How did Fanta Bale do it, is the question on everyone’s lips after last night’s thrilling performance in the fourth and final heat of the Group One TRFM Sale Cup.
Starting as the pre-race favourite at $1.20, punters had their hearts in their mouths when the million dollar star unexpectedly missed the jump.
“Heading into the race I expected her to lead; I think the majority of people did and to see her miss the start you could see the shock from the crowd and almost those watching at home,” Sale Greyhound Racing Club Manager Des Dooley said.
Fanta found herself in unfamiliar territory heading into Sale’s back straight as she chased down local Smitten (box one) and Victorian raced Gold Vein.
“I think a few people were a little worried Fanta wasn’t going to get there because she was held up but she proved why she is a champion,” Dooley said.
Even race caller Kyle Galley counted her out, declaring he didn’t think she could make up the ground.
“What a run; isn’t she a champ. It’s the first time I called her and I wrote her off,” Galley laughed during his call.
Dooley, a greyhound enthusiast of more than 50 years admits that Fanta Bale is one of the most genuine greyhounds he has seen race.
“It is going to be very exciting come Boxing Day for the 2017 Sale Cup, I think everyone in the Sale region wanted to see her perform on our biggest stage.”
Chasin’ Crackers was the fastest qualifier in the heats of the Sale Cup, clocking 37.337sec in heat one over Brueghelino.
Trainer Glenn Rounds set Chasin’ Crackers up for the Sale Cup, trialing his Melbourne Cup placegetter at the track prior to his Sale Cup venture. Chasin’ Crackers led all the way from box five in his first start over the track and distance. Brueghelino was brilliant, storming home from box three to bridge the margin to just 1.31 lengths to also qualify for the Sale Cup.
Less than a length separated the first four placegetters in heat two of the Sale Cup, with pre-race $1.40 favourite Royal Intention, for Diane O’Neill snagging the win over the Gippsland trained Inequity.
WA star Quick Jagger recorded the second fastest heat win, stopping the clock at 37.373sec from box seven in his first start over the track and distance. Second placegetter Van Ann flew out of the boxes with the fastest first sectional in the heats (6.17sec).
Sale’s annual Boxing Day meeting is one of the biggest events on Victoria’s Greyhound Racing Calendar, with huge numbers flocking to Sale for a wide range of entertainment.
“With the Sale Cup being held on Boxing Day, I have found that a lot of people who no longer live in the area come back to catch up with family over the Christmas period and a night out at the greyhounds is a great option for them,” Dooley said.
“There are plenty of kids activities and of course the amazing athletes that compete for Group One glory and more than $100,000 in prize money.”
The Sale Cup is the first leg of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Gippsland Carnival, which spans eight weeks and four clubs in the Gippsland region.