Ebby Ripper’s rise through the greyhound racing staying ranks continued last night as she put on a galloping exhibition to blitz her rivals at her Sandown Park debut.
Arriving from Sydney earlier in the afternoon, Ebby Ripper showed no ill effects from the 10 hour car ride, jumping cleanly box 6 to sit outside early leader Dundee Calypso through the first turn. The pair cleared out from the field with Ebby Ripper stalking the lamplighter for an entire lap before maker her move down the back straight. She drew level at the final mark before powering away to win by 7¼ lengths.
“I couldn’t be happier with her,” said her delighted trainer, Michael Eberand.
“She normally gets back so I was looking for early and couldn’t find her. Then looked up the front and there she was – second – so I was a bit shocked and pleasantly surprised.”
The win was her fourth consecutive victory and the 10th of her 25 start career. Her winning time of 41.68 was the fastest over the distance since Burn One Down – widely regarded as the country’s best stayer – ran 41.37 in August 2016. Eberand is confident his exciting stayer has further improvement ahead of her.
“Her run home times at Wenty are out of this world, probably up there with (dual Sandown Cup winner) Sweet It Is. We know she is strong, she’s only just turned two (on the 9th of February) and she’s learning all the time.
“Obviously the travel has made it more a challenge but she travelled better this week than last, and she seems to thrive on all of the work.”
Eberand is no stranger to preparing and travelling with a stayer. He raced Ebby Ripper’s mother, Ebby Miss, who despite winning just four races in her 55 race career, reached four group finals. Two of those finals were are at Sandown Park, including the 2011 group 1 Bold Trease final in which she finished fourth.
“I’ve used the lead from that race every week, for luck,” he said, proudly showing off the souvenir leather lead.
While Ebby Miss was unable to win at the sport’s highest level, Eberand is aiming high with her talented daughter. She’ll face the stiffest test of her young career at her next start when she lines up in a heat of the group 1 Super Stayers at The Meadows on Saturday 25 February. While guarded about her chances in her first attempt at that level, Eberand was clear about her ultimate goal.
“The Sandown Cup – that’s definitely the plan, that’s why we’re here tonight.”
The RSN Racing and Sport Sandown Cup is the world’s richest race for stayers, carrying $250,000 in prize money and will be run on Thursday 25 May.
Ebby Ripper blitzes her rivals at her Sandown Park debut
Sandown Park turns pink on Thursday 23 February for the club’s annual ‘Shades of Greyhound’ Girls Night Out.
Supporting three fantastic causes – the Will Murray Foundation, Monash Health Breast Oncology and Leukaemia Units, and the Matt Height Appeal – the night will feature champagne and cocktails, music, prizes and great entertainment on and off the track. The feature event of the evening is the Judy Hayley Memorial for Lady Trainers only, named in honour of the 2001 Melbourne Cup winning trainer who lost her brave battle with breast cancer in 2012.
Limited tickets remain for the event, click on the image below for further details and to secure your seat.
Mick Floyd is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park. You can follow him on Twitter @mickfloyd