David Geall’s remarkable recent record in the Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup has continued with the two-time Cup-winning trainer qualifying Fernando Mick, his fourth finalist in the last six years.
Lara-based Geall is taking aim at back-to-back Cup victories, after Koblenz led all-the-way in 2021, while My Redeemer reigned supreme in 2018.
Like Fernando Mick, both Koblenz and My Redeemer are sons of 2015 Cup runner-up Fernando Bale, while Koblenz’s mother Up Hill Jill, was unplaced in the 2017 final.
“It’s been a ride!” Geall said.
“I’m sure the little fella will run a great race, but Plaintiff is going to be very hard to beat.”
“When ‘Jill’ was unplaced, she was very unlucky. She was about half a length in front on the first corner and was just about to go into overdrive, but she got turned sideways, which was so disappointing.
“But My Redeemer made up for it the following year, and then we had Koblenz last year.”
Fernando Mick was having his second tilt at the Cup in last weekend’s heats, having run a close third to eventual third placegetter Kinson Bale in last year’s heats.
Drawn in box 1 in the last of eight heats, Fernando Mick ($5.70) took full advantage of the rails alley in a commanding front-running exhibition, trouncing NSW raider Zipping Kyrgios by five lengths in 29.40sec, the 89-start veteran’s 30th career win.
WATCH: FERNANDO MICK (B1) was a dominant all-the-way Melbourne Cup heat winner, careering away in 29.40sec, the veteran’s fourth straight win at Sandown.
Notably, it was Fernando Mick’s fourth straight win at Sandown, while he once again ‘flew’ early, his 5.03 first section following 5.07sec, 5.00sec, and 5.06sec splits at his previous three wins at the track.
“He just went super,” said Geall.
“He got out like he had to. If he misses it a little bit, he’ll try and run out sideways.
“He got out fast and went 18.72sec up the back, which was the quickest in the heats.”
Fernando Mick has to contend with box 5 in the Cup final, and while Geall concedes it makes his task a tough one, he occupies the third line of Sportsbet’s market (not including reserves) at $7.
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“He hasn’t drawn well,” said Geall.
“He can’t make any mistakes. He’s got to come out running, like he did in his heat.
“He’s still a chance, because when he nails the start, he normally leads.
“I’m sure the little fella will run a great race, but Plaintiff is going to be very hard to beat. I’d expect Plaintiff to run about five seconds early.
“It’s a thrill just to be there. Fernando Mick’s owner, Paul Connell, has been in the game a long, long time and he’s over the moon. We’ll be very happy if he can run in the first four.
“He is underrated. He’s been in seven Group finals now for seven bad draws. How’s that for bad luck?
“He deserves to win one, but it might be asking a bit too much on Saturday.”
Geall’s 2018 Cup hero My Redeemer is set to once again make his presence felt on arguably Australian greyhound racing’s greatest stage, as the sire of star stayer Moraine Suzie, $2.70 favourite for the G1 Bold Trease (715m).
Moraine Suzie won the G1 Topgun Stayers on the opening night of the Dream Chasers Festival and is the fastest qualifier for the Bold Trease after a near-record 41.33sec heat victory.
“My Redeemer is going terrific at stud and it’s great to see him produce probably the best stayer in Australia at the present time,” Geall said.
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