SUPERSTAR sprinter Fernando Bale ($1.10) bounced back from his shock defeat in last Friday’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup with an emphatic victory in a heat of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450 metres) on Wednesday night.
Stepping fairly from box three, the white and dark brindle chaser slipped straight into overdrive, exploding to an early lead ahead of track record holder Over Limit ($6.80). Once out in front, it was a case of times and margins with the son of Kelsos Fusileer and Chloe Allen scoring by 3.92 lengths in a scintillating 24.88.
Trained by Andrea Dailly, Fernando Bale will be shooting for his 12th Group race victory in next week’s $75,000-to-the-winner feature, while he will also be in contention for the $50,000 Country Cups bonus which goes to a greyhound which can claim three Victorian Country Cups within a calendar year.
Check out Fernando scoring a tenacious victory in his heat of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup.
Dailly qualified two runners through to the final, her other finalist being the consistent Amaro Bale ($5.10) which scored in the final heat of the night. Facing a tough field including the likes of Caustic Bale ($3.00F) and Kihael Kaluna ($4.30), Amaro Bale began brilliantly from box one, spearing to an early lead over Magnifico ($10.40).
Turning for home Amaro Bale extended his lead, charging clear to record a 6.37 length victory in a quick 25.31.
Kel Greenough will also have two runners engaged in the decider, with both Rivergum Drive and Magic Spring dazzling for their Pearcedale mentor.
Starting from box four in the first heat, Rivergum Drive ($5.10) only began fairly and was towards the tail of the field soon after box rise, before quickly bursting through the pack to land in second spot behind lamplighter Zoltina’s Legacy ($3.90).
Upon straightening, the dark brindle greyhound unleashed a powerful finishing burst, assuming the lead in the run to the line to score by 1.54 lengths in 25.14. Zoltina’s Legacy managed to hold on to second spot, with race favourite Tommy Brislane ($3.10) filling the trifecta spot.
Fast forward to heat five and Greenough was once again rejoicing, with the talented Magic Spring ($1.90F) scoring a determined win at his Victorian debut. The son of Spring Gun and Fascinate Marina began with the field from box seven, before gaining momentum and crossing to the rails in the run towards the turn.
In the home straight and there were no signs of slowing down for Magic Spring which tore away to record a 2.10 length win in 25.36. The black dog has now won 12 races from 23 starts including eight at Wentworth Park and a stunning 24.74 track record performance over 450 metres at Maitland earlier this month.
Other heat winners were Alpha Zeus for Jeff Britton in 25.28, Shared Equity for Angela Langton in a slick 25.03, Ballerino for Joe Borg in 25.70 and recent Group 2 Great Chase winner Unlawful Entry for Kelly and Brett Bravo in 25.21.
The final of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup will be run on Friday December 4, 2015.
2015 Group 2 Ballarat Cup – box draw
Box One – Alpha Zeus – $34
Box Two – Rivergum Drive – $13
Box Three – Fernando Bale – $1.15 with Bet365
Box Four – Ballerino – $67
Box Five – Unlawful Entry – $17
Box Six – Magic Spring – $17
Box Seven – Amaro Bale – $26
Box Eight – Shared Equity – $6.50
1st Reserve – Over Limit – $5.50
2nd Reserve – Shared Bonus – $26