The Sandown Park 515m track record fell for the third time in 10 days this afternoon when Bekim Bale stopped the clock in a breathtaking 28.96 seconds.
In becoming the first greyhound to break the 29 second barrier, the son of Bartrim Bale and Amelia Bale slashed 2.5 lengths off Cape Hawke’s previous mark set just eight days earlier.
Jumping well from box 8 – the same box he had drawn when second to Heston Bale in track record time 10 days prior – Bekim Bale led to the first mark in 5.07 seconds before putting the race beyond doubt down the back straight. Showing a blistering turn of foot, Bekim Bale equalled El Grand Senor’s second split record of 18.59 seconds before racing to a 13.5 length win.
“He’s a very exciting young pup,” said handler Tom Dailly.
“After he trialled 29.35 here on a Saturday morning I thought that he could get down to around the 29 second mark and maybe one day break it, but he’s done it a little bit earlier than I thought. He got a clear run and once they told me he’d run 18.59 off the back I thought he might break it and he did.”
It was a remarkable effort for a greyhound having just its third race start. And in an ominous sign for rivals in the upcoming SKY Racing Superdogs series, Dailly believes there is still scope for improvement.
“When he first started he wasn’t brilliant out of the box but the more they race the better they come and be more competitive early which is good.”
It was a red-letter day for trainer Andrea Dailly, training five winners on the day, including Bekim Bale’s litter brothers Fyna Bale (a winner in 29.65) and former track record holder Heston Bale (29.46).
Bekim Bale will contest a Solo Melbourne Cup Prelude in coming weeks, with the Group 3 $40,000 winner-takes-all Macro Meats Shootout on Thursday 3 November also possibly on the agenda.