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Sykes celebrates new Horizon

Young trainer Bryan Sykes celebrated his biggest win to date on Sunday night, when Luca’s Jebrynah brought hot favourite Ferdinand Boy’s winning streak to an end in the second edition of Sale’s $37,250 The Horizon (440m).

Sykes, 26, had previously won the 2021 Pink Diamond Veterans final with Ides Of Jebrynah, while Luca’s Jebrynah ran second in last month’s Pink Diamond Champion Short Course final.

“This is certainly the biggest win of my training career, albeit I’ve only been training for about 18 months,” said Sykes.

After winning the inaugural Horizon in 2021, Ferdinand Boy was $1.30 favourite to defend his crown, coming into the $25,000 to-the-winner final on a ten-race winning streak and undefeated in eight appearances at Sale.

WATCH: LUCA’S JEBRYNAH (6) came out running and staved off the challenge of NICOLSON BALE (5) to claim the second running of The Horizon (440m) at Sale on Sunday night, clocking 24.84sec.

Such was Ferdinand Boy’s domination of the market, Luca’s Jebrynah, which started at $4.90 from Box 6 was the only other runner at single figures.

Luca’s Jebrynah was best to begin, while Ferdinand Boy was shuffled back to the rear of the field, as the leader repelled the challenge of Nicolson Bale ($24.80) to score by one length in 24.84sec.

“With Ferdinand Boy being $1.30, that took the pressure off,” explained Sykes, who trains a team of just four at Upper Beaconsfield.

“You’re hoping, not expecting to win, and you’re not going to be disappointed if you get beaten by a dog like him.

“Luca’s Jebrynah is a good beginner and I thought he could get out in front and with the speed around Ferdinand Boy there was always a chance they could bunch up a bit.

“He’s a hard chaser and he hates getting beaten, so he had that up his sleeve!”

“I thought I was gone for all money when ‘the five’ (Nicolson Bale) took off and levelled up, but he kicked again going into the straight.

“He’s a hard chaser and he hates getting beaten, so he had that up his sleeve!”

Highlighted by his giant-killing Horizon success, Luca’s Jebrynah, a son of the great Fernando Bale, is forging an impressive resume in his own right.

He’s won 17 from 41, with a further 17 minor placings, hasn’t missed a top three finish in his last 14 outings, including seven wins, and he’s six from 10 at Sale.

“He’s always had a pretty good strike rate but over the last month or so he’s put his name up in lights, running second in the Pink Diamond and winning this race,” Sykes said.

“His last 12 starts have all been from Box 4 or wider too and he’s a mad railer!

“I’ve just been having a look at what’s coming up this morning. There’s a race at Goulburn over 440m – the Southern Stars – that’s worth $50,000, which makes it worth the drive!”

Sunday’s Sale meeting also featured the $14,960 Winter Classic final (440m), with Pie Bird, trained by Cheryle Ragen, claiming his sixth straight win and sixth from seven overall, clocking a Best Of Night 24.68sec.

LUCA’S JEBRYNAH is the second winner of The Horizon, upstaging inaugural victor Ferdinand Boy.

IMAGES: TAMMY LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

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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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