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Winter Cup of content for Grenfells?

The last time Anakie’s ‘Team Grenfell’ had three runners in a final – they trifectaed the race!

That was in last month’s Listed Graeme Hull Memorial – formerly Wagga Gold Cup – when Yozo Bale, Xavien Bale and Usman Bale went 1-2-3.

And they’ll be hoping lightning strikes twice in the ‘same place’. Well, not exactly.

This time it’s Cranbourne where Nikoli Bale (Box 1), Xavien Bale (Box 3) and Usman Bale (Box 8) line up in the $20,535 to-the-winner Trios Winter Cup (520m) – Race 8 at 7.23pm.

In last week’s heats, rising star Nikoli Bale took the challenge right up to flying femme Immunity who scored in a slick 30.05sec (Best). Nikoli Bale went to the front through the first corner and led well into the home straight before being overpowered by 1.6L.

“He’s very well drawn and probably our main chance,” Correy Grenfell said. “He’s shaping up as a Group class dog.”

Grenfell is also bullish about Xavien Bale, who finished second to Hill Top Jack in the second fastest heat (30.07sec) – albeit beaten by 6.4L.

“He’s a speed dog… He’s as quick as the ‘red’ (Nikoli Bale) but not as strong. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if he won the final.”

And Grenfell is equally buoyant on Usman Bale’s chances. He won his heat in 30.25sec.

“He’s the fastest pup we’ve had through pre-training – even ahead of Orson Allen and Tiggerlong Tonk. In fact, he was four lengths quicker than Orson Allen at the ‘educational’ stage.

“He hasn’t worked it out yet, but the penny has started to drop… He’s got the potential but has to learn to do it.”

‘Team Grenfell’ also has Knicks Bale (Box 1) and Kinson Bale (Box 3) – a litter brother of Nikoli Bale – in the $10,535 to-the-winner CGRC Special Event (520m) – Race 6 at 6.42pm.

“Knick’s Bale is well drawn, and Kinson Bale is a very fast pup. However, his box manners let him down. He can come out one length in front or three lengths behind.”

All five greyhounds are trained by Grenfell’s wife, Samantha, and he was quick to pay tribute.

“Without Samantha, there’s no greyhound racing operation. She’s the backbone of it all.

“Samantha does all the hard work while I’m out racing, and that includes caring for our four kids – Xavier, 8, Ollie, 4, and 16-month-old twins Ava and Gracie.”

WATCH: Emerging talent Nikoli Bale (1) pushes sprint siren Immunity (8) to the limit in the fastest Winter Cup heat (30.05sec) at Cranbourne last week. 

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Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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