Victorian bitch Quiz Bale stepped out of superstar kennelmate Xylia Allen’s shadow on Saturday night, notching up her own group race victory in the group two W.A Oaks at Cannington. Trained by champion mentor Graeme Bate, the Wheeler owned greyhound has been racing consistently at group level and now holds the impressive record of twelve wins and five minors from just 25 starts.
Bate intentionally bypassed the series with his freakish talent Xylia Allen and set just one of his brilliant bitches for the race. This decision turned out to be a training masterstroke with Quiz Bale dominating the event from box rise.
“It worked out well sending her (Quiz Bale) to the Perth race because she is the second stringer and I wanted to target Xylia Allen at the group one in Brisbane”, Bate explained.
“I had to send one that would lead the race because Cannington is a leader’s track”.
Whilst she may not have been a heat victor the previous week, Quiz Bale’s chances in the final were immediately increased when she drew the red for the decider.
“Once she drew box one I knew she was right in it but I knew she would need to improve on her heat run a bit which she did”, Bate enthused.
After another flawless start, clocking a fast first split of 5.68 seconds, Quiz Bale railed through and snuck away as many of her competitors became entangled in a scrimmage in the run to the first turn. With a handy break on her opposition, Quiz Bale never looked in danger kicking on strongly to snare victory by one length over the fast finishing roughie Perfect Poison in a slick 30.49 seconds.
“She came out running and that’s really all you can ask of them”, Bate said, “The experience at the track in her heat certainly helped her and we were very lucky to draw two box ones”.
Quiz Bale went into the series with great form as a recent finalist in the group one Peter Mosman at Wentworth Park. The black bitch qualified for the lucrative final by clocking a sensational 29.87 seconds from the cherry in her semi. Drawn poorly in box seven in the final, Quiz Bale began well but was no match for kennelmates Xylia Allen and Schroder Bale from out wide and found trouble before finishing seventh across the line.
The daughter of Dyna Lachlan was straight back into the action the following week, making the long flight west to Perth for a tilt at the group two feature. Beginning well from her favourite rails draw in her heat, the 27 kilogram bitch landed in the lead but again found another competitor too good, finishing five and a half lengths second behind local bitch Zelemar Fever who clocked the fastest heat in a scintillating 30.23 seconds.
At just two years of age, Quiz Bale has adjusted to travelling in pursuit of group race glory remarkably well. Whilst many greyhounds become fractious and restless when travelling, that is not the case for Quiz Bale, something that is evident in her professional performances on the track
“She is just so relaxed. As soon as you put her in she goes to sleep in the crate”, Bate revealed.
“She just lies down and whereas other dogs would be up and wagging their tails she only gets up when you put her lead on”.
Quiz Bale has now returned to her Victorian kennel with the likely target for her, as well as Bate’s other eligible greyhounds, the group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic that’s kicks off in less than two week’s time. The $100,000 to the winner event will definitely test the current generation of sprinters and separate the champions from the pack.
Whilst racing is over for Quiz Bale until the Maturity heats, the W.A Oaks final is only one major race for Bate this week. This Thursday kennel queen Xylia Allen will be looking to rule once more in the group one Garrard’s Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park. The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale missed the kick in her heat and found all sorts of trouble from box seven.
Sitting in last position down the back, final hopes diminished for Bate, however the speedy bitch ran a phenomenal race to clinch second position on the line, five and a half lengths behind Coal King.
“I didn’t think she would make it through on the first turn… her run was super- I was more than happy with it”, Bate beamed.
“To say that I’m wrapped with her is an understatement…I’m thrilled!”.
Xylia Allen has come up with a fantastic draw for the final in box two, with the main danger Kel Greenough’s Hello Good Bye also drawn ideally in the cherry. Hello Good Bye was a resounding winner in his heat last week clocking the fastest qualifier in a scorching 29.73 seconds. The group two Queensland Derby winner has claimed eleven of his 23 starts and will head into the final as the favourite, with Bate still optimistic of his chaser’s chance.
“She is well drawn in box two because Albion Park is another track that favours an inside draw”.
“Naturally the one to beat is Kel Greenough’s dog in box one but she is drawn to get a perfect run behind him”.
“I am hoping she can follow him into the race from box two”.
Xylia Allen is by far the best bitch and potentially the best greyhound in Australia at the moment and it remains to be seen whether there is another dog in the land that could hold her out, should she slot in behind them. Hello Good Bye is one of the top greyhounds who can test this suggestion, with it all set to be decided this Thursday when the lids fly open for the group one Garrard’s Winter Carnival Cup.