HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: FERNANDO BALE
CATEGORY: RACING GREYHOUND
It was a matter of when and not if Fernando Bale was inducted into Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Hall Of Fame and that honour was bestowed on the champion sprinter/sire at the 2018/19 Victorian Greyhound Awards.
Trained by Andrea Dailly and bred and raced by the Wheeler family, Fernando Bale (Kelsos Fusileer – Chloe Allen) took all before him during an unprecedented racing career, winning 35 of his 44 starts.
Rated by many experts as Australia’s best ever, Fernando Bale claimed the first of his eight Group 1 victories when winning the National Derby in February 2015 at just his tenth start.
His other seven triumphs at racing’s ultimate level were (in order); the Golden Easter Egg, Harrison-Dawson, Peter Mosman Classic, Maturity Classic, National Sprint Championship, Adelaide Cup and Topgun.
Fernando Bale also won the Traralgon and Bendigo Cups at Group 2 level and the Group 3 Bill Collins Memorial, while one of his greatest performances came in defeat when edged out by superstar kennelmate Dyna Double One in a Melbourne Cup for the ages.
When he won the Adelaide Cup in October 2015 Fernando Bale became the world’s first greyhound racing millionaire, with his final prize money tally standing at an incredible $1,299,370, second only to Fanta Bale on the all-time Australian list.
“Without doubt he’s the best sprinter I’ve seen. Just all class,” said greyhound racing historian Neil Brown.
“His record speaks for itself. No dog in history has won the sprint races Fernando Bale won.”
Fernando Bale was the Victorian Greyhound of the Year in 2015/16, the Australian Greyhound Racing Association (AGRA) Australian Greyhound of the Year for 2014/2015 and was awarded AGRA’s Run of the Year in 2015 for his performance in the Golden Easter Egg.
After retiring to stud in December 2015, Fernando Bale has been a sire sensation.
His progeny have won at Group 1 level over sprint, middle and staying distances, including Tornado Tears, Sennachie, My Redeemer, Poke The Bear, Dyna Patty, West On Augie, Hasten Slowly, Rippin’ Sam, Hecton Bale, Out Of Range, Deliver, Blue Moon Rising, Veloce Nero, Trouper Monelli, Velocity Liberty and Rockstar Patriot.
“He has absolutely blown us all away,” said stud master Paul Westerveld.
“People might have questioned his stud career and how good he was going to be because he was such a good race dog and could he emulate that; well you’d have to say that he’s absolutely surpassed everyone’s expectations.
“He’s one of the best we’ve ever seen.”
GRV's Hall of Fame
About GRV’s Hall of Fame: The people and greyhounds inducted into the Victorian greyhound racing Hall of Fame have been recognised for their excellence, integrity, consistency, longevity and overall contribution to the industry. For more information, click here.