The king of greyhound racing, Graeme Bate, reigned supreme once more at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and simultaneously a new queen of the racetrack was crowned with Xylia Allen scoring a triumphant win in the group one Peter Mosman.
Drawn in box two for the $75,000 to the winner decider, Xylia Allen pinged the lids and from there the race was all over as the sleek black speedster careened away to score a decisive one-and-three-quarter length win in a blazing 29.47 seconds. The victory was the fifteenth win for Xylia Allen from thirty-one starts whilst it was the second group one for the dazzling chaser in one month after she took out the group one Sapphire Crown in May.
Graeme Bate was full of praise for his dynamic powerhouse, another product of the illustrious Bate/Wheeler racing relationship.
“She went beautifully. I loved the performance myself, when you jump to the front you have got to be excited”, Bate beamed.
Remarkably Bate trained the quinella with rising star Schroder Bale gallant in defeat and never letting the freakish frontrunner out of his sights. Schroder Bale has proven recently that he is a genuine group greyhound with the son of Dyna Lachlan contending three group races since May whilst he recorded the fastest semi going into the final (29.61 seconds).
“He is a great dog in his own right”, Bate said, “Unfortunately he just keeps bumping into something that’s a bit better than him”.
The surprise on the night was not the fact that Xylia Allen won, with the $2.80 hotpot always expected to claim the prize however many were shocked when the known back marker began brilliantly and landed in the prime position.
“In her racing life she has always had a back problem”, Bate explained, “She invariably puts it out and I normally put it back in by cracking her but this time I did the whole manipulation trick”
“I thought it might have been coming from somewhere else and that’s why she keeps putting it out all the time and not showing the early pace we know she has.”
“I went through the whole thing with her this week and it worked to perfection”.
The electrifying time posted of 29.47 seconds was easily the best of the night- even though nine of the ten races slipped under the elusive 30 second standard.
“I didn’t think the track was overly quick on the night. Even though the other dogs broke thirty they didn’t break it by much. I thought after the race if it was quick like what it was at Golden Easter Egg time she would have really given the record a shake but I was still extremely happy with the run”.
The time on the night was also the quickest that the iron bitch has skipped around the Ultimo Circuit after two sensational wins in her heat and semi-final of the Mosman. Xylia Allen’s previous starts at Wentworth Park were during the Ladies Bracelet series and resulted in two thirds with Bate pleased with her development in that time.
“Wentworth Park is a tricky place, you really have to know it. Her first few runs were disappointing as she tended to want to follow dogs on the rail instead of going around them but since the other group one she won(Sapphire Crown) she has been going out and around dogs and splitting in-between them”.
“She brought that back to Wentworth Park on Saturday and that brings to the table whole new opportunities”.
“When dogs have got the ability that she has got and to show that kind of intelligence- I haven’t had a dog like that since Kantarn Bale”.
The win was also special with Xylia Allen being a daughter of Turanza Bale who was also trained by Bate. “He was a great dog and we really liked him. He went back to Paul who took a lot of straws from him and was then offered big money to go to China and at the time he wasn’t getting many bitches so Paul sold him”.
“Of the dogs he has put on the track, Grigorieva Bale won the Golden Easter Egg, so for the few pups he has got he has thrown sensational”.
With the Mosman series run and won emphatically, Bate has revealed his boom bitch has pulled up well and will now make another trip interstate for her next crack at group race glory.
“She has pulled up beaut this(Sunday) morning. She got back at 9am and we put her in the run and it was as if she hadn’t been away. She was fantastic and sprinting around like a juvenile so I’m very happy with her”.
“I’m leaning towards the Albion Park race because she has been there and has performed well there. If she draws out wide in Western Australia I’m in a bit of trouble because it’s not a track that induces getting 7 or 8 whereas at Albion Park if you get 7 or 8 you are still in the race”.
Also on the cards is another stint at the staying trip after an unsuccessful attempt earlier this year, “I thought for sure she would stay so I put her in and she was straight in against Miata which was bad training on my behalf but looking back if she had of stayed I would have been a genius. It wasn’t meant to be so I put her back to the sprints until I can give her a proper preparation”.
“Irma Bale runs Identical to her so I have no doubts she will stay so that’s another exciting part of her future”.
“She is very special and we love her here. She has been great already so we are excited for the future and I just hope she can hold up from injuries because she could be absolutely anything”.