Trained by Andrea Dailly, Hecton Bale stepped fairly but got room to move early as box seven runner Hasten Slowly (Fernando Bale x Heidi Go Seek Feb ’16) cut down to the fence.
Once Hecton Bale slipped to the lead in the early stages his rivals were always going to find it hard to catch him as the bolted to the line to win by 5.4 lengths in a blistering 29.53.
Young gun Hasten Slowly ran the best race of his short career to finish second, giving Fernando Bale the group 1 quinella, with Queenslander Opal Nera (Dyna Tron x Black Sambuca May ’15) finishing third.
Co-trainer Tom Dailly admitted to having some doubts whether Hecton Bale would be able to cross off box eight, but was thrilled with the result worth $250,000.
“He just lacks that [early] touch out of a box, but he got the perfect run out of the boxes and he showed [what he can do],” Dailly said.
“His form has been really, really good, but I had the first pick of the boxes last week and if you could have asked me what was the worst box I could pick I’d say the pink.
“The speed map said he’d be last coming out of the boxes which he was, but he got a good clear run and it worked out perfectly.”
Owned bred by Paul Wheeler, Hecton Bale has now won 13 races from 26 starts with eight placings, his prize money sky-rocketing to a massive $336,000.
Wheeler had a massive night, also taking out the Group 1 Australian Super Stayers with his champion race bitch Fanta Bale.
With the win the black bitch broke the all time prize money earner’s record held by Fernando Bale, so it was fitting that one of his sons came out two races later to win the Australian Cup off box eight, the same draw Fanta Bale used to salute in the 525m event last year.
Hecton Bale has now won six of his past eight starts, one of his defeats being an unlucky sixth in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows last month.
The Fernando Bale x Searle Bale mating has produced some super chasers, with Hecton Bale a litter brother to Group 2 Cranbourne Cup winner Mossimo Bale and the consistent Lila Bale, a winner of 10 from 32.
Fernando Bale, which stands at stud with Meticulous Lodge, has been a sensation, having already produced dual group 1 winners Allen Ablett (Fernando Bale x Langi Bale Aug ’15) and Out Of Range (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields Dec ’15).
He is also the sire of Group 2 Traralgon Cup winner Poke The Bear (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields Dec ’15), WA sensation West On Augie (Fernando Bale x Te Amo Feb ’16) and staying star of the future Rippin’ Sam (Fernando Bale x Tears Siam Feb ’16).
Team Dailly did not confirm the next target for Hecton Bale, although the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (520m) could be his next move with the $250,000 to the winner series kicking off at Wentworth Park on March 17.
2018 Group 1 Australian Cup results
1st – Hecton Bale (8) – Andrea Dailly – $5.90
2nd – Hasten Slowly (7) – Angela Langton – $36.10
3rd – Opal Nera (6) – Tony Brett – $7.30
4th – Zipping Inglis (5) – Matt Lanigan – $29.50
5th – Raw Ability (4) – Anthony Azzopardi – $2.70
6th – Dyna Forrest (2) – Correy Grenfell – $34
7th – Slick (1) – John McCarthy – $5.70
8th – Chasin’ Crackers (3) – Glenn Rounds – $4.10
Margin: 5.4 x 1.6