Much fanfare surrounds the clash between superstar kennelmates Zipping Rambo and Christo Bale in a GR8 Eight (600m) at The Meadows on Thursday night.
And the build-up has Balliang’s ‘Team Delbridge’ caught in the hype.
“We didn’t want them necessarily in the same race,” said the dogs’ trainer, Mark Delbridge. “But we didn’t want to take a chance on Zipping Rambo not racing if there were insufficient nominations for a distance (725m) GR8 Eight at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Subsequently, the dynamic duo will chase a $15,000 first prize in tomorrow night’s special event which also comprises middle-distance marvels Tyler Durden (Box 1), Bounce Back (Box 2) and Zipping Ticket (Box 7).
“I don’t mind their draws as Christo Bale (Box 5) will stay in the middle, he won’t ‘crash down’ to the rails, which should give Zipping Rambo (Box 4) some room,” Delbridge said.
“I’d love to see them come out together… And I hope they put on a show for greyhound racing fans.”
So, who gets the $15K? Well, Delbridge – albeit respectful of the rivals – gives the nod to Christo Bale.
“I’ll lock it in. Even if Zipping Rambo leads, I think Christo Bale can run him down.”
TAB’s fixed odds market has Zipping Rambo as the top elect at $2.50, ahead of Christo Bale and Tyler Durden who are both quoted at $3.70.
Below is the ‘tale of the tape’ on Zipping Rambo and Christo Bale, along with some additional thoughts from Delbridge.
ZIPPING RAMBO (May ’18 Mister Twister x Zipping Maggie)
31 starts: 16-6-2
The Meadows (600m) – 3 starts: 2-0-1 (34.16sec PB)
Box 4 – 8 starts: 5-1-2
Past 7: 1112211
Winner: G1 Sandown Cup (715m); G3 Racecallers Speed Star (595m)
“I don’t think it will worry him coming back in distance. The Speed Star showed he hasn’t lost any of his zip. It’s hard to separate them, but I’d say ‘Rambo’ has an early pace edge over ‘Christo’. Strangely, he leads over ‘600’ and comes from behind over ‘700’; I would have thought it would be the opposite.”
WATCH: Zipping Rambo (4) claims the G1 Sandown Cup – the world’s premier distance race – at Sandown Park on May 27.
CHRISTO BALE (Jan ’18 Barcia Bale x Houston Bale)
61 starts: 25-11-10
The Meadows (600m) – 5 starts: 2-2-0 (34.15sec PB)
Past 6: 111121
Box 5 – 8 starts: 3-1-0
Winner: G2 McKenna Memorial (595m); G3 Speed Star (525m)
Runner-up: G1 Hume Cup (600m); G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m);
Finalist: 3rd – G1 Topgun (525m); 4th – G1 Australian Cup (525m); 4th – G1 Harrison-Dawson (515m); 4th – G1 Sale Cup (650m); 8th – G1 Silver Chief (525m); G1 3rd – G3 Shootout (515m)
“He’s jumping better since returning from a spell. He can’t run out ‘700’ but is strong over ‘600’. And he’s back to his brilliant best. He’s a good price, but I reckon his odds will tighten a bit.”
WATCH: Christo Bale (7) scores by a massive 10L and clocks a sizzling 34.15sec PB over 600m at The Meadows last week.
The GR8 Eight is Race 8 at 8.46pm.
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