Zambola Bale Caps A Dual Group 2 Night For Wheeler

While rising three year old Amity Bale comfortably claimed the Group 2 AWM Distance Championship in Victoria for prolific breeder and owner Paul Wheeler, Zambola Bale dominated the Group 2 age restricted greyhound race at Wentworth Park.

The young stars took centre stage with the best young talent in our greyhound ranks competing for the $25,000 winner’s purse in the Group 2 Young Star Classic, with Mark Vincent, one of Australia’s newest and most exciting vocalists on hand to make the official presentation to the winner of the event.

This Group 2 event brought together a very even field of very promising young greyhounds, and with the age restrictions applying none were older than two years, while Mark Vincent at only 15 years of age, has achieved so much, winning Australia’s Got Talent 2009, and has gone on to immediate success with his debut album “My Dream – My Visione” performing sensationally on the charts.

It was an appropriate and exciting mix, as mentioned by GBOTA Chairman Bill Mangafas during the presentation to the deserved winner of the race, Zambola Bale owned by Paul Wheeler and trained by his son Brendan.

The race was an open affair and the winner started at $8.60 and had the race well in his keeping once he was the surprise leader. Normally a strong finisher, Zambola Bale suprised everyone when he lobbed in front and it was always going to be hard for any of the other starters to run him down.

Even though Gazmick Storm and Thanks to You tried hard they were no match for the son of Collision who cleared out to win by 4 ½ lengths in the smart time of 30.12.

At the presentation, connections of the winner were very proud of their young greyhound’s success and received a satin embroided rug and inscribed trophy from Mark, as well as a signed copy of his debut album and were delighted with this opportunity to meet one of Australia’s most talented young performers.

Mangafas explained that Mark has had a long and close association with the GBOTA and has performed at various Association functions since he was a 13 year old. Mark recently performed for Wentworth Park patrons at the Nice Products Golden Easter Egg final on Easter Saturday, just prior to his emphatic win on Australia’s Got Talent.

Mangafas offered his heartiest congratulation to the winning connections and to Mark.

“For Zambola Bale I trust that this Group race victory will lead to an outstanding career similar to the success a number of previous winners of this race, particularly the likes of the Mark Bell owned and trained Go Wild Teddy,” Mangafas said.

“Congratulations to all concerned with Zambola Bale’s success and a special thank you to Mark for being with us tonight during what has been a very busy time for him promoting his new album” Mangafas concluded.

But the real celebrations would have been firmly in the Wheeler family, as Zambola Bale annexed a unique dual Group Racing winning performance across two states in the space of an hour, earning $50,000 in prizemoney in the process.

Furthermore it clearly stamps the Collision ~ Maple Bale litter that Zambola Bale originates from as one of the standout litters whelped in New South Wales in recent years, as Zambola Bale’s Group 2 Young Star Classic win comes less than a month after litter brother Dentax Bale convincingly won the Group 2 Bob Payne Winter Stake.

Zambola Bale is a black bitch whelped 12th July 2007 and is by Collision ~ Maple Bale, owned by Paul Wheeler and trained by son Brendon Wheeler. Tonight’s win took Zambola Bale’s record to 10 wins from 26 starts with a further 10 placings.

Zambola Bale was contesting her first group race final tonight and collected $25,000 first prizemoney as the 2009 Group 2 Young Star Classic Winner, which takes her career stake earings to $50,575.

The Young Star Classic was originally one of the NSW NCA’s signature race events and this is the first year that the NSW GBOTA has conducted this event following the Association’s assuming the sole responsibility for metropolitan racing at Wentworth Park. Prior to that the Young Star Classic was a long established feature race on the NCA’s calendar.

First run in 1973 the Young star Classic has been won by some brilliant young sprinters most of which went on to enjoy outstanding race and stud careers. Long held as a career launching pad for many high profile greyhounds, fast times were recorded by the winners of this race in the past two years with Cindeen Shelby recording 29.97 in 2008 and in 2007 the winner was Fergalicious in 29.95 (which is the race record on the current track).

However, in the twelve years prior to that the winners did not go under 30 seconds although Penny Drum 30.08 in 2002 and Go Wild Teddy 30.04 in 2000 went close. Interestingly, in 2000 Go Wild Teddy also won the age restricted Group 1 Vic Peters Classic (the oldest feature race on the Association’s calendar) in 30.27 and the Group 2 Bob Payne Winter Stake in 30.14. 2000 was great for Go Wild Teddy as he also won the Melbourne Cup that year.

Other notabe greyhounds to have won the Young Star Classic include Glider’s Son (1980), Jet Cruiser (1988), Alyssa Belle (1989), Bobniak (1997), Faithful Hawk (1998), Winsome Dollars (2001) and Eifella (2004). The full honour roll of the classic race is below.

Young Star Classic Honour Roll

  • 1973 Alaskan Road Wpk
  • 1974 Mister Oollee Wpk
  • 1975 Chivalry Lane Wpk
  • 1976 Corrina Albee Wpk
  • 1977 Mister Toewyte Wpk
  • 1978 Takbe Flash Wpk
  • 1979 Faith Power Wpk
  • 1980 Glider’s Son Wpk
  • 1981 Extra Kinky Wpk
  • 1982 Gwendalyn Bale Wpk
  • 1983 Olympic Avalon Wpk
  • 1984 Cindy Lass Wpk
  • 1985 Lord Ballina Wpk
  • 1986 Memories Gate
  • 1987 Hiraani Blade Hpk 457m 26.79
  • 1988 Jet Cruiser Wpk 520m
  • 1989 Alyssa Belle Wpk 520m
  • 1990 Durante Wpk 520m 30.52
  • 1991 City Gambler Wpk 520m 30.25
  • 1992 Stanley Park Wpk 520m 30.77
  • 1993 Friendly Native Wpk 520m 31.13
  • 1994 Shandy’s Style Wpk 520m 31.32
  • 1995 Gaylene Wpk 520m 30.99
  • 1996 Jazzy Tom Wpk 520m 30.87
  • 1997 Bobniak Wpk 520m 31.19
  • 1998 Faithful Hawk Wpk 520m 30.44
  • 1999 Nailed Wpk 520m 30.55
  • 2000 Go Wild Teddy Wpk 520m 30.34
  • 2001 Winsome Dollars Wpk 520m 30.21
  • 2002 Penny Drum Wpk 520m 30.08
  • 2003 Scream Machine Wpk 520m 30.39
  • 2004 Eiffella Wpk 520m 30.22
  • 2005 Just Winsome Wpk 520m 30.11
  • 2006 Adris Echo Wpk 520m 30.18
  • 2007 Fergalicious Wpk 520m 29.95
  • 2008 Cindeen Shelby Wpk 520m 29.97
  • 2009 Zambola Bale Wpk 520m 30.12