Hastings Bale became the fastest ever first starter at Sandown Park last Wednesday when zipping around the 515 metres circuit in 29.56sec.
The 23-month-old son of Collision and Minkara Bale clocked a solid first section of 5.22sec before careering to an easy win by eight and a quarter lengths.
It was the equal 11th fastest time ever at the track and was less than three lengths slower than the 29.38sec track record set by Bond in 2005.
The previous fastest time by a first starter at Sandown Park was the Darren McDonald-trained Vintage Octane, who clocked a time of 29.58sec last July.
Lara’s Graeme Bate, the trainer of Hastings Bale, indicated on Sport 927 earlier in the week that he had some promising pups coming through his kennel. When questioned whether they were ‘Bale’ greyhounds, Bate replied…“Yes…they’re the best ones”.
Top NSW breeder Paul Wheeler has bred hundreds of winners over the past 15 years, many of which have had ‘Bale’ in their name.
The Wheeler-Bate combination was responsible for many champions leaving their mark on the racetrack, in particular Kantarn Bale, Lansley Bale and Suellen Bale.
While the success has continued, it has been about five years since Wheeler bred a greyhound that has dominated at the top level like the abovementioned trio did.
However, the 2008 Superdogs series is just weeks away and who is to say that Hastings Bale can’t thrust Wheeler and Bate onto the Melbourne Cup dais just as a young Kantarn Bale did in 1999?