In an age where bookmakers will set you a price about virtually anything, anybody and any sporting result, I wonder what market they would have framed on the first day of the year about Fernando Bale winning $1 million in prizemoney before the conclusion of 2015?
He hasn’t done it as yet but come Friday night when the superstar sprinter exits Box 6 in the G1 Adelaide Cup final, he could be around 29 seconds away from becoming the first greyhound in history, anywhere in the world, to crack the magical million-dollar mark.
Make no bones about it – Fernando Bale is an absolute champion of greyhound racing and at a different time, media outlets would be clamouring to wax lyrically about the deeds of this son of Kelsos Fusileer who to date, has won 30 races from 37 starts (with 4 minor placings), and amassed the amazing sum of $931,110 in earnings.
The Adelaide Cup Final is set to jump at 9:28pm (AEST) on Friday. Check the full TAB.com.au market here.
In 2015, Fernando Bale has won six Group 1’s, two Group 2’s and one Group 3 race to stamp himself as one of the greatest greyhounds to ever grace a racetrack. It is light years away from December 31 last year when he lined up at The Meadows for his fourth race start with just one solitary win to his name.
I have repeatedly stated that he is the most consistent and faultless beginner in top class company I have ever seen in my 40 years of involvement in the industry and it is that attribute, along with his ability to maintain such a high cruising speed over the 500 metre distance, which see’s him on the edge of greatness.
He has drawn box 6 in the $75,000 to the winner race on Friday night with kennelmate and slow beginner, Dyna Double One drawn inside him while the very smart Kayda Shae (who was a certainty beaten in his heat last week) has drawn on his immediate outside.
In last week’s heat, Fernando Bale misjudged the start fractionally but was still able to lead by four lengths at the first turn before establishing the fastest time of the five heats when recording 29.36 at his first time on the track.
Angle Park is a track that suits front running sprinters and if Fernando comes out running, it is impossible to envisage any other greyhound being able to run him down given his explosive speed in the first 100 metres of a race.
Angle Park is also a track that is steeped with historical moments surrounding champions – Brett Lee still holds the track record of 28.88, a mark many consider no other greyhound (including Fernando Bale) will ever lower; while the 1998 Adelaide Cup was the first Group 1 event that Rapid Journey would win en-route to a stellar year which would see him claim the Golden Easter Egg, National Sprint Championship, Melbourne Cup and The Topgun.
I’ve been lucky enough to witness most of Fernando Bale’s big race wins from a close proximity and nothing will give me more pleasure than to see him become the first ever, million dollar chaser if he is successful on Friday night.
I’ll be trackside to bring you all the action on Sky Racing 1 (Ch519) on a night where racing history may be created – TAB Fixed Odds bookies are betting $1.30 that it will!
Good luck and good punting!
G3 - The Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Steeple Chase
G2 - Prix Raoul Balliere
G2 - Prix Ariste Hemard
G3 - Victress Stakes
G2 - Premier Trophy