‘Little Shima’ set to shine in Ballarat Cup with Allan Hawkswell 09-04-21

No pun intended, but Friday night’s $47,000 to-the-winner Bottle-O Ballarat Cup final (450m) will be a bottler!

And that is despite some superstars – including SHIMA SHINE, EQUALIZER and SILVER LAKE – being eliminated from the series after Monday’s qualifiers. 

In fact, only two favourites – SHIMA CLASSIC and FERDINAND BOY – saluted from the six heats.

A recent Group 1 Australian Cup finalist, Shima Classic clocked 24.76sec (Best) and was only one length outside Silver Lake’s 24.69sec track record. She is now three from four (75%) over this track/distance.
Only two years old, Shima Classic also restored family pride as she is a younger half-sister of Shima Shine. Both are kennelmates and prepared by Victoria’s leading trainer, Andrea Dailly.

And she has inherited the family ability, with eight wins from only 13 starts.

TAB has installed Shima Classic (Box 2) as a $2.50 second elect behind “next big thing” Ferdinand Boy (Box 8) at $2.30 for the final.

Trained by David Geall, Ferdinand Boy – a ‘nephew’ of former G1 star Up Hill Jill – made it five successive wins with a 24.92sec heat win. He has now won 18 races from 31 starts.

He recently claimed the Group 2 Shepparton Cup from Box 8 and is perfectly drawn in the final, having six wins in seven starts (86%) from the ‘pink’ alley. And he also holds Shepparton’s 450m track record (24.75sec). 

Country sprint queen ORIENTAL AMBER (Box 6), a $7 chance, was the second fastest heat winner in 24.89sec.

Prepared by Rodney Clark, Oriental Amber has won 18 races from 34 starts – including seven of her past 10 (70%). She won last month’s Shepparton Matchmakers Classic and holds Horsham’s 410m track record (22.64sec).

Classy speedster AUSSIE SECRET (Box 1), quoted at $12, won his heat in 25.03sec and drew the coveted ‘red’ trap in the final, from which he is four from five (80%).

Trained by Jason Thompson, Aussie Secret has notched 18 wins from 34 starts. He was a finalist in the G1 Silver Chief and G2 Horsham Cup. Boasts a sizzling 24.87sec PB over the track/distance.

“Bendigo Bullet” BOUND TO SUCCEED (Box 3), a $13 chance, was a 25.12sec heat winner. He’s also three from four (75%) over this track/distance.

Prepared by Golden Square stalwart Noel Massina, Bound To Succeed is a model of consistency with 27 wins from 44 starts – including seven of his past 10 (70%). He was runner-up in last year’s Shepparton Classic.

Flying machine FORTUNA BALE (Box 7), currently at $18, was only beaten 2.75 lengths by Shima Classic in an overall time of 24.94sec.

Trained by Mark Delbridge, Fortuna Bale has won 22 races from 50 starts. She was third to Yozo Bale in last year’s Ballarat Cup.

Highly underrated ASTON GWEN (Box 4), who is $23 on TAB, finished a gallant second (beaten 1.5 lengths) to Oriental Amber in a heat and registered an overall time of 24.98sec.

Trained by Benjamin Magri, Aston Gwen won the G2 Laurels and was a finalist in the G1 Rookie Rebel, G2 Shepparton Cup and G2 Warragul Cup. She’s won 15 races from 50 starts.

The rank outsider in the final is BULLETEER (Box 5), at $41, who won his heat in 25.07sec. He’s a son of G1 Sapphire Crown winner, Maja Mahi Mahi.

Prepared by Darren Fisher, Bulleteer faces his litmus test, but is in rare form, having won six of his past eight starts (75%). His overall record reads 15 wins from 32 starts and he’s two from two (100%) over this track/distance.



  • Ballarat Cup Consolation (450m) – First prize: $9,800
  • Autumn Classic Grade 5 Final (450m) – First prize: $7,000
  • Special Event (390m) – First prize: $6,000
  • Special Event (545m) – First prize: $6,000
  • Special Event (660m) – First prize: $6,000
  • Life Members Cup (450m) – First prize: $3,000
  • Life Members Cup Consolation (450m) – First prize: $1,900



7.08pm First race
8.27pm First leg Quaddie featuring superstars Equalizer and Wallbanger (Race 5)
8.45pm Autumn Classic Final (Race 6)
9.08pm Ballarat Cup Consolation (Race 7)
9.27pm Ballarat Cup (Race 8)
10.46pm Last race (Race 12)



Shima Classic (2); Ferdinand Boy (8); Bound To Succeed (3)


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