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‘Queen Qwara’ wears the Sapphire Crown

Qwara Bale was ‘coronated’ as Australia’s sprinting queen in tonight’s Group 1 Sapphire Crown final (515m) at Sandown Park.

Prepared by Victoria’s leading trainer Andrea Dailly, Qwara Bale produced a powerhouse performance in the $100,000 to-the-winner event.

Jumping well from the awkward ‘green’ alley (Box 6), Qwara Bale positioned third early, around six lengths behind her tearaway kennelmate and G1 Australian Cup finalist Shima Classic.

But the recent G2 Warrnambool Cup winner came with a withering finishing burst to land her 13th – and most important – win from 22 starts. She’s also four from four over this track/distance.

Qwara Bale ($3.40) defeated the gallant Carry On Star ($17.20) by 0.8 lengths, with Shima Classic ($3.20F) a further 1.2 lengths away third in a slick 29.27sec. (She was the fastest heat winner in 29.28sec.)

Elated handler Korie Heinrich was lost for words but still managed to proclaim Qwara Bale a “freak”. “She’s found her straps. Hopefully everyone is in a good mood tomorrow,” she quipped about Anakie’s ‘Team Dailly’ staff.

Qwara Bale (Apr ’19 Allen Deed x Daithy Allen) was only 0.75 lengths off the 29.23sec race record, set by Lamia Bale in 2015. She’s only the fifth winner from box six in the 19 finals since the Sapphire Crown became an all-female feature in 2002.

And she finally broke Dailly’s jinx in the event. She’s had eight finalists in the past eight years, with her previous best results being Prue Bale (3rd) in 2014, Folio Bale (2nd) in 2016 and Dyna Patty (3rd) in 2018.

WATCH: QWARA BALE (6) took her game to another level when storming home in the $145K G1 #SapphireCrown Final, defeating Carry On Star (4) and Shima Classic (3) in 29.27sec.

Photos by Clint Anderson

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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