Paul Wheeler has confirmed that his champion sprinter Fernando Bale will race on after Friday night’s Group 2 Energis Ballarat Cup (450m).
“Not at this stage,” Australia’s most successful breeder said when quizzed if the Ballarat Cup would be Fernando Bale’s final appearance.
“We’ve all got different ideas. I’m thinking about retiring him but Jan (wife) and Brendan (son) want him to keep racing so I’m outvoted at the moment!
“I think the Daillys might be looking at the Paws Of Thunder (520m) at Wentworth Park in January. The final of the Paws Of Thunder is on January 16 and Jan and I are going overseas on the 20th so that might fit in well!”
“I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat on Thursday and Friday nights! There’s no plans to retire Fernando Bale or Dyna Double One yet either but if either of them gets any sort of injury that will be it. They’ll be retired to stud immediately.”
Wheeler had been expected to retire Fernando Bale after the Melbourne Cup but had a change of heart when the superstar was edged out by kennelmate Dyna Double One in an unforgettable finish to the world’s richest race.
Fernando Bale bounced back five nights later when setting the pace in the heats of the Ballarat Cup, clocking a near-record 24.88sec.
And he looks set to boost his world record prizemoney haul of $1,293,110 by $125,000 in Friday’s Cup Final.
In addition to the $75,000 winner’s purse, Fernando Bale is chasing a $50,000 bonus offered by Greyhound Racing Victoria for claiming three country cups in a calendar year, following his victories at Bendigo and Traralgon.
Fernando Bale (3) wins a heat of the Ballarat Cup in 24.88sec (Best).
Fernando Bale is at a prohibitive $1.10 quote in the TAB’s Fixed Odds Ballarat Cup market, while one night earlier (Thursday) his Melbourne Cup conqueror Dyna Double One, also raced by the all-conquering Wheeler/Dailly partnership, will start odds-on in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup.
Dyna Double One won his Brisbane Cup heat in 29.53sec, just .02 outside his own Albion Park 520m record.
“Everyone – including myself – has been saying all along there’s nothing between Fernando Bale and Dyna Double One and the Melbourne Cup proved that,” Wheeler said.
“I think if Fernando had begun he would have won the Melbourne Cup but he missed the start and Dyna Double One was sitting right behind him. But how many dogs get run down in the Melbourne Cup running 29.20?
“They’re both super dogs and I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat on Thursday and Friday nights!
“There’s no plans to retire Dyna Double One yet either but if either of them gets any sort of injury that will be it. They’ll be retired to stud immediately.
“When Dyna Double One is retired he’ll be going to stud in NSW with Tony Wiseman, who’s also standing last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Dyna Villa, and Tony tells me that he’s been inundated with interest from breeders since Dyna Double One won the Melbourne Cup.”
WATCH: Dyna Double One (3) scores a sensational Brisbane Cup heat win in 29.53sec (Best).
ALBION PARK FORMGUIDE *The Brisbane Cup is Race 7