On the day her legendary breeder Paul Wheeler was farewelled, outsider Knicks Bale claimed one of the most emotional victories the racing world has seen or ever will see in Monday night’s Group 1 TAB Hume Cup final (600m) at The Meadows.
Trained by young Anakie couple Correy and Samantha Grenfell, Knicks Bale started at $22.10 from Box 5 but had an angel’s wing on every paw as she led all-the-way to win the middle distance feature.
Earlier on Monday, a large crowd, including many of the biggest names in Victorian and indeed Australian greyhound racing gathered in Young, NSW, to attend the great Paul Wheeler’s funeral service.
Just hours later, Knicks Bale added another unforgettable highlight to the industry icon’s phenomenal career and there wouldn’t have been a dry eye in the house.
“It is emotional,” Samantha Grenfell said to Gareth Hall post-race.
“Paul’s funeral was today and this is for Paul, I guess.
“It’s very special. I even said to Jan (Paul’s wife) today that I hope ‘Knicks’ does her thing for Paul. I hope everyone is watching.
“Paul gave us a lot of advice and mentoring over the years. We’ve been very lucky to have known Paul.”
Wheeler had a massive influence on the Grenfells, who enjoyed a life-changing journey with Orson Allen, the 2018/19 Australian Greyhound of the Year.
A daughter of Kinda Cruel Red and Dyna Willow, Knicks Bale is raced by Paul’s son Brendan, who will now take on the enormous task of stepping into his late father’s shoes and vowed on Monday that he “won’t die wondering”.