• Friday, 11 Mar, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Cups king defending Shepparton crown

Country cups king Ferdinand Boy will return to where it all began on Monday night, when he contests the heats of the Group 2 CKH Painting Shepparton Cup (450m).

In 2021, Ferdinand Boy, trained by David Geall, secured a $50,000 bonus for snaring three country cups in a calendar year; reigning supreme at (in order), Shepparton, Ballarat and Healesville.

Ferdinand Boy enjoys a remarkable affinity with Shepparton

The regally related son of Fernando Bale and Nayla Swift, a half-sister to Geall’s superstar G1 winners Up Hill Jill and My Redeemer, has won five from seven over 450m, highlighted by his track record-breaking 24.75sec victory in last year’s Cup final.

“I’d say he’s going as well now as when he won last year’s Shepparton Cup.”

WATCH: FERDINAND BOY (8) won the 2021 Group 2 Shepparton Cup final in a track record time of 24.75sec, the first of his three country cups victories.

He also won the Shepparton Classic and broke the 385m course record when clocking 21.31sec last July, a mark that was subsequently eclipsed by the barest of margins by Aston Flame (21.30sec).

“He has gone very well at Shepparton. I’d say Shepparton and Sale are probably his best tracks,” Geall said.

Ferdinand Boy has drawn Box 2 in the fourth of six Cup heats, with TAB marking him at $1.85.

Ferdinand Boy heads back to Shepparton after being beaten favourite in the Temora Cup final last Sunday, where he ran fifth after meeting early bother.

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“I know he was sweeping everything before him last year, but I’d say he’s going as well now as when he won the Shepparton Cup,” Geall said.

“He was pushing up in the Temora Cup and I thought he might’ve been going to grab the lead, but he ran into severe interference. The main thing is that he pulled up well.”

Ferdinand Boy will be joined in the Shepparton Cup heats by kennelmate Hill Top Jonah, a Healesville and Traralgon Cup placegetter, which broke the Temora 330m track record last weekend.

Other high profile contenders include last year’s Bendigo Cup winner Paua Of Buddy (Heat 1, Box 7), Typhoon Sammy (Heat 3, Box 6), already the winner of the Traralgon and Horsham Cups in 2022, G1 winner Idolize (Heat 5, Box 7) and Warragul Cup victor Robbie Rotten (Heat 6, Box 8).

On Monday night at Shepparton, Geall was pleasantly surprised with the comeback run of Melbourne Cup hero Koblenz, a ‘cousin’ to Ferdinand Boy, which ran a close third to Soda Titan (25.11sec) at his first appearance since December 27.

“I didn’t think he could win because I knew he was underdone and didn’t think he was fit enough to run any better than 25.25sec,” Geall explained.

“He’d only been out of the boxes once – over 390m at Ballarat – in ten weeks.

“He’ll have a trial over 520m, probably at Geelong, and if he goes well, the following week he’ll either have a trial or race at Wentworth Park ahead of the Golden Easter Egg.”

Melbourne Cup winner Koblenz is heading towards the Golden Easter Egg.

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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