Fernando Bale’s amazing Group box record

WIN, lose or draw in this year’s Adelaide Cup final, Fernando Bale already owns a unique Group-level racing record.

He has won six Group 1 events, two Group 2 races and one Group 3 in his 37-start career so far, to be undefeated in nine Group races overall, a unique factor in itself but not the one we are going to focus on here.

Fernando Bale has registered all eight of his Group 1 and 2 successes from each of the eight possible starting boxes, a truly unique feature.

In box sequence they read like this:

Box 1: Harrison-Dawson (Group 1), as well as the Bill Collins Memorial (Group 3)

Box 2: Maturity Classic (Group 1)

Box 3: Bendigo Cup (Group 2)

Box 4: Peter Mosman Memorial (Group 1)

Box 5: National Sprint Championship (Group 1)

Box 6: Traralgon Cup (Group 2)

Box 7: National Derby (Group 1)

Box 8: Golden Easter Egg (Group 1)

To put this in perspective, let’s look at some of the other great multiple Group winners in the period since 1995, when Group racing was first introduced (although I have included Flying Amy’s 1994 Gold Coast Cup success, since it would certainly have rated at Group level).

I have also ignored middle-distance and distance performers since the ‘pool’ is a lot less deep than that of the sprinting brigade. It’s also worth noting that some Group 3 races from the past are now Group 2, and some Group 2’s are now Group 1 (the Topgun being one example).

Flying Amy

Box 1: 1995 Brisbane Cup (Group 1)

Box 5: 1995 National Sprint Championship (Group 2)

Box 6: 1995 Gold Coast Cup (Group 2)

Box 7: 1994 Gold Coast Cup (pre-Group era)

Box 8: 1995 Winter Carnival Cup (Group 1)

Rapid Journey

Box 1: 1998 Queensland Cup (Group 2); 1998 Topgun (Group 2)

Box 2: 1998 Adelaide Cup (Group 1)

Box 3: 1998 WA Interstate Challenge (Group 3); 1998 Perth Cup (Group 1); 1998 Golden Easter Egg (Group 1)

Box 6: 1998 National Sprint Championship (Group); Melbourne Cup (Group 1)

Kantarn Bale

Box 1: 2000 Brisbane Cup (Group 1)

Box 3: 2000 Horsham Easter Cup (Group 3); 2000 Warrnambool Cup (Group 2)

Box 5: 2000 Shepparton Cup (Group 3)

Box 6: 2001 WA Interstate Challenge (Group 3)

Box 8: 1999 Melbourne Cup (Group 1); 2002 Warrnambool Cup (Group 2)

Brett Lee

Box 3: 2001 SA Interstate Challenge (Group 3); 2001 Adelaide Cup (Group 1)

Box 6: 2001 Australian Cup (Group 1); 2001 Warrnambool Classic (Group 2)

Box 8: 2001 Golden Easter Egg (Group 1); 2001 Maturity Classic (Group 1)

Bogie Leigh

Box 1: 2003 Queensland Futurity (Group 3); 2003 Lismore Cup (Group 3)

Box 3: 2003 Brisbane Cup (Group 1)

Box 5: 2004 Australian Cup (Group 1); Golden Easter Egg (Group 1)

Box 8: 2003 Sapphire Crown Classic (Group 1)

El Galo

Box 2: 2009 Adelaide Cup (Group 1)

Box 3: 2008 Bendigo Cup (Group 2)

Box 4: 2009 The Temlee (Group 1)

Box 5: 2008 Brisbane Cup (Group 1); 2008 Topgun (Group 1)

Box 6: 2008 Bulli Gold Cup (Group 3); 2008 Gold Coast Cup (Group 2)

Box 7: 2009 Warrnambool Cup (Group 2)

So, El Galo is the only greyhound to come close to emulating Fernando Bale, having won eight Group 1 or 2 races from every alley except Boxes 1 and 2.

Yet again, it emphasizes that in this annus horribilis for greyhound racing, we are fortunate to have such a wonderful exemplar as Fernando Bale competing around the nation.

Get up to $501 in free bets to place on Fernando Bale upon sign-up with Sportsbet.