Listening around the tab over the past 15 years the same comments have been bantered about by punters looking turn a profit. “Always back a Bate dog! The Bale’s always win! My mates mates uncle who follows the dogs reckons they can’t lose and they always win”.
Whilst not entirely true what can’t be argued is the level of success that Bate and owner Paul Wheeler have had over a long period – and the current domination of group racing success they are enjoying.
The domination and success continued at Albion Park last night in the heats of the Group 2 Bogie Leigh Futurity. Whilst the event failed to attract a strong nomination count with short fields again making up the 4 heats, the quality of the runners engaged ensured that the final will be a Group 2 event to remember. The top two from each heat qualified for the final with the two fastest thirds being reserves.
Heat one produced a great performance from the John Finn trained visitor Winsome Charlee (Wheres Pedro – Ramblin’ Ruby), exploding away down the home straight to beat Miss Karoo with Ellie’s Flash in third. Having her first start at the Albion Park circuit, the recent Easter Egg runner up looked very impressive once she straightened for home stopping the clock in a respectable 30.39 seconds for the 520m journey. The ultra consistent grey is in tremendous form and last night was win number 11 with 14 placings from just 30 starts in qualifying for another group final. The dec 2010 brindle bitch will be vastly improved for the look at the track and with her exceptional record will be one of the fancies for next weeks final.
Xylia Allen for Graeme Bate could not have been more impressive in winning heat number two over Tarks Jewel with Jetta’s Girl third. The April 2011 daughter of Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale was on song, pushing through runs, and bouncing off dogs before hitting the front and exploding right away to win by 10 lengths in 29.98. Xylia Allen looks another superstar for owner Paul Wheeler and the well travelled youngster will be hard to beat after running home in 12.34 just .02 outside the track record. The run was all the more impressive as she was having her first look at the track. Xylia Allen is certainly a dog going places.
In the small field that contested heat three the favourite and all the rage was the visitor Cracker Jack Lil from the Peter Hunt kennel starting from box 4. Favourite backers would have been disappointed at box rise as she was lost at the start and never in the race. With just six starters it was the locally trained Pearl Za Zinger (Surf Lorian – Kaycee Diva) for John McCarthy that was too strong for Cee Eh Oh with Sarah’s Spirit in third. The winner stopped the clock in 30.49 in bringing up win number 6 and took her prizemoney to over $20,000. Whilst the time was only moderate she does have a great record over the track and trip and will be an outside chance in next weeks final.
The final heat produced a similar result to earlier in the night with the Graeme Bate trained Purcell Bale too strong for Celtic Diva with Bellismo Belle in third. The April 2011 daughter of Dyna Lachlan – Princess Bale missed the start early before pushing through other dogs and clearing right away stopping the clock in a very impressive 30.19. Having her first look at the track, she couldn’t have been more dominant in bringing up win number 7 with 5 placings from 17 starts. Both Purcell Bale and earlier winner Xylia Allen showed their ability and class, taking the knocks and the runs in exciting wins. The Bate kennel have an outstanding ability to produce strong running chasers who will obviously be the ones to beat in next weeks final.
The box draw for next weeks Group 2 final is:
Albion Park Futurity Final
1. Celtic Diva, 2. Miss Karoo, 3. Purcell Bale, 4. Pearl Za Zinger, 5. Xylia Allen, 6. Winsome Charlee, 7. Cee Eh Oh, 8. Tarks Jewel. Reserves: 9. Bellismo Belle, 10. Sarah’s Spirit.