By Isaac Murphy
Ebby Ripper has nothing left to prove in her remarkable one hundred and thirteen start career, but Michael Eberand’s stayer added one more win to the highlight reel in the Ipswich Grand Prix Saturday night.
The star stayer had finished third in the event last year behind Queensland greats Jalapeno and Champagne Sally and Eberand was rapt to add the prestigious event to her portfolio.
“I consider the Ipswich Grand Prix a really important component of the staying calendar and we’re humbled to join an exclusive honour roll,” Eberand said.
“We’ve been weighing up her career week by week because of her age, but her form leading in was promising and while she’s still enjoying it, we’ll keep her going.”
As her career has progressed Ebby Ripper has been known for her trademark get back run on style and came from sixth at the winning post first time round to track down leader Flyaway Barb in the last stride.
“The race lends itself to dogs with true staying ability and her last couple of runs at Wentworth she’s rattled home in 11.99 only to finish midfield so we though a hard 732 would really suit,” Eberand said.
“I’ve said to a few people since Saturday she had them covered a long way out, she was the only one who knew about it.”
“She still tricks you, I thought she was too far back to win and got there, that extra twelve metres on Wentworth Park definitely came in handy.”
Eberand made special mention of Queensland owners Debbie and Dave Taylor who revelled in their bitch winning a feature so close to home.
“One of the owners Debbie Taylor who lives on the Gold Coast is going through a tough time at the moment, so it was great to give her a boost and her husband Dave was able to come down and watch, which made it a little more special,” Eberand said.
At four and a half years old Eberand said Ebby Ripper’s life after racing would be his number one priority, but her Grand Prix win off the back of a track to New Zealand still hinted she had a bit left.
“She went over for the Silver Collar and had quite a promising build up beating Rippin’ Sam and running a nice second in the build up, but things didn’t go her way in the heats and that’s the risk you run with her racing pattern,” he said.
“She’s come back home well, we’ll put her in at Wenny (Wentworth Park) and see what she says, she’ll let us know if she wants to keep going.”
What makes Ebby Ripper’s 113 start career even more special is the calibre of dog she has challenged, testing the best stayers Australia has seen.
“She’s been in something like twenty-five group finals, she’s won a Group Three and probably one of her best runs was when she finished third in the Bold Trease, behind Fanta Bale, she’s run second to Burn One Down in the Superstayers at Albion Park, it’s a long list,” Eberand said.
“She’s a regular photo bomber in those Group One’s behind Fanta Bale, Burn One Down and Tornado Tears which is a huge accomplishment in itself, it’s been a remarkable career and it’s nice we know she’ll go out on her terms.”
Image courtesy of Rick O'Donnell