All hail ‘King Ferdinand’!
The sport has a new sprinting sovereign – Ferdinand Boy.
Trained by David Geall, Ferdinand Boy reigned supreme in tonight’s $67,000 Bottle-O Ballarat Cup final (450m).
Utilising his favourite draw (Box 8) to full advantage, Ferdinand Boy ran his rivals off their paws to snare a $47,000 first prize. His stakes spiralled to $163,060.
Ferdinand Boy ($2.50F) accounted for Fortuna Bale ($18.10) – who was third to Yozo Bale in last year’s Ballarat Cup – by 3.1L, with “Bendigo Bullet” Bound To Succeed ($9.30) a further 1.1L away third in a flying 24.84sec (Best).
He registered his 19th win, with five seconds and one third, from 32 starts – and made it six wins on the trot. He’s now seven from eight exiting from the ‘pink’ alley and is three from five over this track/distance.
“It’s ironic. I didn’t think he began that well, but he mustered real hard,” a proud Geall said. “He’s a good chaser this dog. It (his ability to muster) did surprise me because we knew all eight dogs were that quick early, and he had to jump.
“He didn’t jump that well, but he still mustered ahead of those dogs. It shows he wants to lead at all costs, and if something is in front of him, he just has to go past it. He’s a beauty.”
Owned and bred by Geall’s wife, Rose, Ferdinand Boy also had Box 8 winning last month’s G2 Shepparton Cup in a new track record (24.75sec). He eclipsed 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, who also won the Shepparton Classic, has drawn comparisons with close relations and former G1 stars My Redeemer and Up Hill Jill – both also trained by Geall.
Meanwhile, the Bottle-O Ballarat Cup Consolation (450m) was taken out by dual country cups winner Yozo Bale (Box 7).
Trained by Correy Grenfell, Yozo Bale ($10.50) displayed his customary early speed to lead clearly before staving off the fast-finishing Weblec Jet ($7.20) by 0.1L, with Do It ($6.30) a further 2.8L away third in a slick 24.86sec. (Both placegetters are trained by Jeff Britton.)
Winner of last year’s G2 Ballarat Cup and G2 Bendigo Cup, and runner-up in this year’s G1 Temlee, Yozo Bale notched his 21st win, with 14 seconds and three thirds, from 56 starts. It was also his fourth win from seven starts over this track/distance. He collected a $9,800 winner’s purse.
A race earlier, in-form sprinter Aston Titan (Box 2) produced a strong railing performance to claim a $7,000 winner’s cheque in the Autumn Classic Grade 5 final (450m).
Prepared by Anthony Azzopardi, Aston Titan ($2.70EF) defeated Perfect Colour ($9.60) by 1L, with Shepparton 385m track record holder Paddy’s Marvel ($2.70EF) – who was chasing his eighth straight win – a further 2.8L away third in 25.08sec. It was his 11th win from 26 starts and his third win in a row.
WATCH: FERDINAND BOY (8) made it six straight wins and back-to-back country cups when taking out the Ballarat Cup by 3.25L over FORTUNA BALE (7) and BOUND TO SUCCEED (3).
Pawnote: Traditionally held in December, the Ballarat Cup is now part of greyhound racing’s new $700,000 Western Festival of Racing, which runs throughout Autumn and incorporates the Horsham Cup (won by Shima Shine), Ballarat Cup (April 9), Geelong Cup (April 23) & Warrnambool Cup (May 5).
And, on an action-packed program, three Special Events were also conducted over 390m, 545m and 660m.
Plenty of aura surrounds glamour greyhound Equalizer, and he didn’t disappoint in a step up over more ground.
Contesting the Ballarat GAP Café S/E (545m), Equalizer led from go to whoa in a slashing 30.34sec – only 0.5L outside My Bro Kade’s 30.31sec track record, set on January 23, 2019.
Trained by Jason Thompson, Equalizer ($1.40F) defeated rank outsider Fabriola Acai ($35.00) by 7.6L to claim the $6,000 first prize. It was his 14th win, with seven seconds and four thirds from 35 starts. And his fourth win in seven starts from Box 1.
A class act, with a paralysing finishing burst in sprint events, Equalizer was a finalist in the G1 Temlee and G1 Silver Chief – both over 525m at The Meadows – and runner-up in the G2 Warragul Cup (460m) and G2 Cranbourne Cup (520m).
He also recently defeated Aeroplane Eric in the $10,000 winner-take-all Cup Night Match Race (450m) on G2 Shepparton Cup night.
The $6,000 to-the-winner Steve Tudor Electrical S/E was taken out by Lizzie’s Entity (Box 2), who finally broke through over the 660m trip at her sixth attempt – albeit she had previously been placed in three of five here.
Trained by Donna Knight, Lizzie’s Entity ($7.70) – who was prominent early before drifting to midfield – rallied late to defeat Drumroll Please ($1.70F), who took over proceedings at the halfway mark, by 1.4L in 38.06sec. It was her sixth win, with nine seconds and 12 thirds, from 47 starts.
At her previous start, Lizzie’s Entity finished fourth to Aston Ulysses in the $12,000 to-the-winner Bendigo Stayers Cup (660m).
Closing out a phenomenal card of feature races was Aston Mireya in the $6,000 to-the-winner TAB – Long May We Play S/E (390m).
Prepared by Rebecca Gibbons, Aston Mireya ($11.30) flew out of Box 1 and led easily before holding off the determined Sharky Shark ($11.00) by 0.3L in 22.02sec. It was her eighth win, with nine seconds and five thirds, from 27 starts.
Tonight’s feature race winners
- Life Members Cup (450m): ZARATE (David Jenson, Heathcote) in 25.72sec.
- Steve Tudor Electrical (660m): LIZZIE’S ENTITY (Donna Knight, Talbot) in 38.06sec.
- Ballarat GAP Café (545m): EQUALIZER (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale) in 30.34sec.
- Autumn Classic Final (450m): ASTON TITAN (Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley) in 25.08sec.
- Bottle-O Ballarat Cup Consolation (450m): YOZO BALE (Correy Grenfell, Anakie) in 24.86sec.
- Bottle-O Ballarat Cup (450m): FERDINAND BOY (David Geall, Lara) in 24.84sec.
- TAB Long May We Play (390m): ASTON MIREYA (Rebecca Gibbons, Avalon) in 22.02sec.
Photos by Clint Anderson
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