Champion racer Fanta Bale wins 2018 Group 1 Zoom Top

2018 Group 1 Zoom Top winner Fanta Bale. PIC: Paul Munt.

FANTA Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) defeated one of the best fields she has met to take out Saturday night’s invitation-only Group 1 Zoom Top (725m) at The Meadows.

Stepping from box four, the Rob Britton-trained bitch looked destined to lead as she pushed forward, however Queensland raider Champagne Sally (Barcia Bale x Bizarre Barbie Apr ’15) had other plans – crossing over from box eight to assume the front spot.

Despite being led, Fanta Bale didn’t shirk the task, gradually grinding back the margin, levelling up to eye-ball the leader around the home turn before slipping into top gear, sprinting clear to salute by just over two lengths in 42.35.

Flashing home for second was up and coming kennel mate Rippin’ Sam (Fernando Bale x Tears Siam Feb ’15) ahead of a tiring Champagne Sally.

Kennel representative Peter Riley praised the champion racer for another gutsy win – her eighth at Group 1 level.

“Unreal,” Riley enthused.

“With so much early pace in the race we didn’t know what was going to happen early. She jumped, got clean [room], Champagne Sally put in a huge run, but [Fanta Bale] just showed her class.”

A daughter of American bitch Ucme Typhoon (Dodgem By Design x USS Mysterious Aug ’09) and 2012 Topgun winner David Bale (Bartrim Bale x Dyna Beauty Nov ’09), Fanta Bale has now won 40 races from 60 starts with 14 placings.

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Owned by Paul Wheeler, Saturday’s win took her prize money earnings beyond $1.25 million in prize money – less than $40,000 off becoming Australia’s all time highest earner.

She will go down as arguably the best race bitch the sport has seen when she retires – her rap sheet boasting wins in the 2017 Group 1 Australian Cup, the 2016 Group 1 Hume Cup, the 2017 Group 1 Rookie Rebel, the 2017 Group 1 Sandown Cup, the 2017 Group 1 Albion Park Gold Cup, the 2017 Group 1 National Distance, the 2017 Group 1 Bold Trease, the 2018 Group 1 Zoom Top, the 2018 Group 2 Summer Distance Plate, the 2017 Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup and the 2017 Group 3 Sydney Cup.

She will now head towards the heats of the Group 1 Superstayers at The Meadows next Saturday night.

“She has got the ability, she wants to win– she chases her heart out and you can’t ask any more,” Riley said.

She has equalled Fernando Bale now with eight group 1 wins – lets see what happens now in a couple of weeks [in the Superstayers].”

Riley also praised the efforts of Rippin’ Sam which was having just his 17th career start in the Zoom Top. The boom youngster will be one to watch over the next few months, having now won five of his seven starts over the longer distance.

“He is the heir apparent.

“He is one of the best young stayers I have seen in a long time. He is a little bit slow early like a lot of stayers, but with some more race experience he is going to be very hard to beat in the future.”

2018 Group 1 Zoom Top results

1st – Fanta Bale (4) – Rob Britton – $2.20
2nd – Rippin’ Sam (6) – Rob Britton – $4.20
3rd – Champagne Sally (8) – Ray Burman – $33.80
4th – Quick Jagger (1) – Chris Halse – $4.60
5th – Packey Keeping (7) – Brett Bravo – $17.40
6th – Ebby Ripper (2) – Michael Eberand – $12.60
7th – Scott Keeping (3) – Brett Bravo – $15.80
8th – Jalapeno (5) – Tony Apap – $20.80

Margins: 2.14 x 0.35
Time: 42.35
1st section: 4.92 (8)
2nd section: 15.81 (8)
3rd section: 29.44 (8)