FANTA Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug '14) is likely to head back to Sydney to contest the Group 3 Summer Cup (720m) next month after her stellar win in the Group 3 Bold Trease (715m) at Sandown Park on Friday night.
Trained by Rob Britton, the black bitch stepped well off box three but was pressured by Petunia Monelli (Bella Infrared x Lara Monelli Apr '15) throughout the first half of the race before railing through to assume the lead and holding off a late challenge from Packey Keeping (Bekim Bale x Kim Keeping May '15) to win by three and one quarter lengths in 41.98.
The win took her earnings to $1,094,170 – making her the third greyhound to have earned seven figures in prize money behind Fernando Bale and Dyna Double One.
Co-trainer Brendan Pursell said it was a relief to see Fanta Bale finally break the million dollar barrier after threatening to do so for several weeks.
“There has been a lot of pressure over the last month or so waiting for it to happen, so now that it has happened we can relax a little bit,” Pursell told Australian Racing Greyhound.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 24, 2017
“Rob's had plenty of milestones, but they are what you strive for as a trainer. We are just fortunate to have one as good as her.
“She had to do it tough. If you take out the Sandown Cup it was probably one of her better wins.
“The run home time was probably the best she has done for a while – because she got held up early and wasn't off running out in front it gave her that little bit extra to finish with.”
She is the only greyhound to have won a group 1 over 500, 600 and 700 and she has now won 35 races from 52 starts with 11 minor placings.
Pursell said he is running out of new ways to compliment the champion racer.
“She is a gem. She tries her best every time and there isn't much else you can say about her – she is unbelievable.
“She never wins by a long way and she doesn't always run the fastest times, but she knows how to win.”
Fanta Bale too slick for them in the Bold Trease ? pic.twitter.com/ZRFWBFefFS
— Sandown Greyhounds (@sandowndogs) November 24, 2017
Team Britton got a double on Friday night when veteran greyhound Bruce Tycoon (Cosmic Rumble x New Year's Punch Jun '13) won his 34th race when saluting in 29.76.
Pursell says Bruce, who has a cult following at the track and on social media, is as honest as they come and still loving his racing despite having gone around 121 times.
“He is a rising five-year-old but he just keeps doing it,” he said.
“A few of his recent runs were a bit ordinary – he had a bit of an injury a month or so ago – but every time you start wondering if it's time to call it a day he comes out and wins like that.
“He is a marvel and he has his own fan club – he goes to the races and everyone yells out ‘Go Bruce'.
“He is a great old dog.”
Heats of the Group 3 Summer Cup will be run at Wentworth Park on December 2.