Mark Delbridge’s biggest concern ahead of Saturday night’s lucrative Warragul Distance Cup is whether the 680m will be far enough for Hadarah Bale.
“Probably not!” Group 1-winning trainer Delbridge quipped.
“She usually comes out mediocre and to me she probably wants 900!
“The 600m is too short and I reckon 650 is too. More or less, the last 150m metres she really takes off.
“It would be nice for her to win on Saturday but there are some handy dogs in the race, like Rajasthan, and I’d give her a place chance.”
While Delbridge describes Hadarah Bale, a superbly bred daughter of Barcia Bale and multiple Group-winning stayer Dyna Willow, as a “plodder”, she strung together three straight staying successes at The Meadows (2) and Sandown in December.
She’s also only missed a place 14 times in her 40 starts.
She ran third at Warragul over 680m at her most recent appearance, when finishing stoutly behind Seve Rose and Up And About, which are also both lining up in the $10,000 to-the-winner Distance Cup.
WATCH: Seve Rose (B4), Up and About (B6) and Hadarah Bale (B3) in their last start together at Warragul.
The testing material is Sandown Cup winner Rajasthan (box 5), a fast last start 595m winner at Sandown Park, clocking 33.83s, while rails runner Keeper Of Keys has won his past two over 650m at Warrnambool after qualifying for the Ballarat Cup Final last month.
“She just got too far back last start,” Delbridge said.
“She’s had two goes at Warragul over 680m and run third both times. I don’t know if the track really suits her.
“I’m running out of races for her because she’s grade 3 at Sandown and The Meadows over 700 now and they only run FFAs once in a blue moon. I’ll probably have to start looking at taking her up to Wentworth Park or over to Adelaide.”
The Distance Cup is race 6 on Saturday’s Warragul card, to jump at 9.03pm, with the Group 2 Warragul Cup (race 8) to be run and won at 9.40pm.
Photo credits: Jason McKeown Photography.