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    Fanta Bale: Possibly the Most Legendary Greyhound in the World
Fanta Bale: Possibly the Most Legendary Greyhound in the World
Fanta Bale all-the-way in Rookie Rebel. Source: Greyhound Racing Victoria

Fanta Bale: Possibly the Most Legendary Greyhound in the World

Fanta Bale is undoubtedly the finest greyhound to ever set foot on an Australian racetrack.

Fanta Bale started her career with a big impact, triumphing in her first race at Sandown Park in 29.36 seconds when she was just 21 months old. She achieved her initial group 1 victory, the Hume Cup, over a distance of 600m when she was just 26 months old. From then on, she dedicated the majority of her career to competing against the top greyhounds in the country. Interestingly, her previous 29 career starts were all in group race heats or finals, and she had an impressive record of 21-6-0 during that period. Remarkably, she only missed a place once, if we disregard the unfortunate incident in her final run.

She is the sole greyhound to have achieved victory at the highest level in all three urban distances, a remarkable accomplishment that is unlikely to ever be duplicated.

Throughout her career, she reached an impressive 22 group finals, emerging victorious in 13 of them, with an outstanding nine of those victories achieved at the prestigious group 1 level. It could be argued that she actually outperformed her opponents of superior calibre. Throughout her impressive career, she emerged victorious in an astounding nine out of ten group 1 finals, with her sole defeat occurring by a narrow margin in the Sale Cup. Simply incredible is the achievement of reaching 10 group 1 finals, with an outstanding 90% success rate in those finals, which takes place at the pinnacle of the sport.

A Vivid Demonstration of Champion Qualities

The race that really caught my attention in her remarkable career was the 2017 RSN Sandown Cup. Considering she was relatively new to the long-distance races (only her fourth attempt), the last part of the race would be a challenge as the experienced stayers made their move. The race didn't go as planned. Fanta Bale started decently but lost ground at the beginning and encountered some interference, causing her to settle in the middle of the pack as they completed the first lap. However, instead of losing strength, she persisted and surged forward to cross the finish line, securing the first of her impressive six group 1 victories in the endurance race.

Fanta Bale Topgun Stayers 2017. Source: Herald Sun
Fanta Bale Topgun Stayers 2017. Source: Herald Sun

Her performance in that run displayed all of her exceptional qualities as a champion. No matter the series she was competing in, she would always find a path to triumph, regardless of the course, length, starting position, or competition. It is impossible to quantify the greyhound's unwavering desire to succeed, their bravery, or their resolute nature.

Following the announcement of her retirement, Britton appeared on Michael Felgate's Racing Pulse on RSN the next day. She was questioned about the exceptional qualities that made Fanta Bale such a remarkable greyhound.

"It's rare to find dogs that excel in every aspect, and I believe that was the secret to her success — she consistently performed flawlessly," he remarked.

"You can acquire numerous exceptional speedy canines that perhaps don't execute every task flawlessly — some require the rails, some prefer the outer lanes, some excel at chasing, some are skilled at boxing, while others may not be— but she excelled in every aspect. I believe that's the very reason why she consistently emerged victorious in group races — her ability to effortlessly leap over obstacles and deftly manoeuvre through a crowded field. She accomplished all of those tasks. Not only did she possess all of those qualities, but she truly embodied them."

And she accomplished it. There are numerous swift canines competing in races, and there are also numerous powerful dogs. However, it's hard to find a beverage that surpasses the excellence of Fanta Bale.

Fanta Bale. Source: Herald Sun
Fanta Bale. Source: Herald Sun

Hall of Fame Induction

Fanta Bale received the prestigious Victorian Greyhound of the Year award at the 2016/17 Victorian Greyhound Awards held at Sandown Park. This recognition comes after an outstanding racing season, where Fanta Bale achieved an impressive five Group 1 victories.

She stands alone as the sole greyhound to achieve victory at the highest level in sprinting, middle-distance, and staying races. Her impressive list of triumphs includes the Hume Cup (600m), Rookie Rebel (600m), Australian Cup (525m), Sandown Cup (715m), and the Gold Cup (710m) during the 2016/17 racing season.

Since its inception in 1973, the Victorian Greyhound of the Year award has been regarded as the ultimate honour bestowed upon a racing greyhound in this state. It was first presented by the legendary Lizrene, adding to its prestige and significance.

The End of an Era

The top earner and most successful group one champion in Australian greyhound racing suffered an injury during the Association Cup at Wentworth Park.

Following discussions with renowned greyhound veterinarian Dr Alistair Smith, trainer Robert Britton made the decision to conclude her remarkable career.

Britton stated that despite the injury being relatively minor, the decision to retire her as a racing greyhound was appropriate at this time. "Although the injury is not severe, and she is expected to fully recuperate, given her advanced age and impressive accomplishments, we have made the decision to retire her," Britton stated.

End of an era as Fanta Bale retires. Source: GRVextra channel
End of an era as Fanta Bale retires. Source: GRVextra channel

The daughter of David Bale and Ucme Typhoon concludes her career with an impressive $1,365,175 in prize money, setting a remarkable record. Throughout her career, she achieved an impressive record of 42 victories out of 63 starts. She competed in a total of 22 group finals, emerging victorious in 13 of them. Notably, she holds the remarkable distinction of winning nine group 1 level finals, setting a new record.

Regarded as an incredibly versatile chaser in the sport, she holds the unique distinction of being the sole greyhound to have triumphed in a group one race across the sprint, middle, and stayers distances.


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