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‘Avocado’ takes the ‘chequered flag’

Daniel Avocado – named after happy-go-lucky Aussie F1 hero Daniel Ricciardo – was in the ‘fast lane’ in tonight’s Group 2 BFC Ballarat Cup heats (450m).

Trained by Jason Sharp, Daniel Avocado pushed ‘pedal to the metal’ and took the ‘chequered flag’ as the fastest heat winner.

Contesting Heat 3, Daniel Avocado ($11.70) defeated Dream Wizard ($8.10) by 1.33L, with Ballarat 450m track record holder Pirate Pete ($2.30F) a further 1.34L away third in 25.16sec. It was his 16th win from 45 starts.

But he nearly lost ‘pole position’ to the Michael Carter-trained Special Talent.

Engaged in Heat 6, Special Talent ($8.60) clocked a slick 25.20sec defeating Junk Food Junkie ($9.90) by 2.86L, with Rolling Stone ($3.90) a further 2.78L away third. Special Talent made it five wins from his past eight starts.

Yozo Bale was the slowest heat winner but continued his trainer Correy Grenfell’s great run of success. Grenfell won the G3 Shootout at Sandown with Tiggerlong Tonk in a new race record (29.03sec) during last month’s Metro Festival of Racing.

And now Yozo Bale is chasing a G2 Bendigo Cup-Ballarat Cup double.

Contesting Heat 2, Yozo Bale ($2.20F) defeated Aussie Secret ($4.00) by 2.61L, with Gotham Duke ($3.40) a further 2.9L away third in 25.40sec. It was his 17th win from 39 starts.

Meanwhile, Anthony Azzopardi has a chance to secure his second Ballarat Cup in five years after Short Pork ‘got the bacon’ in Heat 1.

Short Pork ($2.90F) – who was second in last week’s G3 Cup Night Sprint at Sandown – defeated Cosmic Ox ($17.00) by 1.26L, with Mahogany Jet ($13.30) a further 2.83L away third in 25.36sec.

Azzopardi won the 2016 Ballarat Cup with Zambora Brockie. He also finished third with Ando’s Mac in 2017 and second last year with his retired champion Whiskey Riot.

WATCH: DANIEL AVOCADO (4) shows unwavering determination to push to the lead and score in a brilliant 25.16sec over DREAM WIZARD (1).

$67,000 GROUP 2 BALLARAT CUP (450M)
Saturday 12 December
1st $47,000; 2nd $13,350; 3rd $6,650

HEAT WINNERS
(Fastest to slowest)

25.16sec Daniel Avocado
25.20sec Special Talent
25.28sec Fortuna Bale
25.35sec Tinker Craig
25.36sec Short Pork
25.40sec Yozo Bale

Pawnote: It was little Louis Pope – son of Daniel Avocado’s owner, Barry – who is responsible for the racing moniker. He was only five years old when an Australian Grand Prix reporter asked Louis his favourite F1 driver. He replied: “Daniel Avocado”.

Subsequently, the video went viral and Ricciardo liked the funny nickname so much he just had to meet up with the young fan. And he did, presenting Louis (avocado in hand) with a signed cap. Louis and his dad were also made guests of the Renault racing team.

Photos by Clint Anderson

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Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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