David Geall admitted to breathing a huge sigh of relief on Saturday when country cups king Ferdinand Boy set the final meeting of Warrnambool’s annual Seaside Carnival alight.
Ferdinand Boy, winner of the Ballarat, Healesville and Shepparton Cups in 2021, led all-the-way in the Warrnambool Fencing Specialists Star final (450m), breaking a worrying seven-race losing sequence that stretched back to October 30.
Ferdinand Boy raced below the exceptionally high standards he’d set for himself during a five-race Tasmanian campaign late last year, despite being placed in the G1 Hobart Thousand and G3 Devonport Chase.
After a below par third in his Star heat, last Saturday night’s $5000 to-the-winner final was very much D-Day for the superbly-related son of Fernando Bale, a ‘cousin’ to Melbourne Cup –winning kennelmate Koblenz.
Geall signalled it could be time for a spell if Ferdinand Boy failed to fire but he bounced back in impressive fashion, defeating Jeff Britton’s G2 Geelong Cup winner Weblec Jet in 25.26sec to claim his 33rd win at start 63.
“It was very pleasing and sort of a relief in a way to see him get back to something like his best,” said Geall.
“He showed that turn of foot that he’s had over the last 12 months.
“He was bumped at the start but he still showed great acceleration, against a very good field.
“Going on times, he’s about three or four lengths off his best, mostly in the run-home, but he definitely showed signs he’s heading in the right direction.”
WATCH: Ferdinand Boy (8) returned to his brilliant best at Warrnambool last Saturday, leaving a high class field in his wake in the Star final (450m).
With that confidence-boosting victory, it’s now full steam ahead to the G2 Traralgon Cup, which it was announced last week will be held over 395m, with a delay in installing the 450m boxes on the new J-curve track.
Ferdinand Boy is likely to be one of the star attractions at Saturday’s historic first meeting on the new state-of-the-art Traralgon circuit.
“I’ll either trial him or race him, if there’s a race for him,” Geall said.
“I’ve only heard good reports about the track and I think it’s a great idea to run the Cup over 395m with the other distances being inactive at the moment.
“You wouldn’t run a Cup on a 400m bend-start because you just wouldn’t get the best dogs, but on this new track and with the long straight, which will mean cleaner racing, I think it’s a really good option by GRV. It should suit Ferdinand Boy and Hill Top Jonah too!”
SEASIDE FESTIVAL FEATURE RACE WINNERS
Silver Brute (Gary Peach, Cape Clear): $14,960 Summer Sizzle (390m) Watch
Ferdinand Boy (David Geall, Lara): $10,335 Star final (450m) Watch
Struck Gold (Gary Peach, Cape Clear): $11,600 Vic Bred Maiden final (450m) Watch
Stay Strong (Emily Azzopardi, Rowsley): $9435 Seaside Distance Challenge (650m) Watch
The Star was one of two features that headlined the Seaside Festival finale, with exciting youngster Silver Brute, trained by Gary Peach, claiming his sixth win from seven starts in the $10,000 to-the-winner Summer Sizzle.
Drawn in Box 7, Silver Brute started $2.80 favourite, and as in his heat victory, demonstrated blistering acceleration, clocking a near-record first section (8.35sec) for the second week running to open up a huge mid-race lead.
Silver Brute, a half-brother to 2019 G2 Bendigo Cup winner Crimson Vixen, was never in danger of defeat, downing Western Blazer, trained by Angela Langton, in 22.11sec, extending his winning streak to five.
It was Gary Peach’s second feature victory with his homebred Aston Dee Bee x Weeping Lass litter during the Seaside Festival, with Struck Gold taking out the Vic Bred Maiden series.
WATCH: Well-bred young sprinter Silver Brute (7) demonstrated electrifying early speed in his all-the-way victory in Warrnambool’s Summer Sizzle final (390m) last Saturday night.