Two Topguns, two thrilling finishes won by two champions. Crowd favourites Fernando Bale and Sweet It Is both triumphed in their respective Topguns at The Meadows on Saturday night, but they did so in completely different circumstances and had to pull out all the stops.
One of greyhound racing’s great rivalries was may have been born out of the $224,500 Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun (525m) at The Meadows.
Never before has the great Fernando Bale been challenged like he was by Kayda Shae, the youngest greyhound in the field who gave away a start before pushing the champ almost to breaking point.
In fact, another 15 metres and the unthinkable – a box one Fernando Bale defeat – would almost certainly have happened.
But in the end Fernando Bale’s scorching all-the-way winning time of 29.57sec was enough to win the $150,000 first prize and stretch his unbeaten run in Group 1 finals to eight, a record that is unprecedented and will likely stand forever, particularly on the sprint circuit.
Tom Dailly, in delivering an acceptance speech on behalf of the Dailly kennel, said “the best day of our lives was the day (owner) Paul Wheeler phoned us and asked if we could train some dogs for him.”
That life-changing phone call has seen the Daillys win many big races with the ‘Bale’ and ‘Dyna’ greyhounds, but none of them compare to Fernando Bale. He recently became the world’s first greyhound to win million dollars in prize money earner, and he will now be set for the world’s richest greyhound race, the $600,000 TAB Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park in November.
Fernando Bale now has a partner in the Million Dollar Club after Sweet It Is won the first ever Stayers Topgun, a $118,000 with Group 2 status. And she was at her theatrical best, spotting the leaders 10 lengths before catching NSW surprise packet Ada Mary right on the finish line.
In taking out $75,000 first prize the inaugural Stayers Topgun (725m) Sweet It Is joined Fernando Bale in the million dollar club.