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Blackpool’s ‘Flash’ Devonport bid

Brilliant Victorian speedster Blackpool Flash is aiming to finish 2021 the same way he started it – by celebrating an interstate feature race victory – when he lines up in Tuesday afternoon’s heats of the Group 3 Devonport Chase (452m).

Back in January, Blackpool Flash enjoyed a six-race unbeaten run in Western Australia, culminating in the G3 Birthday Cup (405m) at Mandurah on January 8.

Blackpool Flash then returned to the Kenyon family at Lara, where he built on his imposing strike rate, which currently stands at 50 per cent, boasting 28 wins from 56 starts.

The son of Fernando Bale and Lochinvar Amour won the Healesville Derby and Healesville Puppy Championship, while he was runner-up to Music Event in the star-studded Listed Western Districts Derby at Geelong, where superstar Aston Rupee https://watchdog.grv.org.au/greyhound/460744667 ran third and Ferdinand Boy Ferdinand Boy was unplaced.

After identifying the Devonport Chase as another suitable interstate target, the Kenyons sent Blackpool Flash to astute Tasmanian trainer Pat Ryan to prepare for the $25,000 to-the-winner series.

Blackpool Flash has won twice at Devonport, both Best Of Day performances, running a flying 25.34sec first-up and then defeating local star Wynburn Sheean Wynburn Sheean, the defending Devonport Chase champion, in 25.72sec.

“We planned it a bit like when he went over to Mandurah,” Adrian Kenyon said.

“I was hoping to go down to Tassie with him, but with the border closures we got put on to Pat Ryan and sent him over to give him a couple of runs at Devonport, especially with the Bramich lure down there.

“His second win at Devonport was on a bog track but his first win was really quick. The word was they hadn’t seen those sorts of sectionals there for the last 12 months or so – 7.79sec is generally unheard of.”

Blackpool Flash’s Devonport quest received another major boost when he drew Box 1, from there he boasts a four from six career record, for the first of Tuesday’s seven heats (Race 2 at 12.24pm).

TAB has installed Blackpool Flash as $1.55 favourite, with the unbeaten local Sacred Stance (Box 5), winner of five from five for champion mentor Ted Medhurst, looking the main threat at $2.80.

“Box speed is his big asset, so he should be very hard to catch off the red,” Kenyon said.

“But Ted Medhurst’s dog has run 8 seconds to the peg so it’ll be interesting.”

Blackpool Flash’s preparation for the Devonport Chase had gone like clockwork; that is until the heat fields were released, with the shadow of three-time country cup hero Ferdinand Boy casting a huge shadow over the series.

Ferdinand Boy, trained by Dave Geall, has drawn Box 2 in the second heat, where he dominates the market at $1.10.

“Pat (Ryan) asked me if I’d heard any whispers about other Victorians heading down and I said it’d been very quiet, which was good,” Kenyon offered.

“But then the fields came out and there’s Ferdinand Boy!

“We’ll see what happens on Tuesday; hopefully he gets through and then we’ll assess our options after that.

“With the (G1) Hobart Thousand, he can run the 460m but he gets a bit tired. Pat might give him a trial at Hobart and see how he goes and there’s also the option of going back over to Perth for the Mandurah race again.

“He’s won 28 races – he’s just a fast animal – but in Victoria, you’re racing against the best of the best every time. He’s only a length or two off the topliners but that length or two makes a big difference on race day.”

WATCH: Blackpool Flash (8) makes it two from two at Devonport when downing local star Wynburn Sheean (4) on November 3.

“Pat asked me if I’d heard any whispers about other Victorians heading down and I said it’d been very quiet, but then the fields came out and there’s Ferdinand Boy!”

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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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