Delbridge tips Yachi Bale for Silver Chief success after Cup win

Yachi Bale wins 2022 Melbourne Cup
Yachi Bale pictured after winning the 2022 Melbourne Cup for Mark and Lisa Delbridge. (Picture: GRV)

is now confident Yachi Bale or a kennelmate can win the at The Meadows after the two-year-old's stunning Melbourne Cup victory on Saturday night.

But he very nearly did not enter his sprinter in the prestigious feature race over 515m, where he picked up a cool $650,000 for his connections after saluting in a slick 29.21 seconds.

He only entered his young gun in the Melbourne Cup following some urgings from owner Brendan Wheeler.

“Brendan persuaded me to go to the Melbourne Cup. I wasn't going to go to the Melbourne Cup with him,” Delbridge told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“I was more set on the Cup.

“He said ‘you've got to put him in because he's going good enough'.

“I said ‘I wasn't even going to worry about it'.

“He said ‘no, you've got to have a crack. It's not always the best dog who wins the race'.

“I said ‘I suppose so'. And it's worked out perfect because I've won it.”

2022 G1 Melbourne Cup Final | Saturday, November 26 | Yachi Bale (1st)

The Silver Chief heats now await Yachi Bale this Saturday night after his remarkable victory on the weekend.

Delbridge's kennel star was five lengths behind box-one leader and favourite Plaintiff on the back straight, before storming home late to edge out Fernando Mick on the line, denying a third Melbourne Cup victory in five years.

Plaintiff finished third for Jason Thompson.

“Hopefully I can win the Silver Chief and Sale Cup, and not exactly with Yachi, just in general,” Delbridge said.

“I'm going to have a big role in the Silver Chief because I've got some handy dogs coming through, with Yachi and a couple of his brothers.

“And then after that the Sale Cup over 650. I reckon he'll run 650m.

“And then the Australian Cup and maybe some of the races in Queensland.”

Saturday night's Melbourne Cup was Mark and wife Lisa's greatest moment in greyhound racing, with Mark being involved in the sport for about 30 years.

“It's sensational. I don't know what to say,” Delbridge told after the event.

But despite going in with $9.50 winning odds according to betting sites, the veteran conditioner knew he was a big chance to win his maiden Cup title.

Lisa remarked post-race how she had never seen Mark so confident going into the Group 1 feature.

And even when Yachi Bale was in fourth position at the 595m boxes on the back straight, his faith never wavered.

“Yes (he was gaining on the back straight), and he wasn't that far from the leader, either,” Delbridge said.

“He's always got that strong finish.

“I had a pretty good feeling that we had every chance.

“As long as he never got checked around the first corner.

“He got checked out of the boxes and I was a little bit disappointed.

“But it all worked out well in the end.”

Yachi Bale has now won his past three consecutive starts – all over 515m at Sandown, while improving from 29.46 to 29.21 seconds.

His future could well be a very bright one because last Saturday night was only his 22nd start, now boasting nine victories and almost $705,000 in prizemoney.

“With his racing he's just getting better and better,” Delbridge said.

“He's got quicker and quicker through the series, and he's got used to racing because he's only had a handful of starts.

“There are only good things to come, I suppose.

(second to in the Group 3 also at Sandown last Saturday night) won't be racing forever. He's four in March.

“So he's coming to the end of his career. But Yachi Bale is going to pick up from him.

“I've got a couple of brothers who are just as quick as him, too.”

Despite picking up one of the most sought-after prizes in greyhound racing to crown 30 years of blood, sweat and tears, Delbridge had no time to celebrate over the weekend.

“I've got 110 dogs in work. It's hours and hours and hours. It's non-stop,” he said.

“I'll be up at seven in the morning, and some nights I'm not home till two o'clock in the morning.

“We didn't celebrate. I was in races 10, 11 and 12. And then I drove home back to Balliang.

“There have been times I've wanted to give up.

“But you've just got to keep at it. Just keep punching away.”

One of those times Delbridge almost threw in the towel came in 2009, when he and Lisa were struggling financially with the constant demands of a sport which can quickly ruin you.

“Before came along we were just about on our noses,” Delbridge said.

“We almost had to sell everything because we couldn't afford to pay for the property and pay for everything.

“And then she came along and got us out of a little bit of a hole.

“That was back in 2009, and then she won all those races in 2010.”

Greyhound racing always has a way of coming back to bite you on the backside, as Delbridge found out on Saturday night when Valor Bale finished sixth in race 11.

“Once we won the Melbourne Cup, I thought the next dog (Valor Bale) would win as well,” Delbridge said.

“It was his first crack over 595m, but that's racing.

“Even dogs you think you've got a really good chance with, something happens and you don't even run a place.

“You go to the races thinking you can win two and you end up winning none.”

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