprentice's praises after the contest.

"My heart dropped when I saw her slow away again," she admitted.

"Zinjete was just brilliant though; she let her settle and got off the rail at the right time to get into a challenging position on the corner.

"She came back in after the race and said she let her go and she just went whoosh. She was quite in awe of the run and it certainly left me with a grin from ear to ear that I've still got a day later." - NZ Racing Desk