Matt Loch storms in to 2024 Listed Western Derby final but …

Matt Loch
Recent Cup winner Matt Loch has qualified fastest for the 2024 Listed Western Derby final at .

Matt Loch, who only last week won the 2024 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup, carried that form through to the heats of the 2024 Listed Western Derby at Ballarat on Wednesday night, May 8, qualifying as the fastest chaser for the $20,000 to-the-winner final.

To add insult to injury for his opposition, Matt Loch has drawn the preferred box one draw for the final for just the second time in what will be a 27 race start career.

The only other time that Matt Loch had box one prior in a race start, he fell at Warrnambool in a lowly 4th/5th grade mixed 450 metre race that resulted in a seven-day standown.

Happily though, for punters, Matt Loch's record from inside boxes is otherwise well credentialed, using boxes two and three to navigate to four wins from his past five starts from those boxes, with the only non-winning run coming in the Warrnambool heats, where he was the fastest second placing and qualifying for the final.

On Wednesday night at Ballarat, the -trained greyhound used box seven to perfection to comfortably lead early, and make very post a winner, going on to win by 3.86 lengths in 24.83, over Mock Fish who finished second.

It was sweet news for greyhound punters, who had sent the recent 2 winner to the boxes as a red-hot -200 favourite with greyhound betting sites.

2024 Listed Western Derby Heat 3 – Matt Loch (24.83) T: Michelle Mallia

Recent Warrnambool Cup winner Matt Loch, has qualified fastest for the 2024 Listed Western Derby at Ballarat.

The son of Aussie Infrared and Stepping is certainly making the most of his purple patch of form after winning the $55,000 to-the-winner 2024 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup final at his first attempt at black-type racing last week.

Having drawn box one for the Western Derby final, and despite his questionable form from the box historically, the 35kg black dog will start as a very short favourite with online bookmakers next Wednesday night (May 15, 2024) to take out the Listed final.

Matt Loch's trainer, Michelle Mallia, managed to qualify two greyhounds for the Warrnambool Cup final, finishing fourth in the Group 2 final with kennelmate Fernando Phil; and history itself in the opening heat at Ballarat when Fernando Phil gave Mallia two Western Derby finalists, winning from box one in 24.99.

The son of Fernando Bale and Zoom Out led easily from box one and gave nothing else a chance in the race, beating fast-finishing Vincent Bale by 1.73 lengths.

2024 Listed Western Derby Heat 1 – Fernando Bale (24.99) T: Michelle Mallia

Fernando Phil is very well-credentialed for a Listed final as a two-time Group 1 finalist, and the winner of the 2024 Group 2 .

Trainer Michelle Mallia can boast about also being the breeder of both Matt Loch and Fernando Phil.

Kingsley Bale qualified for Ballarat's Western Derby final as the second fastest winner, taking out the final heat in 24.95.

The Tom Dailly-trained son of Droopy's Sydney and 13-time winner Dyna Umi, sprang to the front from box four and led all the way to beat Jetstream Icon by 2.94 lengths.

2024 Listed Western Derby Heat 5 – Kingsley Bale (24.95) T: Tom Dailly

Kingsley Bale has only been unplaced twice in a 16-start career that only began in January 2024.

The white and brindle dog will be contesting his first back-type final next week, but will have to contend with again starting from the awkward box four draw.

Yogen Bale gave the Wheeler family their third Listed Western Derby finalist, when the son of Feral Franky and Fanta Bale, reeled in recent NSW import Nangar Jim, to win Heat 4 of the listed race series in 25.00.

Now in the hands of Dave Geall, after transferring from the NSW kennels of Joe McFadyen, Nangar Jim was expected to win his heat comfortably as the +110 favourite with greyhound betting apps, but Yogen Bale (+1390), who is a litter brother to Group 1 Rookie Rebel finalist Cain Bale, was able to come from second last, leaving the boxes, to power over the top of the 2023 Group 2 Maitland Cup winner and recent Group 1 Golden Easter Egg finalist

2024 Listed Western Derby Heat 4 – Yogen Bale (25.00) T: Mark Delbridge

The 2024 Group 2 third-placegetter, Peaky Joe, won the second heat of the Western Derby, leading all the way in 25.06.

The win was all the more valiant as Peaky Joe had to withstand a determined challenge from the Tasmanian 2023 Group 1 Thousand third-placegetter, .

Beginning from box six, Ducati Roy was third last and around five lengths behind early leader Peaky Joy before finding a rails run to join the leader entering the home straight.

It looked like a foregone conclusion that the ‘Tassie' visitor would sweep past the Vicki Wisener-trained Peaky Joe, but the now eight-time winner kicked back hard to secure the win.

2024 Listed Western Derby Heat 2 – Peaky Joe (25.06) T: Vicki Wisener

The box draw for the $20,000 to-the-winner 2024 Listed Western Derby was done following the heats and will see Matt Loch start a hot favourite despite his previous box one woes.

As the Ballarat Western Derby is only rated as a Listed race, there are currently no advance greyhound betting markets for next week's final.

2024 Listed Western Derby Final

Odds correct at time of publication

Greyhound Racing News

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