VICTORIAN trainer Graeme Bate created another piece of greyhound history in Launceston last night when he trained the first four across the line in the $56,600 Group 2 A Total Car Rentals Launceston Cup over 515 metres.
It is the first time a trainer has prepared the first four in a Group race in Australia.
But to add to the feat the winner Xylia Allen sizzled over the 515 metres in 29.09 seconds to carve .26 s off the record she set in winning her heat a week earlier.
Xylia Allen began well from box five but not as quick as her kennel mate Fully Advanced that led her to the first turn and maintained an advantage down the back stretch.
But when Xylia Allen squeezed through a gap along the rail she quickly put the end result beyond doubt.
Xylia Allen went on to defeat Fully Advanced by 7-1/2 lengths with Schrodder Bale 1-12 lengths away third and just ahead of Imry Bale.
Fully Advanced clocked a scintillating first split of 4.91 and the pair sizzled down the back clocking a second split of 17.36 but the winner’s run home was something out of this world.
Some officials and members of the media were declaring her time unbreakable but times are there to be broken and one day it will be eclipsed.
Nevertheless it was at least a performance unlikely to be equalled by such a young chaser.
The 22-month-old pup, by Turanza Bale from Tayah Bale, is owned and raced by Janice Wheeler.
Bate won the race last year with Radley Bale but he was near the end of his racing career while this bitch is just starting out.
Bate had five in the final with Xenos Bale finishing sixth.
Xylia Allen was about to be tried over longer distances owing to her not being the best of beginners but in recent times she has developed better box manners.
“Graeme (Bate) has always had a lot of faith in her ability and he will not surprised with what she’s done here in Launceston tonight,” said Bate’s long-time travelling kennel foreman Rob Cammileri.
“He was planning to step this bitch up to 700 metres in the very near future because she had been getting knocked about a bit in sprint races because she had been a slow beginner.”
“But she has definitely been jumping better of late s Graeme might have to rethink his plan.”
“While she is running these sorts of times he will probably have to look at the Easter Egg in Sydney,” he said.
Xylia Allen was sent out the $4.30 second favourite behind Imry Bale $4.00) with Schrodder Bale starting at $4.90 and just ahead of Fully Advance d at $5.30.
Cammileri said Bate was adamant that Xylia Allen was the one to beat but the connections of each of the others that made up the first four were as equally confident of victory.
“It is quite an amazing feat for Graeme to get five runners into a Group 2 final and to snare the first four is testimony to the man’s ability,” Cammileri said.
“I know people say how good Graeme Bate is as a trainer but nobody knows just how brilliant he is and he also makes himself available to give advice and assist others
when needed,” he said.
Bate has been a regular visitor to Tasmania for many years but he failed to get a runner into last year’s Hobart Thousand which was a first for many years.
However he has made up for that anomaly by winning the Group 3 Devonport Cup with Allen Benji as well as the Launceston Cup.
Bate usually attends the Tasmanian finals in which he has runners but he was unable to travel to the Apple Isle on Monday night as he was overseeing the construction of a new kennel block at his property at Lara in Victoria.
Bate prepares about 80 racing greyhounds at any one time as well as caring for a bevy of broodbitches.