• Monday, 04 Oct, 2021,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

King Ferdinand’s Sale Sprint crown

An incredible fourth country cup title beckons for Ferdinand Boy after the all-conquering provincial superstar added the Yeates Printing Sale Sprint Championship (440m) to his ever-growing trophy collection on Sunday night.

With the Shepparton, Ballarat and Healesville Cups already in their keeping, Lara trainer/owner/breeder David Geall confirmed the next stop for Ferdinand Boy will be Saturday night’s G2 Bendigo Cup heats (425m).

“It’s hard enough to win one, so four cups would be something!” quipped Geall.

Ferdinand Boy, a superbly-related son of Fernando Bale and Nayla Swift, was unbeaten in three appearances at Sale heading into Sunday’s $10,000 to-the-winner Sprint Championship and was chasing his second feature event at the track after edging out local star Dr. Tucker in the inaugural Horizon in June.

After spending the past two months competing exclusively at Healesville, Ferdinand Boy returned to the circle for Sale’s Sprint heats, where he clocked 24.73sec, with Perfect Colour’s 24.61sec the fastest qualifying effort.

Drawn in Box 2, as he was in both the Horizon final and his Sprint Championship heat, Ferdinand Boy started $1.90 favourite, ahead of Dr. Tucker (Box 4) at $3.20 and Perfect Colour (Box 8) $7.90.

Ferdinand Boy began fairly but accelerated quickly and drove to the lead, with Dr. Tucker and Perfect Colour in pursuit.

Dr. Tucker checked off Ferdinand Boy’s heels turning for home and the ‘country cups king’ wasn’t for catching as he scored by 1.5 lengths in a Best Of Night 24.58sec, a new PB at Sale.

“He just knows how to win the bigger events,” Geall said on Monday.

“He’s a great dog. He’s so reliable and doesn’t have an off run. He wants to win at all costs.

“He missed it a little bit last night and got a bit of a bump but he drove through.

“I was surprised with his time because there was torrential rain early in the night. There was a fair bit of lightning around too and when they put the meeting back an hour it looked like it might’ve been cancelled, so the track staff at Sale did a fantastic job.

WATCH: Ferdinand Boy (2) improved his perfect record at Sale to four from four with another faultless front-running exhibition in Sunday night’s Sprint Championship final.

Ferdinand Boy’s
country conquests

  • G2 Ballarat Cup (450m)
  • G2 Shepparton Cup (450m)
  • G2 Healesville Cup (350m)
  • Sale Horizon (440m)
  • Sale Sprint Championship (440m)
  • Shepparton Classic (450m)
  • Warrnambool Derby (450m)
  • Horsham Vic Bred Maiden (410m)

“Ferdinand Boy is the best 450-460m dog we’ve had but My Redeemer is the fastest we’ve had. Koblenz is very fast too but I don’t think we’ll ever get another one as fast as My Redeemer.”

It was Ferdinand Boy’s third straight win and he now boasts the remarkable record of 29 wins from his 51 starts, with his only unplaced effort in his last 16 starts when he fell at Sandown Park, his only career start past 500m.

However, ahead of his Bendigo Cup tilt, it’s interesting to note he’s only won once in six visits to Bendigo, albeit five of those runs were in 2020.

“That is unusual for him but he’s jumping more consistently than he was back then and he ran an unlucky third in the Pink Diamond (Champion Short Course) final the last time he was there,” Geall offered.

Ferdinand Boy was the first leg of a winning double for Geall, with King Of Glory, a son of 2018 Melbourne Cup winner My Redeemer and Pepper Fire, clocking a smart 24.90sec on debut at Sale, his eighth win from 21 starts.

“He’s a very quick dog but he is a bit of an enigma,” said Geall.

“He’s very moody and it depends how he feels on the day!”

Geall’s other superstar, Koblenz, a son of Fernando Bale and dual G1 winner Up Hill Jill and a ‘cousin’ to Ferdinand Boy, also completed a winning hat-trick when overcoming a very rare poor start to post 25.75sec at Geelong on Friday, his 20th win from 32 starts.

“Koblenz was only two lengths off Ferdinand Boy’s 385m record at Shepparton last Monday and then he won at Geelong on Friday,” said Geall.

“He’ll be in at Sandown on Thursday and then he’ll go in a (Melbourne Cup) prelude and the (G2) Cranbourne Cup heats (Friday, October 22).”

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

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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