Fletcher’s Fantastic National Futurity Fancy

Box seven is Jason Fletcher’s only concern with his National Futurity contender Fantastic Gigi ahead of Friday's heats of the group 1 female feature.

Gerard Guthrie

16 January 2020

Box seven is Jason Fletcher’s only concern with his lightly-raced Group 1 National Futurity contender Fantastic Gigi ahead of Friday night’s heats of the time-honoured female feature at Wentworth Park.

A superbly-bred daughter of Barcia Bale and Fletcher’s record-breaking matron Fantastic Dotty, Fantastic Gigi has won three of her five starts, including a slick 30.03s debut victory at Wentworth Park last November; however Fletcher is adamant she’s capable of much quicker.

“She’s going really well but she’s just got a shocking box on Friday,” said Falls Creek-based Fletcher, who narrowly avoided the tragic South Coast bushfires.

“This will be her sixth start and she’s drawn four sevens, a five and a two.

“Even though she ran the 30.03s at her first start, she hasn’t reproduced what she’s shown in trials. I’m putting it down to bad draws at the moment but I’d still like to see her do it in a race.

“Hopefully she’ll draw the inside soon and if she can replicate what she’s done in trials she’ll run around the 29.80s mark.”

Fantastic Gigi is the $4.60 second elect in TAB’s market on the third of five Futurity heats, with rails runner Aston Silk, which is undefeated in three starts for champion Victorian mentor Jason Thompson, the $1.95 favourite.

However, a bullish Fletcher says the draw and not Fantastic Gigi’s opposition is his sole worry.

“With an ounce of luck I think she’ll be winning,” Fletcher said.

“I’m not worried about the other dogs; the only danger is the draw.

“The eight (Sierra Moon), which runs straight, has been scratched, but the nine (She Zipper), Peter Lagogiane’s dog, is a quick beginner and looks like it wants the fence, so that probably won’t help.

“I’m hoping she’ll begin well and if she gets across she’ll be very hard to beat.”

Fantastic Gigi is a member of the second litter produced by Fantastic Dotty, which sensationally broke the Dapto 520m track record at her first two starts en route to winning the Group 3 Dapto Maiden in 2015.

Fantastic Dotty’s first litter, which was to KC And All, features Western Australian star Campini, a Melbourne Cup, National Sprint Championship and Perth Cup finalist, and Fantastic Yankee, which led early in last year’s National Derby Final, before being dragged down.

“Fantastic Yankee was a length in front going into the first corner in the Derby but he was galloped on,” Fletcher recalled ruefully.

“You’ve got one finger on the cheque when you’re leading on the first turn, so hopefully 12 months later we might get a bit better luck.

“Ray Borda owns a couple of good ones out of Fantastic Gigi’s litter, including Aston Bintang, which won the Waterloo Cup in coursing and has also won a few races, and Jason Thompson has a dog called Razor Sharp that’s going well.

“I’ve also got another bitch called Fantastic Shell. She came third at Wentworth Park last week but hurt a sesamoid and will be out for a month.

“Fantastic Dotty had a third litter to Fernando Bale that’s 12 months old. I sold six to Ray Borda and I’ve still got three, including one I wouldn’t part with for anything. He looks the real deal!”