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Fanta Bale all-the-way in Rookie Rebel

Fanta Bale enhanced her near-faultless middle distance record with a dominant all-the-way victory over one of the best 600m fields ever assembled in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel invitational at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Trained by Robert Britton, one of Australia’s most successful middle distance and staying conditioners, for the country’s leading breeder Paul Wheeler, Fanta Bale claimed her second 600m Group 1 trophy at The Meadows, having also led throughout in the Hume Cup last October.

Chasing back-to-back feature victories after winning the Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation at her previous start, the daughter of 2012 Topgun hero David Bale was the $4.40 second elect from box three in the star-studded Rookie Rebel.

In a field of incredible depth, rails runner Reefton Treasure was the $3.30 favourite, with three-time Group 1 winner Dundee Osprey ($5.70), powerhouse Blazin’ Bomber ($5.80) and reserve Extreme Magic ($6.70) all well-supported.

Fanta Bale looked the likely leader and after showcasing great early speed to lead Blazin’ Bomber she refused to surrender her hard-won advantage, defeating Blazin’ Bomber by one and a half lengths in 34.16sec, with Extreme Magic running third.
“It was a super field and Blazin’ Bomber was the dog I was most worried about because I knew he had the pace to go with Fanta Bale early,” Robert Britton said.

“She (Fanta Bale) is an incredibly good beginner on the bends because she cuts straight to the fence leaving the others to get caught in the backwash.”

Fanta Bale now boasts the imposing record of 18 from 27, with her only defeat in seven middle distance assignments being a third in a Sale Cup heat.

She will now revert to sprinting for the Australian Cup, with Britton resisting the temptation – for the time being – to test her as a stayer in the Group 1 Super Stayers.

“She’ll contest a heat of the Australian Cup next week,” Britton said.

“It was a tough decision whether to enter her in the Australian Cup or not because I’m very keen to try her over 700m.

“You never know with any greyhound if they will be able to stay or not until you try them, and she may not quite be strong enough to stay, but if she can it is much easier racing than in the sprints because the depth of quality is a lot less.” 

Watch Fanta Bale’s winning chase

Fanta BaleFanta Bale (3) led her rivals on a merry dance in the Rookie Rebel.

Fanta BaleThe Meadows Chairman Eddie Caruana and General Manager Marg Long present Robert Britton with the Rookie Rebel trophy.
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Fanta BaleRookie Rebel placegetters Blazin’ Bomber (with Darren Pattinson), Fanta Bale (handler Peter Riley) and Extreme Magic (handler Seona Thompson).

PHOTO GALLERY

*This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Andrew Copley.

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