Fanta Bale has created history by becoming the first greyhound to twice be crowned the Victorian Greyhound of the Year after a stunning 2017/18 racing season.
The award, which Fanta Bale also won last year, was one of many highlights at the Victorian Greyhound Awards at Crown Palladium this evening, with a packed house celebrating many of the outstanding achievements in the sport as well as some of the greats of yesteryear.
Former champion stayer Fanta Bale won seven group races including four Group 1s during the 2017/18 racing season, which encompassed the period of 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
Bred in NSW and trained in Victoria by Robert Britton, Fanta Bale was also crowned the 2017/18 Victorian Stayer of the Year on the night, while Up Hill Jill was judged the Sprinter of the Year.
An all-time great, Fanta Bale retired in March with an Australian record nine Group 1s and $1,365,175 in prize money. She is also the only Australian greyhound to win at Group 1 level over the sprint, middle and staying distances.
The Victorian Greyhound of the Year, which is voted by a panel, was first awarded in 1973, when won by Lizrene.
In other highlights, legendary trainer Max Wintle and former champion stayer Arvo’s Junior were inducted into GRV’s Hall of Fame.
Administrator Neil Brown received the Ken Carr Medal, considered the highest award for excellence within the Victorian greyhound racing industry, while young breeder trainer Ashlee Terry was presented with the Ned Bryant ‘Silver Fox’ Award, which recognises outstanding achievement in the training, breeding or promotion of greyhound racing.
Andrea Dailly won both the Metropolitan and Provincial Trainer of the Year Awards, while Greyhound Adoption Program foster carer and volunteer, Pam Priestley was presented with the GRV Welfare Award.
Fanta Bale fact file
August 2014 David Bale x Ucme Typhoon
Breeder: Paul Wheeler, NSW
Owner: Brendan Wheeler, NSW
Trainer: Robert Britton, Lara VIC
2017/18 season record: 24 starts – 17-5-0
2017/18 season Group wins: G1 National Distance Championship; G1 Bold Trease; G1 Zoom Top; G1 Super Stayers; G2 Summer Distance Plate; G3 Topcat Video Cup; G3 Sydney Cup
2017/18 season Group placings: G1 Sale Cup (2nd); G2 Topgun Stayers (2nd); G2 McKenna Memorial (2nd); G3 Summer Cup (3rd)
Awards presented on the night were…
GRV Hall of Fame: Max Wintle
GRV Hall of Fame: Arvo’s Junior
Ken Carr Medal: Neil Brown
Ned Bryant ‘Silver Fox’ Award: Ashlee Terry
Metropolitan Trainer of the Year: Andrea Dailly
Provincial Trainer of the Year: Andrea Dailly
GRV Welfare Award: Pam Priestley
Victorian Sprinter of the Year: Up Hill Jill
Victorian Stayer of the Year: Fanta Bale
Victorian Greyhound of the Year: Fanta Bale
2014 GOBIS Breeder of the Year: Lenny Jones (awarded retrospectively)
For a comprehensive wrap of all the award winners please click here.