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Flying ‘Ferdinand’ breaks 450m TR in Shepparton Cup

Flying Ferdinand Boy was hailed a champion in the making after his track record-breaking performance in tonight’s Group 2 CKH Painting Shepparton Cup final (450m).

Trained by David Geall, Ferdinand Boy (Box 8) flew out of the traps and made every post a winner in a mind-boggling 24.75sec – eclipsing the 24.77sec mark, set by Hard Style Rico in a Shepparton Cup heat last year. (Hard Style Rico went on to win the final.)

Ferdinand Boy ($4.50) defeated the Jason Thompson trained Catch The Thief ($3.60F) – whose effort was enormous after missing the start – by 1.3L, with Correy Grenfell’s Tiggerlong Tonk ($5.70) a further 1.1L away third.

A recent winner of the Shepparton Classic, Ferdinand Boy (Jan ’19 Fernando Bale x Nayla Swift) – bred and owned by Geall’s wife, Rose – notched his 16th win from 29 starts.

It was also his fifth win from seven starts over 450m at Shepparton, and his sixth win in seven starts from Box 8. The $47,000 first prize spiralled his stakes to $108,880.

“With so much pace in the race, we were just hoping that he’d lead and run around 6.45sec to the first mark,” Geall said. “He had to do everything right, and he did what he had to do.”

Ferdinand Boy has drawn comparisons with close relations, former G1 stars My Redeemer and Up Hill Jill – both also trained by Geall.

WATCH: FERDINAND BOY (8) showed blinding mid-race speed to clock 24.752sec in the G2 Shepparton Cup, lowering HARD STYLE RICO’s 24.768sec track record.

“He’s the best I’ve trained up to 450m, but they (My Redeemer and Up Hill Jill) could step up on the big stage,” Geall said.

So, what’s next for Ferdinand Boy?

“I’ve been trying to talk my wife into the Maitland Cup, but Ballarat’s (Cup) got to be on.”

Meanwhile, on a phenomenal card of racing, Equalizer provided Jason Thompson with some consolation with a powerhouse performance in the Cup Night Match Race (450m).

In a sensational sideshow to the Cup, Equalizer ($1.30F) matched strides with G2 Warragul Cup winner Aeroplane Eric ($2.30) until gaining the ascendancy turning for home and forging away for a 2.7L win in a slick 24.89sec.

Renowned for his paralysing finishing bursts, Equalizer snared a $10,000 winner-take-all purse and registered his 13th win from 32 starts. His prizemoney totals $88,860.

A bona fide star of the sport, Equalizer was runner-up to Aeroplane Eric in the Warragul Cup, runner-up in the G2 Cranbourne Cup, and a finalist in the G1 Temlee and G1 Silver Chief.

The other support features were won by Junk Food Junkie and Rostered Off.

It was ‘cordon bleu’ Junk Food Junkie in the Tony McGrath Memorial (450m), which honours a club stalwart.

WATCH: EQUALIZER (3) began better than expected and proved too powerful for AEROPLANE ERIC in the Cup Night Match Race running 24.89sec.

Junk Food Junkie had put the writing on the wall with a solid second to Catch The Thief in a Shepparton Cup heat.

Trained by Jessica Sharp, Junk Food Junkie ($6.90) produced a ‘blue ribbon’ all-the-way win defeating Horsham 410m track record-holder Oriental Amber ($3.90) by 1.7L, with Jim Zarr Dashian ($6.30) a further 1L away third in a slick 24.99sec. It was her 14th win from 58 starts and the $6500 first prize lifted her earnings to $81,485.

Last year, she was third to Music Event in the Cup Night Sprint (515m) during the Melbourne Cup meeting at Sandown. And she was also a finalist in the G1 Peter Mosman Opal (520m) at Wentworth Park.

And Rostered Off, who has been lighting up the middle-distance scene, was ‘on duty’, in the GDR Cup Night Stayers (650m).

Prepared by Gerard O’Keeffe, Rostered Off ($1.20F) led throughout, accounting for Zipping Miranda ($11.60) by 4.2L in a smart 37.03sec – only 2.5L off the track record, set by Manila Knight on November 9 last year.

It was the 12th win from 31 starts – including nine of his past 14 – for the son of 2016 G1 Sandown Cup winner, Bells Are Ringin. His stakes jumped to $49,430 courtesy of a $6545 first prize.


SHEPPARTON CUP NIGHT (Feature Race Winners)

Photos by Clint Anderson

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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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