After his memorable Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup heroics last Friday, veteran marvel Yozo Bale will make his Wentworth Park debut on Wednesday night in the heats of the lucrative Masters Meteor (520m) series.
A master in every sense of the word, Yozo Bale incredibly won the Geelong Cup in his third appearance in the race, adding a third Victorian country cup title to his 2020 Bendigo and Ballarat Cups victories.
Being staged in conjunction with the Million Dollar Chase, the Masters Meteor, restricted to greyhounds that have turned four years of age, is worth an incredible $100,000 to-the-winner, with successful young Anakie trainer Correy Grenfell describing the prizemoney as “crazy”.
There wouldn’t be many – if any – four-year-olds racing in better form or company than Yozo Bale.
“It’s not ideal that he hasn’t been to Wentworth Park before but being a real experienced campaigner, I don’t think it will affect him.”
The winner of 31 of his 93 starts, Yozo Bale celebrated his fourth birthday on March 28 and has since run second in heat and final of the G2 Ballarat Cup, before winning heat and final of his hometown Cup.
“We noticed this Masters race about three months ago and decided if he was sound at the time, we’d go for it,” said Grenfell.
“It’s a credit to NSW for putting on a race like this for older dogs.
“He’s spot on after Geelong. We were just hoping it didn’t rain on Friday because with the injuries he’s had he doesn’t pull up well after racing on rain-affected surfaces but fortunately the rain stayed away.”
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Yozo Bale has drawn Box 8 in the first of Wednesday’s three Masters Meteor heats (Race 6 at 8.45pm), with TAB rating him the $2.70 second elect behind $2.60 favourite Ritza Gloria (Box 1).
“When I looked through his form, I was quite surprised he hadn’t been up to Wentworth Park at some stage,” Grenfell said.
“Injuries would be the reason he hasn’t been there.
“It’s not ideal that he hasn’t been to Wentworth Park before but being a real experienced campaigner, I don’t think it will affect him. He’s a frontrunner and just a great chaser, so that’ll help him too.
WATCH: It was third time lucky in the Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup final (520m) last Friday night for veteran local YOZO BALE (3).
“I don’t really like Box 8 on any two-turn track either but if he jumps, they’ll be doing well to beat him.
“Providing he can get through to the final, with the look at the track he’ll be very hard to beat next week.
“With the quick back-up from Geelong, having ten days between the heat and final in Sydney will be the key to him, and he’ll be cherry ripe.”
With the lure of 100 starts and a possible Wagga Cup defence on the agenda, Grenfell said there are no firm retirement plans in place for the evergreen son of Fernando Bale and Purcell Bale; however, Yozo Bale will get his opportunity at stud.
“His career is getting close to the end and he’s going to be standing at stud when he does retire. I know Brendan Wheeler is excited about using him and I’m sure other breeders will be too.”
Victoria will be represented in each of the three Masters Meteor heats, with Keenando (Box 2), contesting the second run-off, while Lots Of Chatter (Box 4) and Devel Sixteen (Box 6) will line up in the third qualifier.
Grenfell and wife Samantha will also have runners in the three heats of the $15,000 to-the-winner MDC Maiden – Natteo Bale (heat 1), Kai Bale and Orbital Bale (heat 2) and Lovaz Bale (heat 3).
The finals of the Masters Meteor and MDC Maiden will be held at Wentworth Park on Saturday, May 7, along with the Million Dollar Chase and G3 Bob Payne, Ladies Bracelet and Gold Cup finals.
Yozo Bale and Correy and Samantha Grenfell took centre stage at the Geelong Gold Cup presentation.
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