While country cups king Ferdinand Boy missed out in the main event, Victorians starred at Sunday night’s Temora Cup meeting, with Immunity and Hill Top Jonah incredibly both claiming track records.
It was a mixed night for David Geall with Ferdinand Boy beaten favourite in the Temora Cup final, after ‘traveling companion’ Hill Top Jonah had earlier established a new 330m course record in the Molly Harmer Memorial.
Hill Top Jonah, a Fernando Bale x Up Hill Jill litter brother to Melbourne Cup hero Koblenz, started $1.22 favourite from Box 1 and was never in danger of defeat, clocking 18.50sec to break the previous benchmark of 18.58sec, set by Ritza Go Boy in September 2020.
It was Hill Top Jonah’s 28th win from 53 starts and 10th from his last 14.
To watch HILL TOP JONAH break Temora’s 330m track record click HERE
Jason Thompson’s last start G1 Australian Cup finalist Immunity (Box 8) and recent G1 Rookie Rebel runner-up Aston Ulysses (Box 7), trained by Paul Abela, were the headline acts in the heat of the lucrative Country Classic (570m), the world’s richest middle distance race.
Immunity, unbeaten in five starts from ‘the pink’, started $2.40 favourite, but had the task ahead when Aston Ulysses ($3.70) led.
Aston Ulysses maintained his advantage until the final strides, with Immunity gunning him down in 32.48sec, shaving a length off Foxzami Thriller’s former time standard of 32.55sec and giving champion mentor Jason Thompson a memorable first visit to Temora.
“I didn’t even know where Temora was! God bless Maps,” Thompson said.
“When Aston Ulysses led, I was hoping Immunity would run second!
“I didn’t even know where Temora was!”- Jason Thompson.
“She only had to run first four to get through to the next stage, but it was really good to see her run a quality dog down, especially at a track she’d never been to, and it really confirmed that heading to the 600m is right up her alley.
“Regardless of whether she won the Australian Cup or not, she was always going for this race.
“For so long I’ve wanted to get her up over 600m, but she’d had two seasons, which has interfered with trying to get her to 600m.
“She’s over three years old, there’s no issues with her coming on season and she’d had enough runs in, so the timing was just perfect with this race to kick her off.”
That's one way to make it to the semis of the world's richest middle distance race...— The Dogs (@Thedogs_com_au) March 6, 2022
Victorian raider Immunity has broken the track record at @Temoragreys tonight, winning the Stockman & Paddock #CountryClassic Heat in 32.48! 😮
Full Results: https://t.co/A4pGx40mfl#thedogs pic.twitter.com/9Mmsuaaa4S
Both Immunity and Aston Ulysses now advance to the semi-finals of the middle distance feature at Dubbo on Saturday, with the inaugural final on Saturday week, March 19, also to be held at Dubbo, worth $125,000 to-the-winner.
There were two Victorian finalists in the $15,000 to-the-winner Temora Cup, with Ferdinand Boy (Box 2) $2.70 favourite and Subtle Art (Box 5), trained by Anthony Azzopardi, a $34 outsider.
Ferdinand Boy was shuffled back early and out of play, as Subtle Art ran second to She’s A Pearl, which gave leading NSW trainer Jodie Lord back-to-back Temora Cup victories.
Azzopardi rounded out a wonderful night for the Victorian visitors, winning the Cup Consolation with Caroline, a litter sister to Subtle Art and finalist in the G1 National Futurity and G2 Laurels.
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