Amity Bale Simply Too Good In AWM Distance Champs

Amity Bale has finally justified a lot of good judges opinions by taking out her first group race final in tonight’s Group 2 AWM Distance Championship at The Meadows.

The Graeme Bate trained star was sent out a $1.70 favourite in the race and justified the short price to run away a dominant winner by 7 ¼ lengths in 42.52 seconds for the 725m journey

During a mid week radio interview, master trainer Graeme Bate felt bad luck could be the only thing that stood in the way of Amity Bale.

“It was a good run last week when she lobbed second behind Headley Bale and I was just hoping she’d run her down, which she did. If she can lob second again in the final I’ll be very happy”, Bate had said of Amity Bale.

Bate’s prediction seemed fairly close to the mark but soon after jumping from box 4 it seemed her trainers and most punters concerns had been warranted, as staying’s next big star was buried back third from last on the rail.

But using her blistering mid race speed and wonderful track sense, Amity Bale soon shot through on the rail on the top turn and put the race beyond doubt.

Kennel mate Beware [$23.00] stuck on gamely to give Graeme Bate the quinella with Melandri filling third place a further 2 ¼ lengths away, but Amity Bale was simply in a class of her own.

Amity Bale was certainly the clas runner of the race, having faced the starter in the Group 1 Sandown Cup, finishing second behind Mantra Lad; as well as starting in the Superstayers Challenge at Albion Park. Amity Bale also finished sixth behind Surgeon in the 2008 Group 1 Melbourne Cup over the sprint journey.

Amity Bale is a black bitch whelped 4th September 2006 and is by Sonic Flight ~ Evonne Bale, owned by Paul Wheeler and trained by Graeme Bate. Tonight’s win took her record to 19 wins from 56 starts running a place on 22 further occassions. The $25,000 first prizemoney took her career stake earnings to in excess of six figures on $116,635.

Amity Bale’s next feature race plans will be to contest the Victorian heats of the National Distance Championships which will be held at Sandown on Thursday 13th August 2009.

Elevated to Group 2 status for the first time in 2008 the AWM Distance Championship has had plenty of different names. First run in 1967 when won by Magic Zephyr the race was staged over the 800 yard at Olympic Park and was known as the Olympic Park Distance Championship. In those early years the raced was won by some outstanding stayers including AGRA Hall of famers Zoom Top (1969) Lizrene (1972).

It remained the Olympic Park Distance Champion ship until 1988 apart from 1978 when called the Victorian Distance Title and in 1986 it was called the Toyota Trophy and 1987 Toyota Cup. In 1989 the race was called the Olympic Park Distance Title before becoming the Diamond Distance Title from 1990 to 1993 and the ANZ Distance Title 1994-95.

The race first became the AWM Distance Title in 1996 when the M.G.R.A. was racing at Sandown and the company has continued the race sponsorship through to the Meadows. Listed below are the previous winners.

Group 2 AWM Distance Championship Honour Roll

  • 1967 Magic Zephyr
  • 1968 Carbon Lass
  • 1969 Zoom Top
  • 1970 Trev’s Button
  • 1971 Paul’s Thunder
  • 1972 Lizrene
  • 1973 Thurmiss
  • 1974 Alveray
  • 1975 La Sierra
  • 1976 Chevron Lass
  • 1977 Oakwood Moss
  • 1978 Lindsay’s Pick
  • 1979 Mixed Blessings
  • 1980-1983 Not Run
  • 1984 Sheila’s Teresa
  • 1985 Suzanne Gwenda
  • 1986 Linton’s Ace
  • 1987 Golden Ambition
  • 1988 Strolling Benja
  • 1989 Julep
  • 1990 Malmar Magic
  • 1991 Witchery
  • 1992 Modern Express
  • 1993 Brijon Belle
  • 1994 Athjoy
  • 1995 Johnny Glenoban
  • 1996 Happy Reuben
  • 1997 Ringside Fire
  • 1999 Long Shadow
  • 2000 Jedi Lightsabre
  • 2001 Hotshow Vintage
  • 2002 Westend Prince
  • 2003 Arvo’s Junior
  • 2004 Classy Customer
  • 2005 Zarbo
  • 2006 Mid City Mandy
  • 2007 Sky Hazzard
  • 2008 Sky Hazzrd
  • 2009 Amity Bale