Jordan's Air Of Confidence

THE first - and only - time Fernando Blaster raced Black Forge it proved interesting to say the least, fighting out a thrilling finale to the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup. The pair face off again this Saturday night in the opening Egg semi-final.

Adam Dobbin

12 April 2019

THE first – and only – time Fernando Blaster raced Black Forge it proved interesting to say the least.

It was the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup on March 21 and in a drama-charged finale, Black Forge got the better of Fernando Blaster in the run to the line to score by a head, veering out considerably when appearing to have the race shot to pieces halfway down the straight.

That rather bizarre conclusion to the $40,000 to the-winner showpiece only adds to the intrigue at Wentworth Park this Saturday night, when the pair lock horns for the second time in the opening semi-final of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg.

“Yeh, it was a funny old race at Maitland, that dog’s (Black Forge) got a lot of ability,” declared Fernando Blaster’s trainer Terry Jordan in the lead up to Saturday night’s Golden Easter Egg semi-finals.

Following Fernando Blaster’s narrow Maitland Cup defeat, the Terry Jordan-trained sprinter hasn’t put a paw wrong, scooting around Albion Park in a best of night 29.73, before Saturday night’s blistering 29.40 Easter Egg heat success at Wentworth Park, the quickest of the 10 qualifiers.

“I was watching the Wentworth Park meeting the Saturday before and a dog went 29.56 and I said to Fernando Blaster’s owner Merv (Papworth) if we’d gone around tonight we might had run 29.40! Then he came out and did it Saturday,” added Jordan.

“It was great to see him run the best time of the night against so many good dogs last week. But I’d much rather him drawn out wide again this week. Box three has got me worried because he takes those couple of strides to get completely going. He does handle himself well in a field though; he just needs that clear run early.”

Boasting an overall record of 14 wins from 28 starts, what is proving to be a daunting proposition for his rivals is the fact the son of Fernando Bale is only getting better. Well, it at least seems that way.

“I don’t think he can go any faster than what he is but he’s learning how to race, he’s just a beautiful dog to do anything with,” added Jordan.

“I was a bit worried last week before the heats, I got to Wenty at about 4.30pm and when I looked at him he seemed a bit dehydrated. I got some water into him but he still weighed in a bit light – around 300 grams. Judging by how he went though it didn’t worry him, but I’ll keep an eye on it tomorrow (Saturday).”

Quoted a $2.40 favourite for Saturday night’s opening semi-final, just ahead of Victorian starlet Black Opium at $2.60, Jordan concedes he is concerned with the level of speed drawn to his outside, most notably Zombie, drawn box five.

“It shows a lot of speed so I’m just hoping my bloke gets his chance early,” added Jordan.

“He’s had a great week at home. A few slips up the straight, some machining and a few massages. Other than that he’s just been kept in cotton wool..

“We’ll jump in the car tomorrow morning for the long trip. It won’t worry him, he’s a great traveler.”