by Andrew Copley and Simone Fisher
Slingshot Hammer claimed the Group 3 Cranbourne Classic (520m) on 25 August, and in doing so paid a generous $7.20 despite being the fastest heat winner and being drawn in box one.
Owner/breeder Jay Ferguson, from the small Victorian town of Clunes, was delighted with the win, which was his best moment in the sport to date.
“I was surprised that he paid $7.20, but if you have a look at the quality of greyhounds around him you could understand why,” Ferguson said after the Robert Britton-trained Slingshot Hammer claimed the $25,000 first prize in the age-restricted event.
Slingshot Hammer (Fernando Bale – Little Hammer), pictured, won by three lengths over Undisputed (Mario Briganti) in 30.21sec, with group class pair Orson Allen (Correy Grenfell) and My Redeemer (David Geall) next across the finish line. His time was 1.5 lengths inferior to his 30.11sec best of night heat win.
“I have a lot of faith in Slingshot Hammer – he is turning into a really good race dog. The more he races the better he seems to be getting and he hasn’t stopped (improving) yet so it’s pretty exciting,” Ferguson said.
“My feeling heading into the race was that it would be won on the first turn and when I saw him come out and lead, I started celebrating. His heat win was a pretty good, but I was impressed with how well he jumped in the final,” Ferguson said.
A winner of nine races from 22 starts, Slingshot Hammer has now made $40,077 at just 25 months of age.
“He’s got smarts about him. He thinks during his races. Rather than sitting behind dogs he will go out (wide) and (race) around them.”
After trying his hand at training greyhounds, Ferguson decided the travelling wasn’t for him. He now prefers to stick to breeding and owning greyhounds.
WATCH: Slingshot Hammer (1) wins the Group 3 Cranbourne Classic on Saturday night.
Simone Fisher spoke to Jay Ferguson about Slingshot Hammer's win last Saturday.