Heston & Bekim Bale’s Litter Sister Stakes Her Claim For Group Race Glory In Sandown Laurels Classic
Irma Bale will start a warm favourite for the Group 2 Macro Meats Laurels Classic next Thursday night after her dazzling 29.44 win in tonight's semi finals.
A member of the outstanding Batrim Bale-Amelia Bale litter which also features Macro Meats Shootout winner and Sandown track record holder Bekim Bale, as well as new Meadows track record holder Heston Bale, Irma Bale jumped well from box two to lead through the first turn, extending her margin at every turn to defeat By Starlight by 6.75 lengths.
The win was the tenth of her 20 race career, and her winning time was two lengths faster than the best time of the other finalists. Trainer Graeme Bate looks well placed to claim a fourth Macro Meats title since 2001 after Irma Bale drew box 2 again for the final.
Irma Bale's biggest threat appears to come from Stetson Donna who took out the second semi final by in 29.56.
An impressive winner of her heat, Stetson Donna again had proved too strong for her rivals in her semi final, railing strongly to defeat early leader Witch's Potion by three lengths.
Stetson Donna took nine starts to break her maiden status, but has been undefeated in her past five starts and gives trainer Peter Dundon a strong chance to claim his first Group race title.
Elmira Bale and Dyna Dara took out the night's other two semi finals, giving owner Paul Wheeler three greyhounds in the final Group race of 2011.
Graeme Bate will launch a two pronged attack in the final after Dyna Dara finished strongly in taking out an interference-marred opening semi final in 29.91, while the Mark Delbridge prepared Elmira Bale won her semi final in 29.74.
The final of the $72,500 Group 2 Macro Meats Laurels will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 29 December. Entry to all meetings at Sandown Park is free, gates open at 6.00pm with the first race commencing at 7.00pm.
Dining packages are still available on the night, contact the club on 03 9546 9511.
72,500 Group 2 Macro Meats Laurels Classic Box Draw
- Box 1 – Dyna Dara Graeme Bate – $5
- Box 2 – Irma Bale – Graeme Bate – $2.20
- Box 3 – Stetson Donna – Peter Dundon – $6
- Box 4 – Mystery Pink – Michael Carter – $13
- Box 5 – Witch's Potion – Scott Holmes – $17
- Box 6 – Take Me Home – Amy Cole – $21
- Box 7 – By Starlight – Michael Fearnley – $21
- Box 8 – Elmira Bale – Mark Delbridge – $7
- No. 9 – Ruby Jet – Robert Britton – 1st Res
- No. 10 – Chilly Babe – Robert Britton – 2nd Res