A star was born on Wednesday night when Qwara Bale, the baby of the field, upstaged superstar kennelmate Shima Shine to win the Group 2 Macey’s Bistro Warrnambool Cup Final (450m) in brilliant fashion.
Making her first appearance in a Group event, Qwara Bale, a daughter of The Meadows 525m record holder Allen Deed, gave Andrea Dailly a fourth Warrnambool Cup crown, following Sun Hero (2005), Dyna Bert (2012) and Dyna Patty (2019).
Team Dailly was left with two finalists after the scratching of Jax Bale, with Shima Shine, a near record 24.76sec heat winner, getting out to $2.10 from box five.
Qwara Bale, which only turned two on April 8, was the second fastest qualifier, clocking 24.93s, and the lightly-raced youngster started on the third line of betting at $6.90 from box three, with rails runner Do It at $4.90.
It was her third tilt at a country cup, having been beaten in the heats of both the Geelong and Ballarat Cups by eventual winners Weblec Jet and Ferdinand Boy respectively.
Qwara Bale flew out and led clearly with a scorching 6.42s first split, while Shima Shine began well and was moving ominously into second when he met trouble as the free-wheeling leader kicked clear.
In the style of a future topliner, Qwara Bale careered away in the straight to defeat dual country cups winner Yozo Bale by 3.5 lengths in a flying 24.82s, with Shima Shine edging Dream Wizard out of third place.
It was Qwara Bale’s 11th win from 20 starts and the third time in the last four years a female sprinter has reigned supreme at Warrnambool, with Striker Light and Dyna Patty victorious in the 2018 and 2019 Cups respectively.
“When she started off she looked like being a really nice chaser but then she had a bit of a flat spot for a month or so just while she was maturing and learning what it’s all about,” said co-trainer George Dailly.
“If Shima Shine gets the right run nobody beats him but he got into trouble tonight and that was the end of him.
“If Shima Shine had been sitting behind Qwara Bale it would’ve been very interesting. She’s run nice time but he would’ve caught her I’d imagine – that’s taking nothing away from her performance.
“She’s led a lot of very fast dogs and won the race like a really nice greyhound.”
Qwara Bale is undefeated in two starts at Sandown Park, clocking 29.34s and 29.39s, with the heats of the Group 1 Sapphire next Thursday night (May 13) a likely target.
There was once again huge interest in the Cup Night Match Race, with G1 Perth Cup hero Tiggerlong Tonk heavily backed to start $1.60 favourite ahead of Shepparton and Ballarat Cup winner Ferdinand Boy at $1.80.
Tiggerlong Tonk, trained by Correy Grenfell, took advantage of box one to lead Ferdinand Boy and that proved to be the difference as he drew clear to score by four lengths in 24.82s, equalling Qwara Bale’s Cup-winning time.
Weblec Jet ($2.80) and Fernando Mick ($2.90) dominated betting on the Stan Lake Memorial (450m) and it was Jeff Britton’s recent G2 Geelong Cup winner Weblec Jet that led throughout in another fast run of 24.85s.
The Warrnambool Cup was the fourth and final leg of GRV’s inaugural Western Festival of Racing, which also constituted the Horsham Cup (winner Shima Shine), Ballarat Cup (Ferdinand Boy) and Geelong Cup (Weblec Jet).
Photos by Clint Anderson
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