Farmor Beach strides to victory. Picture:
Farmor Beach strides to victory. Picture:

Farmor Beach maintains reputation in Ipswich Cup final


Isaac Murphy

THE Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club's marquee meet of the year has lived up to the billing and more.

The special Thursday night card treated patrons to features like the Eddie Little Appreciation for the stayers, the NAIDOC Celebration Chase and the Past Members Trophy for the middle distance dogs, the Ipswich Sprint Final for the short course dogs and finally the crown jewel the Group Two Ipswich Cup. That carried a total of $113,000 in prize money with $75,000 to the connections of the winning party.

With all eight qualifiers from the heats possessing scintillating early speed, every one had a chance in the Gold Cup with the run to the first turn all important.

Plenty were backed to beat him but, in the end, class prevailed.

The Scott kennel's superstar Farmor Beach sensed the big occasion flying out to lead second favourite Magical Bill as the two set down to battle it out.

Magical Bill wowed with his 30.16 fastest qualifying time in the heats.

If there was any dog going to track down Farmor Beach, it was the second elect who sat right on his tail until the favourite extended away in the latter stages, keeping his incredible Ipswich record intact.

The Scott's dog started his journey as a raw 18 month old pup full of ability in this year's Group Three Vince Curry Series where he went unbeaten.

He came back to the scene of his first triumph to secure the biggest win of his career.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the dog who endured an ill-fated trip to Melbourne shortly after his Vince Curry triumph.

The dog caught a nasty virus, lost a lot of weight and confidence and it took some time to see him back to his best.

Even before his first race start, Steve Scott knew they had something special in Farmor Beach and it was only a matter of time until they got him right again.

He's now won eight of his past nine races and heads towards Albion Park's summer carnival starting with the Derby in two weeks looking to build on his $175,000 in career earnings.

Scott was not afraid to say to this stage of his career he was the best dog he'd ever trained, a rare mixture of ability and the will to win putting him right at the top of the pecking order. With a clean bill of health, the two-year-old could turn out to be one of the greats.

The performance of Magical Bill for the Elson kennel shouldn't be understated.

He was faultless in his heat and was near enough to perfect again in the final. He just ran into one better on the night.

The dog's explosiveness out of the boxes is unmatched on his night and although Farmor Beach won this battle the two are sure to lock horns plenty of times again in the years to come.

Flying Jet, for Yamanto trainer Peter O'Reilly, continues to bolster his reputation as one of the state's best Free for All dogs running a bold third, the same spot he finished behind Farmor Beach in the Vince Curry.

The outsider came within half a length of holding Farmor Beach off the rail as he just got the better of him early. From there, the Bundaberg Cup champion was always going to finish on the podium a clear third in the bumper field taking his earnings over the $100,000 mark.

It was an edition of the time-honoured race to remember.

When it's all said and done, it looks like a race that will have produced more than one champion chaser.

Consolation confirms Emery's opinion of Sumatran Star

IT was a big call for Central Queensland trainer Craig Emery to bring Sumatran Star to the Ipswich Cup.

However, the part-time greyhound trainer and shift worker was truly vindicated in his decision as his star pupil raced away in the Cup Consolation.

It took a remarkable effort from Cup winner Farmor Beach to track him down late in the heats. Once he led again from box three in the Consolation, he was just too speedy, a comfortable three length winner.

Emery has always thought the dog was city class and the result only confirmed what he already knew.

He now hopes to make it to more of South-East Queensland's biggest races with the help of good mate Peter O'Reilly who takes care of the dog when Emery is busy with work.

Ross revels with sprint and distance double

NORTHERN Rivers trainer Malcolm Ross is rapt to be racing back in Queensland despite plenty of success at his home tracks Casino and Lismore.

The grass has proved greener on the other side as he took out both the Ipswich Sprint Final with "the most exciting dog I've had in years" and the Eddie Little Appreciation with Wentworth Park winning stayer Jimary Dynamite.

All eyes were on Phantom Clyde in the Ipswich Sprint Final.

The dog looked at home winning his heat in 24.86, a first look around Ipswich the week before but drawn box five in the final.

With his lid pinging sister Phantom Bonnie alongside in the six, it was going to take a good dog to win in and a good dog he is.

Pauline Byers local hope Spring Rock was good enough to use the red and get around the first corner in front but right there stalking her was Phantom Clyde who came out a clear second and was about to go into overdrive down the back just as he did the week before.

He made his move on the point of the home turn sweeping around the leader to dash clear in the straight by four lengths in a lightning 24.74 effort, taking home the biggest purse of his career.

Litter sister Phantom Bonnie never got into the race on the night, but Ross says she's right there behind Clyde as one of the most promising he's ever had.

The Fernando Bale/Clover Cottage duo have won a combined 21 of 27 race starts.

With both only lightly raced at two and a half years old, Ross thinks the best is yet to come.

He'll head back home for the Casino Cup over the suitable 484 metre trip in a fortnight's time before he brings the pair to Albion Park where he thinks they'll make the grade and more as 500 metre dogs.

Fellow litter mate Jimary Star is already a Group finalist over the traditional sprint trip and Bonnie and Clyde share many of the same traits.

From the 431 metres to the 732 Ross did it all on Cup night, established stayer Jimary Dynamite simply too strong over the countries toughest staying test in the Eddie Little Appreciation.

Ross said he was even more grateful for the staying events on offer in Queensland after he was having the make the commute to Sydney and Wentworth Park to find the bitch a suitable race.

It's taken her a few races to find her feet again in Queensland but a 42.01 win over the 700 at Albion a fortnight earlier put the writing on the wall for this race where she never looked like getting beaten.

She put herself in the perfect position first time past the post finding the fence in second and she was always going to come out on top in a staying test getting home by a widening eight lengths.

The bitch is sure to be a regular in the staying ranks over the summer carnival, with only a small pool of top-level stayers she has every chance to pinch a big race.

Frieda finds any distance friendly

A WEEK ago, Frieda Las Vegas was a red-hot chance in her Ipswich Cup heat.

The breaks didn't go her way on the night. Whenever she looked to extend, she found a wall of dogs in front of her.

Fortunately, she's not a one-trick pony.

Tony Zammit didn't hesitate to step her up to the 630 metres and Free for All Company in the Past Members Trophy Final where she came out and beat some of the best middle distance dogs Queensland has to offer.

She took bad luck out of the equation when she bounced well from box four to sit outside Javens early.

It didn't take her long to wind up and find the front.

Despite a huge run from Micks Recall to cut the margin to a length, the win was never in doubt. That left Zammit with plenty of options to contemplate moving forward.

The veteran trainer said he is likely to drop her back to the 500 metres for the Albion Park Futurity in a fortnight's time, before exploring his options over the 600 later in the summer.

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