Kelsey Bale pulled off one of the great comebacks to take out her heat of the Million Dollar Chase (MDC) regional series at Wagga on Friday night.
The Daniel Gibbons-trained star lined up in the 525m contest as a +170 prospect to stamp her ticket into the Wagga MDC regional qualifying final on September 22.
Jumping from the blue box, she got out to sit third on the first corner, with Dundee Smokey (+380) taking the lead.
Dundee Smokey extended to lead by six lengths, with Kelsey Bale chasing as the field swung into the straight.
Kelsey Bale devoured the ground late to sweep past the leader and take the win in impressive fashion on the post.
She beat Dundee Smokey by 0.75 lengths in a time of 30.19.
Cartwright Queen, who was +5000 with online bookmakers, finished third a further 5.25 lengths away.
2023 Wagga MDC Regional Heat 2 – Kelsey Bale (30.19) T: Daniel Gibbons
Trainer Daniel Gibbons said he is surprised every time by her huge efforts.
“She just keeps doing runs like that, winning races from positions she shouldn't win,” he said
“She trialed ridiculous earlier this week, going 16.90 inside track at Geelong.
“Those who know the track know no dogs break 17 seconds, so there is no doubt she still has the ability.
“And the dog she caught (Dundee Smokey) is no slouch; he is a group performer.
“She just takes ground off dogs that good like they're nothing.
“It blows my mind every time.”
For a prospect that was being discussed to be retired and a “week-to-week proposition” by Gibbons only a fortnight ago, she now will line up in the Wagga MDC qualifying final to take the next step at her shot in the Million Dollar Chase series.
Kelsey Bale is the reigning ‘Country Cups Queen', having taken out the Group 2 Ballarat Cup, Group 2 Geelong Cup, and Group 2 Warrnambool Cup this year in the space of a month.
She backed up on May 5 in the Group 1 Sapphire Crown, running third behind Baby Jaycee and Magic Muffin.
If Kelsey Bale can salute next week at Wagga, she will progress to the MDC semi-finals on October 6 and beyond that to the $1,000,000 to-the-winner Million Dollar Chase final on October 13.
Gibbons is confident that his chasing queen can continue to showcase her elite ability, but he is the first to admit that it will be another normal week ahead.
“Nothing changes mate,” he said.
“Just a normal week for her; we trialed her Monday, but she will just rest this week.
“Praying for a good box.”
The Wagga MDC regional final will be next week, on September 22.
You can read the full Million Dollar Chase series schedule here: 2023 Million Dollar Chase Schedule
Kelsey Bale will be joined in the Wagga regional final by the first three greyhounds that finished behind her, plus four greyhounds from the other Wagga MDC regional heat headed by fellow Victorian Scorching Boy, who won his heat in 30.10.