• Saturday, 06 Feb, 2021,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Jax the King of Cranbourne

Team Dailly’s Jax Bale delivered on the enormous potential he showed early in his career when claiming his first Group victory in Saturday night’s $71,250 Group 2 Backmans Greyhound Supplies Cranbourne Cup Final (520m) to close out the 2020/21 Gippsland Festival of Racing.

Jax Bale made an immediate impression when starting his career just on a year ago, running second to champion Simon Told Helen in the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson and contesting the Warrnambool Cup Final in his first 13 starts.

But a feature victory had eluded the son of the Daillys’ Meadows record holder Allen Deed until he ventured to Cranbourne.

Jax Bale made his Cranbourne debut in the Cup heats and won in 30.02s, the ‘slowest’ of the four run-offs.

WATCH: The class of JAX BALE (7) prevailed landing trainer Andrea Dailly her fourth Cranbourne Cup when defeating Jason Thompson-trained duo EQUALIZER (3) and SQUIGGLE KEEPING (8) in a flying 29.69sec to claim the $50,000 first prize!

Drawn in box seven, Jax Bale started $5.20 in a very even affair, with Warragul Cup runner-up Equalizer the $3.80 favourite and Zipping Sultan ($4.20), Lots Of Chatter ($4.70) and the drifting fastest qualifier Amarillo Highway ($7.50) all having admirers.

In a race devoid of enormous early speed, Jax Bale came out running to lead rails runner Lot Of Chatter and proceeded to open up an insurmountable lead.

Boasting middle distance form, Jax Bale was never going to be caught, although Equalizer was huge in defeat, cutting the margin to less than two lengths, with the victor clocking a flying 29.68s.

“He got a clear run early, which is what you need in these big races,” Tom Dailly said after Jax Bale claimed the $50,000 first prize.

“He got to the front and while there was a little bit of trouble behind him he still ran time. He ran a real good race.

WATCH: DREAM WIZARD (1) got off the a perfect start and held RUN BABA RUN (3) at bay to score by seven lengths in tonight’s $10K Cup Night Match Race in 29.70sec.

“He has been a consistent dog. He’s been racing around the city tracks most of his life, which is quite hard, but he goes to the country every now and again and it was good to see him win a race like this.”

Dailly confirmed that Jax Bale will now head to the heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup in a fortnight.

It was a fourth Cranbourne Cup for Andrea Dailly – who had won previously with Pastrana Bale (2005), Pororoca (2006) and Mossimo Bale (2018).

Dream Wizard, trained by Sean Lithgow, threatened Jax Bale for best of night honours with a runaway 29.71s success in the Ram Locksmiths Cup Night Match Race (520m), after litter brother Gotham Duke clocked 29.91s earlier in the meeting.

The first feature event of the night was the GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (520m) where Mario Briganti’s near-record heat winner Freda Rocks stifled betting at $1.20.

But Geoff Scott-Smith landed a homebred quinella, with $37.40 outsider Dundee Flame holding on to defeat litter sister Dundee Ember ($18) in 30.65s, with the siblings being daughters of three-time Group 1 winner Dundee Osprey.

Mario Briganti bounced back from the disappointment of Freda Rocks’ defeat to take out the Casey Steel Victoria Cup (699m) with Pilbara ($5.10) scoring in 41.45s, while the Van Echteld (311m) went to Jeff Galea’s Major Minter ($7.20) in 17.59s.

WATCH: PILBARA (3) scores an impressive win in the $10,930 Victoria Cup (699m) for trainer Mario Briganti.

Pawnote: The Cranbourne Cup was the third and final leg of greyhound racing’s 2020/21 Gippsland Festival of Racing following the G1 Sale Cup (650m) – won in eye-catching fashion by Houdini Boy on Boxing Day; and last month’s G2 Warragul Cup (460m) – won in brilliant fashion by Aeroplane Eric.

WATCH: Jason Adams caught up with Tom Dailly and Kevin Richards, respective handlers of Jax Bale (Cranbourne Cup) and Pilbara (Victoria Cup)

Photos by Clint Anderson

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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