• Friday, 16 Aug, 2019,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Victorian Greyhound of the Year 2018/19 – Orson Allen

Just days after being retired to stud, Orson Allen crowned his career when named as Victorian Greyhound of the Year for 2018/19 on Friday night at GRV’s gala awards ceremony held at Crown.

Injury unfortunately brought Orson Allen’s magnificent career to an end and denied Australia’s highest ranked sprinter a berth in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship, which will be held at Cannington, where Orson Allen won the Perth Cup earlier this year.

However, young trainer Correy Grenfell can now reflect on a life-changing journey with the wonderfully consistent son of KC And All and Desalle Bale, which was an ever-present in feature racing Australia-wide over the last 12 months.

“What a thrill,” Grenfell said.

“The last 12 months, he’s been a dream dog. To win the races he did and the way he did, it was amazing.

“We had such a good ride with him. He changed our lives.

“With his bloodlines behind him there’s no reason he can’t go on. He was a real good chaser…once he became consistent with his speed out of the boxes he was a really good dog.”

The winner of 31 of his 61 starts, Orson Allen lined up in an incredible 17 Group events over the course of 2018/19.

Orson Allen was victorious twice at Group 1 level, winning the Perth Cup, Correy Grenfell’s first at racing’s highest level, and then the Harrison-Dawson, while he was runner-up in both the Temlee and Maturity Classic.

His other feature victories came in the Group 2 Cranbourne and Horsham Cups, Group 3 Sandown Shootout and Listed Australian Sprint.

Orson Allen’s other feature race appearances during the eligibility period were the Group 1 Hobart Thousand, Group 2 Warrnambool Cup (2nd), Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup (2nd), Group 2 Bendigo Cup, Group 2 Warragul Cup, Group 3 Cup Night Sprint (3rd), Group 3 Cranbourne Classic (3rd), Group 3 Silver Bullet and Group 3 Easter Gift.

Orson Allen presented the omnipotent Wheeler breeding operation with their fourth successive Victorian GOTY, with champion Fanta Bale having been awarded the accolade in 2017/18 and 2016/17, while Fernando Bale, a Hall of Fame inductee at Friday night’s function, claimed the crown in 2015/16.

Orson Allen was also recognised as the Sprinter of the Year.

It came as absolutely no surprise to see champion Tornado Tears announced as Stayer of the Year, despite an injury interrupted 2018/19.

Trained by master distance conditioner Robert Britton, Tornado Tears won the Group 1 National Distance Championship, Group 1 Zoom Top invitational, Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup and Group 3 Albion Park Superstayers.

He finished second in the Group 1 Galaxy after breaking the Cannington track record in his heat, and qualified for the finals of another four Group 1s, the Super Stayers, Sandown Cup, Association Cup and Albion Park Gold Cup.

“You can’t ask for much more from a dog after Fanta Bale won the Stayer of the Year twice in a row,” said Tim Britton, Robert’s son.

“He has such raw ability. He’s the fastest stayer around and when he gets a dream run he’s unbeatable. He is a champion through and through.

“Dad has done a really good job with him and so too has everyone involved with him.”

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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