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‘Flash’ of Christo

If you were into omen bets you may have had a dabble on Christo Bale in tonight’s Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park.

His Balliang trainer Mark Delbridge took out the 2010 edition of the race with Flash Of Light ($2.60F) from Box 2 in 34.24sec.

And tonight, his contemporary champ Christo Bale ($1.80F) – also from the ‘check’ trap – made it back to-back wins in the $40,000 to-the-winner event with an amazing 7.4L win over Shadow Mist ($8.80), with his younger half-brother Jarick Bale ($6.20) a further 0.8L away third in a slick 34.10sec.

Owned By Brendan Wheeler, Christo Bale – an 11-time Group finalist, including six G1s – notched his 29th win from 66 starts and his stakes spiralled $295,970.

In last year’s McKenna Memorial, Christo Bale ($4.00) defeated Last Hurrah ($4.50) by 5L in 33.86sec – a personal best in three wins from five starts over this track/distance.

WATCH: Christo Bale (2) charged to the early lead in the McKenna before scoring by seven lengths over Shadow Mist (1) and half-brother Jarick Bale (8).

Amazingly, Christo Bale (Jan ’18 Barcia Bale x Houston Bale) – one of the most versatile greyhounds the sport has ever seen – has won eight of his past 10 starts.

“He jumped well and knowing how strong he is and how he races, he had to get to the front,” Delbridge’s wife, Lisa, said.

“We’re very proud, he’s always thereabouts but to win the race twice is a very big thrill.

“He’s right up there with our good ones… He’s just laid back; he doesn’t bark and make a fuss. But he knows when it’s race day though.

“You wouldn’t even know he’s in the kennel, he’s just a gentleman.”

Pawnote: The McKenna Memorial commemorates one of the sport’s most influential administrators, Jack McKenna. He became secretary of the Tatura Plumpton Coursing Club at just 18 years of age and in the early 1930s, was recruited to Springvale to take over the administration of the then Sandown Park Coursing Company. McKenna was instrumental in the purchase of the land on which the club now stands.

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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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