NSW superstar Feral Franky will be striving to go one better when he takes his second shot at Sandown Park’s Group 3 Speed Star match race series (515m) on Sunday evening.
Back in May, Feral Franky, which is trained by Ray “Jack” Smith at Forbes in the Central West of NSW, was runner-up to local Flynn in the Group 3 Bill Collins Speed Star, clocking a fast 29.20s in winning his match race.
“They were calling that a defeat but he won his match race and finished second on times,” Ray Smith explained.
Since then, Feral Franky has been almost untouchable.
He’s won 12 of his next 13 starts, highlighted by the Group 1 Vic Peters and Group 3 Flying Amy Classics, with the lone defeat being a third in the Group 1 Maturity to another leading Speed Star contender in Sennachie.
After booking his berth in Sunday’s $20,000 to-the-winner Speed Star with a 29.247s trial on August 18, Feral Franky set his sights on the Million Dollar Chase and qualified for the semi-finals last Sunday when smashing the Gunnedah 527m track record in the Regional Final.
“I’m going to drop my lip when he gets beaten!” Smith quipped.
“He’s a once in a life-timer and we’re just enjoying the ride.
“He’s just so consistent now – that’s the difference. I know what I’m going to get every time he goes to the track.
“Our plan was to get him eligible for the semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase as quick as we could and he played his part.
“To be fair – and I don’t want to be disrespectful – but Gunnedah wasn’t that strong a record. It is now!
“To take ten lengths off a track record isn’t easy to do anywhere; whether it’s Gunnedah or anywhere else. He’s doing a great job.”
Feral Franky dominates betting on Sunday’s fourth 515m match race, where he’s TAB’s $1.20 favourite and rival Lucy’s Milo, trained by Andrea Dailly, is a $4.60 outsider.
In TAB’s all-in market Feral Franky is joint $2.70 favourite with Jason Thompson’s fastest qualifier Hooked On Scotch (29.087s), with Sennachie (29.245s) next in betting at $3.80.
“The three times he’s been to Sandown he’s run 29.20 something,” Smith said.
“Like everything else you’d like to go a bit quicker but I’ve got another ten dogs at home that if I brought them down to Sandown and they ran 29.20s I’d be over the moon.
“Recently he’s been beginning pretty good but he’s drawn on the outside and if the other dog cuts him off or holds him up there goes your time.
“The main idea was to fill a week in and there’s a little break between the Speed Star and the semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase.
“My job is to have him at his peak on semi-final night. I’ll either trial or race him at Wentworth Park in the meantime and try not to overdo him and not underdo him.”
Speed Star version of the Whisper, click here.