CHAMPION race bitch Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) will be aiming to take out her seventh group race when she lines up in the Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup (725m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
The Rob Britton-trained superstar was breathtaking in her heat on the weekend, leading all the way off box four to defeat Packey Keeping (Bekim Bale x Kim Keeping May ’15) by just under eight lengths in 42.41.
The win was her first start after being scratched from the Group 3 Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park earlier this month and Britton, who trains Fanta Bale for leviathan owner Paul Wheeler, said it was a relief to see her back to doing what she loves most.
“She had to be scratched from the Chairman’s Cup due to a case of gastro,” Britton told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She got over it within about four or five days but when they get crook like that you just don’t know what it’s going to take out of them.
“Thankfully she proved [Saturday] night that she has bounced right back and I was really pleased with her – it was a great run.”
Fanta Bale has now won 30 of her 46 starts with 10 placings, with a win in Saturday’s feature set to take her prize money earnings above $933,000.
Britton says he is trying not to focus on her bank account, with anticipation building to see if she can become the third greyhound to break the elusive $1 million.
“I try not to get too far ahead of myself. About three years ago I had Space Star and he won a group 1 and after that I thought he was just going to go on and win everything, but unfortunately one little injury stopped everything and I don’t think we ever saw the best of him,” Britton explained.
“Now I always just try to focus on the week ahead – once you start thinking too much about the future something is sure to go wrong.”
Fanta Bale will jump from box three on Saturday night, with her main rival being Burn One Down (Buck Fever x Fancy Jaffa Jan ’14) which won the second and final heat of The Top Cat Video Cup in 42.50.
Burn One Down will jump from box eight in the feature, looking for his 34th career win at start 53 for leading trainers Jason and Seona Thompson.
Britton says Fanta Bale has pulled up well and will be primed for the feature, although he remains cautious of meeting the super-strong Burn One Down at The Meadows over the gruelling 725m trip.
“Box three is good – with her she just needs a clear run out of the boxes. If she can get 10 metres of clear galloping room she seems to get to the front or into second and from there she gives it all she has.
“She is at the top of her game at the moment, but I never underestimate Burn One Down as he is a very good dog and I do believe The Meadows is the toughest staying assignment – there is no room for the weak.
“I always have the little doubts in the back of my mind about her running it out but she seems to be getting stronger and you can’t fault how she is racing at the moment so I am sure she will do her best.”