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New ‘Horizon’ for Ferdinand Boy

Ferdinand Boy has been winning provincial features for fun in 2021 and the Ballarat and Shepparton Cups hero is set to create a slice of history in Sunday night’s inaugural running of The Horizon (440m) at Sale.

Winner of eight of his last 11 starts, highlighted by his Group 2 country cups double, and 21 from 37 overall, Ferdinand Boy is the fastest qualifier for the $25,000 to-the winner The Horizon after a Best Of Night 24.60sec heat victory at his Sale debut.

“It would be an achievement for the dog because he’s already won the two Cups, the Warrnambool Derby and Shepparton Classic,” said Lara trainer David Geall, who bred and races Ferdinand Boy with wife Rose.

“This would be another big one and he’s not two-and-a-half yet.”

After a six-race winning streak came to an end during the G2 Warrnambool Cup series, Geall was relieved to see his impeccably bred son of Fernando Bale and Nayla Swift, a half-sister to dual G1 winner Up Hill Jill, return to his best in The Horizon heats.

Without the benefit of a trial, Ferdinand Boy ($1.80) led all-the-way from box three, defeating Jason Thompson’s Aussie Secret ($2.60), which was previously unbeaten in three starts at Sale, by 1.3 lengths.

“We saw this race a few weeks ago and it looked a real nice race, a very lucrative race and it’s a good distance for Ferdinand Boy,” Geall said.

“We’re trying to nurse him back slowly after a 515m trial at Sandown really knocked him around. I reckon it took four or five lengths off him.

WATCH: Flying Ferdinand Boy (3) sets the time standard (24.60sec) in ‘The Horizon’ heats at Sale last week.

“But after his Geelong win (22.34sec) and his Sale win – they tell me his 13.55sec second split is very, very quick – it looks like he’s back to his Cups form.

“We ran out of time to trial at Sale because we took him to Geelong, where we’re looking at qualifying for the Pink Diamond.

“Sale is the one place out of all the one-bend tracks where I think you probably do need to trial; it’s a little bit tighter and has a tighter first corner. But if you’ve got a real good chaser, like this dog, it’s not a big disadvantage.

“I’m hoping he can improve a couple of lengths, not so much with the look at the track but more with fitness because he’d only been over the ‘shorts’ at his last two starts.

“He’s pretty well drawn in box two.

“He always runs straight, which is a real bonus, but he’s got to step because it’s a very good race. He’ll need to lead Aussie Secret (Box 3) and Papi Go Fast (Box 6) is very quick early – he ran 5.18sec to the first mark in the heats and our bloke went 5.17sec.”

Following The Horizon, Geall is targeting another rich new feature, the Pink Diamond, with Ferdinand Boy to contest the Geelong 400m heats en route to the 425m Bendigo final.

Ferdinand Boy is contesting the short-course event to keep him apart from his in-form ‘cousin’ Koblenz (Ferdinand Bale x Up Hill Jill), winner of his past six starts, which will line up in the 450m Ballarat heats on the path to the 500m Bendigo final.

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Gerard Guthrie
About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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