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“King Ferdinand” defending Healesville ‘crown’

Country cups ‘monarch’ Ferdinand Boy is primed to defend his Healesville Cup ‘crown’.

Prepared by David Geall – recent recipient of a ‘knightly sword’ investiture as Australian Trainer of the Year – Ferdinand Boy (Box 3) should ‘reign supreme’ in Heat 3 – Race 7, 12.51pm – on Sunday.

The four-time provincial cups victor won last year’s final, over 350m, in a flying 18.88sec and Geall says “King Ferdinand” can continue his rule.

“His form doesn’t suggest he’s at his best, but I think he’s as right as he was last year. He’s a big-race performer and a different dog in a full field.”

Geall’s inference was Ferdinand Boy having finished overall fifth in The Arrow – a match-race series at Healesville, held on August 21.

“His form doesn’t suggest he’s at his best, but I think he’s as right as he was last year.”

Ferdinand Boy was runner-up in last year’s inaugural The Arrow. He also finished third in last year’s Victorian Straight Track Championship at Healesville.

“I’m confident he’s going as well as ever. He still ran 19.17sec in his head-to-head in The Arrow, which is closer to where he needs to be,” Geall said.

And he says Ferdinand Boy is now back to 100 per cent fitness after an ill-fated Goulburn sojourn in July “set him back a bit”.

Ferdinand Boy was severely checked and nearly fell in a race at Goulburn a week prior to the Southern Stars heats and was subsequently scratched from the series.

“He went down on his nose but still managed to finish third,” Geall informed.

“He sustained a laceration over the fibula/tibia bone on his right hind leg and associated bruising which kept him out for a month.”

Geall believes Ferdinand Boy has also taken time to re-educate himself to the ‘straight line’ at Healesville.

“He’s one of those dogs that takes a bit of time to re-adjust… He has to re-program.

“He’s a long way off on his ‘run-home’ times that we know he can produce at Healesville. But he’s got it down from around 10 lengths to five lengths.”

Ferdinand Boy (Jan ’19 Fernando Bale x Nayla Swift) has crossed the line first 50 times (with 16 seconds and six thirds) from 90 starts. His stakes total $500,500.

WATCH: Flying machine FERDINAND BOY (B5) was airborne in last year’s Healesville Cup.

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About Peter Quilty - Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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