Evans Derby Dreaming With First-Rate Ferness

RON Evans heads from Bathurst on Friday with Ferness as a major chance in the G2 Richmond Derby as "the oldest apprentice out there".

RON Evans heads to Richmond on Friday night with Ferness as a major chance in the Group 2 Richmond Derby Final (520m) happy to call himself “the oldest apprentice out there”.

Ferness (Fernando Bale-Princess Kiwi) is only the third greyhound Ron, 68, has trained and he will go into the Derby finale off a career to date of nine starts for six wins and a second.

While he has drawn poorly in the five, Ferness comes into the final off a 29.51 heat win just a “tick” outside the best of the night 29.42 run by Go Bears in another Derby qualifier.


Ron's very first dog, Pistol Girl, is the winner of six races but his kennel also contained an unraced pet greyhound.

“Unfortunately, the pet died and I went looking for a replacement as a companion for Pistol Girl,” said Ron.

“I rang around to all the local breeders but couldn't find a young dog replacement.

“My son Adam worked with a greyhound trainer Blake who said he was aware Peter Stanford had some 11 month old pups he wanted to sell.

“Peter gave me a deal for two of them, inseparable litter brothers.

“I bought them both and they really are inseparable. The other dog is named Ando Prince and he is already a winner as well.”

The dam Princess Kiwi (Barcia Bale-Pearl's Legacy) was unraced but came from a litter that included Amy Cora (23 wins, $71,000).

“I was told she was breaking records around Lithgow as a young dog but am not quite sure why she didn't race,” said Ron.

Ron admits he needed plenty of help with the two brothers and that came from Ashley Dwyer and Dave and Lisa Worthy in the education and pre-training process.

“Dave and Lisa recommended I take Ferness off to Goulburn to start him off and he won five of his first six starts there and kept bringing his time down,” said Ron.

Ron says the five is a worry for Ferness against such a quality line-up in the Derby final.

“But, he's been coming out of the odd boxes and winning up to now,” he said.

Ferness winning his heat of the Richmond Derby

“If he jumps on Friday night he will be hard to beat.”

Ferness went to Wentworth Park for a great second to Wallacia Mist a few weeks prior to his Derby heat win.

“It was a really good run because he came out last but got home to get second,” said Ron.

Having a runner in the Derby final is a huge thrill for Ron and his 37-year-old son Adam who is the dog's catcher.

“He is jumping out of his skin,” said Ron. “I gave him a gallop on Tuesday and will keep him fresh for the rest of the week.”

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