Velocette Heads Bate’s Decimated Golden Easter Egg Team

Leading Victorian trainer Graeme Bate nominated seven greyhounds for his assault on the Group 1 2009 Nice Products Golden Easter Egg, and by all reports is none too happy that his assault force has been halved, with only Hasting’s Bale, Amity Bale, Stoner Bale and Velocette making the fields; and Turanza Bale and Jarvis Bale both named first reserves.

Amongst the four of Bate’s dogs granted a start is last start Cannington track record running Group 3 2009 Perth Cup Consolation winner and Australian and Horsham Cup winner Velocette and he heads the best of his chances with Sportsbet quoting him at $15 to win the final.

Indefensibly though, NSW graders have named both Turanza Bale and Jarvis Bale as first reserves for their respective heats. Both Turanza Bale and Jarvis Bale filled the minor placings behind Velocette in the $20,000 to the winner Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation at their last starts; and Turanza Bale is the 2008 Group 2 SA Derby winner as well as a multiple time Group Race finalist.

And what of Kendale Bale. The 2008 Horsham Cup winner been slightly out of form for some time in Peter and Kylie Hunt’s kennel, but returned to Bates’ kennel with slashing near record 25.33 best of night win at Geelong last Friday night. The Geelong 450m record is 25.14.

Weighing in to the equation also is the fact that Kendale Bale is a 2008 Group 1 Melbourne Cup finalist, Group 2 2008 Cranbourne Cup finalist and ran second behind Turanza Bale in the 2008 Group 2 SA Derby. With for like that you’d expect he’d be a moral to gain a run in a race that caters for the best 80 greyhounds.

Kendale Bale didn’t even get listed as a reserve.

Well you might say his best form prior to the Geelong run was all in 2008, but what of Turanza Bale and Jarvis Bale? Last start placegetters in a Group 3 race, run and won in track record time, just last week.

What more do you have to do to make the 2009 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Heats?

Quite a bit is seems, if Millennium’s fate is anything to go by. Millennium is a last start winner of the $25,000 to the winner 2009 Group 2 Queensland Futurity at Albion Park, winning both her heat and final.

Magnifique is another who should be there based on performance and yet sits on the sidelines, being named first reserve despite winning the Group 2 South Coast Cup earlier this year at Bulli.

And what of the Rob Harnas trained Drink Driver? This greyhound was the run of the race outside Miss Slick, finishing third in the Group 1 Perth Cup just one week ago. Add to that the fact that he was a finalist in the Group 1 2008 National Sprint Championship at this same track, and ran fourth in the Group 1 2009 Adelaide Cup behind El Galo.

We could go on and on, but not 12 months after the Tasman Queen Ladies Bracelet fiasco, you’d think NSW graders would’ve made whatever adjustments that needed to be made either in their own heads, their policies, or their computer programs; to avoid a reccurence of the bad publicity they received then.

And, the NSW GBOTA, although acknowledging that Group 1 winners wouldn’t be excluded from the draws; should’ve made more of an effort to ensure they had the best fields possible. That clearly hasn’t happened.

Despite the obvious set back, Bate is up-beat about Velocette’s chances, “I’m looking forward to contesting Saturday’s Egg heats with Velocette, who is simply flying at the moment”.

“With any luck I should have a strong representation in the next round” Bate concluded.