CHAMPION trainer Rob Britton has decided against a staying campaign with his star bitch Fanta Bale after her terrific win in Saturday night’s Group 1 Australian Cup (525m) at The Meadows.
Beginning beautifully from box eight in the $250,000-to-the-winner event, Fanta Bale carved across to take the early lead before bumping with Aston Bolero (box seven) around the first turn at which point she was relegated back to second.
But the daughter of David Bale and Ucme Typhoon refused to give up, producing a powerful run to hit the lead in the home straight, drawing clear to score by 2.8 lengths in 30.01.
The win shocked many, including Britton himself, who conceded he was unsure if the middle distance dynamo could handle getting across from box eight over the sprint trip.
“I was surprised with the win,” Britton told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Ability wise she is a great bitch, but I couldn’t really work out how she was going to get across from box eight.
“She began so well that she put my worries to rest pretty quickly.”
The victory made it 20 wins from 29 starts for Fanta Bale, who is owned by leading breeder Paul Wheeler, with her career earnings now in excess of $516,000.
Among her victories are two other group 1 wins, both over 600m at The Meadows, in the Hume Cup and Rookie Rebel.
Despite Saturday night’s final boasting greyhounds which are arguably faster than Fanta Bale, Britton said the bonny powerhouse possesses sheer determination to win whenever she steps onto the track.
“More often than not she wins or runs a place which tells you she wants to be there – she has got a real desire to win.
“She is becoming a real racing machine – she isn’t always the fastest but when the chips are down and the pressure is on she seems to be able to push through and deliver.
“She is a wonderful dog to have in the kennel – if a dog can win one group 1 it is great, to win two is a bonus, but for her to have now won three it’s just amazing.”
But what lies next for Fanta Bale?
Britton told Australian Racing Greyhound prior to the Australian Cup that his intentions were to step her up in trip following the series after she scored an emphatic win in the Rookie Rebel last month.
However, after beating the best sprinters in the land to win on Saturday night, Britton has had a change of heart.
“My gut is telling me to stick to sprinting until we find that there is a need to step her up,” he said.
“She is only touching two and a half and you would like to think she is just starting to reach her peak and at the moment she is racing so well over the shorter trips.
“I am thinking I might just mix her up over the 500 and 600m distances until we need to make the decision to try her over a little bit further.
“At the end of the day if she can stay it will be a massive bonus, but while she is competitive at the moment I don’t think there is any reason to step her up.”
Whilst future plans are unconfirmed, Britton did say a trip to Sydney could be on the cards for Fanta Bale, with the heats of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (520m) less than a month away.