Western Australian trainer Shayne Williams has welcomed defending champion Blackpool Flash back with open arms as the brilliant Victorian sprinter takes aim at back-to-back victories in the Group 3 Birthday Cup (405m) at Mandurah.
After campaigning in Tasmania late in 2021, Blackpool Flash has returned to WA to defend his Birthday Cup crown and will put his unblemished Mandurah record on the line in Friday night’s (or Saturday morning for Victorians) heats.
“He’s an absolute freak. He blows my mind,” said Shayne Williams.
“He just consistently comes out of those boxes.
“He’s an absolute freak. He blows my mind.” – SHAYNE WILLIAMS.
“He came over here the first time because I was training his half-brother, Blackpool Ammo, for the owners and I was watching Blackpool Flash race in Victoria.
“I saw him win a race at Geelong in about 22.30sec and spoke to the owners and said they should think about sending him over for this race.
“It’s a bit of a hidden race, being early in the year and over 405m, but $40,000 is very good prizemoney for a ‘400m’ race.”
Raced by the Kenyon family at Lara, Blackpool Flash tuned up for the Cup heats with a Best Of Night 22.35sec FFA victory at Mandurah last Saturday, making it seven from seven over the 405m course.
WATCH: Victorian star Blackpool Flash (2) was a brilliant all-the-way winner of the G3 Birthday Cup (405m) at Mandurah on January 8 last year and will defend his crown in Friday night’s heats.
“I was talking to the owners a couple of months ago and mentioned the race was coming up again if they wanted to send him back over,” Williams explained.
“They said he was going to Tassie and they’d see how that went. He ended up flying straight here from Tasmania because we weren’t sure about getting flights from Melbourne.
“I was very happy to get him back and knew he was in good shape when I gave him a 302m trial at Mandurah and he smashed the track record, running 16.64sec (TR is 16.75sec).
“They mustn’t have rated the Tassie form because they bet $6.50 about him last Saturday. We pounced on that and he started $1.70. It was one of the biggest fill-ups I’ve ever had on the punt!
“We’ve had some very hot weather over here, so I haven’t done a great deal with him and I’d expect him to strip a bit fitter on Friday night.”
Winner of 30 of his 60 starts, Blackpool Flash has drawn Box 5 in the last of seven heats, to jump at 12.12am on Saturday.
“He’s probably in one of the strongest heats,” Williams offered.
“Chris Halse’s dog in Box 2 (West On Brae) goes pretty good and there’s a couple of dogs in four (Marla Penny) and seven (City Monelli) that won’t be in the finish but have good early speed, so he can’t afford to miss it.
“It’s all about the start with him. Touchwood, he hasn’t made a mistake over here and hopefully he can do it again.
“I’ve already mentioned to his owners that there’s no reason he can’t come back next year and have a go at the ‘three-peat’ too.”
Blackpool Flash pictured winning the Healesville Derby final on May 30.
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