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Cup Night Match Race: Trainers have their say

Greyhound racing aficionados would be whetting their lips in anticipation of Wednesday’s Cup Night Match Race (450m) between Tiggerlong Tonk and Ferdinand Boy.

Match races have become a staple of country cups nights and this head-to-head contest is arguably the best two-dog race that’s been scheduled.

In fact, the $10,000 winner-takes-all event is a beauty!

Back on March 20, Ferdinand Boy set a new track record (24.75sec) in the G2 Shepparton Cup (450m), with an unlucky Tiggerlong Tonk 2.4L away third.

Adding more intrigue is that only half-a-length separates them on personal best times at Warrnambool – Ferdinand Boy (24.81sec) and Tiggerlong Tonk (24.84sec).

And both are in Cup-winning form, with Tiggerlong Tonk breaking his G1 jinx in last month’s Perth Cup and Ferdinand Boy landing a G2 Shepparton-Ballarat cups double.

So, who wins this clash between ‘ultimate professional’ and 10-time G1 finalist Tiggerlong Tonk and ‘next big thing’ Ferdinand Boy?

Here’s the tale of the tape:

(Feb ’18 Dyna Double One x Tiggerlong Dot)
Trainer: Correy Grenfell (Anakie)
TAB Odds: $2.00
Starts: 76: 36-16-8
Prizemoney: $559,015
Warrnambool 450m: Starts: 3: 1-1-0 (24.84sec PB)
Group Race Record: Winner: G1 Perth Cup, G2 Horsham Cup, G3 Shootout, G3 Easter Gift; Runner-up: G1 Hobart Thousand, G2 Bendigo Cup; Finalist: G1 Silver Chief (3rd), G1 Harrison-Dawson (3rd), G1 Maturity Classic (3rd), G1 Temlee (3rd), G2 Geelong Gold Cup (3rd), G2 Shepparton Cup (3rd).


Two ‘V8s’ going together; it’s going to be interesting… It’ll be high speed, but I think ‘Tigger’ will be too strong… He didn’t get a clear run until the home straight in the Shepparton Cup, but absolutely flew home and probably took around 4-5 lengths off ‘Ferdinand’… I expect him to lead us again, but my bloke should be within 1-2 lengths of him turning for home and I think he’ll pick him up… He’s refreshed since coming back from WA; he’s sparked up again.”

Correy’s thoughts on his two Warrnambool Cup chances
“I’ve always said I love Yozo Bale (Box 8) off a rails draw, but I’m hoping he can get across from the ‘pink’ and lead… He’s going to have to jump to the front, it’s as simple as that… Looking at the speed map, if he can stay out of trouble, he may find the lead on the first turn… Once he’s on the rails, he makes his rivals work hard to get around him… However, Shima Shine (Box 5) and Mepunga Warrior (Box 6) are strong to the line.”

“The truth be told, Denzell Bale (Box 4) pulled up a bit sore after his heat… He’s probably an 80 per cent chance of starting in the final… He was a surprise packet in a heat but is out of his depth ability wise, although he does have early speed… He’s Christo Bale’s brother, but just can’t get more ground.”


(Jan ’19 Fernando Bale x Nayla Swift)

Trainer: David Geall (Lara)
TAB Odds: $1.80
Starts: 33: 19-6-1
Prizemoney: $164,570
Warrnambool 450m: Starts: 6: 4-1-0 (24.81sec PB)
Group Race Record: Winner: G2 Shepparton Cup, G2 Ballarat Cup; Finalist: Listed Western Districts Derby

“We thought he was unlucky in a Warrnambool Cup heat last week… He copped a decent bump at the start and subsequently went a fair bit off his usual first and second split times… We feel he’s got improvement, but he’s going to have to run around 24.80sec to 24.85sec to win… He’s capable and reliable, and being outside Tiggerlong Tonk is a good thing… He’s a very good chaser but was six lengths off his game last week.”

David’s thoughts on the Warrnambool Cup
“It’s probably more of an even race but if Shima Shine (Box 5) steps, I’d expect he’d win… But I’d like to see Do It (Box 1) win for his owner Jarrod Sharp as we’re close friends… And I think Yozo Bale (Box 8) is back in form and drawn to get a real crack at them… He should stay out of trouble.”

The ‘Cup Night Match Race’ is Race 9 at 9.00pm.

WATCH: Ferdinand Boy (8) claims the G2 Shepparton Cup over Catch The Thief (2) and Tiggerlong Tonk (7) in a new 450m track record of 24.75sec.

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

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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