It is almost three years to the day since Aussie Infrared stormed to victory in the Maitland Gold Cup Final, now he is helping his son as the youngster attempts to emulate the deeds of his father.
After a stellar career of 22 wins and seven placings from 37 starts, Aussie Infrared was sent to stud, and when mated with Lonesome Knight, eight pups were born, one which would be eventually be christened Ebby Infrared.
Michael Eberand bred Aussie Infrared and stands the dog at stud on his property. He also trains that dog’s son, Ebby Infrared.
“It was a real honour (to win the 2017 Maitland Gold Cup),” Eberand said. “It’s a feature race on the calendar and to win a group race is a dream come true.
“Ebby Infrared has his father’s competitive nature, and they both love attention. Aussie competes for everything, and they actually work together and Ebby steps up a level when they do.
“I have them galloping alongside each other, on opposite sides of the fence, up the straight. They compete, free galloping, and Ebby steps up his work, thanks to his dad.”
Ebby Infrared - who like his father has a tremendous record with 15 wins and 12 placings from 33 starts - was the slowest of the three Gold Cup heat winners last week, clocking 25.03s compared with La Grand Quality’s 24.74s and Bill Bath’s 24.81s.
But Eberand says he was not near 100 percent fit for the heats after having a small let-up following a great third in the Bulli Gold Cup behind Pindari Express on February 22.
“He was probably short of a run last week,” Eberand said of the heat performance. “After Bulli he was a bit jaded, so he had a few weeks off.
“Last week was his first run back and I thought it was a terrific effort for him to win in those circumstances and hopefully he is better for the run and will be a little bit fitter tomorrow.
“He’s probably still not at 100 percent peak fitness, but he’ll go better than last week.
“My gut feel is he can run 24.8s or somewhere near, if he gets a clear run. The aim for him is the Easter Egg, so hopefully he continues on his way, but I will be hoping for a 24.8s type of run tomorrow if he gets the luck early.
“The box draw (box five) is no good for him to be honest, but he’s such a competitor he can make his own luck and that’s what we are hoping for.”
Ebby Infrared has posted 24.79s at Maitland back in November, but Eberand is a realist and knows his dog will need to do everything right to beat what is a crack field for the Group 2 event.
“We’re really looking forward to tomorrow and delighted to be in this race. It’s an important feature race on the calendar. There are some serious chasers in the race. Turbo Thomas is a total gun, and the dog in the one (La Grand Quality) is a champion, so we’re really excited to be in the race.”