On Saturday night he won the first race of the TAB Million Dollar Chase and it would not be any stretch of the imagination to see Feral Franky also win the final race of the series and the accompanying $1 million on October 18.
The TAB Million Chase kicked off in Gunnedah last night with a prelude of the event. The Regional Final will be run on Sunday September 8, with the first four runners advancing to the Chase semi-finals at Wentworth Park on October 11. The following week eight greyhounds will race for a $1 million first prize in the world’s richest greyhound race.
And few would be surprised if that winner was the dog which has affectionately become known as simply The Feral.
Punters, fans, and his trainer Jack Smith no doubt held their collective breath as the field hit the first turn at Gunnedah, and a number of runners were squeezed, including Feral Franky, but he somehow came through it, and surged to the lead, and from there, only two questions remained. How large would be the margin, and would he break the track record?
The margin was a stunning 12 ¾ lengths. The record, well, it has survived perhaps for just eight days. The Feral clocked 30.20s, just 0.01s outside the track record set in May by Myrniong Master.
Just seven days earlier in a solo trial Feral Franky went around Gunnedah for the first time and clocked a staggering 29.82s, more than five lengths faster that the record.
But in race conditions and with the congestion around the first turn, that time was significantly slower, but watch out next week.
Second went to China O’Brien, with local Come On Duchess a further 3 ¾ lengths away in third.
"I did hold my breath (going into the first turn)," Smith said. "I didn't know where he was until he came out the other side. He got turned sideways, but anyhow, he seemed to not mind that too much.
"It was all about getting the job done. Now we just have to hope he gets around unscathed again next week."
Feral Franky has drawn the six box in next week's Regional Final. He exited the seven on Saturday night.
"A lot of these dogs haven’t been here before so maybe it won't be as roughly run next week after they have had a look … but, maybe it will be."
The win was Feral Franky’s 17th from 30 starts. He also has 11 placings to his credit in what is a remarkable record for a dog who doesn’t possess blistering speed from the boxes.
The box draw for the final was conducted after the prelude and is: 1 Pop's Paradise 2 Charlie Casey 3 Squiggle Keeping 4 Muzza Keeping 5 Peanut Brittle 6 Feral Franky 7 China O'Brien 8 Come On Duchess.
Bathurst will host heats of the TAB Million Dollar Chase on Monday, followed by Gosford - making their debut in the series in 2019 - hosting heats on Tuesday night.