Amity Bale had box 5 and some quality opposition but it was still surprising to see some even money bet early against her name in last Saturday’s $25,000 Group 2 Pages Hire Summer Cup final over 720 metres at Wentworth Park. Amity Bale, in the hands of leading Victorian trainer Graeme Bate for Australia’s leading owner and breeder Paul Wheeler, started officially at 8/11.
The promising young NSW stayer Forty Twenty went out second elect at 11/4 and Forty Twenty’s trainer John Heard said his greyhound deserved this quote. “I was very confident of winning if luck went his way but it didn’t and we had to settle for second,” Heard explained. “Forty Twenty is such a big strider and he needs room. He got too far back and had a checkered passage,” Heard added.
Heard said it’s important to give stayers a chance get over a run so he has not considered the 715 metres Group 2 Bold Trease Carnival Cup at Sandown on Thursday next, instead preferring to tackle an ordinary race at Richmond or Wentworth Park in the coming week in preparation for the $20,000 Group 3 Best 8 Invitation Newcastle Cup over 715 metres at The Gardens on December 2.
Robert Britton came to contest this race despite considering, like many other trainers, that only bad uck would see Amity Bale being beaten. “We will be there for the minor prizemoney,” he said.
In the final, when Melandri (third elect at 10/1) jumped brilliantly to lead clearly and with Amity Bale negotiating some early traffic, Britton would have given his charge some hope of winning. However, Amity Bale, ever the professional, cleverly negotiated the traffic, powered after Melandri to round him up out of the back and then dug deep to withstand the barnstorming finish of Forty Twenty, which took second prize away from Melandri close to the line. The rest were a long way back. The winning time was 42.45 and the margins were 1¼ x ¾.
“You could see her thinking her way through the race,” is how Bate described the way Amity Bale went about her business.
Amity Bale’s next assignment is Thursday’s Sandown feature over the 715 metres where she has box 5, followed by the Newcastle Cup. “It’s a quick back-up to Sandown but she’s pulled up an absolute treat and has taken no harm whatsoever from the run,” Bate added.
Bate has the greatest admiration for his foreman Robert Camilleri who is a dedicated and tireless worker, clocking up countless kilometres in transporting the team to tracks all over the country.
Camilleri had the honours of handling Amity Bale on Saturday and no one could have been more pleased or proud than he was with the champion little stayer.