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Oh ‘Boy’, what a night for Geall!

Lara trainer David Geall has enjoyed some magical moments in the sport.

Perhaps none better than My Redeemer’s 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup and 2018 G1 Harrison-Dawson wins. Plus, Up Hill Jill’s 2017 G1 Topgun and 2017 Golden Easter Egg wins.

The ‘stage’ at Shepparton on Saturday wasn’t nearly as big, but oh ‘Boy’ what a night it was for Geall.

Geall landed the Shepparton Classic (450m) with rising star Ferdinand Boy (Jan ’19 Fernando Bale x Nayla Swift), who has drawn comparisons with his ‘uncle’ My Redeemer and ‘aunty’ Up Hill Jill.

And he made it a treble as May ’19 Fernando Bale x Up Hill Jill litter brothers Hill Top Jonah and Koblenz scored sensational 385-metre wins.

Victory was even sweeter given Geall’s wife, Rose, bred all the greyhounds mentioned above.

WATCH: FERDINAND BOY (2) hung on in a stirring battle with PAPI GO FAST (4) in Saturday night’s Shepparton Classic, while the classy MUSIC EVENT (5) powered into third place. Time: 25.00sec. Top of page: Ferdinand Boy with trainer David Geall and Shepparton GRC Manager, Carl McGrath.

Ferdinand Boy notched his 14th win from 27 starts and collected a $10,250 first prize in the Shepparton Classic. And the race was an absolute beauty!

Papi Go Fast (Box 4), who was third in the G1 Silver Chief and has won 16 races from 26 starts, flew out of the traps with Ferdinand Boy (Box 2) in hot pursuit. And it was Ferdinand Boy’s amazing mid-race acceleration which saw him pinch a break before Papi Go Fast rallied late.

But Ferdinand Boy ($6.00) prevailed by 0.3L over Papi Go Fast ($3.60), with Music Event ($3.30) flashing home a further 1.66L away third in 25.00sec (Best).

He’s now won 10 of his past 15 starts and made it three from five over 450m at Shepparton. His prizemoney jumped to $56,600.

“We thought he could lead if he jumped well,” Geall said. “But we weren’t confident as it was a great field and there was so much pace in the race.

“However, the win wasn’t a total surprise as his run-home times have clicked up 3-4 lengths.”

Geall is now tossing up between the forthcoming G2 Shepparton Cup or G2 Maitland Cup series – but slightly favouring Shepparton – for Ferdinand Boy, who also recently won the Lightning Frank Derby at Warrnambool.

“To get a treble with your own breed is the ultimate. And what made it more special is they ran such good times.”

He’s also got some thinking to do on the immediate agendas of the highly promising Hill Top Jonah and Koblenz.

Hill Top Jonah ($1.60F) registered his sixth win from 13 starts with a sizzling 21.53sec win – just under 2L off Benchester’s 21.42sec track record. While Koblenz ($1.80) posted a flying 21.56sec.

“To get a treble with your own breed is the ultimate,” Geall said. “Up Hill Jill doesn’t owe us anything and never will.

“We were over the moon and what made it more special is they ran such good times.”

Geall is really taken by Koblenz, who he rates “right up there with Ferdinand Boy”.

“He broke-in 17.62sec at Kevin McNamara’s, which was a new record,” he said. “However, he was immature and just switched off. But we’ve got his mind back on the job after some re-education.”

WATCH: ORIENTAL AMBER (4) pushes past the leaders on her way to a dominant win in Saturday night’s Shepparton Matchmakers Final over MINK LAKE (3) and PERFECT FLOSSY (7). Time: 25.00sec.

Meanwhile, on the same program, country sprint queen Oriental Amber (Box 4) took home a $10,250 winner’s cheque with a brilliant display in the Shepparton Matchmakers (450m).

Trained by at Toolleen by Rod Clark, Oriental Amber ($2.00F) made it six straight wins registering a slick 25.01sec. It was her fourth win from five starts over 450m at Shepparton.

Owned by The Barts syndicate, managed by Nigel Hebart, Oriental Amber (Dec ’18 Aston Dee Bee x Oriental Jewel) has started on 30 occasions for 17 wins and $43,605 in stakes.

Oriental Amber broke Horsham’s 410-metre track record, clocking a scintillating 22.64sec, on February 16.

She’ll now be set for the G2 Shepparton Cup series, which commences on March 15.

Oriental Amber with trainer Rod Clark and Shepparton GRC Manager Carl McGrath.

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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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