By Mick Floyd
Jarick Bale stormed into next Thursday night’s group 2 McKenna Memorial final after running one of the fastest times of the year in his heat.
Taking full advantage of box 1, Jarick Bale went straight to the front and from there was never threatened, carving out some of the fastest splits ever recorded over 595m and finishing seven lengths clear of Bounce Back.
It was his third win from as many starts over the distance with each win faster than the previous. His 33.812 victory was the equal fourth fastest time run over the 595m trip in 2021 and was the fastest ever win in a heat of the McKenna Memorial, eclipsing the 33.901 recorded by Christo Bale before his 2020 triumph. It was four lengths faster than the next fastest heat win.
“He just misses the kick a little bit but always rattles home,” said trainer Mark Delbridge.
“Once he began tonight they were never going to catch him because he’s so strong.”
Delbridge entered the series with the top four chances in the market but Jarick Bale was the only winner. Jarick Bale’s older half-brother and defending champion Christo Bale scrapped into next week’s final after he finished third behind Drako Bale and Shadow Mist.
Drako Bale, a son of TAB Melbourne Cup winner Dyna Villa and RSN Sandown Cup winner and the sport’s highest prize money earner Fanta Bale, led all of the way to win the heat in 34.068 and progress to the same final in which his mother ran second in 2017.
Despite running third in his heat, Christo Bale opened the $3 favourite to win the final after drawing box 2.
“I was a little bit disappointed in Christo’s run. From where he was I thought he should have won but he’ll be better for it next week,” said Delbridge.
The night’s opening heat was taken out by Mepinga Warrior who defeated Fernando Frank by 3.5 lengths in 34.201. Series favourite Zipping Rambo, recent RSN Sandown Cup winner and the second fastest greyhound ever over 595m, ran a luckless sixth and will miss the final.
Earlier in the night Josh Formosa registered his first city winner when Mr Speaker saluted in race 2, while Andrea Dailly claimed the training honours with a winning treble which included exciting youngster Indy Matilda who won in 29.28 at just her 12th start.
The $55,000 McKenna Memorial will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 8 July.