Fanta Bale could be set to create history as the first dog to win two Victorian greyhound of the year awards.
The superstar, who retired earlier this year after winning more than $1 million prize money, is one of six dogs in contention for the honour at this Thursday night’s 43rd Victorian Greyhound Awards.
Fanta Bale was a popular winner last year but faces stiff competition for the award from a strong field including Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee, rivals Up Hill Jill and Striker Light and litter brothers Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam.
The champion greyhound will be announced as one of several prestigious awards to be handed out on the night which will also celebrate the highest award for excellence, the Ken Carr Award, and new inductees into the GRV Hall of Fame.
Awards will also be presented for:
- Provincial and Metropolitan Trainers of the Year
- Victorian Sprinter and Victorian Stayer of the Year
- The Ned Bryant ‘Silver Fox’ Award for outstanding achievement in the training, breeding, welfare or promotion of greyhound racing and
- The GRV Welfare Award for outstanding contribution to the welfare of greyhounds as judged by GRV’s Board of Directors.
The Victorian Greyhound Awards will be hosted at Crown Melbourne, with extensive coverage throughout the night on grv.org.au and GRV’s social media platforms.
Bios on greyhounds nominated for greyhound of the year:
Fanta Bale: The reigning Victorian Greyhound of the Year had another incredible year in 2017/18 winning seven group races including four at Group 1 level including the National Distance Championship, the Bold Trease, the Zoom Top and the Super Stayers before retiring in March. Bred and owned by Paul Wheeler and trained by Robert Britton.
Aston Dee Bee: An extraordinary performer during the 2018 racing season, breaking through for his first group win in the Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup and also taking out the Ballarat Cup, the Shoot Out and the Warragul Cup. Bred and owned by Ray Borda and trained by Seona Thompson.
Striker Light: Won the Group 1 Temlee and Group 2 Warrnambool classic, while she was also the runner-up in the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg. Bred by the Weekes Family Syndicate and trained by Brett Bravo for the Farrugia-Bravo Syndicate and was the Victorian sprinter of the year in 2016/17.
Up Hill Jill: Won the Group 1 Topgun and the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, while she was also placed a further six times at group level including the Group 1 Perth Cup and Group 1 Paws Of Thunder. Bred and owned by Rose Geall and trained by David Geall.
Rippin’ Sam: One of the most eye-catching greyhounds to race in Victoria in recent years. He has made numerous group finals including victories in the Group 1 Galaxy in Perth and the Group 3 Lizrene Speed Star at Sandown Park. Bred by Michael Ivers, owned by the Loren Harborne and trained by Robert Britton.
Tornado Tears: Had an enormous impact on greyhound racing after bursting on the scene late in the 2017/18 season. The superstar stayer won four group races, including victories in the Group 1 Sandown Cup and Group 1 Gold Cup in Brisbane. Bred by Michael Ivers, owned by the Millmi Syndicate and trained by Robert Britton.