Fanta Bale was announced as the Victorian Stayer of the Year at the 2018 Victorian Greyhound Awards, moments before being named the Victorian Greyhound of the Year.
She was voted as the top stayer by the Greyhound of the Year panel ahead of fellow finalists Rippin’ Sam and Tornado Tears. The trio are all trained in Lara by Robert Britton.
While the Victorian Stayer of the Year and Sprinter of the Year are relatively new awards, the Victorian Greyhound of the Year goes way back to 1973, when won by the immortal Lizrene.
Fanta Bale is the only greyhound to win the award twice, having won five Group 1s in the 2016/17 racing season, and a further four Group 1s in the 2017/18 season.
“In your life time you just hope to get that one champion, and to have a greyhound to do it over two years is very special,” Britton said.
“She (Fanta Bale) retired in March but it seems like such a long time ago. She took us on one hell of a ride.”
“I remember when she was going for the (Australian) prize money record and there were about 200 kids at the track, all with Fanta flags, and it’s times like that where you just really hope she wins, and more often than not she found a way to win when it really counted. She was the ultimate professional.”
Fanta Bale’s four Group 1s during the 2017/18 racing season comprised the National Distance Championship, Bold Trease, Zoom Top and the Super Stayers. She retired with 42 wins and 14 placings from 63 starts, along with the Australian prize money record of $1,365,175.
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)
For a comprehensive wrap of all the award winners please click here.