Gardam Prince Far Too Good In 2009 Shepparton Cup

The Neatline Homes Group 2 Shepparton Cup Final, feature event of the 2009 Racing with the Stars Carnival at Petstock Park Shepparton, saw a brilliant front running performance returned by the Darren McDonald trained Gardam Prince.

Gardam Prince put the writing on the wall in the heats a week earlier when he lead throughout from box one in 25.20. He went into the final with an unbeaten record of four starts for as many wins over the 450m on the track. In the final he was popular with punters starting second favourite at $4.50 even though he drew box six.

Favourite was Din’s Son ($2.90) after he recorded the fastest heat winning time of 25.04 leading all the way from box four, he was given a better chance of securing the cup after he came up with the red box in the final.

However Gardam Prince had other ideas and his faultless box manners that rarely dissert him were on show again. He begun like a bullet and went straight to the front recording sections of 6.51 and 11.16 after those splits he was always going to be hard to beat.

Din’s Son got to second and tried hard but was no match for the leader. Gardam Prince straightened in front and raced brilliantly to record an outstanding time of 25.03 only just slower than his best at the track of 24.98. The winning margin was a length and a half with Skaise ($7.20) third home a further four lengths back. One amazing stat from the race is the fact that from Gardam Prince’s five wins at Shepparton he has never been heading and has led all the way in each of the victories.

Long regarded as one of the best horse shoe dogs in the country he burst on the scene in early December last year and proceeded to win his first 11 starts and won 13 of his first 14 all on country one turn tracks, his outstanding record of 25 and four from 35 starts speaks for itself.

The final was yet another major win for leading trainer Darren McDonald his first Shepparton Cup he no doubt will campaign Gardam Prince in many other country cups where he will almost always be a better than average change of winning again.

After the placed runners the field finished in the following order 4th Dawbilows Heaven ($24.40), 5th Lady Gaga ($11.70), 6th Vandaliser ($48.40) 7th Remo Rubik ($7.90) and Alotta Mojo ($4.80).

Gardam Prince is a Blue dog whelped March 2007 by Black Enforcer from She’s Travelling (Travel Train x Angel’s Princess). He is raced by the Michelle Minne and trained by Darren McDonald. Gardam Prince has won 25 of her 35 starts and has been placed on four occasions, with the $27,000 first prize for the Shepparton Cup it took his current stake earnings to $78,170.

The Shepparton Cup has always been a well sought after country cup and a one time a very important lead up race for the Melbourne Cup. It has been won by some brilliant greyhounds over the years none better than Hall of Famer and local superstar Highly Blessed. Other Melbourne Cup winners included Master Giant and Kantarn Bale. While like Highly Blessed, Bahama Image went on to win an Easter Egg. The race was run over the 440 metres at the old Shepparton Showgrounds until its closure in 2004.

Shpparton Cup Honour Roll

  • 1973 Garner Bin
  • 1974 Morning Glow
  • 1975 Tivashley
  • 1976 Marungi Boy
  • 1977 Near History
  • 1978 Relle Louise
  • 1979 Mannerism
  • 1980 Proven Bold
  • 1981 First Question
  • 1982 Golden Impulse
  • 1983 Blue Echo
  • 1984 Blitzem Bill
  • 1985 Thorgil Magic
  • 1986 Thorgil Magic
  • 1987 Nan’s Pal
  • 1988 Fantasy Boy
  • 1989 Pure Talent
  • 1990 Highly Blessed
  • 1991 Bomber Gleeson
  • 1992 Master Giant
  • 1993 Head Honcho
  • 1994 Thorgil Tex
  • 1995 Hanson Diamond
  • 1996 Bahama Image
  • 1997 World Title
  • 1998 Ashigga
  • 1999 Star Of Mine
  • 2000 Kantarn Bale
  • 2001 Salong Bale
  • 2002 Knockabout Wok
  • 2003 Puzzle Prize
  • 2004 Whisky Assassin
  • 2005 not run
  • 2006 Slater
  • 2007 Overflow Breaker
  • 2008 Gardam Prince