• Saturday, 18 Feb, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Fernando Mick celebrates Cup century

Veteran marvel Fernando Mick celebrated his 100th start in the best possible fashion on Saturday night at The Meadows, starring in the ‘must win’ heats of the Group 1 Sportsbet Australian Cup (525m).

On one of Australian greyhound racing’s greatest stages, Fernando Mick, which turned four on February 5, was a dominant all-the-way heat winner, defeating series heavyweight Amron Boy in 29.80sec to record his 34th victory.

Expertly prepared by reigning Australian Trainer of the Year and two-time Melbourne Cup winner David Geall, Fernando Mick ($3.70) was drawn in box eight in the fifth heat, where Amron Boy started $1.90 favourite from an awkward draw in six.

A son of the great Fernando Bale and Noaki Moth, raced by breeder Paul Connell, Fernando Mick found the front courtesy of a 5.02sec first split, the quickest of the heats, and claimed his ninth victory at The Meadows, marking his milestone appearance with a new PB at the track.

WATCH: “What a way to bring up the ton!” FERNANDO MICK (B8) celebrated his century milestone in style when winning his G1 Australian Cup heat in 29.80sec, upsetting AMRON BOY (B6).

Amron Boy’s trainers Jamie and Brooke Ennis were once again left pondering what might have been after another agonising second placing.

Fernando Mick is ageing like a fine wine, emerging as one of the country’s finest sprinters in what should be the twilight of his career.

He’s missed a place only once in his last 13 starts, all in elite company, when fourth to superstar Wow She’s Fast in the G1 Temlee invitational one week earlier, on the opening night of the ‘Unmissable’ Australian Cup Carnival.

The evergreen speedster claimed a remarkable breakthrough G1 success at his 92nd start, when winning the Hobart Thousand, while he was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup, beaten only half a length by Yachi Bale.

Amron Boy’s superstar arch-rival Wow She’s Fast was also eliminated after the $2.30 favourite dead-heated for second with Revolution behind Brendan Pursell’s former South Australian surprise packet Captain Larry, which was a 29.88sec winner of heat three.

Meanwhile, other highlights from Saturday night’s Cup heats included:

  • The fastest qualifying performance came from Victorian youngster Baby Jaycee, trained by veteran Heathcote mentor Bob Douglas, which led all-the-way in a flying 29.66sec, her 16th win from 28 starts.
  • Boom SA talent Victa Damian, prepared by Tony and Lisa Rasmussen, continued his electrifying form with a 29.70sec heat victory, his ninth win from 12 starts and fifth in a row, including the G1 National Derby.
  • Another interstate raider was ultra-impressive, with NSW visitor Mortified, trained by Chris O’Brien, leading throughout from box eight in the final heat, posting 29.76sec on debut at The Meadows, her 12th win from 20 starts.
  • ‘Team Dailly’ will take aim at back-to-back Australian Cups and a remarkable seventh victory since 2010 with 29.91sec heat winner Indy Fido. The Dailly kennel won the 2022 Cup with Lala Kiwi, one of their four finalists.

(fastest to slowest)

29.66sec BABY JAYCEE
29.76sec MORTIFIED
29.82sec LANDYN BALE
29.91sec INDY FIDO
30.07sec LOVAZ BALE

Photos by Clint Anderson

Saturday night’s meeting also featured three heats of the G1 Sportsbet Fanta Bale Super Stayers (730m), with NSW star Stagger Out Lee, already a dual G1 winner in Victoria for young law student Jack Strutt, defeating reigning champion Mepunga Ruby in 42.57sec.

Ariarne Bale, trained by Daniel Gibbons, set the time standard in the opening heat, clocking 42.54sec, with Michelle Mallia’s G1 Hume Cup heroine Aston Velvet completing a clean -sweep for the ‘girls’, with an all-the-way 42.65sec victory in the final run-off.

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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