• Wednesday, 30 Jun, 2021,
  • by Peter Quilty

Bringing down the ‘Balliang Outfit’

Can they bring down Team Delbridges ‘Balliang Outfit’?

Well, even “Scarface” Al Capone – an infamous Chicago mobster of the late 1920s and early 1930s – couldn’t have scripted this one.

Enter ‘The Untouchables’. The Anakie-based Jeff Britton and Angela Langton partnership which has six reasons to give it their best shot.

They’ve been tasked with bringing a stop to the activities of the Delbridges ‘gangsters’ – Zipping Rambo and Christo Bale – in the G2 McKenna Memorial series.

And that’s a tough assignment considering the dynamic duo has had middle-distance racing under its control lately – testament to Mark and Lisa Delbridge’s professionalism.

In fact, Christo Bale is TAB’s $3 ‘All In’ favourite to secure back-to-back McKenna Memorials. He won last year’s event in a stunning 33.86sec PB.

A six-time G1 finalist, he’s won seven of his last eight starts – including his past three.

Christo Bale (Box 6) is also a $1.55 favourite in Heat 2.

And Zipping Rambo is TAB’s $4.50 second ‘All In’ elect, having won last month’s G1 Sandown Cup (715m) before taking out the G3 Racecallers Speed Star (595m).

The versatile ‘mercenary’ is also a $2.50 favourite in Heat 1.

Regardless, and Britton and Langton will attempt to enforce ‘prohibition’ with their sextet in three heats over 595m at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

Mepunga Warrior is considered their best chance of causing a major upset. He’s a G2 Warrnambool Cup (450m) and G3 Launching Pad (515m) finalist, and recently finished third to Five Star in the Pink Diamond Champion Distance final (660m) at Bendigo.

Here’s Britton’s assessment on their aspirants:

WATCH: Mepunga Warrior (4) records a slick 29.29sec (Best) win at Sandown Park on June 3.

Heat 1 – Race 5, 7.40pm

Mepunga Warrior (Box 3) – $4.80
“He’s never been out of the middle-distance boxes here… But you would think this distance will suit him down to the ground… He’ll rail through but has struck a superstar (Zipping Rambo).”

Suntory Rose (Box 5) – $15
“She had a bit of time off… It was her first ‘600’ last week since returning and she got run down on the line… I think she’ll improve on that effort.”

Oakvale Style (Box 6) – $26
“She’s been racing really well… Her performance at The Meadows on Saturday night was solid.”

Incredibly, Mepunga Rosie – a 2016 McKenna Memorial finalist – is the dam of littermates Mepunga Warrior and Suntory Rose (both Mar ’19 Fernando Bale) along with older half-sisters It’s My Party (Aug ’18 Mepunga Blazer) and Mepunga Maggie (Sep ’17 Cosmic Rumble).
And Mepunga Felix’s dam, Mepunga Fame, also contested the 2016 McKenna Memorial final.     

Heat 2 – Race 6, 8.02pm

It’s My Party (Box 2) – $8.50
“She was a little bit disappointing last start – perhaps it was pressure… But if she can get a break on them, it’ll help her chances… However, Christo Bale will be very hard to hold out… She’ll find it tough.”

Mepunga Maggie (Box 7) – $23
“She’s poorly drawn and has got her work cut out… She’s getting on a bit and coming up four… She’s in the twilight of her career.”

Pawnote: ‘Team Delbridge’ also has Graclyn Bale and Jarick Bale contesting the series.
Graclyn Bale (Box 2) is a $3.40 chance in Heat 1. She’s two from three this track/distance with a 33.99sec PB.
Jarick Bale (Box 1) is a $2.50 favourite in Heat 3. He’s undefeated in two starts this track/distance, including a 13-length victory in a 33.87sec PB on June 10.
The middle-distance revelations are $8.00 and $6.00 respectively in TAB’s ‘All In’ betting market.

Heat 3 – Race 7, 8.25pm

Mepunga Felix (Box 8) – $14
“I’d like to see him drawn the other side of the track… There might be too much early pace for him to get across… And I don’t think he’ll finish on strongly.”

Here are TAB’s ‘All In’ prices for the Britton/Langton contingent – $11 Mepunga Warrior; $31 It’s My Party; $51 Mepunga Felix & Suntory Rose; $101 Mepunga Maggie; $201 Oakvale Style.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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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