In a matter of 42 seconds on Friday night Fanta Bale could etch her name in the history books by becoming only the third greyhound in Australia with one million dollars in prize money to her name.
Robert Britton’s versatile superstar needed to win the Topgun Stayers (725m) at The Meadows on October 28 to reach the magical milestone, however, she was run down in the dying stages leaving her short of the mark.
Fanta Bale has currently won $994,170, and a top three placing in Friday night’s Group 1 Bold Trease (715m) will see her join retired champions Fernando Bale ($1.29M) and Dyna Double One ($1.16M) in the millionaire club.
It has been an incredible ride for the Victorian sprinter-turned-stayer. She has won six Group 1 races, inferior only to Fernando Bale (8), and she is the only Australian greyhound to win at Group 1 level in sprint, middle-distance and staying events.
Melbourne’s Ben Peart, 26, has followed Fanta Bale’s journey virtually every step of the way. Although relatively new to greyhound racing, Peart, the son-in-law of kennel connection Sandy Matheson, fully understands the magnitude of this special greyhound’s achievements.
“I have only been involved with the greyhounds for around two years, around the time Fanta Bale was having her first start. I have been watching her race at the track from the very start to now, and everything in between, and I am just so happy to be on this journey with everyone involved – it doesn’t happen to many people,” Peart said.
Peart admits that behind all the glitz and glamour that comes with such a high-profile greyhound, connections have felt the pressure and expectation surrounding her climb to a million dollars.
“Sandy gets nervous before all her races now, just hoping that she can reach that million-dollar milestone and get back to really enjoying her natural talent. I think Friday night’s the night she will do it,” Peart said.
Fanta Bale is a short-priced $1.90 TAB favourite to win the Bold Trease ahead of Rockoon ($3.40), who made up 12 lengths on his rivals to win the Group 1 Hume Cup (600m) on November 6 before recording a dominant seven-length Bold Trease heat win in his staying debut.
AUSTRALIA’S TOP EARNING GREYHOUNDS
1 Fernando Bale $1,299,370
2 Dyna Double One $1,160,316
3 Fanta Bale $994,170
BOLD TREASE (715 METRES), 8:27PM FRIDAY
$100,000 (1st); $30,000 (2nd); $15,000 (3rd)
1. ZIPPING LADY $26
2. EBBY RIPPER $5
3. FANTA BALE $1.90
4. PACKEY KEEPING $35
5. CHAMPAGNE SALLY $9
6. MOMENT TO JIVE $26
7. ROCKOON $3.40
8. PETUNIA MONELLI $15
9. DESTROYER $26
10. TEDDY MONELLI $9
WATCH: Fanta Bale's Bold Trease heat win last Friday night in 41.78 (Best of Night)