Wheeler scores a Group 1 double- Fernando Bale & Lamia Bale shine

FERNANDO Bale confirmed his status as Australia’s best sprinter with a stunning all-the-way display in the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

Stepping brilliantly from box one, the Andrea Dailly-trained greyhound was two in front at the winning post on the first occasion and never looked in trouble from that point onwards, clocking an airborne time of 29.14 over the 515-metre trip. Angela Langton’s Weston East ran a tremendous race in second, finishing three lengths off the winner with Caustic Bale filling the trifecta back in third.

Fernando Bale, a son of Kelsos Fusileer and Chloe Allen started at a skinny $1.04 after a near record 28.98 effort in his heat the week prior. Paul Wheeler’s champion chaser has now won nine races in a row and 17 overall from 22 career starts. Among his successes are wins in the Group 1 National Derby and Group 1 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park, with his prize money earnings now standing at $517,390.

It was a terrific night for Wheeler, with the leviathan breeder also owning the winner of the Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic, Lamia Bale. The daughter of High Earner and Maple Bale shanghaied out of box six, setting up a big break before holding off a late charge from Angie Rocks to score in 29.23. It was the first Group 1 win for the brindle bitch, already the winner of the Group 2 Laurels, the Group 3 Sir John Dillon and the Group 3 Ambrosoli.

Wheeler is also set for a big night next week, qualifying Unix Bale through to the world’s richest staying race, the Group 1 Sandown Cup. The Mark Delbridge-trained chaser record a 42.08 win in the first heat of the night, the other qualifiers going to Lady Toy (41.80), Sweet It Is (41.82) and Space Star (41.26).

Group 1 Harrison-Dawson full results

1st: Fernando Bale (box one) – Andrea Dailly
2nd: Weston East (box two) – Angela Langton
3rd: Caustic Bale (box four) – Steve Collins
4th: Usain I’m Nutty (box six) – Andrea Dailly
5th: Sisco Rage (box five) – John Galea
6th: Gangnam Style (box three) – Clint Capuano
7th: Amaro Bale (box seven) – Nicole Davis
8th: Nockabout Aussie (box eight) – Peter Akathiotis

Time: 29.14
1st Section: 4.97
2nd Section: 18:51

Scratchings: Keybow (1st Res), Mepunga Armagh (2nd Res).