After springing the biggest upset in the Victorian National Sprint heats, Andrea Dailly is relying on strength in numbers to claim the state title at The Meadows on Thursday night.
Three heats of the Victorian Sprint series were held on Saturday night and ‘Team Dailly’s’ $38 roughie Fabriola Zad caused a sensation in the opening run-off with a dominant 30.01sec victory, eliminating $1.50 favourite Equalizer in the process.
“It wasn’t really a surprise because the dog can run a bit and he loves The Meadows,” co-trainer Tom Dailly said.
“He needs a clear run and he was up there early. When he was running second into the back and got underneath our other dog (Gypsy Yankee) without getting checked he was going to be hard to beat. He went good.
“I don’t know if he can do it again on Thursday. He’s drawn out wide this time and he likes it a bit more being drawn near the rail.
“He’s not the quickest beginner and to be honest he might get into trouble from out there.”
The Dailly kennel added finalists in both the remaining heats when Providence Bale (3rd) and Jax Bale (2nd) were both placed at double figure odds.
Odds-on favourites were also beaten in both the second and third run-offs, with Catch The Thief unfortunately going amiss in heat two, while Aston Rupee ran third in the final qualifier, but snuck into the final, which is Race 8 at 8.37pm.
Drawn in box five, Aston Rupee is TAB’s $2.30 favourite, with the shortest of the Dailly trio Providence Bale (Box 1) at $9, while Jax Bale (Box 6) is $10 and Fabriola Zad (Box 7) is once again huge odds at $26.
While Fabriola Zad is the clear outsider of the Dailly contingent, the G2 Cranbourne and G2 Horsham Cup finalist has the best record at The Meadows, with his shock heat success his eighth win from 29 starts over 525m, with a 29.78sec PB.
WATCH: Outsider Fabriola Zad (5) causes a massive boilover in last Saturday night’s Victorian National Sprint Championship heats at The Meadows.
The well-drawn Providence Bale has won six from 27 at The Meadows, while G2 Cranbourne Cup winner Jax Bale, a two-time Group finalist at Sandown Park, has recorded just one victory from 11 appearances at the track.
“I’d probably say Providence Bale is our best chance, because of the draw,” Dailly said.
“He absolutely loves the ‘red’, so he’s drawn where he wants to be, but he can only run about ‘30 dead’ around The Meadows so he probably needs to ping and hope there’s some trouble behind him.
“It’s a hard race so they’re all going to need a bit of luck.”
The Daillys will have two contenders in the one-off Victorian National Distance final, Race 7 at 8.13pm, in up-and-comer Drako Bale (Box 2), the $4.40 second elect, and $15 chance Zipping Ticket (Box 3).
A newcomer to the staying ranks, Drako Bale, a son of the great Fanta Bale, the 2017 National Distance champion, stepped up to ‘700’ after running fourth in the G2 McKenna Memorial, winning impressively on debut at Sandown Park in 41.97sec before running a close second last start.
Zipping Ticket ran third to Thursday night’s $2.25 favourite Hank The Hustler (Box 8) in the G3 Fireball at The Meadows last month but she hasn’t been a factor at her past two starts, both at Sandown Park.
“Drako Bale has only had two staying races and we’ve been happy with both runs,” Dailly said.
“He ran 41.90-odd at his first run at Sandown and then only got beaten a length in around 41.90sec last week. We’re hoping with a few more 700s that he’ll get a bit stronger over the next couple of months.
“There are no real standout stayers around at the moment so it was worth having a crack at the race.”
Interestingly, four of ‘Team Dailly’s’ five state National finalists – all three sprinters and Zipping Ticket – are sired by The Meadows 525m record-holder Allen Deed, which was also trained by the Daillys, as is the premier kennel’s two-time G1 winner Qwara Bale.
Continuing the Nationals theme, Allen Deed is by 2009 National Distance Championship victor Jarvis Bale.
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