As if a group quality field wasn’t enough to attract patrons to Kennerson Park, the Bathurst Greyhound Club have managed to pull off a huge coup by having cult hero Feral Franky as a special guest on Friday night.
Connections stunned the industry last week when they announced that Feral Franky would be retiring immediately from racing following his second to King Cratos in Group 1 Paws Of Thunder Final at Wentworth Park on January 24, to embark on a stud career.
“We are very privileged to announce the owners of Feral Franky have allowed Jack and Maree (Smith) to bring him down on Friday night for a farewell,” Bathurst Greyhound Club racing manager Jason Lyne said. “It’s a chance for him to come and meet his fans, meet the public who can get some photos with him. It’s a great coup for the club and we’re very grateful to the owners for allowing him come down for the night.
“And not only will Feral Franky be there to get pats and cuddles, but also to cheer on his brother and sister - Good Odds Harada and Solar Sky - in the Cup final. It’s a real family affair here on Friday night and Feral Franky coming just tops the night off brilliantly.”
The Feral’s trainer and now studmaster Jack Smith said he was delighted that Bathurst invited the dog down for their biggest night of the year. It comes after Feral Franky began his stud career this week with a visit to the Colyton Veterinary Hospital.
“Yep, Feral is having a social night out on Friday,” Smith said of the visit from his Forbes’ home to Bathurst. “It’s a big night and we’re all glad he can be a part of it.
“He had a visit to the vet this week and we got a lot of straws to collect. His stud career is officially underway.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but we have had interest for the UK and New Zealand as well as all around Australia … it’s just madness, but shows the popularity and interest in him.”
Smith will be represented in the $25,000 to the winner final by Feral Franky’s sister Solar Sky, a track specialist at Bathurst with nine wins and four placings from 16 starts at the Central West circuit. She led throughout in her heat win last Monday, but Smith knows it will be tough against a very strong Cup field, including TAB Million Dollar Chase winner, Good Odds Harada, the brother of both Solar Sky and Feral Franky.
“She is the track specialist but she’s in amongst all those group dogs. There are some good dogs in there. I hope the liking for the Bathurst track holds her in good stead,” Smith said.
Asked if a visit back to the racetrack may rekindle Feral Franky’s urge to get back into racing, Smith said: “If you had seen him trying to get into the vet’s door you wouldn’t be asking that. He’s taking a liking to (breeding) it really quickly.”