Master mentor Graeme Bate was effusive in his praise of Stoner Bale following last night’s Group 2 Ram Security Cranbourne Cup (520m).
Ironically, Bate finished second with Turanza Bale in the $30,000-to-the-winner event – but in reality much of the polish on Stoner Bale can be attributed to the iconic 12-time Victorian Trainer of the Year.
Bate and his stepson, Peter Hunt, have formidable teams and the Lara legend is upbeat on their future prospects.
Stoner Bale (February 2006 Stately Bird-Saffron Bale) has mostly been under the tutelage of Hunt, who no doubt is the “master’s apprentice”. Hunt also had Kendale Bale (4th) in the final while Bate also had Beware (6th).
Bate (who was chasing his third Cranbourne Cup) was a willing spokesman on Stoner Bale, who he believes is one of the state‟s most improved sprinters.
“We were quietly confident after he drew box eight in the final,” Bate said.
“He’s a terrific dog; a real hard chaser. I think he’ll go on to even better things from here.”
“He’s a bit more experienced than Kendale Bale, and it’s a different ball game when you’re stepping up
to this class.”
Stoner Bale clocked the second-fastest time ever on the circuit and was around four lengths off the
track record – his 29.92sec making him one of only five greyhounds to break the magical 30-second
The others being Pororoca (29.68sec), who set the track record in the 2006 final, Sonador (29.94sec), who semaphored that time in this year’s cup heats, and Brokenwood and Flying Titan (both 29.96sec).
Also a finalist in the 2008 Group 3 Silver Bullet (finishing fourth to Regal Thyme), Stoner Bale has registered 20 wins from 45 starts, with $89,035 in stakes.
Stoner Bale ($4.10F) defeated Turanza Bale ($4.60) by three and a half lengths, with Vintage Octane ($5.90) one and three-quarter lengths away third.
Then followed: Kendale Bale ($11.80), Yikes ($5.60), Beware ($18.10), Premier Moment ($20.80) and last yea’s winner Sonador ($5.40) who was contesting her third successive Cranbourne Cup, having finished third in 2007.
He is owned by Australia’s most successful breeder, the NSW-based Paul Wheeler, who now has four Cranbourne Cups in the trophy cabinet. He also scored with the Bate-trained Lansley Bale (1997) and Hail A Harley (2001), and Pastrana Bale (2005).
Bate said Wheeler was obtaining incredible results with his current breeding program which, in simplistic terms, sees him putting American and Irish-bred brood matrons back to colonial sires.
“Paul puts through groups of greyhounds – some improve and some don’t” Bate added.
“But the group comprising Stoner Bale, Kendale Bale, Keeko Bale and Fidel Bale, to name a few, have really stepped up to the plate.”
Stoner Bale is raced by Paul Wheeler and trained by Kylie Hunt of Lara.
He is a Dark Brindle dog whelped February 2006 by Stately Bird from Saffron Bale (Lansley Bale x Jindara Bale).
Stoner Bale has won 20 of his 45 starts and has been placed on 10 occasions, with the $30,000 first prize for the Cranbourne Cup it took his current stake earnings to $89,035.
Listed below is the Cranbourne Cup honour roll it contains the names of many champions of the track and many dogs that won a number of other higher ranked group races during their careers.
Cranbourne Cup Honour Roll
- 1975 Great Power
- 1976 Ragmaker
- 1977 Granulator
- 1978 Elsie Belinda
- 1979 Panther Bay
- 1980 Brindle Pixie
- 1981 Bianca Lee
- 1982 Golden Impulse
- 1983 Prince Of Eaton
- 1984 National Star
- 1985 National Star
- 1986 Lightning Boy
- 1987 Shining Chariot
- 1988 Calamity Kid
- 1989 National Asset
- 1990 Spread Eagled
- 1991 Eureka Man
- 1992 China Trip
- 1993 Kelvin’s Pride
- 1994 Jamb Kid
- 1995 World Champ Stan
- 1996 Wild Season
- 1997 Lansley Bale
- 1998 Fiery Sal
- 1999 Arvo’s Express
- 2000 Marsha Brady
- 2001 Hail A Harley
- 2002 Isa Brown
- 2003 Waterview Star
- 2004 Smack Wallop
- 2005 Pastrana Bale
- 2006 Pororoca
- 2007 Vapour Whirl
- 2008 Sonador
- 2009 Stoner Bale