Fernando In Line For Aussie Cup Three-peat

CHAMPION stud dog Fernando Bale is in line to secure a third straight Australian Cup boasting four runners in Saturday night's group 1 final at The Meadows.

David Brasch

25 February 2020

THE white and dark brindle rocket called Fernando Bale, or Nandi to those around the kennel, will be curled up fast asleep come Saturday night when the Group 1 Australian Cup is run and won at The Meadows.

Fernando Bale will be shooting for his third straight Australian Cup victory as a sire this weekend.

And he has half the field in his quest to do so, including red hot favourite Whiskey Riot, his litter brother Fernando’s Riot, as well as Aston Cade and Scatterbox.

They will be striving to follow the Wheeler-bred stars Hecton Bale and Dyna Patty as Fernando Bale’s two previous Cup winners.

In three years with runners on the racetrack, Fernando Bale has emerged as a breed shaper.

His debut year in 2018 saw his progeny win an amazing 16 Group 1s and 15 Group 2s and 3s.

Last year, the Fernando Bale tsunami continued, landing 11 Group 1s and 15 Group 2s and 3s.

Already, in just two months of 2020, he has sired three Group 1 winners and four other group winners.

As studmaster Paul Westerveld says, the Cup is Fernando Bale’s opportunity to achieve his 65th group winner and 31st group 1 victor and the dog will be just seven years old next month.

“He’s a phenom,” beams Westerveld.

“Just the nicest dog, very fertile, we love him. But, it is even better to see him become an amazing sire to emulate his fabulous racetrack career.”

While Fernando Bale is rightfully busy, even at a service fee of $8800, Westerveld says it wasn’t always like that.

“When he first went to stud, he was naturally busy,” he said.

“But, when the greyhound ban came about in NSW and many, many broodbitch owners quickly shut up shop, we were lucky to sell one or two services a month.”

With that nightmare time now past, the industry is embracing the breeding of greyhounds again and Fernando Bale is back as busy as ever.

The racetrack performances by his progeny are testament to that, and the Australian Cup final is yet another opportunity for him to prove the point. 

While much has been written about Whiskey Riot’s bid to become only the fourth greyhound – behind Rookie Rebel, Tangaloa and Dyna Double One – to win the Melbourne Cup/Australian Cup double, his other three hopes in this week’s final are also in the race with a chance.

Whiskey Riot’s litter brother Fernando’s Riot is a quality Group performer, but Aston Cade and Scatterbox are worthy of their place in the final.

Aston Cade is bred along an identical pattern to G1 stars, litter brothers Poke The Bear and Out Of Range. His mother Aston Pearson is by Aston Galilee a son of Elite Oriental whose litter brother Knocka Norris is the damsire of Poke The Bear and Out Of Range.

Scatterbox is an interesting pedigree match.

He is out of the Cosmic Rumble bitch Little Pookie, a prolific winner and from the famed National Lass direct damline. Fernando Bale is the sire of G1 National Sprint winner West On Augie out of a Cosmic Rumble bitch.

Little Pookie was as tough as iron on the racetrack starting 170 times for 16 wins, most around 400m. Fernando has lifted her progeny to Group 1 status.

Whiskey Riot and his brother are bred on the very same Fernando Bale/Collision cross as Dyna Patty last year’s winner. It is a very proven cross with Fernando.

When Whiskey Riot ran a “tick” off the long-standing Meadows track record in his Cup heat victory, he elevated himself into the realm of potential superstar stud dog.

On Saturday night, he could go even further.

His dad will be sound asleep (probably) having “been there, done that” plenty of times before.